From Pandemonium to Eudaemonia — A Brief History of Demons and The Mainframe

If you’ve ever found yourself in a house so old that it smells like the last century and emits random creaks, you may have wondered if it had non-corporeal inhabitants, like the spirits in “Poltergeist” or "Ghostbusters." You may not immediately envision such disembodied gremlins inhabiting our computers. And yet, since the inception of the Multics computing platform in the mid-1960’s, demons (or at least daemons) have also been an explicit part of the computing world. Of course, anyone who has ever had to deal with an intractable bug may sympathize with this concept, but unlike the potentially mischievous ghostly life forms that Hollywood has shown us, the type of daemons that have found their ways into modern computing have their roots in medieval literature, and before that in classical Greek thinking.

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