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Posts Tagged ‘IBM’

titan supercomputer

There’s a new supercomputer at the top of the Top 500 list. The new champion is the Titan, a Cray XK7 system installed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the US. It achieves 17.59 Petaflop/s with 560,640 cores, beating the previous number one, the Sequoia at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which reaches 16.32 Petaflop/s.

Given that there is a new number one, we want to update our article from earlier this year and include the Titan. Let’s see how the new number one supercomputer in the world compares to its predecessors.

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Want to code in Fortran? Here’s the very first manual!

ibm 704 fortran

Chances are most of you reading this have never written a single line of code in Fortran. Chances are also that most of you use systems, perhaps on a daily basis, that somehow were developed with or run on Fortran.

Yesterday, October 15, it was 56 years since the very first manual for Fortran saw the light of day, and we have it available for you to download right here.

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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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How big was the global hard drive market in 1974?

hard drive

Today, just about all computers have hard drives. In fact, in the last quarter of 2011, global hard drive shipments reached approximately 125 million units. But what was the situation like back in the 1970s? Personal computers were (almost) unheard of, and computers were typically large as rooms and run by guys in white lab coats.

Aren’t you curious to find out just how big the global market for hard drives was back then? Let’s find out.

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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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IBM Sequoia supercomputer

Sequoia is the name of the the fastest supercomputer in the world, as ranked by Top500. IBM built the BlueGene system and it’s  installed at the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Sequoia is capable of over 16 PFLOPS (quadrillion operations per second) compared to the 10.5 PFLOPS of the previous number one, which was the K Computer at the RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science in Kobe, Japan.

With a new number one, we wanted to see how things have developed over the last couple of decades. We grabbed the specifications for the number one supercomputer from the Top500 website, going back to June 1993, and here’s what we found.

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Hollerith Tabulating Machine

Today in 1887, Herman Hollerith filed for U.S. Patent 395,781, entitled “Art of compiling statistics.” It was for a punch card calculator, or tabulating machine. The machine meant a machine could read data on a medium (the punch cards), which was crucial in completing the 1890 U.S. Census. Hollerith founded the Tabulating Machine Company, which later formed a part of IBM.

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10 amazing old tech reviews from BYTE Magazine

Old tech reviews

Technology moves at a rapid pace and looking back at reviews from many years ago may seem like a crazy idea. However, we dug up some pretty ancient copies of BYTE Magazine to take a look at what reviewers thought about new computers and other pieces of tech some 20, 30, or even more years ago.

By no means do we mean to pick at or make fun of these pieces of tech or the writers of the articles, but we also can’t help finding them very funny.

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The 20 most valuable tech companies

dollar signs

Have you ever wondered which tech companies are the most valuable in the world? We have, so we decided to find out.

We looked at the market capitalization, i.e. the total value of all shares in each company. Since the data source we used was Google Finance, we got all companies in the technology sector that are traded in the United States, which also includes many of the larger non-US companies. In other words, this list is pretty close to a worldwide top 20.

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An investment in Apple stock 10 years ago would be worth 47 times as much today. An investment in Amazon would have given you 14 times your money back. Not a bad way to spend some dollars in 2002.

Those are far from the only stocks that would have given huge returns over a 10-year time span, though. Other notable mentions include Akamai and Red Hat, both returning more than 10 times the money over the past 10 years.

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