Chapter 20 Miscellaneous Items
20.1 ... Bits and Bytes
Coirputer Lib and Dream Machines [2 04] was a book
authored and self -published by Theodor H. Nelson in
1974. It was part of a grass-roots, anti-establishment,
computer-power-to-the-people movement in California in
the early 1970' s. Other organizations related to this
movement were the People's Computer Company and
An Introduction to Microcoraputers  was
another early influential book. It was written and self-
published by Adam Osborne. It provided a practical
introduction to microprocessors.
Knowledge navigators evolved from the Vannevar
Bush future Memex machine, Douglas C. Engelbart' s
augmentation of man's intellect concepts, Alan Kay's
Dynabook concept and Theodor Nelson's hypertext ideas.
Theodor H. Nelson described a "unified system for
complex data management and display" called Xanadu in
his 1974 book Coirputer Lib and Dream Machines . Nelson
also proposed a hypertext text manipulation system.
In 1987, John Sculley proposed "a wonderful
fantasy machine called the Knowledge Navigator ..." in
his book Odyssey  . Sculley described it as a tool to
"drive through libraries, museums, databases, or
institutional archives." This would enable an individual
to convert "vast guantities of information into
personalized and understandable knowledge."
Another term used by Bill Gates in his book 
The Road Ahead is "spatial navigation." Gates used the
term to describe the process of navigating on the
20/2 PartV Bits and Bytes
CD-ROM and Multimedia applications
Multimedia is a technology that can integrate
text, graphics and sound in a single document. The use
of multimedia in personal computers received significant
impetus from the development of CD-ROM technology in the
mid 1980's (see Section 20.3).
Two of the earliest companies to develop CD-ROM
applications were Cytation and the Activenture
Corporation. The early developments were text only. Gary
Kildall of Digital Research, also founded Activenture
Corporation in 198 4 and renamed the company KnowledgeSet
Corporation in 1985. Activenture developed a CD-ROM disk
based on the Academic American Encyclopedia that was
offered by Grolier in 1985. Tom Lopez founded the
Cytation company in late 1984 and developed a CD-ROM
disk called CD-Write that incorporated reference texts.
The Cytation company was purchased by Microsoft
Corporation in January 198 6. These early developments
evolved to include multimedia products by companies such
as Microsoft (see Sections 12.6 and 15.1) .
Stephen Wozniak created the mythical Zaltair
microcomputer for the First West Coast Computer Faire in
April 1977. Wozniak did it as a prank against the
established MITS Altair computer. He printed twenty
thousand brochures describing an "incredible dream
machine" and attributed the computer to Ed Roberts,
President of MITS, Inc. It also caused concern for Steve
Jobs of Apple Computer who was not aware of the prank.
20.2 ... Reference Sources
An extensive bibliography of microprocessor
literature is contained in the "Architecture of
Microprocessors" by Robert C. Stanley, in the
Encyclopedia of Mlcroconputers - Volume 1, pages 2 69 to
281  .
A bibliography of various output devices is
contained in "Computer Output Devices" by David Bawden,
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in the Encyclopedia of Mlcrocoraputers - Volume 3, pages
360 to 362  .
An Encyclopedia of Computer History is a disk
stored hyperstack history for use on MS-DOS or Microsoft
Windows, that has been developed by Mark Greenia. It is
available from Lexikon Services, 3241 Boulder Creek Way,
Antelope, California, CA 95842.
20.3 ... Standards and Specifications
Bus Architecture Standards
Reference Section 17.8
The ITU (International Telecommunications Union)
is an international organization that establishes
standards for communication devices, such as modems. The
V.32 standard is for communication at 9,600 bps . The
V.32 bis is an expanded standard for communication at
14.4 Kbps . The V.34 is the latest standard for
communication at 28.8 Kbps without compression and up to
115.2 Kbps with compression. K56flex is a 56 Kbps
technology developed by Lucent Technologies and Rockwell
International. X2 is a technology developed by the U.S.
Robotics Corporation and operates at 57 Kbps.
The HTML (HyperText Markup Language)
specification was developed by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN
(CERN is the European Particle Physics Laboratory) in
1991. It was written as part of the World Wide Web (WWW)
to facilitate communication among high-energy
physicists. The specification was refined in 1993/94 by
Dan Connelly who wrote the Standard Generalized Markup
Language (SGML) and Document Type Definition (DTD)
specifications for HTML.
