50 Fascinating and Surprising Facts about Computers


Mircosoft included Solitaire in their operating systems "to soothe people intimidated by the operating system" and introduce users to graphic user interfaces and taught them how to use a mouse.

2. American mathematician Marion Tinsley played checkers for 45 years and lost only 7 games. He once beat a computer program, and later analysis showed that Tinsley had played the only possible winning strategy from 64 moves out.

3. The first word spoken on the internet was "lo". It was supposed to be "login" but the computer crashed after the first two letters.

4. The microcontroller inside a MacBook charger is about as powerful as the original Macintosh computer.

5. During the production of Toy Story 2, Pixar accidentally deleted the entire movie from its servers. The movie was saved by an employee, a new mother, who worked from home and had the data saved on her personal computer.

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A scientist named Dr. Adrian Thompson let a computer program a chip, using natural selection. The outcome was an extremely efficient chip, the inner workings of which were impossible to understand.

7. In Windows 98, minimized windows are actually moved far away outside the average monitor's resolution.

8. In 2010, a high school named Lower Merion School District in Pennsylvania issued a MacBook to each of its 2,306 students, then remotely activated the webcams to spy on the students at home.

9. The Space Invaders game was intended to always be played at the same speed, but as you destroy more aliens, the computer can render faster. This is why the aliens speed up as you near the end of the level.

10. Webcams were invented because some computer scientists were too lazy to get up to check if their coffee was done.


In 1960, the computer at NORAD warned with 99.9% certainty that the Soviets had just launched a full-scale missile attack against North America. NORAD later discovered that the Early Warning System in Greenland had interpreted the moon rising over Norway as a missile attack from Siberia.

12. Computer algorithms can correctly spot a fake review on TripAdvisor 90% of the time, while humans are no better than chance.

13. There is a programming language called INTERCAL which has keywords like IGNORE, PLEASE , FORGET. If you don't use PLEASE enough times while coding, Compiler rejects the code.

14. In May 1997, an IBM supercomputer known as Deep Blue beat then chess world champion Garry Kasparov, who had once bragged that he would never lose to a machine. After 15 years, it was discovered that the critical move made by Deep Blue was due to a bug in its software.

15. Hard disks are so sensitive to vibration, that just screaming at them diminishes their performance.


In 2005, Sony illegally installed rootkits on 22 million computers to prevent the users from ripping copyrighted music, and could not be uninstalled. It also reported user's listening habits back to Sony. Ironically, the code itself contained open source software, and so infringed copyright.

17. Gaming computers heat a room just as efficiently as a space heater does.

18. There was a computer worm that would gain access to Windows XP systems, download a patch from Microsoft to close the vulnerability that it used to infect the system, attempt to delete the infamous Blaster worm (if present) from the system, then delete itself.

19. Sony released a kit that allows PS2s (Linux for PlayStation 2) to be used as a personal computer.

20. American entrepreneur Thomas Peterffy was told by NASDAQ that his algorithmic trading was illegal because it lacked a keyboard so he created a robot with fingers to type all trades on the keyboard which made it legal - "the robot typed so fast it sounded like a machine gun."

21CPU manufacturing

CPU manufacturing is so unpredictable that every chip must be tested since the majority of finished chips are defective. Those that survive are assigned a model number and price reflecting their maximum safe performance.

22. There have been computers (Setun) programmed in "ternary" instead of the conventional binary. One such computer, built by the Soviets in 1958, had distinct advantages over binary computers such as increased power efficiency, cheaper parts and easier implementation of certain operations.

23. No human has won a tournament standard chess game against a high spec computer since 2005.

24. In 1980, the first 1 GB hard drive cost $40,000 and weighed over 500 pounds.

25. Steve Jobs wanted to hide a man wearing a fedora on the first Mac. Dubbed "Mr. Macintosh," the character would appear after opening the menu bar several thousand times then quickly disappear, leaving users to question their sanity. The idea was scrapped due to Mac's paltry 128KB of RAM.



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