I ran across John Bradshaw's excellent presentation Strings and Things. Part historical overview, part explanation of the SMILES/SMARTS line notation systems, Bradshaw's slides are chock full of interesting tidbits.
My favorite: slide 29 - "Line notations are dead." It's a wonderful illustration of why predicting the future of technology is so tricky. The light pen became the mouse, the computer display became color, and Digital fell off a cliff. SMILES and SMARTS are the only things to have survived.