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The ServerA Media History from the Present to the Baroque$
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Markus Krajewski

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780300180817

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300180817.001.0001

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Agents: The Lord of (the) Things

Agents: The Lord of (the) Things

(p.297) Chapter 7 Agents: The Lord of (the) Things
The Server

Markus Krajewski

, Ilinca Iurascu
Yale University Press

This chapter considers the forms subalterns assume under the conditions of advanced technology. As servers, demons, or other virtual creatures, they work without being seen or ever taking a break. By means of a comparative analysis of early computing systems, the mainframes, and the first machines from the age of personal computers, the discussion focuses on the conceptual and historical transfer from servant to server. The analysis is based on fieldwork conducted in California in the 1970s, when researchers at the legendary Xerox PARC center took a closer look at the conditions of formation of electronic services. What defines the communicative structure of the Internet was a specific informational architecture, the so-called client-server principle, developed in Silicon Valley after 1973.

Keywords:   advanced technology, servers, virtual creatures, computing systems, mainframes, personal computers, Xerox PARC, Internet, electronic services

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