Anglican Samizdat

May 3, 2010

BumpTop bought by Google

Filed under: Computers — David Jenkins @ 10:01 am

Having worked on mainframes for over over 40 years, the idea, proposed 20 years ago, that much of a computer’s processing power would be devoted to the user interface seemed to me to be derisory; real computer users don’t need a fancy user interface, they type into a monochrome 3270 terminal.

That is what has happened, of course, and the iPad is a good example: it doesn’t really do much, but it does it with such flair that both computer nerds and normal people want one.

BumpTop outdoes the iPad, it is Canadian, and it has been bought by Google:

Google has acquired BumpTop, a Toronto-based tech startup that built a 3-D computer desktop that makes files behave like physical objects.

Neither Google nor BumpTop disclosed details of the deal, but the Globe and Mail said the purchase price was believed to be between $30 million and $45 million.



  1. I found an old VIC-20 program cassette in the garage. I helped install the Collins Mainframe for Air Canada in Toronto (196?) and a 1 Meg hand wound core storage was the size of an old desktop. The 6 disk hard drive was slightly smaller than a VW van. The whole thing was built in aircraft ATR boxes and I could swap out modules then faster than I get the cover screws off today.

    Them were the days.

    Comment by Steve L — May 3, 2010 @ 11:29 am

  2. Yes, they don’t make them like they used to. In 1966 the first machine I worked on was an IBM 360 model 40 that ran 8k BOS. It had core memory and the disks had hydraulics that would occasionally leak.

    Comment by David — May 3, 2010 @ 11:39 am

  3. I remember when the Vic 20 was cool. Does that make me old?

    Comment by Kate — May 3, 2010 @ 6:48 pm

  4. I remember when punched cards were cool – you’re just a baby.

    Comment by David — May 3, 2010 @ 7:19 pm

  5. ROFL

    Comment by Kate — May 3, 2010 @ 10:08 pm

  6. Technology does not spread evenly. In the early 90s Stelco was still using IBM punch cards to do its payrol and management was so hostile to technolgists that Mohawk stopped sending them Co-Op students.
    As a Blacksmith, I guess I shouldn’t be pointing fingers.

    Comment by Jim Muirhead — May 3, 2010 @ 11:13 pm

  7. Stelco had outsourced some of their computing to the company I used to work for: I wonder if we had a hand in making their management hostile to computer technicians.

    Comment by David — May 3, 2010 @ 11:24 pm

  8. So you’re the one!

    Comment by Jim Muirhead — May 3, 2010 @ 11:28 pm

  9. Rumbled!

    Comment by David — May 3, 2010 @ 11:33 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: