In the Beginning…The Brief History of UNIX

UNIX first began when it escaped the AT&T office basements in the 1960’s with love notes from software writer Ken Thompson. Lightning flashed, the ground churned, and oceans boiled. The rest, is history…

Seriously though, UNIX systems are the backbone of modern programming; sure it’s all updated, but UNIX is responsible for major changes in the way we view technology. UNIX first began in the 1960’s as an idea for an operating system that was intended to be used to file source, locate, and translate data; however AT&T (the original creators- then called Multics) and the Bell Company decided to scrap the project because it was too costly and the operations were too large for their needs; the operating systems that they used to process data were very large and very, very expensive.


At the time, it wasn’t cost effective to use the software, since it required more memory to operate than computers originally could handle, which was 4 kilobytes. Because of a legal decree in 1956, AT&T was forbidden to enter the computer business, therefore they had to give away non-computer related technology to anyone who asked, as well as AT&T releasing it to the United States government, universities and other commercial industries. Unix was originally packaged all of the source code, which included the machine- dependent part of the kernel (the processor), which was written in PDP-11 assembly language. Shortly after its release to the public, in 1972, the software was rewritten in C programming language; which made it much more portable and easy to use and modify, because users only had to change bits and pieces of the original code to make it usable on multiple, smaller operating systems.

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Fort Knox- the Security Benefits of openBSD

How secure is too secure? This is a very important question to consider in a time in history where maximum security is the only thing stopping a potential hacker from breaking through your computer’s firewall to swipe your email passwords, hack into your Facebook and make statuses about your sexuality, and steal all of your money. Overall, OpenBSD offers the maximum security through the choices it offers a user. The openBSD motto consists of an insistence on open source code, quality documentation, software licensing agreements, security, and correct code verification. These particular restrictions prevent possible corruption of files. These restrictions include:



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A Brief Overview Of The Upcoming Windows 10 OS

When Windows 8 hit the shelves a lot of people found it to be less than stellar. It seemed like Microsoft had gone soft, a lot of people found the interface frustrating, and many had problems with program compatibility. Many users skipped Windows 8 entirely, and grimly hung on their Windows 7 while they waited to see what Microsoft would come up with next.


Well that wait is almost over. Microsoft has recently announced that the next version of Windows will be available sometime in the late months of 2015. Sounds like someone might be planning ahead for Christmas. This new operating system will be called Windows 10. The people at Microsoft were well aware that everyone expected a Windows 9 release. They decided to call it Windows 10 because they believe their latest offering goes a step beyond what people have come to expect from Windows.


Although it’s a bit early to tell, it appears that the people at Microsoft really listened to what users had to say about their Windows 8 experience. They were also aware that a lot of users refused to even try Windows 8, and kept 7 instead. One of the things that people complained about the most was what Microsoft did with the Start button in Windows 8. Those people at least will be happy to know that the Start button is back where it was in 7, except now you can do a lot more with it.

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How Often Should You Shift to a More Modern Version of a Product?

How Often Should You Shift to a More Modern Version of a ProductIt is very common for us to see a new version of a product even if we have just seen the older version. This is how fast technology is nowadays. For instance, it was not so long ago before you have bought your iPhone 6, and now Apple has already launched a new model. They even have plans to release the new one soon. The same thing is true for other gadgets like laptops, tablets, flash drives and even operating systems. It was not long ago when Windows 8 was used and now Windows 10 is already in full operation. The next version might be out in no time. Even in simple items like watches, newer models are now available. Back then; we are already content with analog watches. Then, digital watches came to life and now we have smartwatches.


Should we buy right away?

When you read the features of the newer version or watch the ads, it is very easy for you to be convinced that you need to try one right away. Even if they seem really expensive, you will feel desperate to buy one. For instance, when smartwatches were released, people flocked to stores right away. Apple has its version and so are many other companies like Samsung and Google. However, before you join the fad, you need to be certain first that you are making the right decision. It pays a lot to read watch reviews you can find on this website. When you read what other people have to say about a certain model, then you will have a more informed decision in the end. If you want to find out about the best watches, then head on this site. However, you also need to be careful in choosing the material to read. Diversity your reading if possible to ensure that you can make better choices.


