[Humanist] 27.306 kitchen computer

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Sun Sep 1 09:53:41 CEST 2013

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 27, No. 306.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Sat, 31 Aug 2013 09:27:39 -0400
        From: "Dr. Robert Delius Royar PhD" <r.royar at moreheadstate.edu>
        Subject: Re:  27.303 kitchen computer
        In-Reply-To: <20130831080721.9773B10FF at digitalhumanities.org>

On 31 Aug 2013, at 04:07, Humanist Discussion Group <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk> wrote:

> --[1]------------------------------------------------------------------------
>        Date: Fri, 30 Aug 2013 10:39:58 +0200
>        From: "Jan Rybicki" <jkrybicki at gmail.com>
>        Subject: RE: [Humanist] 27.302 what difference a kitchen computer?
>        In-Reply-To: <20130830071315.45EDA2FF2 at digitalhumanities.org>


> Yet I think our kitchen computers do not deserve that name yet. They only
> will when the prophesy comes true from one of my childhood favourites, a
> 1966 Polish book for kids by Zbigniew Przyrowski, "W krainie jutra" (In the
> land of tomorrow), a nicely illustrated depiction of everyday life in the
> near future (early 21st century); ironically, published in the drab and
> backward reality of Central-Eastern-European Communism, many of the
> illustrations showcase technical goodies already available in the degenerate
> West, such as gigantic microwave ovens. But there is a computer in the
> kitchen of the family in the book. BTW, the kitchen is round, and the mother
> - who else! - moves around it on a self-propelled stool. And she uses a
> computer to plan her meals AND shop; selected recipes are digitally
> converted into shopping lists and the ingredients find their way into the
> fridge (it is not exactly explained how); the computer then controls the
> various "electronic ovens" to boil, sautee or roast the products just right
> (again, the way they get from the fridge to the oven is unclear).
> It is interesting that it seems we have gone further in modifying gender
> roles than in digitizing cooking.

I thought I had seen this Wikipedia article mentioned on this list, but perhaps it was in the New York Times Magazine's article about inventions that did not reach their apparent potential. The Honeywell Kitchen Computer H318 is described briefly on Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honeywell_316. That article references one in Dr Dobb's http://www.drdobbs.com/architecture-and-design/if-you-cant-stand-the-coding-stay-out-of/184404040 At http://www.drdobbs.com/architecture-and-design/if-you-cant-stand-the-coding-stay-out-of/184404040#spec we find the 1969 specification. The first installation of a similar device (in an engineer's home) appears to be ca. 1966 (same Dr. Dobb's article). 

Note the links above likely wrapped oddly. Here they are in order on separate lines:

 Dr. Robert Delius Royar PhD, Associate Professor of English
 Morehead State University     r.royar at moreheadstate.edu

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