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Did You Know That...


In 1949, Popular Mechanics, an American magazine, predicted that, "Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons."

Some Windows 95 shareware software create a special key within an unrelated section in the Windows Registry and put there the first installation date of the software. Since the Uninstall program of the software does not delete this key from the Registry, re-installing the software after its expiration date, does not make it work. One way to determine the key is to export the Registry information into a file just before and after the first installation of the software and compare the files to find the changes. Some other shareware software create some hidden and read-only directories and/or files on special places, like the root or Windows directory, and check their dates.

In 1981, Bill Gates said, "640 KBytes is all any application should ever need."

An early Pascal programming environment (Turbo Pascal System version 3.00B for PC-DOS by Borland Inc., 1985) took up only roughly 40 KBytes (not MBytes!) of disk space. An editor, the compiler and a reasonably useful run-time library were included in this environment. Compare this with today's integrated development environments' system requirements.

In 1977, Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp. said, "There is no reason why anyone would ever want a computer in their home."

PDP-11, one of the first systems where UNIX was developed and run, was characterized by its small size: 16 KBytes for the system, 8 KBytes for user programs, a 512 KByte disk, and a limit of 64 KBytes per file. Compare this with today's Personal Computers' specifications.

In 1943, Thomas Watson, the chairman of the world's largest producer of business machinery (IBM) stated, "I think that there is a world market for maybe five computers."

If you want to enter two or more commands on the same DOS Command Prompt line you have to split the commands with CTRL+T. For example: COPY AUTOEXEC.BAT D:\ ¶ COPY CONFIG.SYS D:\ ¶ DIR /OD D:\. This feature does not work in batch files.

In 1957, an American well-known publisher, the editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall said, "I've traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked out with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won't last out of the year."

In most European countries, the day of switching from daylight saving time to normal time has changed. Before 1996, this was done on the last Sunday of September. However, since 1996, this is being done on the last Sunday of October. Some Windows versions still adjust the clock on the last Sunday of September. To correct this, some modifications in the Windows registry need to be done. An example of how to do this for Turkey, is given in my Computer Hints page.

"Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You're crazy." -- Drillers who Edwin L. Drake tried to enlist to his project to drill for oil in 1859.

The 21st century and the 3rd millennium start on the 1st of January 2001.

In 1968, an engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, commenting on the microchip, said, "But what ... is it good for?"

In 1876, in a Western Union internal memo stated, "This telephone has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us."

David Sarnoff's associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s, said, "The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?"

A Yale University management professor, in response to Fred Smith's paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service, said, "The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a 'C,' the idea must be feasible." (Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.)

In 1927, H.M. Warner (Warner Brothers) said, "Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?"

Gary Cooper on his decision not to take the leading role in Gone With The Wind, said, "I'm just glad it'll be Clark Gable who's falling on his face and not Gary Cooper."

The response to Debbi Fields' idea of starting Mrs. Fields' Cookies was, "A cookie store is a bad idea. Besides, the market research reports say America likes crispy cookies, not soft and chewy cookies like you make."

In 1962, Decca Recording Co., rejecting the Beatles, said, "We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out."

In 1895, Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, said, "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible."

"If I had thought about it, I wouldn't have done the experiment. The literature was full of examples that said you can't do this." -- Spencer Silver on the work that led to the unique adhesives for 3-M "Post-It" Notepads.

"So we went to Atari and said, 'Hey, we've got this amazing thing, even built with some of your parts, and what do you think about funding us? Or we'll give it to you. We just want to do it. Pay our salary, we'll come work for you.' And they said, 'No.' So then we went to Hewlett-Packard, and they said, 'Hey, we don't need you. You haven't got through college yet.'" -- Apple Computer Inc. founder Steve Jobs, on attempts to get Atari and HP interested in his and Steve Wozniak's personal computer.

In 1921, a New York Times editorial about Robert Goddard's revolutionary rocket work, stated, "Professor Goddard does not know the relation between action and reaction and the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react. He seems to lack the basic knowledge ladled out daily in high schools."

In 1929, Irving Fisher, professor of Economics, Yale University, stated, "Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau."

Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre, said, "Airplanes are interesting toys, but of no military value."

In 1899, Charles H. Duell, Commissioner of U.S. Office of Patents, said, "Everything that can be invented has been invented."

In 1872, Pierre Pachet, professor of Physiology at Toulouse, said, "Louis Pasteur's theory of germs is ridiculous fiction."

In 1873, Sir John Eric Ericksen, British surgeon, appointed Surgeon-Extraordinary to Queen Victoria, said, "The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon."


© January 1997 - February 2015, Fedon Kadifeli.