Saturday, December 24, 2016

40 years ago: As the Altair 8800 sparked an IT revolution

40 years ago: As the Altair 8800 sparked an IT revolution

The first home computer put a significant foundation for the microcomputer revolution

In the first week of December 1974, the world of the "First Minicomputer Kit" Altair 8800. This provided for hobbyists a valuable model which could easily be compared with the expensive commercial competition from DEC, Data General, Wang and other manufacturers at the time. The idea of the Altair 8800 came from the American magazine Popular Electronics, which dealt with the designs of the 33-year-old engineer Edward Roberts.

The Altair 8800

But it was not the first of it's kind

The presentation of the small computer - the term microcomputer did not exist - was created from the competition of the New York-based magazine for hobby electronics. In their issue of July 1974 Radio-Electronics had already introduced the Mark-8 from the student Jonathan A. Titus, a kit for an 8-bit computer with the Intel 8008. However, the parts sent by post were not complete and other components had to be purchased in addition.

Popular Electronics learned from this lesson and made it much better.

$ 498 for the complete computer

Roberts was the owner of MITS, which established calculator in Albuquerque. The design of the engineer selected an Intel 8080 chip together with a drawer large computer memory and 256 bytes. The pre-assembled computer could be purchased for the cost of $ 498, for the kit you had to pay $ 397. For the technique Roberts was responsible, the choice of name came from the editors of Popular Electronics.

The Edition January 1975

Trigger for microcomputer revolution

The named the computer ado Altair 8800, the name should underline the star quality of the computer because the Altair belongs to the most famous stars in the orbit. In the January- February issue readers of Popular Electronics received detailed information about the computer. By writing the articles Roberts company MITS received thousands of orders, retrospectively we can say the Altair was the trigger of the microcomputer revolution.

And then there was Microsoft

A certain Harvard student named Bill Gates at that time also received the January-issue from his friend Paul Allen. Together with the known Monte Davidoff the three students developed a BASIC interpreter, which was acquired in July 1975 by MITS

This was the arose of a company in 1976 called Microsoft.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Apple Watch coming soon - yes you read correct not iWatch

Reading several reviews in the internet about the recent announcement of Apple and their Watch unveil several interesting comments. One of the most favorite is from MACWORD who wrote back in Sep 2014 “We've collected everything we know about the Apple Watch, including the comments of our colleague who got to try the Apple Watch out, and we can reveal that we really do think it will transform the smartwatch industry.”

Well let us see.

First look review of the Apple Watch

 As expected, Apple unveiled a smartwatch on 9 September 2014. The biggest surprise was, perhaps, its name: Apple Watch (with an Apple logo in front of the word watch, similar to the Apple TV), rather than iWatch as had been expected.
The best news was that Apple’s not just launched a smartwatch, it’s launched a whole raft of smartwatches. By combining the three different Apple Watch categories, the two different face sizes, and the accompaniment of straps, there is the potential for 34 different Apple Watches, so there is a style to suit anybody. And crucially, since Apple is offering two watch face sizes, the Apple Watch will be as comfortable on a female wrist as it is a man’s wrist.

I personal do not wear a clock, so I'll also not use a little SmartWatch

Who is the target audience to buy and wear this SmartWatch is my essential question? Will it be big community of Apple fans? Will maybe the classic swiss Swatch fan migrate to buy an Apple Watch? There are many devices which support fitness enthusiasts for measuring pulse, GPRS coordinates and many more, will they final be replaced by the Apple Watch?

First look on one of the 3 design of the Apple Watch

I am personal not sure how to judge it, but I make a wild guess. By entering the market which is expected by February or March 2015 Apple will need to come up with a surprise to keep also the stock holders satisfied. R&D and manufacturing goals of the device are rated high and will impact the balance sheet. My wild guess is the announcement with partners who bundle the devices as accessory to succeed. Enough predictions, let us look a little behind some facts. 

What does it do?

The Apple Watch is a music player like an iPod, a fitness tracker with heart-rate measurements, a communications device that will send and receive messages, calls and audio recordings, and a handheld portal to other apps, too. It also makes payments via Apple Pay. It can also control your Apple TV and act as a remote for connected smart home devices.

The Apple Watch seems intent to be a synthesis of many other smartwatches, trying to knit together all of these features into a coherent whole. In some ways, the Apple Watch's notifications, voice-activated controls, and swipe-to-glance features feel like elements of Google's Android Wear watches. And the focus on apps and built-in features like voice calling seem like what the Samsung's Tizen OS-based Gear watches have tried to aim for in the past.  

But if you want the basic breakdown in case you haven't used a smartwatch before: it keeps you connected to your phone, acts like a mini iPod, works as a fitness tracker, and could even replace your wallet. And it could do a lot more, too. Apple was showing how the device could not just make mobile payments, but also act as a digital key to open a smart lock on a front door at home. Apps will also allow you to access other home-automation features, such as smart thermostats, using your iPhone's wireless connection as a conduit.

