DYK Thursday – The First Ever Laptop Weighed 12 Kg!

Hey there, welcome to the DYK Thursday. Here we share interesting and fascinating facts every week.

Have you ever wondered how the world’s first laptop looked? or how much did it weigh? If you did, the answer is in this post. Read on.

The first portable computer was invented in the year 1981. It could be called as a portable computer rather than a laptop, for the reason which I will state in this post later. This portable computer was released by the Osborne Computer Corporation, under the name “Osborne – 1″. The Osborne – 1 was priced at around USD 1795 which was just about half the cost more than the normal computers in those times (1981).

Here are some specifications of the Osborne Computer.

Introduced:April 1981
Price:US $1,795
Weight:24.5 pounds
CPU:Zilog Z80 @ 4.0 MHz
RAM:64K RAM
Display:built-in 5″ monitor
53 X 24 text
Ports:parallel / IEEE-488
modem / serial port
Storage:dual 5-1/4 inch, 91K drives
OS:CP/M

An interesting fact worth noticing here is that the Osborne Computer weighed about 24.5 pounds/ 12 Kg approximately! So tell me now, can you call this a “laptop”? Certainly not!

The founder of Osborne Computer Corporation, Adam Osborne was the mastermind behind this innovative idea. Osborne 1 was a huge hit amongst the people and it gave a great profit to the company.

Later, after the success of Osborne 1, the company announced about two new computers (portable) named as Executive and Vixen. This announcement lead to a serious downfall of the company. The customers stopped buying the Osborne 1, instead waited for the new computers.

The downfall of the company resulted in the bankruptcy of the company. Thus, even the production of other to computers could not take place. This became a phenomenon and is often called as the Osborne effect.

The above situation is somewhat similar to the “Apple – Gizmodo” story. After seeing the iPhone 4G specs,   people would mostly wait for it, rather than buying the iPhone 3G. However, in this case the product was leaked, but in the above case it was announced by the company itself!

That’s it in this DYK post! Hope you liked it!

Source: Wikipedia and Old Computers

DYK Thursday – Bliss, Now and Then!

Recently, while I was stumbling I found a nice article on Wikipedia and thought I would share that in today’s DYK.

Every MS Windows user will be knowing the default Windows wallpaper, Bliss (The blue sky, the green hill and small white clouds, remember?). The wallpaper which was introduced for Windows XP, as default,   is pretty popular among Windows users.

Going to the history of this wallpaper, this photograph was shot by Charles O’ Rear, who works for a company named HighTurn. This photograph was taken in 1996 – which is around five years before XP was released. O’ Rear wanted to photograph the winemaking on that hill but, unfortunately at that time there was no grapevines on that hill.

The photograph Bliss, inspired a Windows XP’s advertising campaign called “Yes You Can” and thus the photograph entered into the XP home screen.

Later, in November 2006, artist collaboration Goldin & Senneby re-photographed the same site, from the same location. This time, it was full of Grapevines. Check the two pics below.

bliss_thenbliss_now

Oh, and did I tell you where the Bliss image was taken? The Bliss image was taken 3050 Fremont Dr. (Sonoma Hwy.), Sonoma, CA.

Well, nothing much useful here. Just some information. Hope you liked this post! Thank you!

Source: Wikipedia

DYK Thursday – Round Up Of April Fool Pranks Made By Google This Year

Google has a tradition of fooling its vast amount of users by it’s creative pranks every year on April 1st. This year, it has played many pranks. So, I thought I would list them all in a single post.

Renaming Google as Topeka: Google in response to the April fool prank played by CNN (renaming Topeka, Kansas as “Google”, Kansas), wrote a post on its company blog that it is changing its name to “Topeka”. Check this post out!

LifeSize from Picasa: This feature from Picasa lets you enlarge any image into a life size image.

Japanese Keyboard: Google Japan has created a keyboard with plenty of keys! Check out how it looks!

Store anything with Google Docs: This feature from Google Docs, helps you to store anything you want! I repeat, anything. The blogpost linked above stated that,

As with documents, spreadsheets, and files, you also share objects you’ve uploaded to Google Docs with anyone in the world. For example, do you ever wish you could CTRL+F your house keys or your TV remote? Store your keys, remotes, rail passes, and other objects you commonly lose with Google Docs, and you’ll never have to worry about finding them again. Having trouble moving your piano from New York to California? Upload it from your home in New York, then download it once you’re in California. Change your mind and want to share it with your friend in England instead? No problem. With one click you can have your piano delivered to anyone you choose, anywhere in the world.

