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  • Hybrid event: Software Archeology: The Medley Interlisp Modernisation Project

Computer Conservation Society event.


Stephen (Steve) Kaisler


2:00pm - Refreshments and networking
2:30pm - Start of webinar and face to face event
5:00pm - Event ends


During the early days of Artificial Intelligence research, Lisp dialects were the primary programming language for developing symbolic (AI) applications. Multiple dialects were developed, but one of the most widely used was Interlisp, originated at BBN, and then moved to Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center.

By the early 1990s, symbolic AI research had waned and Interlisp had been overtaken by Common Lisp. Recently (2010), Interlisp.org, led by Larry Masinter, was formed by some of the original developers to modernize and enhance Medley Interlisp to run on modern machines.

Today, Medley Interlisp is available on various Linux-based machines, on Apple Mac computers, and in several forms for Windows 10/11-based machines. This talk will discuss the history and technology of Medley Interlisp, its migration to and implementation on modern operating systems, some of the issues in modernising a historical software system, some key features, and future activities.

About the speaker 

Stephen (Steve) Kaisler

Steve Kaisler has a varied career, mostly in the US defense and intelligence community as a contractor for over 40 years (now semiretired).

He has held positions as a Strategic Computing Program Manager at DARPA and as Director of System Architecture and Technical Advisor to the Sergeant At Arms of the United States Senate.

He has been an Adjunct Professor of Engineering at George Washington University, Washington, DC in Computer Science for 44 years.

He has written over 50 technical papers and 16 books of which 9 volumes are part of his Historical Computing Machines series published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

He has also run the Enterprise Architecture and the Big Data and Analytics mini tracks at the Hawai’i International Conference on Systems Science for the past 20 years.

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This event is brought to you by: BCS Computer Conservation Society

Hybrid event: Software Archeology: The Medley Interlisp Modernisation Project
Date and time
Thursday 16 November, 2:30pm - 5:00pm
BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT
Ground Floor, 25 Copthall Avenue
This event is sold out