Archive for the technology Category

Microsoft Windows 1.0 was released 25 years ago this week

Posted in 80s, computers, Microsoft, pop culture, technology, Windows with tags , , , , , on November 19, 2010 by Paxton

Orig MicroSoft logo

The original version of Microsoft Windows (v1.0) was released around 25 years ago this week. I say about 25 years ago because It’s really tough to pin down the actual release date due to differing information depending on where you look. If you look at official Microsoft history, they mention in one paragraph that Windows 1.0 was released in 1983, but then in the next paragraph they say Windows 1.0 was released in 1985.  Other places alternately list 1983 or 1985.  It’s possible that the first few releases of 1.0 (ie, 1.0, 1.01, 1.02) were not official and only demo releases.  Most places I check have the release date for Windows 1.0 to be Nov 20, 1985.  So I’m going with that.

Here’s the box for that first release of Windows.

Microsoft Windows 1.0 box

Windows 1.0 required you to use 10 installation disks. And they were floppies!!

Windows 1.0 disks(Via Digibarn Computer Museum)

The original Windows used a radical new GUI interface to handle typical computer tasks like starting programs and file management. This freed the user from having to type commands at a DOS prompt. Delivered applications for this release included a File Manager, calendar, clock, notepad and calculator.

Windows 1.0 screenshot

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Microsoft Windows 95 was released 15 years ago today

Posted in Microsoft, pop culture, technology, Windows with tags , , , , , on August 24, 2010 by Paxton

Microsoft Windows 95 startup screen

Microsoft released Windows 95 on Aug 24, 1995, 15 years ago today.  It was developed internally as Windows 4 or under the codename Chicago.  The whole operating system was designed to be a “ground up” improvement of Windows 3.1 including vast enhancements to the GUI, or “user interface”. It was with this release of Windows that Microsoft became the computing powerhouse it became in the late 90s/early 2000s. It was also this success with Windows 95 and early versions of Internet Explorer that would lay the ground work for all of Microsoft’s problems with the Justice Department about being a monopoly.

Windows 95 welcome screen

Like I said, Windows 95 was the birth of Windows as we now know it today.  The taskbar and Start button began here as well as “plug and play” compatibility, 32 bit processing and the Windows Explorer file management application.  All of these innovations were included and remain in current versions of Windows mostly unchanged to this day.  Internet Explorer 1.0 was available for the release of Windows 95, but not with the default installation, which didn’t even install TCP/IP.  You had to buy the Microsoft Plus! pack to get the brand new Microsoft browser as well as other features like themes and disc compression.  Microsoft Plus! was mostly used in factory installs, so not many people used IE at first.  Internet Explorer would become part of the Win95 installation with IE v2.0 several months later.

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The new Coke Freestyle soda fountain + other bad ass Coke machines

Posted in Coca Cola, hackers, internet, soda, technology with tags , , , , , , on July 23, 2009 by Paxton

Sodapalooza

Coca-Cola has started test marketing a new soda fountain called the Coca-Cola Freestyle.

Coke Freestyle machinesCoke Freestyle logo

It is run by computer and controlled through an LCD touchscreen.  The soda dispenser has the ability to mix up over 100 different types of sodas, waters, teas and energy drinks.  The menu even includes items not currently sold in the US like Grape Vault (yes, please!) and Raspberry Coke.  As of right now the Freestyle is only being test marketed in Atlanta and Southern California (list of locations here) but further test markets will be opened up in the Spring of 2010.  Don’t worry, that sound you hear behind you is a chorus of angels in the background singing “Ha-lle-lu-yah!”  Now, whenever I approach the soda fountain at Subway, I’ll immediately have brain shutdown due to the ridiculous amount of soda choices at my finger tips.

There have been rumors about this very thing for years. Coke and Pepsi have so many flavor variations around the world and the US really only sees a SMALL portion. Grape Vault? Are you kidding me? I really want to try that.  I’ve heard of Raspberry Coke in New Zealand, but it doesn’t sound THAT appetizing.  How about the discontinued Coke with Lemon?  It’s all up for grabs with this new machine.  However, don’t expect things like New Coke and Surge to be available, because this isn’t a time machine, it’s a soda machine.

Check out a video demonstration of this glorious machine here.

Now that the technology is here to let the dispensing machines do all the work for us, how long is it before we get into a SkyNet situation? I mean, are we just a lightning strike away from one of these machines going Johnny Number 5 on us? Will this be fun Johnny Number 5, or laser weapon fry your ass like a Roman Candle Number 5? How long before we see this:

Robot Coke Machine

Run tiny, Japanese children!! Run like the wind from the giant Coke branded inhuman monstrosity!!!! Save yourself!!!  It feeds on CHILDREN!!!  CHILDREN!!!!

Speaking of bad ass Coke dispensing Terminator machines, people have been hacking vending machines for years to make them better. One of the more popular things to do to a Coke machine is to connect it to the internet. Connecting your Coke machine to the internet allows you to check inventory levels and dispense sodas remotely from your computer. While this is quite awesome, it also calls onto the carpet not only your laziness, but the fact that you can’t even wait 30 seconds to put money in the machine and make a soda selection.  No surprisingly, this trend was started by Computer Science students.

