Did You Know? 35 Surprising Facts About the World of Computing

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1INTERCAL

INTERCAL

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.


2. 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.


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


4. 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.


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


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6Windows XP

Windows XP

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.


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


8. 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."


9. 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.


10. 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.


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11Chess game

Chess game

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


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


13. 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.


14. In the game Myth II: Soulblighter, due to a bug in the installer, if the game wasn't installed into the default directory and instead into a different one, when attempting to uninstall it, the uninstaller would delete the computer's entire hard drive.


15. In order to prevent Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht from deleting or encrypting his hard drive during his arrest at a public library, agents pretended to be quarreling lovers to distract him, at which point a USB drive was inserted that cloned his hard drive.


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16Socket 7

Socket 7

There was a time when AMD and Intel CPUs used the same socket (Socket 7) and could run on the same motherboard.


17. A programmer developed an operating system called TempleOS in 2003. Hospitalized for mental health problems, he believes that TempleOS is literally the Third Temple as biblically prophesied. Per God's "instructions," the OS uses a 640x480, 16 color display, and uses the language HolyC.


18. Only 2 out of the top 500 supercomputers run on Windows, and 485 are Linux.


19. In 2012, the founder of McAfee Antivirus, John McAfee was asked if he personally uses McAfee anti-virus, he replied by saying "I take it off," and that "It's too annoying."


20. An Apple laptop stinks. One 2001 iBook model used a glue that, after 12-18 months, may begin to smell like human body odor. It is so strong that repairs are difficult because the smell makes people nauseous.


21Sketch2Photo

Sketch2Photo

In 2009, computer scientists created a system that composes a realistic picture from a simple freehand sketch, pulling photos from the internet: Sketch2Photo.


22. In just 37 years, the average price per Gigabyte of Hard drive storage has fallen from over $400,000 to $0.019.


23. IBM has stated that the Scroll Lock key on your keyboard does nothing. When PC Magazine asked an executive of keyboard manufacturer Key Tronic about the key's purpose he replied, "I don't know, but we put it on ours too."


24. The Space Shuttle never flew on new year's day or eve because its computers couldn't handle a year rollover.


25. Apple's first computer, the Apple I, went on sale in 1976 for $666.66 because Steve Wozniak liked repeating digits and found them easier to type. He said he was unaware of any Satanic connotations with the number.

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