Show of 6-9-2007

  • Email Question
  • Hi Techtalk. You all sent me an email 1 February 2007 about the continuation of the Tech Talk radio program, but I haven’t received anything since, although I have listened to the program. Is there any difference of getting a newsletter than being in the Forum? Also, although Dr. Shurtz mentioned where to go to get on the Forum, I don’t see it where he said it was. Also, what is "Cognos?" Thanks for your reply, hopefully. Arnie McKechnie, Davidsonville, Md
    • The newsletter mailing list ensured that you will receive a newsletter. One is due out shortly.
    • The Forum is actually a discussion area (with real time chat during the show and threaded discussion between the shows).
    • You can join the Forum by going to www.stratford.edu and clicking the the Tech Talk Radio menu at the top (right).
    • The drop down menu will have a Join the Forum entry.
    • Cognos is a business intelligence software company. They produce a podcast called Radio Cognos. They also call it Cognos Tech Talk, so you may have picked it up via the search engines.
  • Free Temporary Anonymous Phone Numbers
    • Web site: http://www.numbr.com/
    • Formerly call craigsnumber
    • Provides number for 1 hour, 1 day, 1 week, 1 month
    • Area codes for 23 cities including Washington DC
    • Provide the number you want the call forwarded to anonymously
    • Great for women who want to give out a phone number at a bar.
      • You don’t have to be on-line to get a number!
      • Simply call: (415) 234-5678 and get a number!
    • Other features
      • Don’t accept calls from blocked Caller IDs
      • Don’t accept calls from suspected telemarketers
      • Turn off call screening
      • Email my incoming call history
      • Do not disturb from 9PM to 8AM
      • Activate voicemail for missed calls
      • Email address for voicemail and call history
  • Sounds for Sleeping
    • Web site: http://www.soundsleeping.com/
    • Travel and in need of a good nights sleep
    • Open your laptop and dial a relaxing background sound
    • The free relaxing music and nature sounds on this web site have been chosen for their ability to aid sleep, reduce stress, and provide a relaxing atmosphere for activities such as yoga, tai-chi, and meditation.
    • Mix and match up to five sounds at once
    • Choose from: Bird Songs, Bonfire, Creek, Crickets, Gulls, Ocean, Rain, Thunder, Wind Chimes
  • The Grilling Calculator – For Nerds Who Barbecue
    • Web site: http://charcoalbob.com/
    • Click on Cookout Calculator Tab
    • Enter all meats to be cooked (Type, cut, thickness, degree on doneness)
    • Create cookout timeline
    • Print timeline and put by grill
  • Search the Net Using Sputtr
    • Web site: http://www.sputtr.com
    • A collection of directories and search engines on one page
    • Includes Google, Yahoo, Ask, Snap, My Space, Wikipedia, IMDb, You Tube, embay, Stumble Upon, Technorati, Digg, CNet
    • Twenty seven search buttons in all.
  • Profiles in IT
    • Ada Lovelace (Augusta Ada Byron King, Countess of Lovelace)
    • Ada Byron was the daughter of a brief marriage between the Romantic poet Lord Byron and Anne Isabelle Milbanke
    • Ada married William King. King inherited a noble title, they became the Earl and Countess of Lovelace.
    • Lady Byron wished her daughter to be unlike her poetical father, and she saw to it that Ada received tutoring in mathematics and music, as disciplines to counter dangerous poetic tendencies.
    • Ada met Charles Babbage in 1933 when she was 17 and they began a voluminous correspondence on the topics of mathematics, logic, and ultimately all subjects.
    • Charles Babbage, Lucasian professor of mathematics at Cambridge, was known as the inventor of the Difference Engine, an elaborate calculating machine that operated by the method of finite differences.
    • Babbage held the same post as Sir Isaac Newton (known for the equations of motion and calculus) and Steven Hawkings (Black holes and Hawkings radiation).
    • Babbage had made plans in 1834 for a new kind of calculating machine (although the Difference Engine was not finished), an Analytical Engine.
    • His Parliamentary sponsors refused to support a second machine with the first unfinished, but Babbage found sympathy for his new project abroad.
    • In 1842, an Italian mathematician, Louis Menebrea, published a memoir in French on the subject of the Analytical Engine.
    • Babbage enlisted Ada as translator for the memoir, and during a nine-month period in 1842-43, she worked on the article and a set of Notes she appended to it.
      • She rightly saw it as what we would call a general-purpose computer.
      • She understood the importance of keeping the calculating machine and the program separated.
      • Proposed a method to computer Bernoulli numbers using the analytical engine
      • The methods she proposed included loops, branches, and conditional statements.
      • She is thus credited with being the first programmer.
