Tuesday, July 31, 2007


BELLE, built by Ken Thompson In 1977, was the first computer to use custom design chips to increase its playing strength from 200 positions per second to 160,000 positions per second. The chess computer, which used over 1,700 integrated ciruits, costed $20,000 and was used to solve endgame problems.

Friday, July 27, 2007


In 1974, KAISSA (ICL 4/70), programmed by Donskoy and Arlazarov, and created at the Institute of Control Science, Moscow, won the first world computer chess championship. The second place went to CHESS 4.0.

Monday, July 23, 2007


In 1970, the first all-computer championship was held in New York and won by CHESS 3.0 (CDC 6400), a program written by Slate, Atkin and Gorlen at Northwestern University. Six programs had entered the first Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) North American Computer Championships.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


In Spring 1967, MacHACK VI became the first program to beat a human, at the Massachussets State Championship. By the end of the year, it had played in four chess tournaments, winning 3 games, drawing 3 and losing 12. In the same year the program was made an honorary member of the US Chess Federation.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Sega Dreamcast

Did you know that the Sega Dreamcast released in 1999 was the first console game machine to sport 128-bit architecture? The console had a 200 MHz processor, a 64 channel audio chip and 26 MB of RAM.

David Levy

In 1968, International Master David Levy made a $3,000 bet with John McCarthy, researcher in Artificial Intelligence at Stanford, that no chess computer would beat him in 10 years. Levy won his bet.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sonic the Hedgehog

Did you know that Sega released Sonic the Hedgehog in 1991 as a direct response to Nintendo's Super NES gaming system? The game capitalized on the speed of the Genesis processor and soon became a hit.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Alex Bernstein

Alex Bernstein wrote a chess program in 1957 for an IBM 704, which could do 42,000 instructions per second and had a memory of 70K. This was the first full-fledged game of chess by a computer and it did a 4-ply search in 8 minutes.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Screensavers were originally designed to protect computer monitors from phosphor burn-in. Early CRT monitors had problems with the same image being displayed for a long time. The phosphors used to make the pixels in the display would discolor the glass surface of the CRT when they would glow at a constant rate for a long period of time. This discoloration would then be visible as a faint image overlaying whatever else was displayed on the monitor.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Alick Glennie

In 1952, Alick Glennie, who wrote the first computer compiler, defeated Alan Turing's chess program, TurboChamp. Alick was the first person to beat a computer program at chess.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Hackers Manifesto

The Hackers Manifesto is a small article written in 1986 by a hacker who went by the pseudonym of "The Mentor". The article is considered an important item of hacker culture, and it gives an insight into the psychology of early hackers.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Alan Turing

In 1946, Alan Turing made his first reference to machine intelligence in connection with chess-playing and in the following year specified the first program for chess. In 1950, he wrote the first computer chess program, and in the same year, proposed the Turing Test that in time, a computer could be programmed to acquire abilities that would rival human intelligence.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

NEC Turbografx-16

The NEC Turbografx-16, which was released in Japan in 1988 as the PC-Engine, was the first system to have a CD player attachment. It had an 8-bit CPU with a 16-bit graphics chip.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Cationic Cocktail

Cationic cocktail is a diluted fabric softener sprayed on computer room carpets to prevent static electricity from being built up by feet shuffling on carpet. It is also referred to as Downy cocktail.

Thursday, July 05, 2007


A term used to describe any system that has so many labyrinthine internal interconnections that it would be impossible to simplify by separation into loosely coupled or linked components.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Casting the Runes

Casting the runes: What a guru does when you ask him or her to run a particular program because it never works for anyone else. The word is especially used when nobody can ever see what the guru is doing different from what everyone else has done.

Wrackground Image

Wrackground image is a background image or texture that ruins a Web page by making the text unreadable.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Chiclet Keyboard

A keyboard with a small, flat rectangular or lozenge-shaped rubber or plastic keys that look like pieces of chewing gum. (Chiclets is the brand name of a variety of chewing gum that resemble the keys of chiclet keyboards).

Body Shopper

A contractor in a Developing or Third World country who recruits local programmers and shops them around to software companies located especially in North America and Europe.