Thursday, March 24, 2011

8 Spectacularly Wrong Predictions About Computers & The Internet

Over the past century, technology has advanced at a pace that almost makes Gene Roddenberry and other 'futurists' look like prophets. However, they were dreamers and many of those that made serious forecasts lacked both imagination and foresight. In this article I will review 8 famous predictions about computers and the Internet that, in hindsight, proved to be incredibly wrong.

1. Popular Mechanics, 1949

Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons.

- Popular Mechanics, 1949

The first general-purpose electronic computer, the ENIAC, was completed in 1947 and weighed almost 30 tons. [Source: Wikipedia] The prediction is actually correct, but maybe a tiny little bit too conservative.

2. Editor of Prentice Hall business books, 1957

I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won't last out the year.

- Editor of Prentice Hall business books, 1957

The Editor had turned down a manuscript discussing the science behind data processing and the above was his explanatory statement. The New York Times comments: "Fads have a way of sticking around long after those who call them that are gone." [Source: The New York Times]

3. Ken Olsen, 1977

There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.

- Ken Olsen, 1977

Ken Olsen was the president, chairman, and founder of Digital Equipment Corporation. Besides mainframe systems, the company also developed minicomputers for science and engineering. Olsen, who himself had a personal computer at home, could not imagine that one day computers could be used to run the house, i.e. control doors, windows, and other electronics. [Source: Wikipedia] While this is not yet a reality for everyone, the technology has been around for a couple of years now.

4. Bill Gates, 1989

We will never make a 32-bit operating system.

- Bill Gates, 1989

No one knows why Bill Gates felt compelled to make such a statement, given the fact that an advance from 8-bit to 16-bit had just been made, and subsequent developments were only logical. Subsequently, 'never' must have come and gone as the 32-bit Windows NT 3.1 was launched only four years later, in 1993.

wrong computer predictions

5. Bill Gates, 1987

I believe OS/2 is destined to be the most important operating system, and possibly program, of all time.

- Bill Gates, 1987

This quote originated from a foreword written by Bill Gates for the OS/2 Programmer's Guide. OS/2 is an operating system created by IBM and Microsoft. It was later developed by IBM alone and supported until 2006. [Source: Wikipedia] Although it allegedly ran Windows programs better than Windows itself, calling OS/2 the most important program of all time certainly was a gross exaggeration.

6. John Allen, 1993

One would think that if you're anonymous, you'd do anything you want, but groups have their own sense of community and what we can do.

- John Allen, 1993

7. Bill Gates, 2004

Spam will be a thing of the past in two years' time.

- Bill Gates, 2004

Bill Gates made this statement at the World Economic Forum in Davos. The technology he suggested was the electronic equivalent of a stamp, payable only when an email is rejected. At the same event he also announced that Microsoft's search technology would soon outpace Google. [Source: BBC] Soonish 7 years later and we're still waiting for any of that to happen.

8. Sir Alan Sugar, 2005

Next Christmas the iPod will be dead, finished, gone, kaput.

- Sir Alan Sugar, 2005

Sir Alan Sugar is the founder of the electronics company Amstrad. Over the years he has also become a celebrity in the United Kingdom and he is a member of the House Of Lords. Apparently, he should not be consulted when it comes to the evaluation of the potential of modern day electronics. [Source: Wikipedia]

There are two very famous quotes that are actually urban myths and hence did not make the list above. Thomas J. Watson, former president of IBM, is often quoted for having said "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." The truth is that there is no record of Watson ever making this statement. However, the quote was traced back to a British professor, who said something slightly similar. [Source: Wikipedia]

Bill Gates is often mocked for supposedly saying "640KB ought to be enough for anybody." Mr. Gates himself denies having said something so utterly stupid and until sufficient proof is provided, we have to believe him. [Source: Wikipedia]

Current Prediction

The most likely way for the world to be destroyed, most experts agree, is by accident. That's where we come in; we're computer professionals. We cause accidents.

- Nathaniel Borenstein, co-creator of MIME

Let's not let that last prediction come true!


