TechFlesh Blog

10 Interesting Technological Facts

A 2000 model Game Boy had more computing power than the entire system used to put Neil Armstrong on the Moon in 1969.

One of the extremely interesting things about the space program is that its infrastructure was first developed in the 1940′s with the first launch taking place in 1947. Fast forwarding to 1969 when Neil Armstrong touched down on the Moon’s surface, there really wasn’t any need for extremely powerful systems when a much more simple design could do the job. The key importance with space launches was decreasing the chances of controllable errors and failures to the lowest possible number. This means that simple systems were built and tested time and time again, rather than being rebuilt or modernized on a consistent basis. Even the technology behind most of NASA’s computers was up to recently still from the 1980′s.

The first photo camera took 8 hours to take a photo, during which you would need to remain still.

The Camera Obscura was not really a camera since the ‘development’ process took place by hand. It is an optical device that projects an image of its surroundings on a screen. It is used in drawing and for entertainment, and was one of the inventions that led to photography and the camera. The device consists of a box or room with a hole in one side. Light from an external scene passes through the hole and strikes a surface inside where it is reproduced, upside-down, but with color and perspective preserved. The image can be projected onto paper, and can then be traced to produce a highly accurate representation.  Drawings could take as long as 8 hours to be completed and was used to capture photographic renditions of the environment. Imagine having to stand up for 8 hours to be drawn.

For every ‘normal’ web page, there are five+ pornographic pages.

The very first YouTube video was uploaded on April 23rd 2005.


With only 8.8+ million views to its record, it stands as the very first video that was uploaded to what is now the most popular video viewing/streaming service online. The clip entitled “me at the zoo” is just a tad over 18.5 sec0nds long and features a young man talking about the length of elephant’s trunks. Compare that to Justin Bieber’s video “Baby” which was uploaded on February 19th 2010 and has since accumulated over 777 million views since. It presently stands as the most viewed YouTube video in history.

The world’s first one gigabyte disk drive was announced in 1980. It weighed 550 pounds and had a price tag of $40,000.

IBM introduced the first hard disk drive to break the 1 GB barrier in 1980. It was called the IBM 3380 and could store 2.52 GB (500 times more than the consumer options at the time). Its cabinet was about the size of a refrigerator and the whole thing weighed in at 550 pounds. Imagine carrying that to work on a daily basis.

The original inventor of the mouse received a dime from his patent.

The first mouse prototype was designed by Douglas Engelbart at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI International). The name was also derived from the fact that the connecting cable was attached to the back of the device (versus the front we see today), making it look like the common household rodent we despise. Unfortunately for Engelbart, he never received a single cent after his device was patented because the device never became popular until after the patent expired. This meant that other companies were free to use the concept without having to pay him since patents have a limited lifespan (usually 20 years).

The QWERTY keyboard layout is 134 years old.

QWERTY is the most common modern-day keyboard layout. The name comes from the first six letters (keys) appearing in the top left letter row of the keyboard, read left to right: Q-W-E-R-T-Y. The QWERTY design is based on a layout created for the Sholes and Glidden typewriter and sold to Remington in the same year, when it first appeared in typewriters. It became popular with the success of the Remington No. 2 of 1878, and remains in use on electronic keyboards due to the network effect of a standard layout and a belief that alternatives fail to provide very significant advantages. The use and adoption of the QWERTY keyboard is often viewed as one of the most important case studies in open standards because of the widespread, collective adoption and use of the product, particularly in the United States.

The Dvorak keyboard was scientifically engineered and proven to be more human friendly than the QWERTY keyboard.

Dvorak proponents claim the Dvorak layout uses less finger motion, increases typing rate, and reduces errors compared to the standard QWERTY keyboard. This reduction in finger distance traveled was originally purported to permit faster rates of typing, and also in later years, it was purported to reduce repetitive strain injuries. The QWERTY keyboard layout is not designed for the typing efficiency but was designed to reduce the hardware conflicts (like jamming) in early typewriters. Unfortunately Dvorak’s keyboard never caught because of controversy behind the actual efficiency gained and never made it to the market. However most modern operating systems still offer the option to switch to Dvorak layout.

If you opened up the case of the original Macintosh, you will find 47 signatures, one for each member of Apple’s Macintosh division as of 1982.

The Macintosh 128K, released as the “Apple Macintosh”, is the original Apple Macintosh personal computer. Its beige case contained a 9 in (23 cm) monitor and came with a keyboard and mouse. A handle in the top of the case made it easier for the computer to be lifted and carried. It had a selling price of US$2,495. The original Macintosh was unusual in that it included the signatures of the Macintosh Division as of early 1982 molded on the inside of the case. The names were Peggy Aleixo, Colette Askeland, Bill Atkinson, Steve Balog, Bob Belleville, Mike Boich, Bill Bull, Matt Carter, Berry Cash, Debbie Coleman, George Crow, Donn Denman, Christopher Espinosa, Bill Fernandez, Martin Haeberli, Andy Hertzfeld, Joanna Hoffman, Rod Holt, Bruce Horn, Hap Horn, Brian Howard, Steve Jobs, Larry Kenyon, Patti King, Daniel Kottke, Angeline Lo, Ivan Mach, Gerald Manock, Mary Ellen McCammon, Vicki Milledge, Mike Murray, Ron Nicholson Jr, Terry Oyama, Benjamin Pang, Jef Raskin, Brian Robertson, Dave Roots, Patricia Sharp, Burrell Smith, Bryan Stearns, Lynn Takahashi, Randy Wigginton, Linda Wilkin, Steve Wozniak, Pamela Wyman, Laszlo Zidek, and two others.

The first computer bug wasn’t software related.

The first computer ‘bug’ was actually a moth trapped between points at Relay # 70, Panel F, of the Mark II Aiken Relay Calculator while it was being tested at Harvard University on the 9th of September, 1947. The bug was discovered by Grace Murray Hopper, an American computer scientist and United States Navy officer, and was stuck to the report log which is preserved up to this day at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. It is unclear whether she coined the term or whether it existed before, but the strange occurrence definitely turned it into the popular catchphrase we know about today.