Geek magazine hacker daily blog

70 years ago on Earth for the first time accepted the radio signal reflected from the Moon

1 year, 5 months ago


Modern technologies exceed dreams and ideas of the present day of our ancestors. People without problems communicate with each other even if they live on different sides of the globe. NASA plans the piloted expedition for Mars, ESA — on the Moon. In space and very many different devices work at other planets.

With these devices the stable relation is kept, even New Horizons transfers a large number of information, being from Earth in billions of kilometers. In the forties the last century all this still was impossible, but scientists already took the first steps. So, on January 10, 1946 specialists from the USA recorded the first terrestrial radio signal reflected from the Moon surface. At 11:58 local time (New Jersey) was sent such signal, and in 2,5 seconds its reflection was registered on Earth.

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Elbrus: from the past in the future

1 year, 5 months ago
Under the proud name "Elbrus" there was a series of supercomputers which was developed by the Soviet scientist Vsevolod Sergeyevich Burtsev (70-80th). These computers entered a number of innovations to the theory of computers, such as a superskalyarnost (processing more than one instruction for one clock period), implementation of the protected programming with hardware data types, parallel processing of several instructions. But their orientation to languages of the high level was the main feature of the Soviet supercomputers. The Soviet-American scientist Vladimir Mstislavovich Pentkovsky participating in development "Elbrus" created a high-level programming language Ale-76.

Except improvement of the sphere of the Soviet computers, the computer became base for creation of 64-bit universal microprocessors "Elbrus 4-C" and the next generation "Elbrus 8-C". They diluted the market of the American vendors of Intel, AMD and IBM. Local development and production of processors it was caused by requirement to find own solutions for the defense industry where use of domestic devices is more desirable.



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George Martin writes books to WordStar 4.0 for MS-DOS

1 year, 5 months ago


George R. R. Martin, the author of a cycle of novels in a fantasy genre "A song of Ice and Fire", writes the books on very old computer – so old that that still works under control of the MS-DOS operating system. As a word-processor he uses the WordStar 4.0 program. J. Martin told about it, being on a visit at the TV host and showman Conan O'Brien.

Martin told that he uses two computers – one for modern needs, like the Internet, e-mail and other affairs, and another – only for work. At the same time it is pleasant to the writer that the old computer and the old program for editing texts are limited in opportunities. In particular, in WordStar there is no spell check.

"The program does all that is required from a word-processor, and does not do anything else, - he told. – I need no help. I hate these modern systems when you enter a lowercase letter, and they correct it on capital. I do not need capital! If I want to enter a capital letter, I would enter it. I am able to use Shift!".

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Screenshot of the WordStar program for DOS

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The creator of design of ThinkPad Richard Sapper died

1 year, 5 months ago
For the sixty years' career Richard Sapper did design for a line of IBM ThinkPad, products of Mercedes-Benz, Fiat, Alessi, Brionvega and other companies. It worked on things of all types, from cars to teapots and hours, but most of all it is known as the chief consultant of IBM for industrial design and the developer of the first ThinkPad in 1992.

Richard Sapper died in Milan on December 31, 2015 at the age of 83 years.

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Solution of problems: System of heating of hands

1 year, 5 months ago
It is transfer of an amusing note of Alex Papadimoulis, the founder of "The Daily WTF".

During development of the good software, we always are under pressure from several fronts at once.
First, danger is constituted by beginners who somehow could receive the first place of work, having read "Programming for teapots" the day before, before interview.
Secondly, we are threatened by the beginning careerists who could settle successfully after end of the first contract (read: received money, and the client did not condemn them for development of a useless product). Sometimes they even manage to construct career, having managed to repeat this way several times.
And at last, to eat "Uslozhniteli", or "Megareshateli" (to find successful gromkozvuchny transfer of the word "Complicators", it was not possible therefore — "Megareshateli". — a comment of the translator), one more party which entices the best of us to join them, even only on one or two micro projects.

There are people who so deeply wallowed in solutions of Mega-problems that they as if purchased a certain sixth sense: capability to find Mega-problems ("a solution which creates one more problem in the course of a solution of a real problem") in any place.

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Data from 200 diskettes belonging to the creator of Star Trek are recovered

1 year, 5 months ago

Roddenberri's computer (now does not work) and its diskettes (a photo: DriveSavers)

The DriveSavers company the other day published the press release according to which the staff of the company managed to recover data from about 200 old diskettes. In it there would be nothing remarkable if not that carriers belonged to the creator of Star Trek Gene Roddenberri. Diskettes after Roddenberri's death were all the time at his successor. The recovered information was provided to it, in the Network nothing was spread.

Nevertheless, DriveSavers reports that on diskettes there were records of the author, he used them for saving of ideas, scenarios and notes. The volume of each diskette made 160 CBs, and they were used last time somewhere in the eighties the last century.

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Peter Naur, one of creators of the ALGOL and the notation of BNF died

1 year, 5 months ago
The IT the industry continues to sustain heavy losses. Yesterday at the age of 87 years Peter Naur (Peter Naur), the Danish scientist, honored professor of university of Copenhagen, one of the few till yesterday of "living classics the" of computer sciences which laid their foundation died.

The colleague from university Fritz Hengelayn (Fritz Henglein) reported it about his death on Facebook:

"Peter Naur, honored professor, the founder of faculty of computer sciences of University of Copenhagen (DIKU) and the winner of an award of Turing of 2005, died at night from the 2nd for January 3rd, 2016 in hospital of the suburb of Copenhagen Herlev, after a short illness."

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Back to sources: demand for audio cassettes in 2015 considerably grew

1 year, 5 months ago


Cartridges which were extremely popular earlier and about which then all forgot begin to return slowly now. Yes, compact disks and digital media still remain the most popular method of storage and information transfer. But even vinyl remains afloat, and cartridges, seemingly, at all experience a rebirth.

The president of National Audio Company (NAC) Steve Stepp told that his company which is engaged in production of cartridges in 2015 recorded record increase in demand for such carriers. At the same time demand for audio cassettes steadily grows — according to the same Stepp, sales increase by 20% every year. But in 2015 growth made 31% in comparison with previous year at once that is a record.

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Tricks of hardware backward compatibility in game consoles

1 year, 5 months ago
Much should deal with old hardware interfaces: for example, it is hereditary commands in the processor or equipment operation modes. Programmers can argue that similar complicates software development, is a problem from the point of view of safety and is banal it is not necessary as the software works worse in the compatibility mode. Engineers tear hair at the next mentioning of need to add support of the old equipment. And they can be understood.

But computers are valuable not the characteristics, but a set of the software which they can start. For this reason in many situations it is so important to provide backward compatibility with the equipment of the previous generation — the developer likes it or not. But sometimes backward compatibility takes bizzare shapes. It is difficult to pick up the correct word: whether it is "crutches", whether quite reasonable solutions.

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Evolution of information mediums, part 3: hard drives

1 year, 6 months ago
Hi everyone! We continue a cycle of articles devoted to evolution of information mediums. We already told about punched cards, magnetic films and diskettes. Besides, we traced development of optical drives. And this time our material will be devoted to the most usual for us to devices – hard drives.


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