Inside Out!!

Inside Out!!Quirky stories, bon mots, jokes and funny things that happened on the way to the Web … One American student has “bombed” a number of fellow students with 10,000 E-mails which he sent in a two hour period over the university IT network. It is reported that technicians spent the next two days trying to fix the computer network which crashed under the bombardment.
Thank you Moneypenny… Forget that Sony Playstation and Nintendo 64 came from Japan, we in the UK are some of the world’s biggest software game freaks – and I don’t mean just playing them. A Warwickshire-based software developer known as Rare is being widely tipped to pick up a games software ‘oscar’ from the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences next month. At any other time the Japanese developers of Parappa the Rapper and Turok the dinosaur hunter would already be writing their acceptance speeches, but Rare could beat them at their own game with its 007 game Goldeneye for the Nintendo 64.
Following last week’s major publicity drive by Microsoft to build support for Windows 98, its chief critic, US Senator Orin Hatch, proposed that Microsoft use the Rolling Stone’s song ‘Under my Thumb’ to promote the operating system’s forthcoming launch. Hatch, speaking on the floor of the US Senate, was referring to Microsoft’s use of the Rolling Stones song ‘Start Me Up’ when it launched Windows 95. As Microsoft paraded a collection of PC industry executives at its publicity event, Hatch wondered aloud how many of those executives were there “because they truly want to.” Although European PC sales in unit terms rose 26 per cent in Q1 1998 compared to Q1 1997, the rise in dollar terms was only 4.4 per cent. As in the past, prices are much higher in Europe than in the US with the average PC price over $1,500 despite all the American ballyhoo about the sub-$1,000 PC. The Americans may be getting them for under $1,000 but we certainly aren’t. What do Homer Simpson, basketball player Michael Jordan and US president Bill Clinton have in common? The were named as the three most admired in a recent survey of 3,150 US video game players. The Millennium Gamer Study by US market research firm World Research found that two thirds of those polled played an average of five hours of PC or video console-based games every day, and that most play both PC and console games.
Where would you expect to find the world’s most glitzy computer superstore – San Francisco, Paris, Croydon? One New York firm Tops is to build its latest computer store on the famous shopping street of Fifth Avenue, squeezed alongside the Empire State Building. But this is not a market for the faint-hearted. Fifth Avenue rents can be as high as $500 per square foot a year. Even down the cheaper end of the avenue where the computer store will be, Tops could be paying more than $1m a year in rent. The time machine… 1987: DRAM famine hits west The western electronics equipment industry is facing a major chip crisis as it becomes clear that US companies cannot make up the shortages of DRAM expected as a result of the Japanese Government’s blockade. Texas Instruments has stopped booking orders and AT&T and is pulling out of the DRAM business. Motorola is buying in Toshiba DRAM die and only Micron Technology of Idaho remains committed to manufacturing DRAMs in the US. Growing dependence on Japanese suppliers for DRAM has been threatened by a Japanese Government enforced export monitoring programme, which demands that all chip exports worth more than ?32 need a licence. Bureaucracy is continuing to delay export licences. In addition, there have been government enforced production volume cuts on all semiconductor companies manufacturing in Japan. The withdrawal of US firms like AT&T and IBM is leaving the DRAM market to Japanese suppliers. The significance of this has not been lost on market leader Toshiba, which commented: “We want AT&T and IBM to be good at making semiconductors so that we can have good competition in manufacturing.”
Electronics Weekly, May 13 1987 The difference between Japanese board meetings and American board meetings was being explained the other day by a top Japanese semiconductor man who also sits on the boards of some major American companies. “A Japanese board meeting is more like a ceremony,” he said, “everyone there has been appointed by the chairman or president and everyone agrees with what they say – ‘Silence is Golden’ is the rule. The most respected person is the one who knows everything and says nothing. In the US most of the directors are from outside the company. they owe nothing to the chairman or the president. The most respected person is the one who talks the most aggressively – even if he knows nothing. So, even if you know nothing you can still be respected for saying everything.” Steve Bush’s invention of the week
John Logie Baird is rightly remembered as the creator of the first working television, which he did in 1925. Less well known is that Baird was also the first to make colour television and he proposed infra-red imaging, stereoscopic colour TV and, at his death in 1946, was drafting plans for 1,000 line HDTV. Baird is sometimes judged badly for using low-tech mechanical scanning in his first systems, but his aim was to get a proof-of-concept TV working as quickly as possible with the means at his disposal. He shifted to electronic scanning in the early 1930’s. Baird did not invent television, his work drew on ideas from German Paul Nipkow who patented a mechanically scanned system in 1884. Making a Nipkow TV was impossible in the 19th century because no suitable light modulator was available for the display.

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