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50 Hard Facts about Computers That’ll Surprise You

1PCjr home computer

IBM was so powerful in 1983 that people feared that its PCjr home computer would destroy Apple, Commodore, and all other competitors. The PCjr became "one of the biggest flops in the history of computing". - Source

2. 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.

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3. Divers in 1900 discovered an ancient Greek shipwreck with an odd-looking bronze device on board. The device was later determined to be the world's oldest analog computer (Antikythera mechanism), dating back to the 1st century B.C.E., thousands of years before similar technologies would be re-discovered. - Source

4. The Space Invaders game was intended to always be played at the same speed, but as you destroy more aliens, the computer can render faster. This is why the aliens speed up as you near the end of the level. - Source

5. 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. - Source


Mircosoft included Solitaire in their operating systems "to soothe people intimidated by the operating system" and introduce users to graphic user interfaces and taught them how to use a mouse. - Source

7. 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. - Source

8. 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. - Source

9. 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. - Source

10. The original Halo was 3rd person and designed for Mac. In 2000 Microsoft bought Bungie and made it an exclusive for the original Xbox.

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11MacBook charger

The microcontroller inside a MacBook charger is about as powerful as the original Macintosh computer. - Source

12. 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. - Source

13. 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." - Source

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. - Source

15. Windows 95 was the second most installed piece of software on computers in 1995, video game DOOM was first.

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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. - Source

17. During IBM Watson's Jeopardy Game, it stored all 15 terabytes of its knowledge in RAM, including every page of Wikipedia in existence. - Source

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

19. While on duty at a Soviet nuclear attack warning station in 1983, Stanislav Petrov's computer indicated the US had fired several missiles. He decided his computer was faulty and urged against a launch. He was right, averting nuclear war, but was not rewarded and was reprimanded by his superiors. - Source

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

21Linux for PlayStation 2

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

22. The worst breach of U.S. military computers in history happened when someone picked up a memory stick they found in the parking lot and plugged it into their computer, which was attached to United States Central Command. - Source

23. In Windows 98, minimized windows are actually moved far away outside the average monitor's resolution. - Source

24. During the production of Toy Story 2, Pixar accidentally deleted the entire movie from its servers. The movie was saved by an employee, a new mother, who worked from home and had the data saved on her personal computer. - Source

25. In 1960, the computer at NORAD warned with 99.9% certainty that the Soviets had just launched a full-scale missile attack against North America. NORAD later discovered that the Early Warning System in Greenland had interpreted the moon rising over Norway as a missile attack from Siberia. - Source

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