BenTha'er-Horizons

Computers

The Real Steve Jobs

I have always been an Apple product fan since I got a MacIntosh product back in the 1980s. Hard to believe that that old Mac Plus cost over $3500 and needed a back up hard drive. We have come a long way, Baby, on computers. Much to the influence of Steve Jobs. Interesting and difficult guy. I saw a documentary on TV recently that is mentioned in this article. It was interesting and enlightening. He did change our world or how we look at it. Few have done so in the manner he did. Read about it.
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The World's First Computer Revisited

Here is an interesting story of how the world's first computer was found and put together (overall) again after it was brought back from a pile of junk or the scrap heap. More detail beyond the following can be found here.

"The ENIAC was a 27-ton, 1,800-square-foot bundle of vacuum tubes and diodes that was arguably the world’s first true computer. The hardware that Perot’s team diligently unearthed and lovingly refurbished is now accessible to the general public for the first time, back at the same Army base where it almost rotted into oblivion.

ENIAC was conceived in the thick of World War II, as a tool to help artillerymen calculate the trajectories of shells. Though construction began a year before D-Day, the computer wasn’t activated until November 1945, by which time the U.S. Army’s guns had fallen silent. But the military still found plenty of use for ENIAC as the Cold War began—the machine’s 17,468 vacuum tubes were put to work by the developers of the first hydrogen bomb, who needed a way to test the feasibility of their early designs. The scientists at Los Alamos later declared that they could never have achieved success without ENIAC’s awesome computing might: the machine could execute 5,000 instructions per second, a capability that made it a thousand times faster than the electromechanical calculators of the day. (An iPhone 6, by contrast, can zip through 25 billion instructions per second.)"
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Who Invented the Internet

One of the interesting facts from the Today I Found Out website. For further information on this and surrounding facts, check here.

“The genesis of the internet itself was a group effort by numerous individuals, sometimes working in concert, and other times independently. Its birth takes us back to the extremely competitive technological contest between the US and the USSR during the Cold War.

The Soviet Union sent the satellite Sputnik 1 into space on October 4, 1957. Partially in response, the American government created in 1958 the Advanced Research Project Agency, known today as DARPA—Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The agency’s specific mission was to

…prevent technological surprises like the launch of Sputnik, which signaled that the Soviets had beaten the U.S. into space. The mission statement has evolved over time. Today, DARPA’s mission is still to prevent technological surprise to the US, but also to create technological surprise for our enemies.

To coordinate such efforts, a rapid way to exchange data between various universities and laboratories was needed. This bring us to J. C. R. Licklider who is largely responsible for the theoretical basis of the Internet, an “Intergalactic Computer Network.” His idea was to create a network where many different computer systems would be interconnected to one another to quickly exchange data, rather than have individual systems setup, each one connecting to some other individual system.”


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Learning Continues

The learning must continue and how to be more handy also.

It certainly seems as if problems come in 3s, maybe even more. Our microwave has had the digital screen fading in and out over some months now. We can jazz it up by flipping the breaker switch and it will work for awhile. Yesterday, right in the middle of a dishwashing cycle, our Fisher and Paykel dishdrawer flipped an error code and started beeping at us. This is not good beyond the hassle and cost. It is not easy we have found to get a service person for this brand of dishwasher. It will be a major-major brand for the next one. You buy nice products that seem upscale brands, you buy upscale headaches if you live in the country and away from bigger cities. The mid-valley would be a good place for a good appliance repair person to set up a business.

Now, my Mac Pro laptop came up with a “death” screen this morning. A curtain of gray descended on it while working and up popped in multiple languages (it has to be bad if in Japanese too) that I must restart the computer by pushing the power button and then pushing it again. Just a gray screen with code and this message is the result. So it will be off to Paul’s Computer Repair tomorrow and hope for the best. Paul Aziz is also the photography instructor who encouraged the blog a day. Talking with his wife, they will be going to the Linn County Fair today just like we are doing. I had to pull my Time Capsule backup of the blog over to my IMac to stay current and not lose what I have done. Right now, the entries are disordered so that may be a problem in itself.

I have Facebook for the Berlin Oregon Community up and going. Now I will have to look for some friends to hook into it. It is never dull.
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