Computer Invention Landmarks and Their Inventors

Gary Kildall Created first MicroComputer Operating System. Photograph by Joe Wein

Gary Kildall Created first MicroComputer Operating System. Photograph by Joe Wein

As you know well, Thomas Alva Edison invented the light bulb.

Well, no.

He didn’t. He was not the first in two different ways. Not only did Edison lose a patent battle to Sir Joseph William Swan, but they were both beaten by Sir Humphry Davy – who 77 years earlier made an arc-lamp using platinum wire.

Similarly, you may believe in some computer invention myths. Which this article is intended to correct.

Who invented the computers and software we use daily?

(No, the answer is not Al Gore, though I was surprised at how much he did help get the web going.)

There are large and sharp distinctions between conceptualizing or inspiring a technology, making a working version of it, funding it and popularizing it. 

This annotated list is about those few who created the first physical equipment and software landmarks in computer technology we all depend upon today.

It is not about those who may have inspired, funded or popularized technology. In a sense this article is an attempt to correct the errors in the computer field due to Stigler’s Law – where typically the wrong people get the credit for ideas other people made first.

With appropriate respect, those who Imagine and Inspire an idea (such as H.G. Wells, Ray Bradbury and Gene Roddenberry) are vital because without new ideas – we wouldn’t have fire or aircraft.

“As you know, ideas are cheap and it’s the doing that counts.

— Barry Palmer quoted by Dan Poynter in Hang Gliding by Martin Hunt & David Hunn, 1977

I have no dispute with claims that those who Popularize are valuable (think Steve Jobs contrasted with Steve Wozniak who actually built the physical stuff)  because often an invention’s value is too obscure or complex for many people to appreciate.

Funders are often crucial to help spread ideas rapidly (whether the ideas are good for our world or not — as in “Can I serve you a glass of Thalidomide?”).

But the peak, key, vital people are those who actually make the first physical examples of working things, called Inventors, because without them — there is nothing to popularize or fund. Sometimes an inventor needs to take on all these roles.

This article celebrates the true inventors of computer technology.

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Lost Data ? — Do NOT Format Your Hard Drive !!!

You have a Data Emergency –

Computer Data Crash

Computer Data Crash

Do NOT Format your Hard Drive !

We can get back your data at least 95 percent of the time.

When your technical “support” tells you your data is “lost” . . .
so “format your disk” or “reload Windows” –


Do NOT Format your Hard Drive.

Do NOT reload the Operating System (Windows or Mac).

Don’t even touch the keyboard.

Really !

Don’t “try” anything — Because you only get one chance.

* In my experience at least 95 percent of “lost” data can be recovered.

“David recovered all our Payroll data within 48 hours after Sony tech support told us to format our disk — because they couldn’t fix it.”
-Andrew Moore, Icon Studios, Marina, California

2. Second most importantly — Call us – 831-624-6500

or another Data Recovery Professional

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Insane Coding — C++ Origins

Transcript of a January 1998 interview with the designer and original implementer of the C++ programming language, Dr. Bjarne Stroustrup, the Danish-born computer scientist who is currently the College of Engineering Chair Professor in Computer Science at Texas A&M University. Continue reading

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Fix: Dell Laptop Won’t Boot – Blue Screen of Death and Error 7B

Fix: Dell Laptop Won’t Boot – Blue Screen of Death and Error 00000000007B

This is a serious error.

It doesn’t seem to damage any data, but it can certainly stop you from using your windows computer for days or weeks until it is solved. It took me days and I’m (in theory) a computer whiz.

You can reasonably worry that you have lost all your valuable data. I had this 7B error happen to me twice in a year of using twin Dell Laptops, for two different reasons.

Even after you solve this, you’ll never get back the business harm and emotional harm it causes.

A bigger threat from this problem is it is non-trivial to diagnose; and someone, whether novice or expert, could accidentally do harm to the file system while trying to fix it with standard tools. And neither Dell or MicroSquish help much. Continue reading

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MicroSquish Does it Again

Is it mere coincidence that MicroSquish stopped Windows 7 support – the day it released a patch for the most serious virus in ages – but it doesn’t release the Patch for Windows 7?