Do you really need it?

This is something that you need to answer first. Is the new version really that important? Is the old one already worn out or useless? Do you want to do this because you want to jump into the bandwagon? If you say yes, then you might have to take a step back and realize that everything is not about being trendy. You need to check out the use of the item first before saying that it is in your best interest to invest on the new one.


However, for items that are available for free, then you must have no second thoughts in getting the new one if you really need it. For instance, operating systems come and go really quickly. The good thing is that if you have installed an original version of an old operating system, you can get the new one for free. If you think the new one has better features and will work well with your current needs, then go ahead and give it a try. It would be a great decision since this is done because of its use and not just for fad.

The Etymology of The Term Computer/Software Bug

Note: This is a guest post from programmer and past exterminator Mark Jameson who writes at PestKilled.

The word “bug” is about as ubiquitous as the actual insects with which it shares a name. Amongst the software crowd and video game enthusiasts it’s the most done-to-death-yet-brought-back-to-life joke there is, “It’s not a bug, it’s a feature!” Everyone knows that when you’re talking about a bug you’re probably talking about an unintentional and detrimental behavior in your software, but not everyone knows how the word has come to mean what it means in the modern day. Like so many others colloquialisms we tend to take its definition for granted.

Some of the earliest uses of the word bug we can find come from the Middle English word “bugge,” meaning something frightening or monstrous but specifically describing a monster called a bugbear or a bugaboo. The bugbear was a sort of demonic bear purported to eat children. This definition fell out of favor in the early 17th century when the word was instead applied to insects, specifically bedbugs. This, in turn, led the word bug to take another of its modern uses: an annoyance (an evolution that occurred in the late 1940s). After the 17th century the word bugge survives only in its fossilized usage in bugbear.

Use of the word bug in the modern parlance likely began with Thomas Edison. In a letter to his associate Theodore Puskas Edison wrote that, “It has been just so in all my inventions. The first step is an intuition, and comes with a burst. Then difficulties arise. This thing gives out, then that. ‘Bugs,’ as such little faults and difficulties are called, show themselves.” So the Wizard of Menlo Park may be responsible for the evolution of the word as we use it today. As a matter of fact the use of the word “bug” as indicative of something that is annoying might have descended from Edison’s usage, rather than the other way around.

This early usage, however, applied to hardware. As a matter of fact it was actually common terminology in engineering circles long before it was ever used to describe software, its use predating computers by decades. The U.S. military during World War II, for example, used the words “bugs” and “glitches” to describe mechanical malfunctions in their weapons.

In its modern form, though, the use of “bug” to describe a software malfunction stems from story about Grace Hopper, a pioneering computer engineer who served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. As the story tells it, during her time at Harvard working on some of the earliest forms of modern computers engineers discovered that an error in the system of the Mark II electromechanical computer was caused by a moth which had become trapped in a relay. The team took the moth and, in filling out the report in their log book, taped it alongside the report of the malfunction. Hopper herself is often said to be the one who found the moth, though she readily volunteered that she was not. As well, some sources report this story as the ultimate source of the word “bug” as used in the context of malfunctions, ignoring or unaware of Edison’s previous usage.

So there you have it, from demonic bear to software malfunction.

A History of Telecom

I write a lot about operating systems and the people who make them. That is definitely my first love. I never get tired of talking and writing about that. I wish now I would have written a print book on it. I could have actually made some money instead of wasting my time writing on here for free! Oh well, hindsight is always 20/20.

I love anything to do with technology and I’d like to compare the history of operating systems and the history of telecommunications. They are definitely intertwined now that it is standard to have a computer with some sort of way to connect to the Internet. It wasn’t always this way though. Long before operating systems, there was the telephone.

What is Telecommunications

If you know anything about telecommunications, then you’ve heard of Alexander Graham Bell. He is the father of telecommunications. Many people don’t know this, but both of his parents were deaf. I would say this is something that obviously contributed to his love of inventing and communicating. He worked tirelessly on inventing a device that one could in his words “communicate with loved ones from across town”. He delivered on that promise on October 9, 1876 when he and Thomas Watson talked on a wire that stretched 2 miles from Cambridge to Boston.