Chrome Sounds: Google released a new extension for Google Chrome on April 1st called as “Chrome Sounds”. This is what the Chrome blog says about the extension.

Taking an earful of inspiration from the  HTML5 audio tag, we’ve spent the past few months deep in psychoacoustic models, the Whittaker-Nyquist-Kotelnikov-Shannon sampling theorem, Franssen effects, Shepard-Risset Tones, and 11.1 surround sound research to build a cutting-edge audio-driven user interface for our users, available through a  new Chrome extension. With this extension, Chrome will provide audio feedback as you browse to web pages and interact with the browser.

A little complicated, nevertheless great extension! :P

YouTube TextP option: This is a new filter for videos which helps you to see videos in ASCII format. This helps to reduce the bandwidth consumption, it seems!

TEXTp is the result of months of intense transcoding efforts by our engineers, who toiled for weeks to ensure that a large chunk of videos on the platform could be reduced to their most basic elements. By replacing the images in the video with a series of letters and numbers, the videos are far less taxing on our system — and have the added benefit of promoting literacy!

Google Translation for Animals: Okay, now there is an Android app that helps you to translate animal voices. You need to record the voices of the animal’s sound you want to translate and this app will translate it into human language!

Google Books in 3D: You can now read books in 3D. You need to put on the 3D glasses and click the option “View in 3D” and you are ready to go!

Wow, that’s a great list of pranks! Well done, Google!. Wait, did I miss any other prank in this list? Then, just tell me through comments. I will update the post with that soon!

DYK Thursday – Barack Obama is The First US President Whose Portrait Was Taken From a Digital Camera

In United States, they follow a tradition of keeping portraits of all the presidents who lived in White House. The tradition  started with Gilbert Stuart’s portrait of George Washington, which was made of oil paints is followed till now.

Bill Clinton, an early president of the US, was the first person to get his portrait painted by an African American, Simmie Knox!

But, as “Change is always a constant” there has been a change in this tradition too. The latest president of US, Barack Obama’s portrait is not painted with oil paints, but is taken from a digital camera!

barack_obama_portrait
Compare with the other two, you will see the difference

The camera that was used to take the photo of Barack Obama was a Canon EOS 5D Mark II.  But, even the painted version of Barack Obama’s portrait would be available at the end of his tenure as a president. You can also find the pictures of all the portraits here.

Wow, that’s really amazing! Did you know that?

And BTW, DYK that Elephants are afraid of Mice? Watch this video if you don’t believe me!

Thanks Amit and Clif!

DYK Thursday – Using Single Gmail Account With Multiple Email Addresses

In today’s DYK, I will be explaining about an interesting feature in Gmail, which I thought many newbies might not know. You can use single Gmail account with multiple email addresses (variations of your emails id).

The trick is based upon this fact: Gmail does not consider the DOTS (.) in between the email addresses. For example, if an address like [email protected] is registered, then all the following addresses are also considered to be registered.

  1. [email protected]
  2. [email protected]
  3. [email protected] and so on.

So, Google gives no importance to the dots in the address. Another fact is that, you can add anything after a “+” sign in your email id, it doesn’t really matter. Example, if your email id is something like “[email protected]” then this address is equivalent to “[email protected]”.

Using this fact, you can do a trick to automatically segregate all mails into their respective labels. To do this, follow the steps below.

  1. Let us consider that you have a email id as [email protected]
  2. Let us consider you use the same id for many purposes.
  3. In such cases, you can distibute different versions of your id to different people. For example, you can add “+friends” and distribute it to your friends. Similarly, “+work” and distribute it your colleagues.
  4. After this, you can create a “to” filter in your Gmail account. In the “to” filter, enter the email address, [email protected] Click “Next” and apply the label, “Friends”.
  5. The next time anyone sends you an email to “[email protected], it will automatically get the label “Friends”.

Like this, you can use a single Gmail account for multiple purposes. Share your comments on this trick. Is this trick new to you or an old one? Do you find this trick helpful and useful?

DYK Thursday: Roundups and Some Tidbits

Okay, this is the fourth official DYK Thursday and I hope you people are enjoying reading what I write. This time it’s more of a collection of different things. You might have already read some of them. So, this is also a roundup of some amazing facts that we found out this week.

Everyone knows Twitter has a 140 character limit. But DYK that Facebook had a 420 character limit?!