    • Babbage’s analytical machine anticipated most of the features of computers that were invented over a hundred years later
    • The programs for his machine developed by Babbage and Lovelace anticipated computer programming methods that were developed over a hundred years later.
    • In May 1979, the new DOD-1 programming language was named Ada in her honor.
  • History Mechanical Computers
    • The abacus, a simple counting aid, may have been invented in Babylonia (now Iraq) in the fourth century B.C.
    • The Antikythera (an ti ki ‘theer uh) mechanism, used for registering and predicting the motion of the stars and planets, is dated to the first century B.C. It was discovered off the coast of Greece in 1901.Accounted for leap year, irregularity in the Moon’s orbit.
    • Wilhelm Schickard builds the first mechanical calculator in 1623. It can work with six digits, and carries digits across columns. It works, but never makes it beyond the prototype stage. Schickard is a professor at the University of Tubingen, Germany.
    • Blaise Pascal builds a mechanical calculator in 1642. It has the capacity for eight digits, but has trouble carrying and its gears tend to jam.
    • Joseph-Marie Jacquard invents an automatic loom controlled by punch cards.
    • Charles Babbage conceives of a "Difference Engine" in 1820 or 1821. It is a massive steam-powered mechanical calculator designed to print astronomical tables. He attempts to build it over the course of the next 20 years, only to have the project cancelled by the British government in 1842.
    • Babbage’s next idea is the Analytical Engine – a mechanical computer that can solve any mathematical problem. It uses punch-cards similar to those used by the Jacquard loom and can perform simple conditional operations.
    • Augusta Ada Byron, the countess of Lovelace, met Babbage in 1833. She describes the Analytical Engine as weaving "algebraic patterns just as the Jacquard loom weaves flowers and leaves."
    • Her published analysis of the Analytical Engine is our best record of its programming potential. In it she outlines the fundamentals of computer programming, including data analysis, looping and memory addressing.
  • Digicomp Mechanical Computer
    • Web site: http://www.mindsontoys.com/
    • Digitcomp I V2 ($58)
    • Based on Digicomp I V1 which was sold in 1963
    • Digital Computer I V1 originally sold of $5.95
    • I ordered this computer and it was shipped out this week.
  • Next Week on Profiles in IT
    • The Invention of the CPU and the company that gave away its patent
  • Why Study Profile in IT?
    • We will learn that technology moves forward through the process of abstraction.
    • The computer was a calculator with the programming separated from the mechanism.
    • Technology is like slow moving river.
    • Understanding this flow allows us to anticipate what will come next.
  • Messenger Completes Second Fly-by of Venus
    • MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER)
    • Web site: http://messenger.jhuapl.edu/
    • The trip to Mercury will last seven years and cover over 100-million miles.
    • It will flyby earth and then Venus twice on the way to Mercury.
    • There were only 13 days in August that would allow MESSENGER to get into the right path for its flight.
    • Within those 13 days, there are only 12 seconds each day in which it could launch.
    • The planets must be lined up in just the right way for the flight path to work.
    • Mission Timeline
      • Launch: August 3, 2004
      • Earth Flyby: August 2, 2005
      • 1st Venus Flyby: October 24, 2006
      • 2nd Venus Flyby: June 5, 2007 (MLA was used to penetrate clouds)
      • 1st Mercury Flyby: January 14, 2008
      • 2nd Mercury Flyby; October 6, 2008
      • 3rd Mercury Flyby: September 29, 2009
      • Mercury Orbit Insertion: March 18, 2011
    • MESSENGER’s science payload was carefully chosen to answer the mission’s six key science questions.
      • Mercury Dual Imaging System (MDIS)
      • Gamma-Ray and Neutron Spectrometer (GRNS
      • X-Ray Spectrometer (XRS
      • Magnetometer (MAG)
      • Mercury Laser Altimeter (MLA)
      • Mercury Atmospheric and Surface Composition Spectrometer (MASCS)
      • Energetic Particle and Plasma Spectrometer (EPPS)
      • Radio Doppler
  • Space shuttle Atlantis has Launched
    • First mission of 2007 launched at 7:38 PM on June 8 in clear weather.
    • It reached orbit less than nine minutes after lift-off.
    • The shuttle’s main engines create a combined maximum thrust of more than 1.2 million pounds.
    • The preliminary reports from the cameras that took images of the external tank during liftoff showed no foam loss prior to solid rocket booster separation.
    • Launch followed a three month delay to repair hail damage on fuel tank foam.
    • Mission STS-117 is the Space Shuttle Program’s 21st mission to the International Space Station.
    • Continue installation work on Space Station
      • S3/S4 starboard truss segments
      • Batteries
      • Another pair of solar arrays to the space station
      • Pick up Sunita Williams and drop off Clayton Anderson.