The old acronym POTS, which means “plain old telephone service”, was basically what everyone had for the next 100 years or so. It was just 2 wires with some voltage added to them and a receiver on each end. That’s all people needed and cared about having. In the last 30 years or so that has changed dramatically. The Internet, on a public level at least, was born.

Gone also was one single telephone company that monopolized the market. Today there are over 800 telephone companies in the U.S. alone. Although now the term telephone company now encompasses a lot more than just POTS, today most of these companies are purely IP based. They also piggyback on the infrastructure of the “Ma Bell” companies like AT&T. An example is Broadconnect Telecom. They are the company I use for my SIP trunking and hosted PBX lines. They are an example of a company that doesn’t actually own the physical telephone lines you see outside. These are owned by your traditional telephone company. Broadconnect simply provides VOIP services that run digitally on these lines.

The Future

AT&T has already announced it will end landline service by 2020. Pictures of a telephone company technician with his old dial-set hooked into the copper pair will only be a memory. AT&T will join the other telephone companies in dealing strictly in IP-based telephony. This will be good news. As the years have gone by, the reliability of phone service has gone up because of the technology and quality of the wirelines. With strictly IP-based, there will no longer be the weaknesses of having to physically provide voltage over a line with a receiver on each end. We will simply each have our own digital pipe that we can all run whatever we want on.

Tips in Adjusting with a New Operating System

If it’s just a matter of using a new version of your old operating system, moving to Windows 8 from Windows 7 for example, you may only encounter a few manageable hiccups and inconveniences that you get accustomed to over time. However, if you move to an entirely different operating system, like moving to a Mac or Linux from a Windows computer, the shift may pose some challenges. The same can be said when you change your smartphone from an iPhone to an Android or Windows phone.

The following pointers should be useful in transitioning to a new operating system.

Using Guides

The developers of operating systems always want to have new users so they readily provide guides to help new adopters in finding their way around the OS. Apple, for instance, has a comprehensive online guide for those who are switching from PC to Mac. There are also several guides you can find online if you need help in shifting to Linux from PC or Mac. Just take note that Linux has multiple distributions (distros) and each has its own quirks and distinctive handling.

When it comes to smartphones and tablet computers, there are also many guides to find online. You can even find tools to help you move the data, configurations, and accounts you have from one phone to another. Samsung, for example, offers the Smart Switch tool to facilitate the smooth transitioning from one device or OS to Samsung’s ecosystem.

Of course, you can also refer to the informational materials that come with the new OS. They likely provide the most detailed guides you need. However, if you prefer concise presentations on what you should expect and watch out for in a new OS, it would be better to read credible guides published on tech sites.

Exploring the New System

Experience will always be the best teacher so make sure to take the time to explore the new system you are using. Don’t be afraid to click and browse around unless you are already messing up with the system configurations and files. You may want to find out how different a website looks on the new OS. For example, this jogging stroller site that features jogging stroller reviews may look different on a Linux Firefox browser when the plugins and extensions are not installed yet, compared to the one on your old system.

Arguably, the most important application in an OS will be the browser since it will be one of the applications you will most frequently use. It is also the one that will link you to the old system you have been using, since its controls and interface will most likely be not that different. You may just encounter differences in the site rendering like seeing the phrase double jogging stroller on the tab of this strolling review website instead of a different name or tag. Familiarize with the browser first as it is likely that the rest of the new OS interface will be similar to the browser’s. Also, if you need help, the browser would be your way to find help or troubleshooting guides online.

Read guides and explore: these are the most important tips you need to adjust with a new OS. It shouldn’t be too difficult doing these.

Computers and Their Operating Systems: How Our Current Ones Came to Be 

The computers that we are currently using these days were not like the first ones that were invented by geniuses in the past decades. The first computers were bulky, some even took up a whole room! And their operating systems were so basic that some had to be communicated between the operator and the user. Imagine using a computer today and a middle man processes your job. It will take you so long to even finish a task on your computer, much less browse the Internet. Thanks to innovative and genius minds, computer operating systems have been made user-friendly, and with cleaner interfaces so that all computer users will be able to understand how their tasks are done.