Yes. You might already know this, if you are a regular reader here. Kieth has already written a post on this. (Click the link above). Keith came to know about this limit while he was trying to tell his friends about a feature request he wanted on Facebook, through his update. Bad luck, Keith! ;)

History of Twitter is Awesome!- A few facts about it

Ya, I know. History is boring always-but when it comes to Twitter you will crave for more. Tehseen has compiled some awesome set of facts about the history of Twitter like – Twitter was initially called as “Twttr”, Ashton Kutcher was the first tweep to get a million followers and many more. Go ahead and read the post!

Google Chrome has an extension to remove profanities from webpages!!

Google Chrome’s extension gallery is day by day getting filled with lots of extensions. Now, there is also an extension that “censors” the profanities on the web. The name of the extension is called “F Off”! Go ahead and install it if you have kids at home. [Thanks ChromeStory]

Google Chrome has an extension that does NOTHING!

Yes, you heard that right! This extension does nothing. Okay, you are asking me what’s the deal with it? It has about 1408 users and “weekly installs” of about 4823. Now, is it funny, ridiculous, WTF or what? Another point is, how did it get into the extension gallery?! ! Won’t Google check before accepting any addon? Leave your comments below. [Thanks ChromeStory]

Nmap: Network Tool turned Movie Star

Very rarely do movies put a real computer application to do a real thing, even rarely do they actually use it correctly. But, Nmap here, seems to be the hot favourite; be it CIA or NSA or a hot good-guy’s gal, you name it. Nmap has made a number of appearances in some major movies of the last decade and is our movie star of the decade.

Here are some of the movies starring Nmap.

Die-Hard


Remember the hacker from Die-Hard 4 that our detective John McClane is supposed to retrieve for breaching into the FBI computers? The hacker Matthew Farrell displays his Nmap skills, giving the real feel of a geek terminal.

Matrix Reloaded


Who can forget Trinity from Matrix? Well, here we have a beauty with brains. She used a real, as in 100% real SSH1 CRC32 exploit to hack into the city power grid. The hack was so real, that the Scotland Yard and the British Computer Society issued a joint notice on it saying,

Viewers of the new box office blockbuster ‘Matrix Reloaded’ should not be tempted to emulate the realistic depiction of computer hacking.

Bourne Ultimatum


In Bourne Ultimatum, the CIA needs to read the mail of a reported they assassinated, so much for death. Nmap and Zenmap, the GUI for Nmap is used to get technical details of the mail server.

13. Game Of Death


In this Thai thriller movie, we see a man willing to complete 13 challenges to win $100,000,000. The tasks grow darker as he climbs up the prize money ladder. Ultimately, one of the protagonist’s friends breaks into the game’s website using Nmap.

I have mentioned only a few of the good movies in this list. This shows one place where Linux can surely be used – for Geek terminals.
Check the rest of the entries at this page on the Nmap website.

Shocking Fact: Twitter has More Uptime than Facebook

Facebook v/s Twitter
Facebook v/s Twitter

Twitter is almost as famous for its downtime, as it is for anything else. So the fact that Twitter had more uptime than Facebook last week, shows how well it is maintaining its servers. Indeed a shocking fact !

Last week, Twitter had uptime of 97.97 percent of the time, beating out even Facebook’s availability of 97.22 percent, according to benchmarks published by AlertSite . The only site in the benchmark with better uptime was YouTube, with 99.13 percent availability during the week.

But you should not compare Facebook for its downtime with Twitter. Facebook is a much more complicated site with 350 million members and an estimated 438 million unique visitors a month worldwide, versus 60 million for Twitter, yet its response times are the fastest. And Facebook is providing photos, videos, and apps, while Twitter only has text messages and avatar images. MySpace lags in this measure with an average response time of 6.8 seconds, three times slower than Facebook.

There are 184 Million Active Registered Domains on the Internet [DYK]

, there are 184 million registered domains on the Internet? As of the third quarter of 2009, there are 184 million active domains, taking the total all-time registered domains close to half a billion.

number_of_active_internet_domains

.com domains are the most popular, with 83 million active domains, followed by .net with 12 million registrations. Other popular TLDs include .org, .us, .biz, .ch, uk and .de. Regional China domains (.ch), are the most registered amongst regional country based domains. Considering that ICANN has now approved non-Latin domain names, you can expect this number of registered domains to balloon very shortly.

Another interesting fact is that, almost 70,000 new domains are registered everyday. In addition to that, there are a total of more than 3 billion registered IP addresses across the world.

Statistics for the above Did you know fact has been collected from Domain Tools Internet Statistics page and the Domain Name Industry Brief from VeriSign.