Thursday, March 17, 2011

List of live CDs

List of live CDs

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This is a list of live CDs. A live CD or live DVD is a CD or DVD containing a bootable computer operating system. Live CDs are unique in that they have the ability to run a complete, modern operating system on a computer lacking mutable secondary storage, such as a hard disk drive.



[edit]Rescue and repair live CDs

  • Billix – a multiboot distribution and system administration toolkit with the ability to install any of the included Linux distributions
  • Hiren's Boot CD – DOS-based computer rescue CD (partitionfilesystem, and Windows tools)
  • Inquisitor – Linux-based hardware diagnostics, stress testing and benchmarking Live CD
  • RIP: (R)ecovery (I)s (P)ossible is a Linux-based CD with partition tool and network tools (Samba), based on the 2.6.17 kernel.
  • SystemRescueCD is a Linux-based CD with tools for Windows and Linux repairs, based on the 2.6 kernel.
  • System Folder of Mac OS on a CD or on a floppy disk – works on any media readable by 68k or PowerPC Macintosh computers.
  • Trinity Rescue Kit – Mandriva Linux-based CD for use on a Windows or Linux-based system.
  • Parted Magic – Linux live CD with rescue and partitioning tools.
  • Ultimate Boot CD (UBCD) - Permits the use of a choice of freeware, open-source, and shareware utilities.





A large number of live CDs are based on Knoppix. The list of those is in the derivatives section of the Knoppix article.


These are based at least partially on Ubuntu, which is based on Debian:


  • Damn Small Linux – very light and small with JWM and fluxbox, installable Live CD
  • Debian Live - Official live CD version of Debian.
  • DemoLinux (versions 2 and 3) – one of the very first Live CDs
  • Dreamlinux – installable Live CD to hard drives or flash media
  • Finnix – a small system administration Live CD. A PowerPC version is available.
  • Freeduc-cd – an educational live CD using Xfce realized with the help of UNESCO
  • gnuLinEx – includes GNOME
  • GNUstep – works on i386, AMD64, UltraSPARC, and PowerPC
  • grml – installable Live CD for sysadmins and text tool users
  • Kanotix – installable Live CD
  • Knoppix – the "original" Debian-based Live CD
  • MEPIS – installable Live CD
  • PureOS - based on Debian testing, installable Live CD/USB
  • sidux[2] based on Debian unstable (Sid), installable Live CD, DVD
  • SLAX – a Slackware derivative, modular and very easy to remaster
  • ULAnux/ULAnix – created in Mérida, Venezuela, and available on CD/DVD and USB forms






  • openSuSE – official Novell/SuSE-GmbH version - installable Live CD GNOME and KDE versions available

[edit]Red Hat Linux/Fedora-based


  • PCLinuxOS – installable Live CD for desktop computing use
  • Granular – installable Live CD based on PCLinuxOS, featuring KDE and Enlightenment

[edit]Other (Linux-based)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

HANDS ON: Foldable Bluetooth Keyboard Made For iPhone, iPad [VIDEO]

