rwallace
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Did Xerox really develop the first LAN?
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33 votes

Xerox developed ethernet. Was there a local area network preceding ethernet? There was certainly wide area networking before ethernet, e.g. ARPANET dating from 1969. There was also local networking ...

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Was the picture area of a CRT a parallelogram (instead of a true rectangle)?
15 votes

IIRC, the electron gun was actually installed in a position where it was rotated slightly relative to the tube, to compensate for this effect, so the scan lines did end up being horizontal.

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Was Hurd kernel created as a modification of Linux kernel?
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14 votes

No. The Hurd was a separate effort, using a microkernel design. Some computer scientists believe this to have more appealing properties than the pragmatic monolithic design of the Linux kernel, but it ...

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Why did 1950s-60s computers have such wide words?
13 votes

A possible answer occurs to me: it might be precisely because of the slow memory. Say you want to add a pair of ten-digit decimal numbers, SUM += VAL, on a 6502. That chip has a BCD mode in which it ...

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Grid Compass - why such a small display?
10 votes

I just came across a possible answer on this page: "The most important problem that had to be solved before mass production of ELDs could begin was increasing the reliability of the EL thin film ...

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Were any of the books mentioned in this scene from the movie Hackers real?
9 votes

At least some of them were real. The Dragon book, compiler design: definitely real, a classic textbook. The orange book, computer security criteria: real, never personally encountered it but I ...

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Memory-limited workloads
5 votes

And I just serendipitously stumbled across a discussion thread at https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14243303 with some relevant anecdotes. ... had a Quadra 950 with 128MB of RAM, which required ...

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Why did the Apple IIc perform badly in the market?
2 votes

Someone sent me a link to this review of the two Apple II models at the time, which seems to answer the question: https://www.atarimagazines.com/compute/issue50/...

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Labor input for manufacture of early personal computers
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2 votes

It seems the answer is only a few percent of components cost. For example, Jef Raskin, "Preliminary Cost Investigation" (27 September 1979) in "The Macintosh Project: Selected Papers from Jef Raskin (...

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What size was the Microsoft Internet Explorer team?
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1 votes

According to https://ericsink.com/Browser_Wars.html it seems the answer is The original Internet Explorer team was just five or six people. By the time Silverberg and others decided to rewrite the ...

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Why was the SWTPC 6800 Computer System cheaper than the Altair?
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1 votes

It turns out that the price difference was not as large as I thought it was. According to http://www.oocities.org/peterochocki/computers/1980comp/swtp6800.htm the $395 for the SWTPC was in kit form, ...

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What was the value of the HP/1000 repeated indirection capability?
1 votes

I'm not familiar with the HP/1000, so if you get an answer from someone with specific knowledge, you should accept that one. However: In thirty-six years of programming, I have never heard of a ...

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Why did IBM System 360 have byte addressable RAM
0 votes

The 360 was designed as an all-purpose system. That means that among other things, it should be suitable for processing text. Nowadays, a computer for processing text could perfectly well go with 32 ...

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