But just like any other electronic gadgets such as appliances for cooking that have seen their fair share of improvements into great compact cookers of rice, computer operating systems have also seen their share of rapid developments to keep up with the changing times. Here is a quick rundown on the first ever operating systems.

  • FORTRAN or Formula Translator was developed from 1954-1957, could accommodate 1,024 12-letter words and still have enough space for other data.
  • The 1960s saw a change on how data is stored in computers. The IBM 350 is the first disk drive in use. It became mainstream in this decade because it presented high storage capacity (at that time). This prompted IBM to develop DOS or Disk Operating System.
  • The Intel 4004 was the first microprocessor that was capable of performing 60,000 processes per second. Intel introduced the processor in 1971.
  • The 1980s was the golden age of computers. The personal computer, where users no longer need operators to process jobs, had gained popularity with the masses. But there was only one downside to the personal computer in ’80s. Its operating systems were very basic but it only prompted programmers to improve its operating systems to make the computer more accessible and user-friendly to people. In 1983, Microsoft Windows was first introduced but it was not yet polished, so users stuck to using the DOS.
  • Aside from MS Windows and MS DOS running personal computers, there was a much-lesser operating system used in servers and embedded systems in the name of Linux.

These are only some of the operating systems that have existed – and some still existing in much improved versions – that became the blueprint for the advanced systems that we are enjoying today. Technology has paved the way for rapid developments in what is being used now. Everyday you can see a new product being introduced in the market – whether it is a totally new product or an innovation of an existing one – and this generation is fortunate enough to live in an age where information and innovation are very accessible for everyone.

Computer operating systems continue to be developed to make computer use a lot easier and faster. Time will come when you will no longer need to move a thing and the information you are looking for will be handed to you.

Android OS Shoe Apps for Sneakerheads

The biggest operating system in the world for mobile phones is called Android. It’s based on Linux Kernel and is now produced by the search giant Google. The Android OS is designed for phones and tablets with the ability of touchscreen operations.

The key aspect of Android’s success is the connection with the Google Play Store. The store offers over one million android applications that include games, books, music players, control devices and many more useful pieces of software that can be downloaded for free.

In this article I wanted to highlight apps that are designed for sneakerheads like me. A sneakerhead is someone that collects and admires sneakers.

Kicks on Fire

The Kicks on Fire app has over two million followers around the world. The app is set up to give sneakerheads all the latest news, history and notifications directly from your phone. Before I check my emails or make a cup of coffee in the morning I will log onto the app to read the latest shoe news.

The history section is very detailed, giving you the ability to search for a pair of shoes that may or may not be available to buy (read more). This enables you to conduct research for your own website or blog and can assist you with finding historic details without looking at every website online.

The notifications section is also handy and keeps you informed with details regarding upcoming events and exhibitions around the world. I often set reminders two weeks in advance giving me the option of attending depending on my work schedule.

The most important aspect of the app is letting you know the latest release dates. With so many shoe manufactures around the world releasing limited-addition shoes daily, the app provides excellent reminders and notifications directly to your phone.

The app recently enabled me to buy a pair of CrossFit shoes designed by Nike on the release date.

Sole Insider

The Sole Insider app is similar to Kicks on Fire but has a better navigation system and seems to give notifications quicker. When I originally downloaded the app it was sluggish and I stopped trying to use it until it was updated the following month. The app now works seamlessly and it’s a joy to use.

The app creators claim that the software updates the system every three minutes by checking the Internet for sneak release dates and general news. They also claim to offer the ability to buy new-release sneakers as soon as they are available, but from my own experience this is with a 50/50 success rate.

I do like the re-stock notifications that you can choose to monitor. This is a very useful service and I was notified about the restock of the New Balance MX20v4 only yesterday.

I would like to be able to create a more detailed user account that could be added to a database. If this was available people could search for other users with similar shoe interests, creating a very strong and useful community. Maybe this will be a future addition to one of the next updates.