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.

Tech Time Warp: Jean Sammet changes her opinion of computers

Tech Time Warp: Jean Sammet changes her opinion of computers

In this week’s Tech Time Warp, we’re going back to programming in the 50’s. Introduced in 1959, the programming language COBOL—common, business-oriented language—is still heavily in use today, with an estimated 200 billion lines of code relied upon by government...

/ March 28, 2022
Tech Time Warp: First domain name registered in 1985

Tech Time Warp: First domain name registered in 1985

File this away for your next pub quiz: The first domain name ever registered was Symbolics.com, registered on March 15, 1985, by Symbolics Computer Corporation, a company that specialized in single-user machines running the LISP programming language. For this week’s...

/ March 17, 2022
Pioneers in Tech: Annie Easley, “human computer” to diversity champion

Pioneers in Tech: Annie Easley, “human computer” to diversity champion

As we transition from Black History Month to Women’s History Month, it’s hard to think of a more inspiring group of technology pioneers than the Black women who worked as “human computers” at NASA. Only a few of their stories...

/ March 11, 2022
Tech Time Warp: The great Michelangelo scare

Tech Time Warp: The great Michelangelo scare

Thirty years ago, PC users around the world were left saying “Huh?” after the much-hyped Michelangelo virus turned out to be, well, not much. The virus’ enduring legacy might say more about the media than about a security risk, as...

/ March 4, 2022
Tech Time Warp: The origins of the Cult of the Dead Cow

Tech Time Warp: The origins of the Cult of the Dead Cow

The high plains of Lubbock, Texas—a conservative, church-going area of the country to be sure—are not where you would expect a group of “hacktivists” to have gotten its start, let alone the group that coined the term “hacktivism.” But the...

/ March 1, 2022
Tech Time Warp: The history of the indestructible QR code

Tech Time Warp: The history of the indestructible QR code

In the hazy “before times” of late 2019 and early 2020, the QR Code was the butt of many jokes. A QR Code seemed passé—almost like putting “e” or “I” at the beginning of a new device’s name and considering...

/ February 18, 2022 / 1 Comment
Pioneers in Tech: Jerry Lawson, pre-Atari game console designer

Pioneers in Tech: Jerry Lawson, pre-Atari game console designer

In the nascent days of video games, gaming consoles had limitations — namely, users were limited to one game, such as Al Alcorn’s groundbreaking Pong. But a group of engineers at the semiconductor company Fairchild — including the subject of...

/ February 11, 2022
Tech Time Warp: Hungarian hacker attempts to extort a job

Tech Time Warp: Hungarian hacker attempts to extort a job

Most people seeking employment dust off their resumes, respond to listings on Indeed, and wait to be called in for interviews. But, the subject of this week’s Tech Time warp, the Hungarian hacker Attila Nemeth, took a more colorful approach.

/ February 4, 2022
tech time warp meme
Tech Time Warp: Ally McBeal, the dancing baby, and the birth of memes

Tech Time Warp: Ally McBeal, the dancing baby, and the birth of memes

Oogachaka, oogachaka … readers of a certain age will remember the night in late January 1998 when the titular character on TV’s Ally McBeal danced with a computer-generated baby. The iconic scene—meant to convey Ally’s concerns about her biological clock—not...

/ January 28, 2022
Tech Time Warp: Microsoft offers $250,000 to catch the makers of Mydoom

Tech Time Warp: Microsoft offers $250,000 to catch the makers of Mydoom

Beginning in late January 2004, an email worm called Mydoom caught the attention of the world—and led Microsoft to offer $250,000 for information leading to its creator’s apprehension. At its peak, Mydoom accounted for approximately one-quarter of all email traffic...

/ January 24, 2022