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standard specifications were created by Sony
Corporation of Japan and N. V. Philips of the
Netherlands following compact disk development in 1976.
In 1982 a Red Book specification for CD audio and in
1983 a Yellow Book specification for CD-ROM were
released. This was followed by a Green Book for CD-I
(Compact Disk - Interactive) specifications detailing
requirements for interleaving of audio and video data.
An Orange Book has also been issued for specifications
on CD-R (Compact Disk - Recordable) drives.
In November 1985 a group of companies met to
consider a standard format for organizing data files on
CD-ROM. This standard became known as the High Sierra
Proposal and was approved as ISO (International Standard
Organization) standard 9660.
CD-ROM XA was an audio and graphics standard
developed by Sony and Philips in late 1988.
IGES (Initial Graphics Exchange Standard) is a
standard for defining the format of geometry for CAD
(Computer Assisted Drafting) data. It enables the
communication of CAD data files between different
Apple Computer, IBM and Motorola announced in
November 1994 that they would develop a common hardware
specification for PowerPC based computers.
EMS (Expanded Memory Specification) was developed
by Intel Corporation. It was first called Above Board
then the specification became known as LIM (Lotus, Intel
and Microsoft) due to an agreement between those
companies in June 1985. This specification was developed
to overcome the PC memory limitation of 640K bytes.
XMS (extended Memory Specification) was the
result of a collaborative effort between AST Research,
Intel, Lotus and Microsoft and was introduced in August
198 8. XMS is a more sophisticated system than EMS and
Miscellaneous Items 20/5
utilizes a extended Memory Manager (XMM) to control the
transfer of data in memory above one megabyte.
MDA (Monochrome Display Adapter) was introduced
in August 1981 for the IBM PC computer. It had a maximum
resolution of 720 by 350 pixels with 1 color.
CGA (Color Graphics Adapter) was introduced by
IBM in August 1981 for the IBM PC computer. It had a
maximum resolution of 320 by 200 pixels with 4 colors.
MGA (Hercules Monochrome Graphics Adapter) was
introduced in 1982 and had a maximum resolution of 720
by 350 pixels with 1 color.
EGA (Enhanced Graphics Adapter) was introduced by
IBM in late 1984 for the PC AT computer. It had a
maximum resolution of 640 by 350 pixels with 16 colors.
PGA (Professional Graphics Array) was introduced
by IBM in 198 4 and had a maximum resolution of 640 by
480 pixels with 256 colors.
VGA (Video Graphics Array) was introduced by IBM
in April 1987 for the PS/2 series of computers. It has a
maximum resolution of 640 by 480 pixels with 16 colors.
MCGA (Multi-Color Graphics Array) was introduced
by IBM in 198 7 and had a maximum resolution of 640 by
480 pixels with 2 colors.
8514/A was an IBM standard which was introduced
in 1987 and had a maximum resolution of 1,024 by 768
pixels with 256 colors.
Super VGA was introduced in 198 9 and has a
maximum resolution of 800 by 600 pixels with 16 colors.
XGA (Extended Graphics Array) was introduced by
IBM in 1990 and has a maximum resolution of 1,024 by 768
pixels with 256 colors.
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20.4 ... Terminology: Clarification and Origins
The first documented use of the term "Bit" was in
an internal memo by John W. Tuckey at the AT&T Bell
Laboratories in January 1947. It was used in a table
defining terms to describe an individual character in
the binary system.
The first use of the term bit in a publication
was by Claude E. Shannon in the Bell System Technical
Journal, July 1948 issue. Shannon used the term bit to
describe a binary digit in a measuring system related to
a mathematical theory of communication. Shannon stated
that it was "a word suggested by J. W. Tuckey".
The first use of the term "Bug" in computer
technology is attributed to Grace Murray Hopper during
the summer of 1945. During the development of the
Harvard Mark II computer an operational failure was
caused by a moth getting in one of the computer relays .
Subsequently when determining an operational problem it
would on occasion be described as "debugging the
There has been some question as to the origin of
the problem on the Mark II computer in 1945. Also Fred
R. Shapiro has shown in a Commentary of the April 1994
issue of BYTE magazine that the terms "bug" and
"debugging" had usage prior to 1945.