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iPhone OS 3.0 released, AT&T wipes ass with it, turns off MMS

Posted in Apple, iPhone, reviews, technology with tags , , , on June 19, 2009 by Paxton

Apple iPhone OS 3.0It’s been just over 9 months since I last talked about my iPhone, so I thought it was time to remedy that situation (cue everyone rolling their eyes at me and whispering…”GREAT”). On Wednesday, Apple made available the latest update to the iPhone’s operating system, v3.0.  Listening to the buildup of this OS update (along with the release of the new iPhone version 3G S today), I couldn’t help but get excited.  So many new features were being added including multimedia messaging (MMS) which has surprisingly been missing from the very first iteration of the iPhone until now.  If you receive a picture via text, the text message asks you to log in to a separate website with a userid and password (given within the text) to see the pic.  This worked, maybe 50% of the time.  Maybe.  Seems odd the greatest phone on the planet Earth could not send/receive a picture via text message.  But that’s neither here nor there as MMS is in the “new features list” on Apple.com (see below, third in the list) and after I download and install it to my iPhone, everything is going to be cotton candy and rainbows and fluffy bunnies and kittens.

new_features_30

So, when I connected my iPhone 3G to my laptop Thursday morning and proceeded to download the new OS, I was giddy as a schoolgirl.  I had the requisite pics of my crotch on my iPhone’s camera reel and they were ready to be sent to all my friends via text message.  It was gonna be EPIC. Legend–wait for it–ary. Then I did the install.

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Bait and Switch: Horrible movies that had great trailers

Posted in humor, internet, movies, pop culture with tags , , , , , on May 27, 2009 by Paxton

preview_screenIt’s happened to all of us. You are sitting in the theater, watching the coming attractions, waiting for your movie to start, and a trailer comes on that blows you through the back of the theater. You think, “That looks AWESOME!” and mentally make a note to check it out later. When the day comes that you can finally check out the movie you’ve been building up in your mind for months, you are disappointed. Maybe more so, maybe you are pissed. Perhaps even outright hostile towards the movie which did nothing to you except suck the will to live out of you.  It’s called the “bait and switch”.  Offer you one thing to get you in the theater, then give you something completely different.

Cutting together a trailer has almost become an art form in today’s Hollywood.  How many times have you watched a trailer and one funny line kills you, then you go see the movie and that was the only funny thing in the entire flaming pile of “poo doo”?  Too often.  Movie trailers should be considered a social contract.  If you promise to deliver an ass-melting action movie, then you better damn well deliver or I get to go to the director’s (or actors’, or producers’) home  and suplex them through their glass topped living room table.  It’s only fair.

Let’s take a look at a list of movies that had really awesome trailers, only to not deliver on said promise of awesome.

Snakes on a Plane
Snakes on a Plane (2006) - When the trailer for this movie started making the rounds on the internet in 2005-2006, it blew up big. Everyone was talking about it. People thought this movie was going to open HUGE. It didn’t. Turns out the movie kinda blew. The best part of the movie was Samuel Jackson and his one line about muthaf’n snakes which, by the way, was not originally in the film and added during post-production.  The expectations were too high for a Grade B horror movie that works better late at night, on HBO with like 5 drunk friends.  Surprisingly, it’s not as entertaining when you’ve just paid $10 for admission, $20 for concessions and aren’t completely bombed.

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Sweet Tweets: Excerpts from my awesome Twitter feed

Posted in humor, technology, Twitter with tags , , , on May 21, 2009 by Paxton

I know many of you are stuck in the Stone Age so you aren’t following the fun at Twitter. It’s pretty zany. For those of you not joining in, I thought I’d show you some of the tweets I’ve been putting up just so you aren’t missing out.

First off, here’s the Cavalcade’s Twitter profile page (click it to go to the actual page):

twitter_profile

You can see my last tweet at the very top of the profile page about my thumb drive crashing. That is true. I’m trying to recover several things I lost on that drive. Luckily, I didn’t lose anything devastating, but it is a pain in the posterior.

Like I said, I’m going to post a few of my tweets so you can get an idea of the massive amounts of funny that is getting thrown around the Twittersphere.  I’ll do this every once in a while to keep the Twitter-less readers “in the loop”.

Here’s a tweet I did about American Idol back in April.  I sent this when they were still in the top 10.

twitter_amidol

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How my iPod Shuffle controls my runs like a mini-dictator

Posted in Apple, exercise, humor, iPod, life, running, technology with tags , , , , , on April 16, 2009 by Paxton

Okay, I mentioned earlier that I ran the Gate River Run here in Jacksonville on Mar 14. Well, I was able to run the whole 9.3 miles and I finished in 1hr and 33minutes. That’s right at 10 minute miles. I’m happy with that and I hope to break that next year. If you want to see some pics of me during the race click here.  Beware, I look ROUGH.

I’ve had a few people ask what I like to listen to when I’m running and the answer is my iPod Shuffle. I load it up with some awesome running tunes and then just let it pick the order. It’s great. As for the type of music, I enjoy hard rock and a bit of gangsta rap when I run. I need high energy to keep me going. No ballads or wimpy crap. I need ball-drivin’, head-bangin’, car-crashin’, ear-splittin’ RAAAAWWWWWWK when I run.

The other day I was feeling saucy so I hooked my Shuffle up to the computer and set iTunes to auto-load songs. This means I have no idea what was picked as everything was just picked at random. Normally, I tell iTunes what songs I want, then the iPod picks the playlist order, but this time I let iTunes pick the songs. FYI…that was a HUGE mistake. I have this running condition called MADD, Music Attention Deficit Disorder. I may LOVE a song in the car, but when I’m running, odds are, I’m going to hate it. Seriously, when I’m running, the chances of me liking a song are cut to 50%, at least.

Want to know how my run went? Below is the horrible sound track to a man dying. There were some good songs, but then, there was everything else.

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