Here’s a foldable portable keyboard from Verbatim that’s specifically designed for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. How well does it work, and what must be sacrificed for this amount of portability?
I took this little Verbatim Bluetooth Mobile Keyboard out of its swanky leather case, and with the push of a button, it opened with a satisfying click. Locking the keyboard into a flat position with a sliding tab, soon it was paired up with my iPhone 4 without incident.
Sliding out the built-in stand for the iPhone (the stand’s too small for an iPad), I first tried propping the phone onto it in a vertical position. No dice. The iPhone was too top-heavy for that, and constantly slipped off its perch. Moving the phone to the horizontal position, it stayed put, and made more sense for typing documents, anyway.
Looking at the keyboard, it reminds me of the old favorite Palm 3245WW folding Bluetooth keyboard that some people still like so much they’re willing to pay upwards of $200 for it. But this Verbatim model goes one step further with a feature that differentiates it from all others: its transport controls let you tend to your music on iPod, iPad or iPhone. It even works with Pandora Radio. You can start/pause, skip to the next or previous track, and control volume from the bank of buttons along the left side. This proved to be a handy feature indeed.
The keyboard’s typing action is like most laptop keyboards — rather shallow, but still usable. Touch typists might not like the varied size of the keys, where, for example, the “G” key is slightly smaller, while on the other hand, the “V” key is larger. It’s also strange to have two small space bars, but I got used to it quickly. Still, you’ll have to make slight compromises for this portability.
Its Bluetooth capability works with other mobile phones, but it really shines with Apple devices, with its full set of keyboard shortcuts that worked well with my iPhone.
Although this keyboard is slightly larger than some other portable keyboards, I think it’s a solid piece of kit for those who need portability and would rather type on physical keys than an on-screen keyboard.
So what must be sacrificed? Very little, unless you can’t get used to the varied size of the keys, which I found easy to do. The one sticking point for me was its offputting $104 price on the Verbatim website. For that price, it’s not worth it, but then I was relieved to find it for $53 on Amazon. For that, it’s a good deal, deserving of a place in your carry-on bag.
Take a look at the Verbatim keyboard in action in the video above, and get some close-up looks in the gallery below:

Carrying Case

Nestled Inside

Here It Is

Push This Button


Close Look at the Left

Close Look at the Right

What's This Popping Out?

It's a Stand for Your Mobile Phone

Spring Loaded

Place Your Phone on the Stand Horizontally

Stand Doesn't Work In Portrait Mode

Nice Keyboard

6 Tips to Avoid Facebook Viruses and Spam Messages

Facebook, the biggest social network with 500 million users, provides an interface to hit an unsuspecting crowd with malware and viruses. These viruses aren’t very difficult to detect if you are cautious enough. These Facebook viruses appear on your wall in forms of a bizarre or eye-catching stories and videos and once the user has clicked/liked the link, it is already late. The next step will be getting rid of your Facebook virus which is a time-consuming process. Its better to avoid spam messages and trojan viruses in the first place.

How to avoid it?
1. Think before you Act. Viruses on Facebook are sneaky. The hackers and cybercriminals who want your information know that Facebook users will often click on an interesting post without a moment’s thought. If a post sounds a bit over-the-top like a headline out of a tabloid, this is your first warning sign.

2. Try to avoid Links and videos with Catchy words like “funniest ever,” “most hilarious video on Facebook,” or “you’ve got to see this.” Do some keyword research to see if the post in question comes up in a search engine with information about a current virus or trojan.

3. Check the poster of the Suspicious content. If you receive a message from someone you do not know, this is an obvious red flag. Facebook video viruses also tend to pop up in your news feed or on your wall from friends you haven’t talked to in a while. Unfortunately, it’s likely this friend has already fallen victim to the latest virus on Facebook. After clicking on the story themselves, the message was sent out to all of their friends as well.

4 Avoid messages that have been posted by multiple users as the virus spreads among your friends who were not so cautious. If a link with title such as “Sexiest video ever” shows up all over your feed from all kinds of people (perhaps friends you would not expect to make such a post), this is another warning sign. Similar direct messages are a likely variant of the notorious Facebook Koobface virus which has used this approach in the past.

5. Do not fall for the “typical” money-transfer schemes. Chat messages from friends needing funds will usually sound suspicious. Everything can’t be screened before posting, so money transfer scams and hoax applications still find their way on to Facebook. You should also avoid applications that claim to do a full “Error check” or fix security problems related to your profile.

6. Update your anti-virus software frequently. If you do accidentally click on a post before realizing it is a hoax, do not click on any further links or downloads. If it’s too late and you have already been infected, the Facebook virus removal process may be effortless if you have a good anti-virus program to catch the virus, trojan or other malware early on.

What’s Next?
These were few important tips to safeguard your facebook account but your job isn’t done yet. Once you have detected that the link/post on your facebook wall is Malicious you should Mark it as SPAM so that the facebook support will stop it from spreading further and infecting other users.

If you have ever fallen victim of any such Malicious Scheme, please share your experience with all the users in form of comments so that others don’t fall victim of it.