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Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs is the CEO of Apple, which he co-founded in 1976. Apple is leading the consumer technology world with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, its family of iPod media players and iTunes media store, and its Mac computers and iLife and iWork application suites. Apple recently introduced the iPad, a breakthrough Internet and digital media device, plus the iBookstore, alongside iTunes and the App Store.

Steve also co-founded and was the CEO of Pixar Animation Studios, which created some of the most successful and beloved animated films of all time including Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars and Ratatouille. Pixar merged with The Walt Disney Company in 2006 and Steve now serves on Disney’s board of directors.

 

Categories: Curious News

Bill Gates

29 March 2011 1 comment

William Henry “Bill” Gates III is chairman of Microsoft Corporation, the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

On June 27, 2008, Gates transitioned out of a day-to-day role in the company to spend more time on his global health and education work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He shares his thoughts about the foundation and other topics on Gates Notes, a Web site launched in January 2010. Gates continues to serve as Microsoft’s chairman and as an advisor on key development projects. In June 2006, Ray Ozzie assumed Gates’ previous title as chief software architect and oversees technical architecture and product oversight responsibilities at Microsoft. Craig Mundie assumed the new title of chief research and strategy officer at Microsoft and is responsible for the company’s research and incubation efforts.

Born on Oct. 28, 1955, Gates grew up in Seattle with his two sisters. Their father, William H. Gates II, is a Seattle attorney. Their late mother, Mary Gates, was a schoolteacher, University of Washington regent, and chairwoman of United Way International.

Gates attended public elementary school and the private Lakeside School. There, he discovered his interest in software and began programming computers at age 13.

In 1973, Gates entered Harvard University as a freshman, where he lived down the hall from Steve Ballmer, now Microsoft’s chief executive officer. While at Harvard, Gates developed a version of the programming language BASIC for the first microcomputer – the MITS Altair.

In his junior year, Gates left Harvard to devote his energies to Microsoft, a company he had begun in 1975 with his childhood friend Paul Allen. Guided by a belief that the computer would be a valuable tool on every office desktop and in every home, they began developing software for personal computers. Gates’ foresight and his vision for personal computing have been central to the success of Microsoft and the software industry.

Under Gates’ leadership, Microsoft’s mission has been to continually advance and improve software technology, and to make it easier, more cost-effective and more enjoyable for people to use computers. The company is committed to a long-term view, reflected in its industry-leading investment in research and development each year.

In 1999, Gates wrote “Business @ the Speed of Thought”, a book that shows how computer technology can solve business problems in fundamentally new ways. The book was published in 25 languages and is available in more than 60 countries. “Business @ the Speed of Thought” has received wide critical acclaim, and was listed on the best-seller lists of the “New York Times”, “USA Today”, “The Wall Street Journal” and on Amazon.com. Gates’ previous book, “The Road Ahead”, published in 1995, was at the top of the “New York Times” bestseller list for seven weeks.

Gates has donated the proceeds of both books to non-profit organizations that support the use of technology in education and skills development.

In addition to his love of computers and software, Gates founded Corbis, which is developing one of the world’s largest resources of visual information – a comprehensive digital archive of art and photography from public and private collections around the globe. He is also a member of the board of directors of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., which invests in companies engaged in diverse business activities.

Philanthropy is very important to Gates. He and his wife, Melinda, started a foundation in 2000 to help reduce inequities in the United States and around the world. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supports philanthropic initiatives in the areas of global health and learning, with the hope that in the 21st century, advances in these critical areas will be available for all people. To learn more about the foundation, visit www.gatesfoundation.org.

Gates was married on Jan. 1, 1994, to Melinda French Gates. They have three children: daughter Jennifer Katharine Gates born 1996 (age 14–15), son Rory John Gates born 1999 (age 11–12), and daughter Phoebe Adele Gates born 2002 (age 8–9). Gates is an avid reader, and enjoys playing golf, tennis and bridge.

Categories: Curious News

Apple I

Apple I

The Apple I, also known as the Apple-1, was an early personal computer. They were designed and hand-built by Steve Wozniak. Wozniak’s friend Steve Jobs had the idea of selling the computer. The Apple I was Apple‘s first product, demonstrated in April 1976 at the Homebrew Computer Club in Palo Alto, California.

