Interesting facts about computers
One of the first modern examples of a computer was used in 1938 when the United States Navy developed an electromechanical analog computer called the “Torpedo Data Computer”. This machine was small enough to fit on a submarine and helped the Navy with guiding its torpedoes to their destination.
The world’s first programmable, electronic, digital computer was developed by a British man named Tommy Flowers and his team. First seen working in 1943, this machine was called the “Colossus” and was used in the Second World War to decipher complex messages used in Nazi communications. Ten of these machines were being used by the end of the war but unfortunately all were destroyed to maintain secrecy of the project. After the war, Tommy Flowers went to the Bank of England to ask for a loan to build a similar machine to the Colossus; it was denied as the bank did not believe the machine could work.
The first desktop personal computer, called the Programma 101, was developed by Pier Giorgio Perotto and his team of only four people for the Italian manufacturer “Olivetti”. It was launched at the 1964 New York World’s Fair with a price of $3,200, in modern day terms that would be around $20,000; 44,000 units were sold. NASA used some of these machines the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing.
The highest selling computer of all time is the Commodore 64 with most sources saying that around 17 million were sold. At the height of its power more than 400,000 Commodore 64s were being built every month for a couple of years, according to Commodore’s former president. The machine was popular due to its relatively low price and performance which was easily superior to competitors at the time. The “64” in the name is in reference to the 64kb of RAM that is used in the machine.
Apple computers was founded in 1976 by three people: Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs and Ronald Gerald Wayne. Wayne, who drew the first Apple logo, sold his 10% stake in the company for just $800 which today would be worth approximately $60 billion dollars; Wayne says he does not regret the decision. To raise the necessary funds to start the company, Steve Jobs sold his Volkswagen van and Steve Wozniak sold his Hewlett-Packard scientific calculator.
The name “Microsoft” is a combination of the words “microcomputer” and “software” and was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in 1975. The company has around 35 cafeterias which serves approximately 37,000 people each day, the most popular item being pizza. Microsoft owns 10,000 patents and files around 3,000 every year making it one of the top 5 patent owners in the USA. Microsoft are known for asking difficult interview questions, one of the most common examples is “Why is a manhole cover round?”
In May 2011, Google received over one billion visitors with users in total spending 200 billion minutes. The most searched terms in Google are “Facebook”, “Youtube” and then “sex/video”. The company is known for treating its employees well and offer them gourmet food three times a day. Unfortunately, this has caused a risk of all the employees gaining considerable weight but Google uses some subtle psychological techniques in order to dissuade people from choosing unhealthy options.
Questions and Answers
What was the first electromechanical analog computer used for? (Guiding torpedoes)
Who invented the first digital computer? (Tommy Flowers)
What was the first digital computer used for? (Deciphering Nazi communications)
How many of the Colossus computers still exist today? (0, all were destroyed after the war)
When was the Colossus first seen working? (1943)
How big was the entire team that developed the Programma 101? (Pier Giorgio Perotto and his team of 4 people: 5 people)
How much did the world’s first desktop personal computer cost? ($3,200, $20,000 in today’s money)
What does the “64” mean in “Commodore 64”? (It refers to the 64kb of RAM the machine used)
How many Commodore 64s were built per month? (At the height of its power, 400,000 units a month)
Who drew the first Apple logo? (Ronald Gerald Wayne)
How many people founded Apple? (three)
How much would a 10% stake in Apple be worth today? (Approx $60 billion)
What did Steve Jobs sell to raise funds to start Apple? (Volkswagen Van)
What does “Microsoft” mean? (combination of the words “microcomputer” and “software”)
What is the most eaten food in Microsoft cafeterias? (pizza)
Who founded Microsoft? (Bill Gates)