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.)
Gary Kildall Created first MicroComputer Operating System. Photograph by Joe Wein
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.
Those who Popularize (think Steve Jobs) are valuable because maybe an invention’s value is too obscure or complex for many people to appreciate.
Funders are important 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 key people are those who actually make the first 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 inventors of computer technology.
You have a Data Emergency -
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” -
DON’T DO IT !
Do NOT Format your Hard Drive.
Do NOT reload the Operating System (Windows or Mac).
Don’t even touch the keyboard.
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
Hearing positive reports about VPNs in general (“Virtual Private Nnetwork).” Essentially software that anonymizes all your web travels), thought I’d try a few out.
Read a nice review of a few and one persuaded me to try CyberGhost.
Downloaded version 5 and installed it.
Just as it finished 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.
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
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.
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.
Two simple questions:
CIA Drone Firing Missile
Q #1) Is there any way a hacker with a laptop could cause an commercial airplane to crash?
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? 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 control security – right? Actually, American commercial aircraft have ZERO security on their GPS systems. And that’s what the students used.
CIA drones 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 the signals from satellites.
So Iran’s engineers took over all control of a highly secure CIA drone and landed it safely.
But 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
What’s with the dangerous insistence on Java ?
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 clearly don’t need my business.
I recommend no photographer should 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 some Robot software is testing every computer connected to the web every few minutes, sometimes only 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 just don’t give a hoot about your computer security.
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
US President Obama warned high-school students in Virginia 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.”
“They trust me [with their personal information]. Dumb f**ks.” – Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook President, 2004 1
I do have a Facebook account . . . but I do NOT and will NOT use Facebook for communication.
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.
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.
2. Facebook Helps Burglars get your stuff !
3. Facebook Helps Stalkers Find You or your Children !
You’d never give your Password to someone you don’t know, right?
Your Most Private Emails were just Posted . . .
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.
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 $800. Total Cost.
(Both of these assume you have chosen your Website Title, a text introduction to your website / Blog, and optionally three of your images.)
||$ per hour
||95, somewhat negotiable
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.
Are your friends getting Spam from your email address?
You’re 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.
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 am removing Subscribe 2 from all my clients and my own blogs ASAP !
And I have deleted the remained of this how-to article.