Apple I computer

 

History

The Apple I went on sale in July 1976 at a price of $666.66, because Wozniak liked repeating digits and because they originally sold it to a local shop for $500 and added a one-third markup. About 200 units were produced. Unlike other hobbyist computers of its day, which were sold as kits, the Apple I was a fully assembled circuit board containing about 60+ chips. However, to make a working computer, users still had to add a case, power supply transformers, power switch, ASCII keyboard, and composite video display. An optional board providing a cassette interface for storage was later released at a cost of $75.

Excerpt from the later Apple II ‘Red’ manual, including Steve Wozniak‘s handwritten diagrams for the definition of shape tables

The Apple I’s built-in computer terminal circuitry was distinctive. All one needed was a keyboard and an inexpensive television set. Competing machines such as the Altair 8800 generally were programmed with front-mounted toggle switches and used indicator lights (red LEDs, most commonly) for output, and had to be extended with separate hardware to allow connection to a computer terminal or a teletypewriter machine. This made the Apple I an innovative machine for its day. In April 1977 the price was dropped to $475. It continued to be sold through August 1977, despite the introduction of the Apple II in April 1977, which began shipping in June of that year. Apple had dropped the Apple 1 from its price list by October 1977, officially discontinuing it.

As of 2008, an estimated 30 to 50 Apple I computers are still known to exist, making it a very rare collector’s item. An Apple I reportedly sold for $50,000 USD at auction in 1999, with another apparently selling in 2009 for $17,500; however, a more typical price for an Apple I is in the $14,000–$16,000 range. In November 2009 the Apple I with serial number 82 was listed on eBay with a starting bid of $50,000 but it is unreported as to whether the computer was actually sold on that occasion. However, in November 2010, this same Apple I (with serial number 82) sold for $178,000 ($213,600 including the ‘buyer’s premium’) at Christie’s auction house in London , making it by far the highest price paid for this model to date, at £133,250 ($210,000). The high value of this particular example is likely due to the rare documents and packaging offered in the sale rather than the computer itself; namely (and amongst others) the original packaging (with the return label showing Steve Jobs’ parents address, the original Apple Computer Inc ‘headquarters’ being their garage), a personally typed and signed letter from Jobs (answering technical questions about the computer) and the original invoice showing ‘Steven’ as the salesman.

Emulators, clones, and replicas
A software-compatible clone of the Apple I (Replica 1) produced using modern components, was released in 2003 at a price of around $200. Other replicas and do-it-yourself kits and instructions are available. The Multi Emulator Super System emulator also supports the Apple I.

 

Apple I computer sells for $174K at London auction (Tuesday, November 23, 2010)

A rare example of Apple’s first computer, the Apple I, in “superb” condition sold for $174,000 at an auction in London on Tuesday. Italian businessman and private collector Marco Boglione made the winning bid, which came to about $210,000 after tax, by phone Tuesday at Christie’s auction house in London, the Associated Press reports. Prior to the auction, Christie’s estimated the computer would sell for between $160,000-240,000. When it was released in 1976, the Apple I sold for $666.66.

 

Categories: Curious News

Martin Cooper the inventor of first mobile phone

26 November 2010 1 comment

Martin Cooper (inventor)


Martin Cooper (born December 26, 1928 in Chicago, Illinois, USA) is a former Motorola vice president and division manager who in the 1970s led the team that developed the handheld mobile phone (as distinct from the car phone). Cooper is the CEO and founder of ArrayComm, a company that works on researching smart antenna technology and improving wireless networks, and was the corporate director of Research and Development for Motorola. 

Career

Career After World War II, Cooper left the navy and began working at Teletype, a subsidiary of Western Electric. In 1954, he was hired by Motorola. While working there he attended classes and studied at night. By 1957, he had earned his Master’s Degree in electrical engineering from theIllinois Institute of Technology, and taught night school classes at that university.