  1. “Microsoft ended mainstream support for Windows 7 on January 13, 2015 and extended support ended on January 14, 2020.”

2. Microsoft January 2020 Patch Tuesday fixes . . . major vulnerability in Windows’ cryptographic library.

Does the “major vulnerability” even affect Windows 7?

That is way unclear.

One thing that is clear “Windows 7 support has ended. Get Windows 10 to continue receiving support.”


I’ll pass.

If I have to use Windows – I’ll use version 7.

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Downgrading Windows 7 to 32bit from 64bit can be done fairly cleanly

Downgrade 50%

Downgrade 50%

Yes, you can downgrade a Windows 7 system from 64 bit to 32 bit with only a little bit of inconvenience and cost in time while (contrary to most web advice) you  get to keep all your documents and folders AND your 32 bit programs and their settings !

Recently I obtained a laptop with Windows 7 (Ultimate) 64bit with only 2 gigabytes of ram memory.

After a bit of use, the laptop turned annoying to use because it was constantly running out of memory with only a browser running a few Tabs. It didn’t actually crash (permanently lock up or BSOD) that I can recall, but it would regularly slow to a crawl and give warnings to close programs because all memory was used up.

Since the laptop RAM slots were full, we couldn’t add any more memory, I decided to downgrade the 64bit system to 32bit to free some RAM memory up.

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CyberGhost 5 REQUIRES you to use the deadly MS Explorer !

Virtual Private Networks” (or VPNs) are software programs that anonymize and encrypt your web travels so that criminals can’t see what you are doing, snag your passwords or pretend to be your shopping or banking site. 

One nice review persuaded me to try CyberGhost.

Downloaded version 5 and installed it.

Just as it finished installing I got this outrageous message —

“You’ll need at least Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 to run Cyberghost 5 on your system !”

Then it quits and without my permission opens my browser to download Microsoft Internet Explorer 8. YOW !

For the uninitiated,

the best and fastest way known to attract viruses, robots and spyware

is to keep Microsoft Internet Explorer on your Windows PC.

Here’s where even the German Government officially advised against using it: German Government: Don’t use Internet Explorer

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How to get your Yahoo emails out without giving them to NSA

Yahoo Eye Spying on You

Yahoo Eye Spying on You

Don’t give Yahoo permission to send your Emails to the National Security Agency (NSA).

Let me apologize for taking until today to write this.

Today is the day Yahoo tries to make you switch to their new Email software.

Beginning July 9, 2013, you can only access your Yahoo! Mail if you switch to a new version.”

What Yahoo doesn’t tell you out loud is that to use your Yahoo! Mail after July 8, 2013, you have to agree to a NEW policy that violates your privacy even more than the old one.

This new policy gives Yahoo the right to scan ALL your emails for who, when and what you have communicated about.

Yahoo believes they can then can use your data any way they want !

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CompuPro Equipment for Sale – Excellent Condition

CompuPro Equipment – Excellent Shape

I have several CompuPro “boat anchor” motherboard boxes,
a couple of
Hard Drives with enclosures, and
a couple of 8″ drive boxes.

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Good Products sold by Amazon

Here are some of my favorite products.

This page “should” get updated (except when I can’t get to it) as products are retired and new ones arise.

Full Disclosure – I get a tiny bit of money from Amazon when you buy these,

but they won’t cost you a penny more. Continue reading

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For Sale – Wyse 50 Terminals

Wyse 50

Wyse 50

We have two remaining gently used Wyse 50 Terminals from the days of minicomputers and super-micros like CompuPro and Molecular. Wyse 50s are almost impossible to find these days. We had 15, but 12 have shipped and we keep one as a spare. (We have two more that do not work, but can be used for parts.)

You can have one (or more) of the remaining five for only $150 plus UPS shipping of $22.50 (inside the lower 48) and $20 packing. Four keyboards are revision B, one is an original.

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Stuxnet Removal Download. Did Stuxnet’s Deliberate Physical Damage of War Machines Violate War Powers Act?

Two simple questions:

CIA Drone Firing Missile - at who ?

