1. Nicoll, Leslie H. PhD, MBA, RN, Editor-in-Chief

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As part of the ongoing celebration of the 20th anniversary of CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing, I thought it might be fun to see how much you know about computer history. Answers to the questions are found at the end, along with some trivia tidbits and links to good history sites on the Internet. Enjoy!


1. One of the first retail computer stores opened in California in 1975. It was called:


a. The Byte Shop


b. The Logic Shop


c. Hacker's Heaven


d. The Computer Emporium


2. The first PhD in computer science was awarded to Richard L. Wexelblat in:


a. 1955


b. 1965


c. 1970


d. 1980


3. Dr Wexelblat received his degree from:


a. Harvard University


b. Dartmouth College


c. The University of Pennsylvania


d. The University of California


4. The first floppy disk was created by ______________ in __________.


a. Bell Labs; 1955


b. IBM; 1967


c. Hewlett-Packard; 1972


d. Elephant Corporation; 1975


5. The first commercial online computer service was:


a. America Online


b. CompuServe


c. Prodigy


d. AT&T WorldNet


6. The first commercial online computer service was established in:


a. 1969


b. 1972


c. 1978


d. 1981


7. The first commercially successful word processing software program was:


a. XyWrite


b. WordStar


c. Volkswriter


d. Perfect Writer


8. The Osborne 1, the first successful portable computer, weighed:


a. 10 pounds


b. 18 pounds


c. 23 pounds


d. 40 pounds


9. The Computer was Time magazine's "Man of the Year" in:


a. 1946


b. 1968


c. 1972


d. 1982


10. The term "information superhighway" was coined by:


a. Al Gore


b. Bill Gates


c. Tim Berners-Lee


d. Gordon Moore


11. The first commercial video game was:


a. PacMan


b. Pong


c. Eliza


d. Monster


12. "X-Y Position Indicator" was the first name for a:


a. Mouse


b. Keyboard


c. Serial port


d. Parallel port


13. The "X-Y Position Indicator" was invented in:


a. 1955


b. 1963


c. 1968


d. 1970


14. TWAIN stands for:


a. Technology Without An Interesting Name


b. Twisted Wires And Internet Networks


c. Tompkins, White, Andrews, Ingo & North (names of the developers)


d. It doesn't stand for anything, it was taken from the expression "And never the twain shall meet."


15. The first graphic Web browser was called:


a. Mozilla


b. Netscape


c. Mosaic


d. Opera


16. When Windows95 was released, it sold more than 1 million copies in:


a. 24 hours


b. 4 days


c. 14 days


d. 1 month


17. In January 1993, there were how many known Web servers?


a. 20


b. 50


c. 250


d. 1,000


18. The first computer-animated film to win an Academy Award was:


a. Toy Story


b. Tron


c. Tin Toy


d. Max Headroom


19. The first programmer for the Mark I computer was:


a. Grace Murray Hopper


b. John von Neumann


c. Howard H. Aiken


d. Lady Ada Byron, Countess of Lovelace


20. The Alto computer, the first prototype of the personal computer, was invented by:


a. IBM


b. Hewlett-Packard


c. Bell Labs


d. Xerox



Answers:1: a;2: b;3: c-In 1965, Richard L. Wexelblat was the first candidate in a computer-science program to complete a dissertation. Many doctoral candidates had performed computer-related work, but Wexelblat's diploma, presented on December 5 by the University of Pennsylvania-the home of ENIAC-was the first to carry the designation "computer science";4: b;5: b-CompuServe was founded in 1969 by Jeffrey Wilkins. It was the first service to offer e-mail communication in 1979. One year later it the first online service to offer real-time chat online. By 1982, the company provided wide-area networking capabilities to corporate clients;6: a;7: b-Released in 1979 by Micropro International Inc, WordStar was the first commercially successful word processing software program produced for microcomputers and the best-selling software program of the early 1980s. It ran on the CP/M operating system;8: c-The Osborne 1 was the first commercially successful portable personal computer. The self-contained unit was about the size of a suitcase and included 64K of memory, a 5-inch monochrome monitor, a keyboard, and a disk drive. The Osborne 1 was also the first computer to be sold with bundled software packages. It cost $1795;9: d-"Man of the Year" finally became "Person of the Year" in 1999 with the selection of Jeffrey Bezos, founder of The first woman who was "Man of the Year" was Wallis Warfield Simpson in 1936;10: a;11: b;12: a;13: b-The mouse was conceived by Douglas Englebart who was, at that time, a scientist at the Stanford Research Institute;14: a-TWAIN is a standard interface for scanning equipment developed by the TWAIN consortium in 1993;15: c;16: b;17: b;18: c-Tin Toy was created by Pixar Studios, which also went on to create Toy Story and Monsters, Inc. Tin Toy won the Academy Award for best animated short film in 1988;19: a-Hopper was the programmer; Aiken was the head of the team that designed and built the Mark I;20: d-A bit of computer legend has it that the management of Xerox decided not to pursue development of the personal computer because the core business strategy for Xerox was copying, not computers.


There are many good computer history sites on the Internet. Some of my favorites include: The Computer History Museum Technical support and history in one place Lots of good links at this site Relive your memories of your old computer... or maybe donate the one that is still in your attic! A nice history of the ENIAC computer at the University of Pennsylvania