In 1960, John F. Mitchell became chief engineer of Motorola’s mobile communications projects and Cooper reported to Mitchell. In the 1960s Cooper was instrumental in turning pagers from a technology used in single buildings to one that stretched across cities. Cooper helped fix a flaw in the quartz crystals Motorola made for its radios. This encouraged the company to mass-produce the first crystals for use in wrist watches. Cooper worked on developing portable products, including the first portable handheld police radios, made for the Chicago police department in 1967.
In the early 1970s, Mitchell put Cooper in charge of its car phone division where he led Motorola’s cellular research. Cooper envisioned mobile phones that would be used not only in a car, but also small and light enough to be portable. Thanks to years of research and development in portable products directed by Cooper and new technologies from all over the company, when the pressure was on, it took only 90 days in 1973 to create the first portable cellular 800 MHz phone prototype.

World’s first handheld cellular phone call in public
In 1973, when Motorola installed a base station to handle the first public demonstration of a phone call over the cellular network, the company was trying to persuade the Federal Communications Commission to allocate frequency space to private companies for use in the emerging technology of cellular communications. After some initial testing in Washington for the F.C.C., Cooper and Motorola took the cellular phone technology to New York to demonstrate it to reporters and the public. On April 3, 1973, standing on Sixth Avenue in New York City near the New York Hilton hotel, Cooper made a phone call from a prototype Dyna-Tac handheld cellular phone before going to a press conference upstairs in the hotel. The phone connected Cooper with the base station on the roof of the Burlington House (now the Alliance Capital Building) across the street from the hotel and into the AT&T land-line telephone system. As reporters and passers-by watched, he dialed the number and held the phone to his ear. That first call, placed to Dr. Joel S. Engel, head of research at Bell Labs, began a fundamental technology and communications market shift toward making phone calls to a person instead of to a place. This first phone weighed about 2.5 lb (1.1 kg). It was the product of Cooper’s vision for personal wireless handheld telephone communications, distinct from mobile car phones. Cooper has stated in jest that watching Captain Kirk using hiscommunicator on the television show Star Trek inspired him to develop the handheld mobile phone.
After demonstrating the prototype cell phone to reporters, Cooper allowed some of the reporters to make phone calls to anyone of their choosing to prove that the cell phone could function as a versatile part of the telephone network.
Cooper is considered the inventor of the first handheld cellular phone and the first person to make a phone call in public on a handheld cell phone. Cooper and the engineers who worked for him, and Mitchell are named on the patent “Radio telephone system” filed on October 17, 1973.

Commercializing the product
The original Motorola DynaTAC handset, weighed 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) and had 35 minutes of talk time. Cooper has said “The battery lifetime was 20 minutes, but that wasn’t really a big problem because you couldn’t hold that phone up for that long.”[11] By 1983 and after four iterations, Cooper’s team had reduced the handset’s weight by half that of the original. The list price was around $4,000 (2009: $8,600). Cooper left Motorola before they started selling handheld mobile phones to consumers.

Cellular Business Systems
Cooper started a company with partners to provide billing systems for cellular operators. In 1986, they sold the company to Cincinnati Bell for $23m.

Jitterbug
In 2006, Cooper and his wife, Arlene Harris, founded GreatCall maker of Jitterbug, a U.S. mobile virtual wireless operator (in cooperation with the Verizon network). The company provides mobile telephone service carried on its own brand of handsets, which are marketed specifically to those looking for simplicity.

DynaLLC
To make a home base, Cooper and his wife Arlene Harris founded Dyna in 1987, (www.dynallc.com) to provide a home base for their various development and support acitivities incubating several businesses including GreatCall-Jitterbug, SOS Wireless, Accessible Wireless, ArrayComm, and Subscriber Computing. The jitterbug was created for the use of elderly folk that can’t hear as well.

Awards and affiliations
In 1995, Cooper received the Wharton Infosys Business Transformation Award for his technological innovations in the communication field. Cooper is also a member of Mensa. Martin Cooper was mentioned in Red Herring’s Top ten Entrepreneurs of 2000. In 2009, along with Raymond Tomlinson, Cooper received the Prince of Asturias Award for scientific and technical research. In February 2010, Cooper was elected to the National Academy of Engineering .

Categories: Curious News
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