The Apple Watch has a heavy investment in fitness, too: four sapphire lenses on the back promise to deliver more accurate heart-rate measurements than other optical heart-rate monitors on smartwatches such as those on Samsung's Gear 2 or the Motorola Moto 360, thanks to a combination of infrared and LED technology. And Apple's customized fitness apps seem intelligently designed: one tracks calories, moderate activity, and time spent standing, while another is a dedicated workout app meant for a range of activities including cycling. The Apple Watch works with other fitness apps: it's Nike Plus-supported, and there are bound to be more apps by the time it launches.

And hey, it also tells the time; Apple actually claims high-precision accuracy within 50 milliseconds, and a variety of high-design customizable watch faces will do everything from show lunar cycles and weather to give quick-glance messages and calendar appointments.

More Tech … Apple Watch Specs

To start off with, there will be two different sizes of the Apple Watch to choose from. The smaller option for dainty wrists is 38mm tall, while the larger option is 42mm. That’s something that we haven’t seen from any of the Android or Android Wear alternatives so far.

Each Apple Watch is kitted out with a Retina display. Although Apple has claimed this is an “extremely energy efficient” option, precise Apple Watch battery life figures remain shrouded in mystery.

Fortunately we do have some idea on staying power, as Tim Cook revealed the device would require charging every day. The CEO said: "We think that people are going to use it so much you will wind up charging it daily."

In terms of resolution, the developer kit revealed the smaller Apple Watch will tout a 1.5-inch 272 x 340 display, while the larger variant will boast a 1.65-inch 312 x 390 display.

The Apple Watch display can sense force via a new feature call Force Touch. This will allow the device to distinguish between a tap and a press for more contextually specific controls.

Reacting to that, there’s also the Taptic Engine. This is a linear actuator within the Apple Watch that offers haptic feedback for your wrist, tapping you with notifications or on specific sides of your wrist for Apple Maps navigation.

The Watch also features a custom built heart rate sensor that uses infrared, visible-light LEDS and photodiodes to detect your pulse and heart rate. Combining this with data from the accelerometer and the GPS and Wi-Fi found in your iPhone, the Apple Watch can track your physical movement.

Under the hood you’ll find the Apple S1 processor, which Apple states is “an entire computer architecture on a single chip.” There’s no specific specs for the S1 yet, but it is protected from the elements, wear and impact by resin.

Rumors suggest Apple has placed a fairly sizeable order of 30-40 million S1 chip units, indicating the firm has high hopes for its wrist-hugging tech. With the Apple Watch release date tipped for Q1 2015, production is all but certain to have already started.

Apple Watch Features

Immediately you’ll notice that the Apple Watch has a custom version of iOS, with all your apps presented in small circles with the Watch app always at the center. The entire UI is customizable, so you can choose how the apps are presented on the home screen and how they appear in full screen on your wrist.
Although the Apple Watch features a touch screen, you’ll be using the Digital Crown built into the Watch’s winder as the primary input method.

The Digital Crown is a unique take on the traditional watch winder and functions in a similar way. Turning the Digital Crown lets you scroll through results, zoom in and out on Apple Maps and other features too. Pushing it in takes you back to the Home Screen and gives you access to Siri, which is also built into the Apple Watch.

There are a range of watch faces to choose from and each one can be further customized with different colors of functions. These faces include options for stopwatches, weather updates, stock quotes and other glanceable information. Apple claims the opportunities for personalization are “virtually endless”.

In terms of fitness, there’s the accelerometer built-in, but you’ll need to use the GPS and Wi-Fi from your phone to calculate how far you’ve travelled. To help that, Apple has introduced two new fitness apps to keep you motivated and track your progress.

The Activity app has a simple graphic to display your daily activity with a different colored ring for each of the following: Move, Exercise and Stand. Move tracks the amount of calories you’ve burnt, Exercise shows the minute count of brisk activity undertaken, while the Stand ring tracks how long you’ve spent off your feet – encouraging you to get up off your bottom every now and then.
The Workout app is more intense. When you’re undertaking a dedicated cardio workout it’ll offer real time stats on the exercise time, distance travelled, calories burnt and the pace you’re keeping – whether that’s running, walking or cycling. All these stats are stored in the Activity app too.

To keep you motivated the Workout app sets you personalized daily goals, alerts you with reminders and gives you achievements for your perseverance.
As with the new features coming in iOS 8 and OS X Mavericks, the Apple Watch will let you start reading or doing something on your wrist and then pick it up later on the iPhone.

