Posts Tagged ‘IBM’

IBM Turns 100: the 5 Most Important Inventions You Use Today

June 23, 2011

On June 16, 2011, the International Business Machines, better known as IBM, turned 100 years old.  IBM is the best-known American computer manufacturer, founded by Thomas J. Watson, and has stayed vital and important for most of its history.  This company has created and designed many prominent inventions that are widely used today.  Here is a list of five of their most important inventions, so far:

International Business Machines, better known as IBM, turned 100 years old on June 16, 2011. Here are five of IBM's most important inventions that we still use today.The Magnetic Stripe Technology: This is the thin, black stripe you can see on the back of credit cards, drivers’ licenses and many other cards.  With this invention, buying things became much simpler and faster.  What they don’t realize is what a major shift this seemingly simple technology represented for retail, transportation and daily life.

How Magnetic Stripe Technology works on YouTube:

Computing Scale: Used to weigh and price things that any vendor can use.  This invention saved retailers a lot of money.

In 1885 Julius Pitrap of Gallipolis, Ohio, patented the first computing scale. Six years later, Edward Canby and Orange Ozias of Dayton, Ohio, purchased Pitrap's patents and incorporated The Computing Scale Company as the world's first computing scale vendor. And four years after that, The Computing Scale Company introduced the first automatic computing scale, shown here. In 1911, the Computing Scale Company merged with the International Time Recording Company and Tabulating Machine Company to form the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company, a business that was renamed IBM in 1924.

International Business Machines, better known as IBM, turned 100 years old on June 16, 2011. Here are five of IBM's most important inventions that we still use today.The Universal Product Code: Even though barcodes were dreamed up and patented in the late 1940s and early 1950s, it wasn’t in use until lasers emerged years later that they could be digitally read.  This technology sped up checkouts and improved inventory-keeping.

The Time Clock: The invention had an “IN” and an “OUT” slot, used to keep track of each employee’s attendance.

International Business Machines, better known as IBM, turned 100 years old on June 16, 2011. Here are five of IBM's most important inventions that we still use today.

International Business Machines, better known as IBM, turned 100 years old on June 16, 2011. Here are five of IBM's most important inventions that we still use today.The Automated Test Scoring: In 1937, IBM introduced the 805 Test Scoring Machine.  This machine graded test answers that have been marked on a certain paper with a No. 2 pencil, making grading much easier for teachers.

When most people think of IBM, they think of computers.  Well, they did invent the PC in the 1980s, but they have many more inventions that are still in use today.  Their inventions have helped ease the daily life of many people, such as managers, teachers, students, store owners, and many employees.  IBM has many other inventions that have made our lives easier and should be greatly appreciated.  Congratulations to this successful company.

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Taylor P.

Apple Takes the Title of “Most Valuable Brand”

May 10, 2011

In the annual BrandZ ranking of the world’s top 100 brands, Apple has emerged as the world’s “Most Valuable Brand”, according Global Brands director, Millard Brown.  He estimated Apple’s worth at about USD$153.3 billion.  Apple took the title from Google, which had been named “most valuable” for four years.  Google’s value slipped two percent to $111.5 billion, moving the company down to second place.  Meanwhile, Apple saw the value of its brand rise 84 percent.

Apple has emerged as the "Most Valuable Brand" of 2011, ending Google's four-year reign. How did other companies compare?There is no doubt that Apple has had great success within the past years, especially due to the release of the wildly popular iPod, iPhone and iPad.  Apple’s continued success is driven by innovation, allowing the company to rise to the top.  Other companies that competed with Apple included IBM, McDonald’s, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, AT&T, Marlboro, China Mobile, and General Electric, all of which made the top ten on the BrandZ ranking.  I’m happy that Apple has become such a great success, which goes to show how one person’s dream can drive the fortunes of a company to new heights.  “By nurturing its brand and constantly innovating, Apple is able to command a high price premium and weather economic turbulence, providing a global business success story that other brands can learn from,” said Eileen Brown, CEO of Millard Brown.

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Joie Montoya

Data Storage Devices – By The Ton

April 30, 2010

The last week of April 2010 marked the death knell of the 3.5-inch floppy disk, one of the mainstays of portable data storage since the early days of the personal computer in the early 1980s.  Advances in ever-smaller, more portable, and vastly capacious data storage devices, such as recordable CDs and DVDs, and solid state devices such as USB flash drives and flash memory cards, hastened the end of the floppy disk that can store just a tiny percentage of data compared to the devices in use today.  How far, then, has technology come regarding data storage devices?  Let’s example a relic from the 1950s.

“Introduced in 1956, the IBM 305 RAMAC (Random Access Memory Accounting System) was an electronic general purpose data processing machine that maintained business records on a real-time basis.”

The end of the 3.5-inch floppy disk has arrived. How much did the first data storage devices weigh? How much do current storage devices, such as the USB flash drive, weigh?

The 350 Disk Storage Unit, used by the IBM 305 RAMAC

The IBM introduced the 350 Disk Storage Unit, or what we would now regard as a “hard drive”.  The specifications, heady at the time, included the following:

  • 5 million 7-bit characters (not even 8-bit characters, or “bytes”)
  • 50 aluminum disks, coated with magnetic iron oxide
  • Random-access storage (vs. sequential storage)
  • Vacuum-tube control electronics (transistors come soon after)

The entire unit took up the space of two refrigerators and weighed one ton(!).  Available only for lease, clients spent $3,200 per month for the full setup.  The cost, as you can imagine, does not include the monthly electrical bill augmented by its use as well as the use of air conditioning to prevent it from overheating during operation.

The end of the 3.5-inch floppy disk has arrived. How much did the first data storage devices weigh? How much do current storage devices, such as the USB flash drive, weigh?

The once-common 3.5-inch floppy disk

When you hear five million characters, does that sound like very much to you?  It shouldn’t; that is equal to 4.4 megabytes (MB), or about four 3.5-inch floppy disks at 1.44 MB apiece.  So over 20 years after IBM introduced the enormous hard drive, the physical storage of 4.4 MB went from two refrigerators to the mere thickness of about two or three Post-it® pads and weighing well under one pound.

Go forward another 30 years to the present time and ubiquitous, very lightweight, ultra-high capacity storage devices has marked the end of the 3.5-inch floppy disks.  However, if you wanted to have a floppy disk backup of your one gigabyte USB flash drive, how many disks would that take?  Brace yourself: you would need about 700 floppy disks(!), weighing just over 30 pounds, a huge burden on your neck considering that a USB flash drive weighs 2.1 ounces.  How much smaller will data storage devices become in the future?  The 3.5-inch floppy disk, once the new benchmark in light storage devices, seems quite “heavy” in the face of much lighter solid state data storage devices available today.  Its end was only a matter of time.

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Francis M. Unson