(Roughly) Daily

It all adds up…

Brooke Boering is a man of many accomplishments.  The author of a couple of versions of Klondike, the aggressively addictive pc solitaire game; creator of Ceemac, an early Apple graphics language; and the coder of electronic EKG software…

Still he found time to compile the definitive site– the Biography of a Machine— documenting the Comptometer.

It’s all there:  the history of the machine, an account of the world into which it was released and the role it played in business, the competition that emerged (including Burroughs, which played a role in the ultimate development of computers and created the fortune that supported the literary efforts of Wm. S. Burroughs), and the company’s ultimate demise… a fascinating slice of history.

As we oil the crank, we might recall that on this date in 1564 poet and playwright Christopher Marlowe was baptized in Canterbury, England– two months before the birth of his fellow playwright William Shakespeare.

Marlowe earned his B.A. from Cambridge in 1584. He was nearly denied his master’s degree in 1587, until the queen’s advisers intervened, recommending he receive the degree and referring obliquely to his services for the state. (Historians believe Marlowe served as a spy for Queen Elizabeth while at Cambridge)

While still in school, Marlowe wrote his first play Tamburlaine the Great, about a 14th-century shepherd who became an emperor. The blank verse drama was a hit, and Marlowe wrote five more plays before his death in 1593, including The Jew of Malta and Dr. Faustus. He also found time to translate Ovid’s Elegies.

In May of 1593, Marlowe’s former roommate, playwright Thomas Kyd, was arrested and tortured for treason. He told authorities that “heretical” papers found in his room belonged to Marlowe, who was subsequently arrested. While out on bail, Marlowe became involved in a fight over a tavern bill and was stabbed to death…  Even today, theorists imaging that the dangerously political Marlowe’s death was in fact a set-up– that’s to say, murder.

Christopher Marlowe

Written by (Roughly) Daily

February 26, 2009 at 1:01 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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