Core Memory Inside an IBM 1401 Mainframe

Really detailed and fascinating look at how memory was implemented back in the days of punch cards and room-sized computers. The IBM 1401 mainframe computer was announced in 1959 and by the mid-1960s had become the best-selling computer, extremely popular with medium and large businesses because of its low cost. A key component of the 1401’s success was its 4,000 character core memory, which stored data on tiny magnetized rings called cores.

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Mon, Aug 31, 2015

Apple's Custom 7xxx Series Aluminum for the 6S

A breath of fresh air (science) in the never-ending media cycle that covers new iPhone rumors. Last week, a new iPhone bending video was released by Unbox Therapy. It compares the shell of the current iPhone 6 to that of a new shell that’s said to be from the upcoming iPhone 6S. …Lew’s basic conclusion holds: the new shell is far stronger than the current one. But no “basic conclusion” is complete without a visit from the X-ray fluorescence unit!

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Tue, Aug 25, 2015

An Interesting Moment of Future Technology

There’s a common theme in scifi where humans have some personalized technology which only they can hear and interact with, transparent to those around them. I think we’re near that point, I give it less than five years before something iPhone-like takes off in this space. I’ve always liked these gadgets in scifi but I only reexamined their possibility the other day. I was driving with my partner (we’ve been together too long for me to say “girlfriend” but have no other incentives to get married so we live in a perpetual middle-ground with no word to describe it.

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Fri, Feb 22, 2013

Headless Mac Mini with Ubuntu

It’s time for another episode (yet again) of A Technical Guide to a Niche Topic! This episode is sponsored by my insistence that personal research not be lost to the void. Last weekend I spent an inordinate amount of time getting Ubuntu running without a monitor on a mac mini so I figure I’d write up my findings. FYI, this is a 2009 Core Duo Mac Mini. It’s not the newer unibody design though I expect many of the details still apply.

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Tue, Apr 3, 2012