CIA Drone Firing Missile – at who ?

Q #1) Is there any way a hacker with a laptop could cause your  commercial jet to crash into a mountian ?

A: No, of course not.

Q #2) Do CIA drones have higher security controls than ordinary drones?

A: Is there any doubt? Of course CIA drones have higher security.

Uhhh, wait a minute.

What do you mean students took over control of a drone in mid-air? And they did it simply by mimicking GPS signals.

The students did it to demonstrate just how easy it would be to redirect unmanned vehicles, and they did it at the request of Homeland Security.

Since commercial airplanes now depend upon GPS – could the students control a commercial airplane ?

Or could they bypass all security and control a CIA drone like Iran’s engineers did?

So American commercial aircraft have adequate flight control security – right?

Wrong. Actually, American commercial aircraft have ZERO flight control security in general, and of course, none on  their GPS systems. And that’s what the students used.

CIA drones probably have higher control security than ordinary drones and commercial aircraft.

But there’s an Achilles heel. All modern aircraft use GPS signals from satellites to guide their direction and altitude.

It is relatively easy to bypass security on GPS systems because nearby radio control signals are so much stronger than signals from distant GPS satellites.

So it should be no surprise to us that Iran’s engineers took over all control of a highly secure CIA drone spying on their country and landed it safely. And now have access to all CIA’s leading edge drone technology. Clever Iran, not so clever CIA.

But real evil doers might not want to land your commercial flight safely.

So with that as a warm up – let me reluctantly introduce you to Stuxnet.

Historic Landmark Virus – Damages Physical Machinery

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Java’s Security Problems are Designed-in. Problems are Not Solvable. I Do NOT Use ROES.

What’s with the dangerous insistence on Java ?

Don't Allow Java on Your Computer

Don’t Allow Java on Your Computer

The programming language Java has a history of serious security problems, yet several major photography printing services not only use Java – they FORCE YOU to use Java with online ordering software called ROES.

Whats worse, they refuse to accept photograph files for printing sent any other way ! No email, No FTP, some won’t even accept them if you walk in with a CD or a flash drive. These guys clearly don’t need my printing business.

I recommend no photographer ever order prints online using ROES because it requires you install Java on your computer While it is connected to the web, only after you DISable your anti-virus software !

Are they insane? Don’t they know it only takes seconds for your unprotected computer to get irreversibly infected?

Perhaps they don’t realize millions of Robotic programs are testing every computer connected to the web every few minutes, sometimes every few seconds. When it finds your computer available – zap ! Robots rapidly try to infect your computer so they can silently take control. (Any Bank IT Manager that allows a Java install should get the death penalty.)

Whatever the case, the photography printing companies are dangerously ignorant or just don’t give a hoot about your computer security.

(Don’t confuse JavaScript with Java. They are both programming languages – but they are wholly independent of each other.)

Here’s some recent examples of your potential danger if you merely have Java installed (you don’t even have to start up Java – lots of viruses will be happy to do that for you – secretly.) —

1. January 2013: US Homeland Security Recommends Disabling Java – warns of software ‘vulnerability.’

2. Oracle Issues Emergency Java Patch, Feb 9, 2011

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Not Facebook – Try “One Social Web” or Diaspora

US President Obama warned Virgina high-school students in September 2009

“Be careful about what you post on Facebook, because in the YouTube age whatever you do will be pulled up later somewhere in your life.” 

Not Facebook

Not Facebook

Facebook’s President, Mark Zuckerberg himself admitted in 2004 how stupid it is to trust Facebook with your information1

They trust me [with their personal information]. Dumb f**ks.”

As for me — I do have a Facebook account . . . BUT I do NOT and will NOT use Facebook for communication – or anything else !

Please — *** NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, respond to a request from my Facebook account. (If you get a request from my Facebook account – it is almost certainly a scammer.)

This may seem a startling announcement from someone who has been at the leading edge of computer and information technology for decades.

I’m not alone. Here’s an article by Wired UK’s Editor David Rowan “Six Reasons Why I’m Not On Facebook.

