Silicon Secrets: 30 Amazing Facts About Computers That Will Astound You

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1Gaming computers

Gaming computers

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


2. 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.


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


4. 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."


5. 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.


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6Setun computers

Setun computers

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.


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


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


9. 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.


10. 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.


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11Ross Ulbricht

Ross Ulbricht

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.


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


13. 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.


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


15. 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."


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16Apple laptop

Apple laptop

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.


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


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


19. 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."


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


21Apple I

Apple I

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.


22. It took Pixar 29 hours to render a single frame from Monster's University. If done on a single CPU it would have taken 10,000 years to finish.


23. The US Federal Register is still using floppy disks sent by courier because a secure e-mail system is "too expensive".


24. One of the first instances of a stored computer program was in 1801 when Joseph Marie Jacquard demonstrated a loom that wove fabrics based on hole-punched cards that were fed into the machine.


25. Mortal Kombat II was so popular when it hit the arcades that several of the machines were later installed with deadlock security panels on the back to prevent thieves from ripping the game's motherboard straight out of the machine and taking it home.

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