by December 4, 2007 0 comments

All of us have experienced the joy and confusion that cable wires can cause,
both at home and office. So for short range data communication, Bluetooth
alleviated most of our frustration. Ericsson in Sweden developed it before other
companies adopted it. Did you know that Bluetooth was named after Danish Viking
Harald Blatand, which literally means Bluetooth. Though most commonly used with
phones and handheld mobile devices, it is also being used with printers, modems,

The first version of Direct X was shipped in the year 1995 as Windows Games SDK.
It enabled Windows versions starting from Windows 95, to incorporate high
performance multimedia. This opened up opportunities for developers to build
games based on the different versions of Direct X.

Digital Subscriber Line was launched way back in 1989. The high downstream rates
needed for streaming video made it the flavor of choice. The boom in PCs
prompted the need for high speed Internet both in corporate and commercial
markets. ADSL was the best way to cater to this need and was immediately popular
amongst both corporates and commercial organizations.

The dot com boom changed the way trade took place. E-commerce started in 1970s
when commercial documents were sent over the Net. But with Internet growing at a
tremendous pace, it was not long before products and services started getting
traded on the Net. Boston Computer Exchange, a marketplace for used computers,
introduced in 1982, was perhaps the earliest instance of e-commerce in physical
goods. It facilitated many home-based entrepreneurs to transact over Internet to
sell their products.

In 1987 when GIF was introduced, the Internet revolution was gaining popularity.
This format used 256-color palette and its image compression algorithms also
reduced the image file size. Because of this GIF could be downloaded
faster and so it became a popular image format on Internet. Then in 1992 the
Joint Pictures Experts Group (JPEG) format came that simplified photographic
compression while retaining the picture quality. It was thus widely implemented
and became the de-facto standard for image format on Internet.

In 1982 ‘Groupe Special Mobile’ (GSM) was created to develop a standard for
mobile telephones to be used in Europe. Now, it’s more popular as the Global
System for Mobile Communication (GSM). In 1989, Qualcomm proposed the concept of
CDMA and since its launch in 1995, it has become a favored medium for mobile

Today’s GPUs have descended from the monolithic graphic chips used in the late
1980s and early 1990s. GPUs were made popular mainly after the launch of Windows
which sparked off interest in high-speed, high-resolution 2D bitmapped graphics.
In the mid 90s the high demand for CPU assisted real time 3D graphics prompted
the demand for hardware accelerated 3D graphics.

Moore’s Law
In 1965, Moore predicted that the number of transistors on a chip doubles every
two years, which is now popularly known as Moore’s Law. Today, we see many
transistors being added to a single die and more cores being added to attain
higher efficiency, in sync with Moore’s prediction. Not only Intel even AMD has
followed the same path.

Internet evolved from ARPANET, a project where users of research computers of
one university could connect to research computers of other universities. Today,
we all know where Internet has reached, a network of worldwide computer networks
that is accessible to millions of people worldwide. It has become a platform of
communication where users around the globe can connect to exchange information.
This revolutionized the way people used to communicate and the process of
information exchange.

MP3 (MPEG-1 AUDIO LAYER 3) is an audio specific format that took the music
industry by storm. Even though the music industry was not the reason for the
introduction of this format but the passion for listening to music on the
Internet was definitely the cause. The year 1994 completely changed the way
people listened to, collected and distributed music. Anyone could distribute
music easily with no cost at all. One could also record a song and convert it to
MP3 and put it on the Net.

Open Source
As most Open Source technologies are free in terms of cost, their popularity is
increasing with each passing day. The Concurrent Versioning System (CVS) in Open
Source applications allows one to keep track of different documents edited by
different people over the network. The recently launched Linux distro has major
enhancements such as a 3D desktop, easy-to-use applications, out-of- box support
for almost all hardware. Now there’s even a ready to use solution for building a
media center PC.

Plug n Play
With Windows 95, Microsoft introduced the Plug-n-Play (P-n-P) feature that
allowed users to plug a device into a computer that was subsequently recognized
and configured by Windows. This was contrary to earlier operating systems where
the installed device had to be configured manually. With P-n-P the cumbersome
manual installation process was removed and prerequisite knowledge of device
installation wasn’t needed anymore. Plug-n-Play proved to be one of the hottest
selling points for Windows 95.

Printing technologies
Dot—Matrix printers (DMP) were the first affordable printers and were the cause
for printing being introduced into regular corporate environments. But they
lacked color and quality, which was eventually answered by laser printing. With
their quiet operation, sharp print quality and ability to be plugged into the
network, laser printers became the first choice for large-volume corporate
printing. But laser prints are a bit costly and thus came inkjet printers that
brought high-quality color prints at a lower price and became an instant hit for
home and small office use.

Redundant Array of Independent Disks was first defined in 1987 at the
University of California. Over the year different implementations of RAID have
appeared, each substantially different from the original idealized RAID level.
RAID 2 and RAID 3 didn’t become as popular as RAID 5 as the latter provided much
faster and reliable data security. RAID provided an opportunity to store data in
an efficient and reliable way. It becomes the umbrella term for computer data
storage schemes and a common technology in all storage devices.

In early 2000, LCDcaptured the entire monitor market, almost making CRT extinct.
Initially LCDs had ‘ghosting’ problems but they were soon rectified. By the late
1990s, resolution for LCD panels moved from VGA to XGA which was indicative of
the demand for high resolution clear pictures which a CRT wasn’t capable of
delivering. The flat screen LCD TV allowed viewers the freedom of sharper and
clearer pictures.

A set of two most important communication protocols, Transmission Control
Protocol (TCP) and Internet Protocol (IP), defined the world of networking. The
switch over from ARPANET to TCP/IP happened during the year 1983, as experts
wanted to adopt a single networking protocol to maintain order within the
growing community. The choice of TCP/IP was obvious as it provides a
technological bridge for small networks to connect to the Internet much more
readily than before.

Universal Serial Bus allows different devices to connect via a standard
interface socket. A major advantage is ease of use. The computer now needn’t be
restarted to plug hardware peripherals, ie peripherals became hot swappable.
With this technology a new storage medium, USB drive, has become a commonly used
medium for data transfer. Nowadays all hardware peripherals are USB compatible.

Voice over Internet Protocol routes voice calls over the Internet. Thus,
enterprises could move over from traditional TDM-based PBX networks and
integrate voice traffic with data and send it over a common IP network, unifying
voice and IP networks. This leads to ease of management and even though the
initial investment is substantial, call costs come down with increase in

Radio operators developed wireless modems in early 1980s. Being wireless
revolutionized productivity in businesses due to mobility and ease of use. OFDM
technology based on radio waves is used to facilitate communication amongst
different devices in a specific area. Due to increase in usage of laptops,
wireless is the way to go. and going by the pace of development in this field,
we’ll surely be living on a wireless earth sooner than later!

Intel’s first 32-bit microprocessor to offer protected and virtual real mode.
The first GUI based operating system for PC was launched upon the processor
based on x386 architecture. The instruction set of x386 became the industry
standard and is used till now. Also, it was the first CPU to use pipelining
technology, which gave higher performance and clock frequency.

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