10 Incredible Little-Known Technology Facts
Humans have accomplished incredible feats through technological advancement during the previous century. Technology has provided us with incredible tools and resources to make our lives easier. New discoveries in the technology area are so frequent that many people are struggling to keep up with the rate of advancements.
As intriguing as these technological marvels seem now, the tales behind them are much more so. Here are seven incredible little-known truths about technology that we all use virtually every day.
The QWERTY keyboard was created to slow down the typing speed.
People brag about their typing speed or keyboard speed. Typing quicker and more accurately is even a competitive advantage in certain occupations. But did you know that the present QWERTY keyboard layout is the result of a solution aimed at slowing down typing speed?
The first typewriters manufactured in the 1870s had few technological concerns. The metal arms that held the characters used to clash and jam if the keys were pushed quickly or if a typist pressed neighbouring keys at the same time.
Christopher Latham Sholes made many design changes to the keyboard layout to prevent the issue and improve typing pleasure. E. Remington and Sons ultimately devised the modern QWERTY keyboard layout, which addressed the issue of jammed type bars.
2. Water Integrator – a computer powered by water
In 1936, Vladimir Sergeevich Lukyanov created the world’s first computer, which solved differential equations using partial derivatives. The gadget was powered by water, which is an incredible feat.
The building business with whom Lukyanov worked was unable to discover a remedy for the fissures that used to occur in concrete during the sub-zero temperatures of winter. Lukyanov investigated the temperature conditions in concrete masonry to better understand the thermal process.
Finally, he created the water integrator machine, which could generate graphs and aid in the visualisation of the thermal process.
Water computers were employed in manufacturing companies, research groups, and educational institutions far into the 1970s. The usage of hydraulic integrators declined as digital computers grew more powerful and user-friendly.
3. The first computer mouse was known as the “X-Y Position Indicator for Display Systems.”
The first computer mouse was created in the 1960s at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI). The device was known as an “X-Y position indication for screens.”
The mouse is said to have been invented by Douglas Engelbart and Bill English. The legend that Xerox APAC developed the mouse is false. Engelbart originally demonstrated the mouse in 1968, using the Xerox Alto computer. He referred to the demo as the “Mother of all demos.”
The instrument was given the nickname “Mouse” because the wire protruding from it reminded Engelbart of a rodent’s tail.
4. Wikipedia is maintained by thousands of bots.
The majority of today’s internet users are familiar with Wikipedia. It is a massive online repository of crowd-sourced knowledge. It is well known that the online encyclopaedia is generated and updated entirely by volunteers.
But did you realise that the Wikipedia articles are now maintained by hundreds of bots (automated programmes)? There are now 2468 bot tasks authorised to do maintenance chores on more than 52 million English Wikipedia articles.
Wikipedia bots undertake tasks such as new page generation, spelling and style correction, and so on. When modifications are made due to vandalism, bots may also revert the pages to their previous state.
Bots for Wikipedia may be created by anyone with programming expertise. However, before they may update Wikipedia articles, these programmes must be authorised by the Bot Approval Group.
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5. You may still access the world’s first website today.
The World Wide Web was conceived in 1989 by Tim Berners-Lee, a British physicist working at CERN. It took another two years until the world’s first website appeared. The first website, hosted on a NeXT machine at CERN, went online in 1991.
The great thing is that you can still access the original website. It acts as a historical repository for anything accessible on the World Wide Web online. Check it out by clicking here.
6. Apple previously dabbled in the garment industry.
Today, Apple has built a reputation for themselves in everything they do. Consider the Mac OS, the Macbook, the iPod, or the iPhone. The corporation has always desired and successfully maintained an independent echo system.
But did you know that Apple also launched a clothing line in 1986? “The Apple Collection” was the name of the collection. It’s hard to believe that Apple was previously in the clothing industry. One year after Steve Jobs departed the firm, the company published its catalogue.
7. In 1999, Google was for sale.
In 1999, Larry Page attempted to sell Google to Excite. The transaction was capped at $750,000 and 1% of Excite. But then the agreement fell through. Google’s market capitalization now exceeds $700 billion.
There are two stories about why Excite did not purchase Google at the time.
According to former Excite CEO George Bell, he rejected the transaction because Larry Page insisted on replacing all of Excite’s search engines with Google’s search technology.
However, according to Steven Levy’s book “In The Plex,” George Bell was dissatisfied with Google’s search algorithm’s good performance. Bell feared that Google’s relevant search results would divert readers away from their Excite webpages, making it more difficult to keep them there.
He added that if Excite had a search engine that instantaneously provided visitors with the information they requested, the users would quit the site. Using BackRub’s technology would be detrimental since his ad income stemmed from users sticking on the site—”stickiness” was the most sought after measure on websites at the time.
8. Amazon.com is not the website’s original name.
Jeff Bezos experimented with numerous alternative names for his company before settling on Amazon. Cadabra, Inc., was the first name he registered. After receiving comments that the name was too cryptic, the entrepreneur opted to alter the name.
Bezos registered his website under several different domains before settling on the present version — amazon.com — which is recognisable globally.
Aard.com, awake.com, browse.com, bookmall.com, and relentless.com were some of the earliest domain names. Among them, he still controls the domain name relentless.com. Today, however, the website relentless.com redirects to Amazon.com.
9.Smoking may invalidate the warranties on your Apple products.
Do you realise that smoking near your Apple device might void its warranty? Apple has a policy in place to protect its technicians from any potentially hazardous work environment.
Tobacco tars that have collected on the systems are thought to be hazardous. As a result, Apple may refuse to service your device even if it is still under warranty if they suspect it has come into contact with cigarette smoke.
The product documentation has no warranty void clause. However, there have been countless occasions when the firm has refused to fulfil the warranty on a smoke-damaged device.
People have shared their stories of being unable to obtain warranty repairs on their Apple goods owing to the discovery of cigarette tar on the components. If you want to keep your Apple devices secure and your warranty valid, don’t allow anybody to smoke near them.
10. You can write programmes entirely using whitespaces.
Do you know you can code with just whitespace?
“Whitespace” is the programming language that makes it feasible. To create a programme in this language, just use spaces, tabs, and linefeeds. Non-whitespace characters are ignored by the interpreter.
Copy and run the whole code from my gist file to see for yourself. Copying the lines from #3 to #70, navigating to this webpage, pasting them in the ‘code’ block, and clicking Ctrl+Enter (Windows) or Cmd+Enter (Mac) on your keyboard to discover the result is as simple as it gets.
It’s quite awesome, isn’t it? You can use this to create programmes that no one will be able to read or comprehend unless they are aware that anything is typed on an apparently blank notepad.
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