Do you know IT?

09-08-2023 07:10 PM Comment(s) By Christina Zeyen

Do You Know IT

Facts in the world of computing

The world of computing is filled with intriguing facts that are not widely known.

Interestingly, the first electronic computer, ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer), which was developed in 1946, weighed approximately 30 tons and took up nearly 1,800 square feet of room space. This massive machine consumed around 150 kilowatts of electricity, a stark contrast to modern computers that comfortably sit on our desks or laps and run on considerably less power.

Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, is known for many things, but few know about his early brush with the law. In 1975, Gates was arrested in New Mexico for a traffic violation; however, he used this event to debug an early version of Microsoft’s software. The police department’s computer had made an error when calculating his speeding fine, which Gates corrected, helping to improve the accuracy of the software. This incident illustrates how computing history is not only shaped by major technological breakthroughs but also by unforeseen and even humorous events.

Here's another intriguing fact about the computer world: The first computer mouse was invented by Doug Engelbart in 1964, over a decade before the personal computer revolution took off. However, it looked nothing like the sleek devices we use today. Instead, it was made of wood and had only one button. This humble yet innovative creation paved the way for the modern, multifunctional computer mice, essential for our day-to-day computer usage.

Despite the ubiquitous presence of computers in our daily life, many people might be unaware of the origins of the term "bug". It is widely believed that the term "bug" to describe a glitch or error in a computer system originated from an actual insect. Grace Hopper, a pioneer of computer programming, coined the term in 1947 when a moth made its way into a relay of the Harvard Mark II computer, causing an error. The incident was documented as the "first actual case of bug being found", and ever since, the process of troubleshooting computer issues has been known as "debugging".

In the realm of little-known computer facts, one might find it surprising that the world's first computer programmer was a woman. Ada Lovelace, born in 1815, was the daughter of the famous poet Lord Byron. Although her father's literary prowess is well-known, Ada's contribution to the field of computing is less recognized. She worked closely with inventor Charles Babbage on his general purpose computing machine, the Analytical Engine. Lovelace's notes on the engine include what is recognized as the first algorithm intended to be processed by a machine, thus earning her the distinction of being the world's first computer programmer.

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