20 Curiosities about IT

Computers & Technology

  • Author Enrique Vicente
  • Published July 7, 2024
  • Word count 697

20 Curiosities about IT

In this article we present 20 curious things about computing that you may not have known about.

  1. First bug

The first computer "bug" was a real insect. In 1947, Grace Hopper found a moth in a Mark II computer, which was causing problems in its operation. Since then, the term "bug" has been used to describe errors in computer systems.

  1. Apollo 11 capacity

The computer that put man on the moon on Apollo 11 had less processing power than a modern mobile phone. The Apollo command module had a computer that operated at 0.043 MHz and had only 64 KB of memory.

  1. QWERTY and efficiency

The QWERTY keyboard was designed to prevent the keys on older typewriters from getting stuck, not to be the most efficient. Although other, faster keyboard layouts exist, QWERTY remains the standard due to its early adoption and cultural inertia.

  1. Google name

The name "Google" comes from a misspelling of "googol", which is the number 1 followed by 100 zeros. Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin wanted to reflect the company's mission of organizing a seemingly infinite amount of information on the web.

  1. First virus

The first known computer virus was called "Creeper" and appeared in 1971 on a DEC PDP-10 computer. It displayed the message "I'm the creeper, catch me if you can!" and replicated in other connected systems.

  1. White space

In the early days of computing, programmers often used whitespace instead of tabs to save memory space. This was because each byte of memory was extremely valuable.

  1. Supercomputers

Modern supercomputers can perform more than 100 petaflops (100,000,000,000,000,000 operations per second). These machines are used for complex tasks such as climate simulations, scientific research and cryptography.

  1. Weak passwords

Despite the warnings, "123456" and "password" remain some of the most common and vulnerable passwords. This highlights the importance of using strong, unique passwords for each service.

  1. First programmer

Ada Lovelace, daughter of Lord Byron, is considered the first programmer in history. In the 19th century, she worked with Charles Babbage on the analytical engine and wrote the first algorithm intended to be processed by a machine.

  1. Rat in the cloud

The term "cloud" is used because early network diagrams depicted the Internet as a cloud. This symbolized a complex and abstract network of connections and services.

  1. Cat meme

The "Nyan Cat" meme is an 8-bit GIF file that went viral and has been viewed millions of times since its creation in 2011. It depicts a flying cat with a pop-tart body leaving a rainbow trail.

  1. First mouse

The first computer mouse was invented by Douglas Engelbart in 1964 and was made of wood. It had just one button and revolutionized the way we interact with computers.

  1. Coffee and programming

Many programmers depend so much on coffee that studies indicate that 54% of developers consume more than 2 cups a day. Coffee has become an almost essential element in programming culture.

  1. Log log

The term "log" in computing comes from "logarithm", but in English it also means "tree trunk", making a play on the words in sequence. Thus, data "logging" refers to the sequential recording of events.

  1. Wifi and microwave

The microwave can interfere with the Wi-Fi signal because they both operate on the 2.4 GHz frequency. This is why sometimes the internet connection becomes slow when using a microwave nearby.

  1. Paper vs. SSD

A single SSD can hold more data than an entire library full of books. Modern SSDs can store terabytes of information in a very small space.

  1. Emoji with legacy

The first emoticon (:-)) was used in a message by Scott Fahlman in 1982 to indicate humor. This simple combination of characters has evolved into the modern emojis we use today.

  1. Computer theft

The costliest computer virus in history, MyDoom, caused more than $38 billion in damages. This virus, which appeared in 2004, spread through email and P2P networks.

  1. Photos on Facebook

More than 350 million photos are uploaded to Facebook every day. This impressive figure shows the magnitude of daily activity on the world's largest social network and the amount of data it handles.

  1. Hidden code

There is a function in the Python programming language called "antigravity" that, when run, opens an xkcd comic strip in the browser. This is a fun reference hidden within the code

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