This is a web site for the above-named book edited by David Walden and Raymond Nickerson and with chapters contributed by 19 long-time BBN people.
A Culture of Innovation is a collection of chapters relevant to many of the areas of BBN computing work over the decades of its history with most chapters written by one or more participants in the described activity (or a close observer). We believe the book will provide an interesting picture of the company to people who have had involvement with BBN or are interested in computing history. It also will be a useful reference work for historians of computing. (Note, this book is not history by a professional historian—no interpretation, no historiography. It is also not a history book where one author tells an overall story, like Waldrop's The Dream Machine: J.C.R. Licklider and the Revolution That Made Computing Personal.)
The second "printing" of the book is available online. It is available for download for individual reading. All other rights are reserved.
Physical copies of the first printing of the book are available in retail bookstores, e.g.,
Relevant to Chapter 1 (Founding a Culture of Engineering Creativity)
Relevant to Chapter 3 (The ABC's of BBN)
Relevant to Chapter 4 (Early Years of Basic Computer and Software Engineering)
Relevant to Chapter 5 (The Way We Were: Aspects of the Culture of BBN)
Relevant to Chapter 12 (Medical Applications of Computers)
Relevant to Chapter 17 (Networking at BBN)
Relevant to Chapter 18 (Distributed Computing at BBN)
Relevant to Chapter 19 (Networked Email)
Relevant to Chapter 20 (SIMNET: A Revolution in Distributed Team Training)
Relevant to Chapter 21 (Later Years of Basic Computer and Software Engineering)
Six papers based on this work appeared in a BBN special issue of the IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, volume 27, number 2, April-June 2005. These papers were by Leo Beranek, John Swets, Stephen Levy, Frank Heart, Sheldon Baron, and Richard Estrada and Edward Starr. Six more papers appeared in a second special issue of the same journal (January-March 2006, volume 28, number 1), papers by Paul Castleman, Wallace Feurzeig, Johh Makhoul, Ralph Weischedel, Richard Schantz, and Craig Partridge and Steven Blumenthal. However, much of the initially submitted content of these papers could not be published because of the journal's page limitations.
More papers went through the Annals peer review process and were judged acceptable for publication but had to be withdrawn because of page limitations: a paper by Raymond Nickerson and Sanford Fidell, and several papers by David Walden. We also had still more material that has never been submitted for publication.
Thus we produced this book, A Culture of Innovation: Insider Accounts of Computing and Life at BBN, that contains longer versions of most of the papers published in the Annals, the papers that were withdrawn, and other content.