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Posts Tagged ‘history’

The first floppy drive or “data storage apparatus”

floppyYou remember floppy disks, don’t you? Those truly floppy (hence the name) disks of thin plastic, which we all used to store and transfer files with before we had the Internet and USB thumb drives.

Today in 1930, one of the most significant people ever in the computer storage industry, was born. Alan Shugart sadly passed away in 2006, but he leaves an impressive legacy of work, starting out at IBM and later cofounding Seagate. We wanted, in his memory, to take a look at the first floppy drive.

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The incredible story of the first PC, from 1965

P101 front

Almost 50 years ago, a small team at the Italian company Olivetti managed to do what no one had done before them; they created a computer small enough to fit on a desk, and could be used by regular people. It was the Programma 101, what many consider to be the world’s first personal computer.

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Today it’s 31 years since Microsoft finalized the purchase of 86-DOS, also known as QDOS, or Quick and Dirty Operating System. This was the operating system that would be installed on the first IBM PC, introduced in August 1981.

The rest is history, as they say. If you would want to relive the good – ahem – old days of DOS before it was even called MS-DOS, here’s how you can.

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Happy birthday Ethernet


May 22 is the birthday of Ethernet, a family of computer networking technologies for local area networks (LANs). It was on this day in 1973 that Robert Metcalfe submitted a memo that detailed how the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), where he worked, should connect its personal computers to a shared printer.

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A day in the life of Pingdom – join us May 15

A day in the life of Pingdom

“Photograph what is close to you. Share it with the world!“ That’s one of the headlines on, a global project that will attempt to document what goes around the world in one day.

This all takes place on Tuesday May 15, 2012, and Pingdom will be participating.

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Microsoft hardware design = cool?

Microsoft hardware

Microsoft is not the company that comes to mind when you think about great design. Apple, perhaps, but not Microsoft.

But that may be changing, which we discovered when we looked back over 30 years of hardware designs from Microsoft. Although it took Redmond quite a while to get up to speed, its designs are starting to look pretty cool.

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CERNWe’ve noted many successful open source projects and products before on this blog, and the Web is arguably the biggest one of them all.

Two such products we’ve failed to recognize, however, are the very first web browser and server, simply called World Wide Web, developed by Tim Berners-Lee.

Today is especially important in the history of the web since on April 30, 1993, CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, released World Wide Web into the public domain.

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World Internet population has doubled in the last 5 years

internet population 2007-2012 smallThis year the number of Internet users worldwide reached 2.27 billion, almost exactly twice what it was in 5 years ago, 1.15 billion. We all know the Internet is big, but this kind of growth really puts things into perspective.

The Internet population has been swelling rapidly since the arrival of the World Wide Web (which rests firmly on top of the foundation provided by the Internet). It’s human nature to get used to changes, so most of us have a tendency to forget how rapidly the world has changed, and keeps changing.

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Today we take a look back at the first mass-produced commercial computer, which was called UNIVAC.

The first model was delivered on March 30, 1951, to the U.S. Census Bureau. As a brand name on computers, UNIVAC survived until 1981.

We have collected some stunning numbers describing this important piece of tech-history. Read on to find out more.

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How Apple reinvented the laptop

Apple laptops

Apple is often referred to as a design leader. Since Steve Jobs came back and took over the company in 1997, the focus and inventiveness shown by Apple’s industrial design team has been remarkable.

Apple’s design prowess has greatly influenced the evolution of the common laptop over the past 10+ years. The company has gone from being a marginal player in that market to become one of the biggest, most popular laptop manufacturers in the world.

That success has of course bred imitation from other laptop makers, some subtle, some not so subtle. Would today’s laptops be as slick and beautiful without the influence from Apple? Most likely not.

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