Kate Johanns

All posts by Kate Johanns

Kate Johanns is a communications professional and freelance writer with more than 13 years of experience in publishing and marketing.

Giants Brains
Tech Time Warp: Edmund Berkeley, a giant brain of computing

Tech Time Warp: Edmund Berkeley, a giant brain of computing

Computer history is filled with quirky individuals—and Edmund Berkeley, born March 21, 1909, is among the most fascinating. It’s hard to pinpoint what Berkeley should be most known for: Founding the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)? (Relations with ACM later...

/ March 23, 2018
Atanasoff-Berry computer
Tech Time Warp: John Vincent Atanasoff named inventor of the digital computer

Tech Time Warp: John Vincent Atanasoff named inventor of the digital computer

The story of the Atanaoff-Berry Computer, or the ABC, has plenty of interesting twists—not the least of which is a March 19, 1972, court ruling pronouncing co-inventor John Vincent Atanasoff the rightful inventor of the electronic digital computer. Previously that...

/ March 16, 2018
Tech Time Warp: Homebrew Computer Club Meets in a Garage

Tech Time Warp: Homebrew Computer Club Meets in a Garage

Never underestimate a group of guys who want to hang out in the garage. After all, the Homebrew Computer Club began meeting In programmer Gordon French’s Menlo Park, California, garage in March 1975 — and while the neighbors might have...

/ March 10, 2018
Tech Time Warp: A Look Back at the Ping-Pong Virus

Tech Time Warp: A Look Back at the Ping-Pong Virus

Thirty years ago, a little bouncing ball was driving computer users bonkers. Discovered at Italy’s University of Turin in March 1988, the Ping-Pong virus was a boot sector virus affecting MS-DOS machines. It spread via infected floppy disks. (Remember those?)...

/ March 2, 2018
Tech Time Warp: A Language That’s Anything But, Well, Basic

Tech Time Warp: A Language That’s Anything But, Well, Basic

Basic is such a loaded term these days. The kids use it as a synonym for unremarkable and uninteresting—interestingly enough, words that could not describe BASIC, the computer language co-invented by John Kemeny and Thomas E. Kurtz at Dartmouth University.

/ February 23, 2018
Tech Time Warp: Meet ENIAC, the First Digital General Purpose Computer

Tech Time Warp: Meet ENIAC, the First Digital General Purpose Computer

It might lack the immediate name recognition of Harvard’s Mark I or Bletchley Park’s Colossus, but the University of Pennsylvania’s ENIAC stands right next to them in the annals of computer history. The Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer made its...

/ February 16, 2018
Tech Time Warp: Garry Kasparov’s Rage Against the Machine

Tech Time Warp: Garry Kasparov’s Rage Against the Machine

The precarious relationship between man and machine has always preoccupied the technologically minded. Computer genius Alan Turing was asking “Can machines think?” as early as 1950. Few of us, though, have devoted as much time to the question—or been as...

/ February 9, 2018
Tech Time Warp: First published reference to vaporware

Tech Time Warp: First published reference to vaporware

In Texas, they call it “all hat, no cattle.” In Silicon Valley, they call it vaporware, and the first use of the term was in a Feb. 3, 1986, Time Magazine article by Philip Elmer-DeWitt about the delayed release of...

/ February 2, 2018
computer mouse
Tech Time Warp: Happy birthday to Douglas Engelbart, inventor of the mouse

Tech Time Warp: Happy birthday to Douglas Engelbart, inventor of the mouse

Born Jan. 30, 1925, Douglas Engelbart isn’t a household name for most people, but we all know—and many of us can’t live without—his most famous invention: the computer mouse. The Portland, Oregon, native served as a Navy radar technician in...

/ January 26, 2018
Happy99 worm
Tech Time Warp: The Not-So Happy99 Worm

Tech Time Warp: The Not-So Happy99 Worm

The email users of January 1999 were an innocent bunch. Fresh from seeing “You’ve Got Mail” at the box office, they received emails with the attachment Happy99.exe and thought nothing about double-clicking. One rather lame “fireworks” display later, most of...

/ January 19, 2018