Tech Trends Articles

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Obsidian and AI: Using OpenAI on your PKM

By billpetro / April 16, 2024 /

OBSIDIAN AND AI Imagine using OpenAI to summarize a note’s content in your Personal Knowledge Management (PMK) System. It is possible, if you build your PKM using Obsidian! What would it be like to summarize the content of that note? Better yet, what if you could chat with the AI about the content? You can do…

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History of Gmail: 20 Years Ago

By billpetro / April 1, 2024 /

HISTORY OF GMAIL Twenty years ago, on April 1, 2004, Google released Gmail to limited beta testing for only 1,000 users outside Google. Here’s the original press release. A few months later, I got an invitation to the beta, which was not opened to the general public until 2007. What follows is the story of…

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World Backup Day

History of World Backup Day

By billpetro / March 30, 2024 /

HISTORY OF WORLD BACKUP DAY There isn’t much history, as the first celebration of this geek holiday was in 2011. World Backup Day is barely a decade old. But the need is real, now more than ever, especially in light of this salient fact: April Fools’ Day. March 31, the day before, is an excellent…

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History of Macintosh: a 40-Year Love Affair

By billpetro / January 22, 2024 /

How 40 years ago the Apple Macintosh iconic personal computer forever changed how we think about computing.

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History of Waltz Day: 123,123

By billpetro / December 31, 2023 /

HISTORY OF WALTZ DAY: 123, 123 December 31, 2023, or 12/31/23, is Waltz Day. A day like this is unique, occurring only once a century. For many, this will be the only time in their life they see this kind of date.   Waltz Day? Though it has nothing to do with the annual National…

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Six Blades – When Five Just Aren’t Enough

By billpetro / November 20, 2023 /

SIX BLADES Today, while I was at the pharmacy waiting for a script to be filled, I thought I’d wander down the Shave Needs aisle and see the latest.   Five Blades Years ago, scientists realized that a single blade was not enough for a clean shave and added a second, and then a third,…

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Hedy Lamarr

History of Hedy Lamarr: Technology Inventor

By billpetro / November 9, 2023 /

Hedy Lamarr, the Austrian-American actress and Hollywood legend known as “the most beautiful woman in the world,” is remembered today, November 9, on the anniversary of her birthday for her pioneering work on the technology that would become the basis for today’s WiFi, GPS, and Bluetooth communications systems.

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Information Reformation

Information Reformation: How the Web Was Like the Reformation

By billpetro / October 31, 2023 /

Information Reformation: 5 Ways Martin Luther and the Gutenberg movable type printing press presaged the Internet explosion of information.

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History of the Internet: Over 50 Years Ago

By billpetro / October 29, 2023 /

HISTORY OF THE INTERNET: OVER 50 YEARS AGO On October 29, 1969, at 10:30 PM, a computer grad student at U.C.L.A. named Charley Kline sent a message to S.R.I. (Stanford Research Institute.) It was the first connection between computer networks. The Internet began!   We set up a telephone connection between us and the guys…

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History of the IBM PC: 42 Years Ago – Why It Was So Important

By billpetro / August 11, 2023 /

HISTORY OF THE IBM PC: 42 YEARS AGO Forty-two years ago, the IBM PC was released. On August 12, 1981, IBM announced its first “personal computer,” though it had previously been famous for its IBM System/370 mainframe computer. I operated one of these mainframes in a raised-floor data center in the early ’80s.

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Thinking About: AI in Big Tech Earning Reports: the Race is On

By billpetro / May 11, 2023 /

AI in Big Tech Earning Reports: the Race is On The hottest tech topic of late has been Artificial Intelligence. You can’t read a news article on tech that doesn’t discuss AI. For example: Two weeks ago, the Big Tech companies reported their financial results: Microsoft, Alphabet (Google), Meta (Facebook), and Apple reported strong sales.  …

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Happy Birthday Lisa

History of Apple Lisa, part 2: Meet Its Creators

By billpetro / February 2, 2023 /

HISTORY OF APPLE LISA, PART 2: MEET ITS CREATORS This week at the Computer History Museum’s “Happy 40th Birthday Lisa” event, Katie Hafner, former Computerworld writer, interviewed several of the creators of the Apple Lisa. Many more of the original development team were in the audience. This article follows my previous article on the History…

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