Apple Watch Apps

Apps has been revamped for the Apple Watch. Messages, for example, lets you quick reply to texts and iMessages with automatically created answers taken from the content of the messages themselves. If you don’t fancy one of those answers you can reply with one of the new emojis instead. These can be customized too, as you can adjust the eyes and mouth of the faces for example, to make sure you’re portrayed the exact emotion you’re currently feeling.
Digital Touch means you could also reply with a little hand-drawn message instead. Sketch is used to draw something quickly, and your friend can see you drawing from their end.

There’s a new Walkie-Talkie app that lets you use the built-in speaker and microphone to trade sound bites, while Tap lets you send Morse Code style taps that will pulsate on your friend’s Apple Watch. Pressing two fingers on the screen records and sends your heartbeat to your friend, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Pressing the button beneath the Digital Crown brings up all your Friends that you’ve recently interacted with. You can send them any of the above with a tap from there.

Beside game developers like EA already announced to develop games you can find the classics calender, maps or my favorite passbook. We will need to see if we have another area of iTunes apps to maintain which are not compatible with all iOS devices.

What is coming next

Well is this the question we have when we think about Apple.

Read also 11 Things you need to know about the Apple Watch

Monday, December 8, 2014

Mix Tape Rewind 80s and 90s

Living in Dubai we connect this title actual to a nice retro event where we experience the vibes of Dr.Alban, Boney M., INSYNC and many more. If we go down our timeline in technology we have other thoughts which come to our mind. 

Cassette, Tamagotchi and Co .: What's are you missing from the nineties

Many technologies of earlier days are long obsolete, but their successors lacks in charm

A few days ago Microsoft announced the end of an era: Those clipart collection with the Office documents visually jazzed up over many years - or, depending on your perspective: To bad - they are a thing of the past. Time for the Guardian to cast a wistful look on those technologies nineties-years, which would give it quiet little longer time.


Even if Nintendo Gameboy has come strictly as early as 1989 on the market, but it was especially the early nineties which have been marked by it. With its simplicity and classics like Tetris or Zelda luggage, it defined the handheld gaming for an entire generation. 

Nintendo  Gameboy all-time favorite Tetris


The nineties it was the end of a long familiar technology: the cassette. Well let's be honest - it may not have been the most stable and aurally best way to assemble your own favorite songs, but even purely from it's appearance, but it made it much more than the then following CD or even the cold virtuality of an MP3 file. But we all will miss the time when we spend hours for putting our favorite songs together for our Love Once.

We will miss it, classic are the best


Today, they are at best a niche product, but for a short period in the nineties they conquered the mainstream. Everyone wanted to have a Tamagotchi. Those digital companion that must be supplied with food and other attentions, not the giving up his virtual life.

Feed me, play with me


In some schools, they are still present, in other long replaced by modern technologies: The overhead projector was for a long time the only way to raise important information for an entire room visible on the wall. One in the handwriting of the teacher still played an important role, and every little contamination of the equipment brought mercilessly revealed. And do not forget: So an overhead projector could quickly warm up any cold Education Room.


With the current boom of the Messenger service it is often forgotten: Actually, this is just a repetition of the nineties, threw as many companies their instant messenger on the market. Most notably AOL, ICQ and not to forget the one from Microsoft, whose MSN Messenger retired 2013 - even though he lived long he could not keep up with modern alternatives technically.

The question remains: What is the technology of the nineties, you miss?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Fish Fact: Who has the biggest?

The only 'reel deal sportfishing team'

 My friends from the “reel deal sportfishing team”, Elie & Joe are hunting every week the biggest, largest fish of the UAE in the Arab sea right in front of Dubai. The surrounding areas down in Fujairah show also nice fishing yards. Kingfish, Mahi Mahi, Queen Fish, Tuna, Barracuda or some of our black tails shark get on the hook and you can image all sizes. 

Catch of the day, Kingfish for the BBQ

What I know of the past are those stories of the fishers who talk on their regulars' table about the size of the catch of the day and telling myths. Fish Fact should at least stop the hyperbole. The app for iOS measures the length of fish on the basis of a photo.

Fish Fact Screenshots

Even when fishing matters from time to time on the size and some fisher tend to swagger in their narratives like a fairy tale it stays as a fish story. Well modern world does not stop even here; the iOS app Fish Fact does thus put an end. Under the motto "show a picture or it never happened" exposes the application the truth. 

The idea for Fish Fact is from the makers of - a fishing video magazine. The app makes ruler and measuring tape unnecessary and should be able to provide further information about the fish length. 

For the measurement, the angler must be photographed with his catch. Then, the user specifies the display measurement points. Fish Fact calculates the length of the fish. 

Of course you can send images directly to friends and colleagues bragging anglers. The measurement results can also distribute via Facebook, Twitter or email. Angler where size does not matter, Fish Fact can simply use as simple photo app. 

Fish Fact is now available in Apple's App Store for a price of $ 1.99. The application requires at least iOS 7 and is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. 

This should be the next fishing trip nothing in the way. In this sense, good catch.