I do understand the benefits of web based Social Networks, and if you read to the end of this article, I will let you know when I have found a system I can trust to genuinely protect you and me both. (None as of 2016)

I particularly want Elected officials and government employees to understand how much private information they are exposing by using Facebook, so they can adopt laws and regulations protecting our privacy.

(And NO, I do not “friend” anyone on Facebook for the reasons you will soon see . . .)

Here are the:

Top 10 Reasons I Refuse To Use Facebook

(Warning: If you viscerally “love” Facebook – you should stop reading right here) . . .

Update June 2012: Facebook switches off your email and forces you to use their own rusty email addresses. Oops they forgot to ask your permission first – for the 7th time.

Outline – (Examples and links below this short list)

1. Facebook Constantly Lies to You (and makes money from it).
2. Facebook Helps Burglars get your stuff !  (and makes money from it)
3. Facebook Helps Stalkers Find You or your Children  ! (. . . you get the idea)

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Holy Toledo: Would You Give all your Personal Emails to Your Boss?

Man Scared by Computer

Your Most Private Emails were just Posted . . .

You’d never give your Password to someone you don’t know, right?

But would you give a copy of all your emails to a random Stranger? How about a secret person who doesn’t like you – that jealous co-worker, your angry neighbor?

You may already have done this if you use Gmail, Twitter or Facebook – and have tried out Apps for backup services, email utilities, inbox organizers, or productivity apps.

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Painless-Website: Fire Your Web Designer – and Never Look Back

Your New Blog Website

Your New Blog Website

Beautiful Website for Non-Programmers that is Painless to Update — by Dilworth Design

“I’m embarrassed by my website because it has some glaring errors . . .”

“And I can’t get it fixed because my web designer hasn’t called me back in a month . . . well, a year . . . Ok, it might be two years.

What are you thinking !

Wouldn’t it be a great relief to have a website you can update – without having to be a computer expert ? — A website that you can add articles and photographs as easily as you send an email.

Well, now you can. Here’s how you can take back control of your website – and fire your web designer.

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Beautiful Blogs OverNight — by Dilworth Design

Your New Blog Website

Your New Blog Website

Have Your Attractive New Blog-Website Running Overnight

You’ve wanted to have your own website or web-log (Blog), but it has to be Easy so that you can take care of it yourself ! You don’t want to be dependent on an elusive expensive computer wizard to make simple changes to things you know you can do yourself.

We can give you everything you need (the tools and confidence) to Blog with a Flourish !

And of course — You can use your Blog to sell your work.

You can easily put images and description of your  products and services on your Blog. Then you email potential clients your sales pitch and the link to your website.

Making Computers Work for You for 25 years.

We’re Good. Genuine experts don’t waste your money or your time.

We can have your Blog running in 24 hours for a total cost of $1,500. This includes 6 months of free hosting.

If you can wait a few days – you can have the same thing for only $800. Total Cost.

(Both of these assume you have chosen your Website Title, a text introduction to your website / Blog, and optionally three of your images.)

Charges: $ per hour
Standard 100
Large Project 95, somewhat negotiable
Rush 250
Special Features 200-300
Training 100
Training, Rush 150

Word Press Blog – ASAP

We can have you up and Blogging on your own website in 24 hours as a rush job. (Once we have your banner language and images.)

Rush minimum cost: $1,200 — Ready to Blog.
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Email Hijacked – How to Fix

Are your friends getting Spam from your email address?

Your Email has been Hijacked.

To fix this you can try two tactics:
1. Change your password, or
2. Abandon your email address – get a new one and email all your friends from the new email address.
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Subscribe2 – Setup made Easy (Update: I’m removing Subscribe2 from all my Blogs)

WordPress Blog system has a popular plugin called “Subscribe2” that allows your readers to get an email notice when you post a new blog article.

Update December 2014 — Subscribe 2 was sold and now sneakily (bait and switch) “copies” your subscribers personal emails to a for-profit corporation. I no longer endorse Subscribe2 – unless you get the old version.

I am removing Subscribe 2 from all my clients and my own blogs ASAP !

And I have deleted the remained of this how-to article.


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