The first use of the term "Byte" was on the IBM
Stretch computer development in an internal memo written
in June of 1956. Initially it referred to any number of
parallel bits from one to six. Shortly after August 1956
the Stretch computer design was changed to incorporate
8-bit bytes .
The first published reference using the term byte
was in the IRE Transactions on Electronic Coirputers ,
June 1959 issue. It was stated by W. Buchholz that "The
Miscellaneous Items 20/7
term is coined from bite, but respelled to avoid
accidental mutation to bit" .
Theodore H. Nelson is attributed as being the
originator of the term hypertext. Nelson described it as
"non-seguential writing -- text that branches and allows
choices to the reader, " non-seguential information
retrieval and perusal. It is related to his Xanadu text
Gilbert Hyatt stated in an article "Micro, Micro:
Who made the Micro ?"  that "I trademarked the name
microcomputer" in 1968.
In an article entitled "A History of
Microprocessor Development at Intel" , Robert N.
Noyce and Marcian E. Hoff stated that "The term
"Microprocessor," first came into use at Intel in 1972."
Prior to the development of LSI computer chips the term
"microprocessor" referred to a processor of a
The origin of the term minicomputer is attributed
to John Leng of Digital Eguipment Corporation (DEC) .
Leng was responsible for establishing a DEC presence in
the United Kingdom in the mid 1960's. In reporting sales
activity he stated that "Here is the latest minicomputer
activity in the land of miniskirts as I drive around in
my Mini Minor." The term then became used at DEC and
throughout the industry.
Competing claims have been made in two
periodicals. An IEEE Computer magazine article states
that "Kay and others . . . coined the term "personal
computer" at Xerox PARC in 1973." BYTE magazine claims
to have "coined the term, in our May 1976 issue."
20/8 PartV Bits and Bytes
The term portable computer requires clarification
because of the way it has evolved into different forms
or categories over the years. Generally it is a computer
that can be carried by an individual from place to
place. Initially it could only be operated from an AC
power source, today it is battery operated. The
following are the different designations for the various
types of portable computers :
The transportable computer, also known as a
luggable , is the earliest form of a portable computer.
It weighed fifteen pounds or more and generally ran off
an AC power source. The IBM 5100, announced in 1975, is
the first commercially produced portable computer
(weighed 50 pounds) . The Osborne and Compaq portable
computers released in 1981 and 1982 are other examples
of this type.
The laptop computer weighing around seven to
fourteen pounds, that could be placed on a persons lap
was the next stage in portable computing. It could be
operated from a battery or an AC power source. It is
also a generic name used by the press for today' s
lighter notebook computers. The GRiD Compass that was
introduced in 1982 is an example of the laptop type of
The notebook computer is the current popular
portable computer and typically weighs between five to
eight pounds. The physical size is similar to a paper
notebook, with approximate dimensions of nine by twelve
by two inches. Of increasing popularity are the "light
and thin" versions with a weight of less than five
pounds and a thickness of less than 1.5 inches. The NEC
UltraLite introduced in 1989 is an early example of this
type of portable.
Other variations of even lighter portables are
known as the Ultraportable with a standard keyboard, and
the Subnotebook weighing four pounds or less with a
smaller keyboard and screen.
The tablet is a portable type of computer that
does not have a keyboard and uses a pen or stylus for
input. The GRiDPad portable announced in 198 9 is an
early example of this type.
Miscellaneous Items 20/9
The term "Silicon Valley" has been attributed to
Don Hoeffler, who was a journalist for Electronic News.
Hoeffler used the term to refer to the region of Santa
Clara Valley, south of Stanford University in a series
of articles in January 1971.
The term "Vaporware" came into vogue during
1983/84 to describe software that was announced, highly
publicized, long awaited but still not available. Some
of this may have been attributed to the Microsoft
announcement, prolonged development and delayed release
of Windows software. The term was first coined by the
Inf eWorld publication.
Winchester (hard drive)
The term "Winchester" was an early internal code
name for a sealed hard disk developed by IBM between
1969 and 1973. It was derived from a disk storage unit
development that had two spindles, each with a disk
capacity of 30 megabytes. The unit was initially called
"30 - 30" and because of the similar designation to a
popular rifle from the Winchester Company it became
known as the Winchester hard drive.
A long-standing relationship between Microsoft
and Intel resulted in the term "Wintel"." It refers to
Microsoft Widows running on an Intel microprocessor.
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