Modern computers are multi-purpose devices: your cellphone can do everything from telling the time to watching live video from across the globe, depending on what app you run. It wasn’t always that way, though: some of the first home computers were built and programmed to perform only one task, such as playing chess. These chess […]
The first few products in a new category often end up defining that category. That is definitely true of digital cameras, where one of these mold makers was the Casio QV-10: the first consumer digital camera that included an LCD screen. Launched in 1995, the QV-10 was one of the first consumer digital cameras (see note […]
Sting isn’t usually thought of as a geek hero. But, if you look carefully at the cover of the Police single “Wrapped Around Your Finger”, you’ll see that he is proudly wearing a symbol of geekdom from the late 1970s and 1980s. Similarly, geek icon Marty McFly is seen to be wearing the same symbol […]
Photography used to be a passive experience: you would take the photo, send the film off to develop and then get the prints back weeks later, long after you had forgotten taking them. Digital photography changed all that, but the digital camera was not the world’s first experience of instant photography. That came many years […]
The evolution of the modern smartphone is a complex business, with numerous extinct species that never quite made it. Some of these were just plain odd, and others were just before their time. The Nokia 9000 Communicator was one of these, a cell phone that was a smartphone before the word was invented. It rolled […]
Ask any computer programmer from the UK over thirty where they got their first experience of computers, and I’ll bet you that most would say one thing: the BBC Micro. This pioneering computer was where a generation of programmers and hackers cut their computing teeth, creating games like Elite and the first shareware and open […]
For many people, their first glimpse of the power of technology wasn’t a laptop or a cell phone. It was a bright orange device that spoke in an odd, rattling voice: The Texas Instruments Speak & Spell. First announced at the CES show in 1978, the Speak & Spell was an educational toy that offered a […]
The philosopher Plato believed that all things have a perfect form, an abstract ideal that represents the essence of the thing in its purest form. Although the perfect form is unattainable in the physical world, the Palm V probably represents the closest that we have come to the perfect form of the stand-alone PDA.