Topic: Computing/Computer hardware
The AT&T Hobbit is a microprocessor design that AT&T Corporation developed in the early 1990s. It was based on the company's CRISP (C-language Reduced Instruction Set Processor) design, which in turn grew out of Bell Labs' C Machine design of the late 1980s. C Machine, CRISP and Hobbit were optimized for running the C programming language. The design concentrated on fast instruction decoding, indexed array access and procedure calls. Its processor was partially RISC-like. The project ended in 1994 because the Hobbit failed to achieve commercially viable sales.
- "AT&T Hobbit" | 2020-02-04 | 92 Upvotes 21 Comments
Bitcoin (₿) is a cryptocurrency. It is a decentralized digital currency without a central bank or single administrator that can be sent from user to user on the peer-to-peer bitcoin network without the need for intermediaries.
Transactions are verified by network nodes through cryptography and recorded in a public distributed ledger called a blockchain. Bitcoin was invented in 2008 by an unknown person or group of people using the name Satoshi Nakamoto and started in 2009 when its source code was released as open-source software. Bitcoins are created as a reward for a process known as mining. They can be exchanged for other currencies, products, and services. Research produced by University of Cambridge estimates that in 2017, there were 2.9 to 5.8 million unique users using a cryptocurrency wallet, most of them using bitcoin.
Bitcoin has been criticized for its use in illegal transactions, its high electricity consumption, price volatility, and thefts from exchanges. Some economists, including several Nobel laureates, have characterized it as a speculative bubble. Bitcoin has also been used as an investment, although several regulatory agencies have issued investor alerts about bitcoin.
A keyset or chorded keyboard (also called a chorded keyset, chord keyboard or chording keyboard) is a computer input device that allows the user to enter characters or commands formed by pressing several keys together, like playing a "chord" on a piano. The large number of combinations available from a small number of keys allows text or commands to be entered with one hand, leaving the other hand free. A secondary advantage is that it can be built into a device (such as a pocket-sized computer or a bicycle handlebar) that is too small to contain a normal-sized keyboard.
A chorded keyboard minus the board, typically designed to be used while held in the hand, is called a keyer. Douglas Engelbart introduced the chorded keyset as a computer interface in 1968 at what is often called "The Mother of All Demos".
- "Chorded keyboard" | 2019-08-20 | 97 Upvotes 59 Comments
A computer is a machine that can be instructed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically via computer programming. Modern computers have the ability to follow generalized sets of operations, called programs. These programs enable computers to perform an extremely wide range of tasks. A "complete" computer including the hardware, the operating system (main software), and peripheral equipment required and used for "full" operation can be referred to as a computer system. This term may as well be used for a group of computers that are connected and work together, in particular a computer network or computer cluster.
Computers are used as control systems for a wide variety of industrial and consumer devices. This includes simple special purpose devices like microwave ovens and remote controls, factory devices such as industrial robots and computer-aided design, and also general purpose devices like personal computers and mobile devices such as smartphones. The Internet is run on computers and it connects hundreds of millions of other computers and their users.
Early computers were only conceived as calculating devices. Since ancient times, simple manual devices like the abacus aided people in doing calculations. Early in the Industrial Revolution, some mechanical devices were built to automate long tedious tasks, such as guiding patterns for looms. More sophisticated electrical machines did specialized analog calculations in the early 20th century. The first digital electronic calculating machines were developed during World War II. The first semiconductor transistors in the late 1940s were followed by the silicon-based MOSFET (MOS transistor) and monolithic integrated circuit (IC) chip technologies in the late 1950s, leading to the microprocessor and the microcomputer revolution in the 1970s. The speed, power and versatility of computers have been increasing dramatically ever since then, with MOS transistor counts increasing at a rapid pace (as predicted by Moore's law), leading to the Digital Revolution during the late 20th to early 21st centuries.
Conventionally, a modern computer consists of at least one processing element, typically a central processing unit (CPU) in the form of a metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) microprocessor, along with some type of computer memory, typically MOS semiconductor memory chips. The processing element carries out arithmetic and logical operations, and a sequencing and control unit can change the order of operations in response to stored information. Peripheral devices include input devices (keyboards, mice, joystick, etc.), output devices (monitor screens, printers, etc.), and input/output devices that perform both functions (e.g., the 2000s-era touchscreen). Peripheral devices allow information to be retrieved from an external source and they enable the result of operations to be saved and retrieved.
