Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED)

Organic Light-Emitting Diodes (OLEDs) emit light with virtually no electricity. Lamps, televisions, mobile phone, and computer monitors are common applications. Additionally, OLEDs are bright, high-contrast, and extremely thin. OLED screens are faster, brighter, and use far less energy than LED-based displays. As the technology develops, they will eventually cost less than LED displays. OLED’s are […]

Personal Digital Assistant (PDA)

Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) are handheld computers. They were supposed to be more convenient and simpler than carrying paper. Most significantly, and the reason they are a major invention, is their influence as a bridge to the smartphone. David Potter created the Psion Organizer in 1984 featuring 2K or RAM in a handheld (sort of […]

Open Source Software

Open-source software allows anybody interested to see and contribute to the creation of software, including the ability to spot bugs or security flaws. Dashiki wearing wild-eyed (and hair) Richard Stallman is the father of open-source. Richard Stallman Stallman’s theory is more eyes reduce the risk of quality problems. Consequently, people vote or reject changes to […]

Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI)

MIDI allows instruments to talk to computers and to one another. As engineers began connecting instruments to computers it became clear there needed to be a standard interface so that each instrument did not need to “talk” differently to each computer. Smith, who holds degrees in computer science and electrical engineering. He created the MIDI […]

Flash Memory

Flash memory stores and retrieves information more reliably and faster than hard drives. It works similar to RAM but is slower and far less expensive. It is fast, cheap, reliable, and virtually shock-proof. Fuio Masuoka was a Toshiba employee. He developed a better type of solid-state memory and filed a patent in 1981. His new […]

Personal Portable Music Player

Battery operated portable personal music players are fun, enabling users to build a cocoon of their own music. Portable radios and stereos date back to the invention of the transistor. Over time, these grew in size and power. Enormous stereos run from batteries, “boom boxes,” were commonplace. However, boom boxes played music from speakers and […]

Portable Computer

Portable computers are more convenient than stationary computers. They increase productivity for people who travel, allow office workers to bring work home, and enable telecommuting. Background Portable computers were developed at (where else), Xerox PARC. The Xerox NoteTaker, released in 1978, was the first portable computer. Staying true to Xerox tradition, only about ten were […]

Interpress & PostScript

Interpress and PostScript enabled display technology, initially printers and eventually screens, to display output exactly as it would look between media. Printouts and screens, no matter the size, would look exactly the same. The technology is another from Xerox PARC. Background Warnock left Evans & Sutherland, a computer graphics company founded by Ivan Sutherland, to […]


Spreadsheets simplify calculations and basic database work. Background During a lecture at Harvard Business School, in 1978, student Dan Bricklin watched his professor struggle to erase and rewrite cells in a blackboard-based ledger. Thinking about the newly popular Apple II computer Bricklin thought of a better way, a program that allowed users to enter and […]

Inkjet Printer

Inkjet printing produces affordable, high-quality printouts using low-cost personal desktop printers. Background Ichiro Endo, of Canon, was the first to realize the idea that ink could be heated to form a small bubble, then deposited on a page to form a pixel, inkjet printing. John Vaught, a college dropout working at Hewlett-Packard, was working on […]