Posts tagged “IBM”.

First PDA: IBM’s Port-A-Punch

October 21st, 2008

Maybe the Apple Newton MessagePad wasn’t the first personal digital assistant (PDA) after all.

No, that designation may be reserved for the IBM Port-A-Punch (above). The Port-A-Punch was a handheld punch card marker developed in 1958 for on-the-spot data recording, like statistics and inventories.

Punching holes in punch cards was an exact science, however, and Wikipedia tells us that the punched holes were too “fuzzy” to be accurately read. Punch cards were the USB flash drives of their day, even as far back as the 1800s, storing all kind of information. It’s pretty amazing to think about, especially considering the giant stacks of cards needed to store data. There’s a spot in this computer history video where a guy trips, spilling his two-foot-high stack of punch cards and ruining an entire computer program. Whoops.

Check out more about the Port-A-Punch at IBM’s history page.

[Image courtesy of Wikipedia.]

NewtVid: Tech Soup’s Apple logo proof

March 31st, 2008

The fun kids over at Tech Soup told me they ran an experiment to see if it’s true that Apple’s logo makes people more creative. Looks pretty convincing to me.

Thanks Alison!

The magical Apple logo.

March 20th, 2008

Can you feel the creativity rising?

Get this: just looking at the Apple logo makes you more creative.

No joke. Even brief exposure to certain brands makes people mimic that brand’s “identity.” The researchers:

…conducted an experiment in which 341 university students completed what they believed was a visual acuity task, during which either the Apple or IBM logo was flashed so quickly that they were unaware they had been exposed to the brand logo. The participants then completed a task designed to evaluate how creative they were, listing all of the uses for a brick that they could imagine beyond building a wall.

People who were exposed to the Apple logo generated significantly more unusual uses for the brick compared with those who were primed with the IBM logo, the researchers said. In addition, the unusual uses the Apple-primed participants generated were rated as more creative by independent judges.

Imagine that. But does this mean staring at the Microsoft logo makes me greedy, monopolistic, and prone to screaming fits?

Found via Slashdot.