Ferroelectric RAM (FeRAM, F-RAM or FRAM) is a random-access memory similar in construction to DRAM but using a ferroelectric layer instead of a dielectric layer to achieve non-volatility. FeRAM is one of a growing number of alternative non-volatile random-access memory technologies that offer the same functionality as flash memory.
FeRAM's advantages over Flash include: lower power usage, faster write performance and a much greater maximum read/write endurance (about 1010 to 1014 cycles). FeRAMs have data retention times of more than 10 years at +85 °C (up to many decades at lower temperatures). Market disadvantages of FeRAM are much lower storage densities than flash devices, storage capacity limitations and higher cost. Like DRAM, FeRAM's read process is destructive, necessitating a write-after-read architecture.
- "Ferroelectric RAM" | 2019-09-01 | 38 Upvotes 27 Comments
Holographic data storage is a potential technology in the area of high-capacity data storage. While magnetic and optical data storage devices rely on individual bits being stored as distinct magnetic or optical changes on the surface of the recording medium, holographic data storage records information throughout the volume of the medium and is capable of recording multiple images in the same area utilizing light at different angles.
Additionally, whereas magnetic and optical data storage records information a bit at a time in a linear fashion, holographic storage is capable of recording and reading millions of bits in parallel, enabling data transfer rates greater than those attained by traditional optical storage.
The IBM System/360 Model 67 (S/360-67) was an important IBM mainframe model in the late 1960s. Unlike the rest of the S/360 series, it included features to facilitate time-sharing applications, notably a Dynamic Address Translation unit, the "DAT box", to support virtual memory, 32-bit addressing and the 2846 Channel Controller to allow sharing channels between processors. The S/360-67 was otherwise compatible with the rest of the S/360 series.
- "IBM System/360 Model 67" | 2015-08-21 | 73 Upvotes 36 Comments
The iSmell Personal Scent Synthesizer developed by DigiScents Inc. is a small device that can be connected to a computer through a Universal serial bus (USB) port and powered using any ordinary electrical outlet. The appearance of the device is similar to that of a shark’s fin, with many holes lining the “fin” to release the various scents. Using a cartridge similar to a printer’s, it can synthesize and even create new smells by combining certain combinations of other scents. These newly created odors can be used to closely replicate common natural and manmade odors. The cartridges used also need to be swapped every so often once the scents inside are used up. Once partnered with websites and interactive media, the scents can be activated either automatically once a website is opened or manually. However, the product is no longer on the market and never generated substantial sales. Digiscent had plans for the iSmell to have several versions but did not progress past the prototype stage. The company did not last long and filed for bankruptcy a short time after.
In 2006, the iSmell was named one of the "25 Worst Tech Products of All Time" by PC World Magazine, which commented that "[f]ew products literally stink, but this one did--or at least it would have, had it progressed beyond the prototype stage."
- "iSmell (2001)" | 2016-10-30 | 29 Upvotes 13 Comments
A Kensington Security Slot (also called a K-Slot or Kensington lock) is part of an anti-theft system designed in the early 1990s and patented by Kryptonite in 1999–2000, assigned to Schlage in 2002, and since 2005 owned and marketed by Kensington Computer Products Group, a division of ACCO Brands.
- "Kensington Security Slot" | 2010-06-08 | 26 Upvotes 19 Comments
M.2, formerly known as the Next Generation Form Factor (NGFF), is a specification for internally mounted computer expansion cards and associated connectors. M.2 replaces the mSATA standard, which uses the PCI Express Mini Card physical card layout and connectors. Employing a more flexible physical specification, the M.2 allows different module widths and lengths, and, paired with the availability of more advanced interfacing features, makes the M.2 more suitable than mSATA in general for solid-state storage applications, and particularly in smaller devices such as ultrabooks and tablets.
Computer bus interfaces provided through the M.2 connector are PCI Express 3.0 (up to four lanes), Serial ATA 3.0, and USB 3.0 (a single logical port for each of the latter two). It is up to the manufacturer of the M.2 host or module to select which interfaces are to be supported, depending on the desired level of host support and device type. The M.2 connector keying notches denote various purposes and capabilities of both M.2 hosts and devices. The unique key notches of M.2 modules also prevent them from being inserted into incompatible host connectors.
The M.2 specification supports NVM Express (NVMe) as the logical device interface for M.2 PCI Express SSDs, in addition to supporting legacy Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) at the logical interface level. While the support for AHCI ensures software-level backward compatibility with legacy SATA devices and legacy operating systems, NVM Express is designed to fully utilize the capability of high-speed PCI Express storage devices to perform many I/O operations in parallel.
- "M.2" | 2018-06-03 | 17 Upvotes 4 Comments