Category Archives: Fun, Facts & Figures


Introduction to Apple’s Swift – New Coding Language

As well as unveiling iOS 8 at the Worldwide Developers Conference this month, Apple also introduced us to Swift, its new programming language for iOS and OS X app development which is set to replace Objective-C – the object orientated programming language, making it easier and faster to develop API’s.

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iOS 8

A Look at the New Features of Apple’s iOS 8

Earlier this month Apple unveiled iOS 8, it was billed as “The biggest release since the Launch of the App Store” and compared with its predecessor it comes with a great range of new features, offers increased performance speeds and an array of further enhancements that allow for a greater intuitive user experience.

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Country Spotlight: Russia

One of the biggest countries to use Infix PDF Editor is Russia – the translation features built into the software make converting text from one language to another (and sometimes back again) extremely easy! Seeing a lot of downloads coming in from Russia piqued our interest, and we’ve had a deeper look into the country and their technological achievements over the years!

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Judge Hammer

Anniversary of One of the First Software Patent Filings

We have mentioned before the issues and difficulties surrounding the granting of software patents, but on this day, 21st May in 1962, one of the first ever software patents was awarded for “A Computer Arranged For The Automatic Solution of Linear Programming Problems”.  Remarkably it was the British Petroleum Company Limited who applied for the patent, filing reference number 19463/62 and the Patent itself was granted under GB 1039141 on August 17th 1966.

 

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Congratulations to Francis Gurry

Francis Gurry has 2 reasons to celebrate at the moment, as well as turning 63 on the 17th May the Australian national has also just been confirmed as the reappointed Director General of the WIPO, with Gurry now embarking on this his second 6 year term in the post.

 

Gurry began working for the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 1985 when his first role was for the Development Cooperation and External Relations Bureau for Asia and the Pacific.  Notable work by Gurry whilst at the WIPO has included the development of the WIPO’s Arbitration and Mediation Center and the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy for which he was also responsible.

 

Gurry progressed to Assistant Director General in 1997 before taking up the position of Deputy Director General at WIPO in 2003, at which point Patents and the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) System also became a key focus.  On the 1st October 2008 Gurry became Director General and following his success in the role he has led the WIPO in an extensive program of change to meet and manage the increased demand and rapidly changing technologies that are evolving in relation to IP.

 

Prior to his work at the WIPO Gurry studied Law at the University of Melbourne and following his graduation worked in the Supreme Court of Victoria as well as a Solicitor for a top Australian law firm.  Gurry later also worked at the University of Melbourne and the University of Dijon, and gained a PhD from the University of Cambridge.

 

The World Intellectual Property Organization has offices around the world with its Headquarters found in Geneva.  With 187 Member States the United Nations agency was founded in 1967 and provides Governments and businesses with a range of IP services from the development of global policy and infrastructure to IP protection and dispute resolution, as well as acting as a world reference source for information relating to IP.

 

Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1gJYfmt


4 Reasons You Might Need to Edit a PDF

The ability for companies to be able to edit a PDF themselves can prove invaluable, whether a minor amendment is required, a significant rewrite or changes to design elements, having the tools in place to facilitate these quickly and easily offers a wealth of benefits.

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The EDSAC

Anniversary of the EDSAC’s First Calculations

With early and significant breakthroughs being made in computing during the 1940’s, the Electronic Delay Storage Automatic Calculator (EDSAC) earned its place in the history books as this first example of a stored program computer, which performed its first calculations at the University of Cambridge on 6th May 1949 in the form of a list of prime numbers and table of squares calculations.

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IBM Logo

IBM 370/135

42 years ago today IBM installed the first IBM 370/135 mainframe computer,  just one of the models included in the S370 series which IBM ran for nearly 20 years, achieving significant market share in the process.

 

Both developed and manufactured by IBM in the UK, the IBM 370/135 and 145 were the mid to lower end of the mainframe range, following on from the high end machines released in 1970 which superseded the System/360 family of computers.

 

Key features of the IBM 370/135 included:

 

  • 240,000 bytes of main memory capacity, four times greater than the S360/30 with Microcode reloadable control storage (RCS) supplementing this with a further 24,000 bytes.  The option was also available to increase the RCS to 36,000 or 48,000 bytes if required.
  • Monolithic circuitry that increased internal operating speeds, exceeding those of the S360/30 over four fold, resulting in speeds of 275 to 1,430 nanoseconds for one microinstruction completion.
  • ICAs – Integrated Communications Attachments allowing terminals to be linked to the central processor via up to 8 communication lines, without the need for separate control units.   The 370/135 also offered compatibility with virtually all of IBM’s terminal devices.
  • Expanded Channel capacity that enabled block multiplexing and increased system throughput.
  • Advanced self-checking features and console critical points status displays.
  • Increased disk storage, with optional integrated file adapter together with additional disk storage features were available, removing the need for separate disk control units.
  • Backward compatibility with the S/360 models, offered as standard with all 370/- models allowing customers easy migration to the 370/- mainframes.
  • OS/DOS program compatibility support.

 

With a starting price of nearly $500,000 ranging to over $1,000,000, rentals also proved popular with monthly contracts upwards of $10,000. Later additions to the 370/- portfolio saw the inclusion of full virtual memory before the range was finally superseded in the 1990’s by the IBM System/390.

 

Image credit: http://bit.ly/1nVE5EW

 


Anniversary of Windows Server 2003

 

April 24th 2003 saw the release of Windows Server 2003 by Microsoft, with the server operating platform set to provide greater performance and scalability compared to Windows 2000, its predecessor. At the same time as Windows Server 2003 Microsoft also launched Visual Studio .Net 2003 and the Enterprise Edition of SQL Server 2000, in turn enabling users to increase productivity with a more cost effective and reliable solution, as well as benefiting from a 30% increase in infrastructure efficiency that this new release offered over Windows NT 4.0

 

Following its beta version success, feedback confirmed that through Windows Server 2003 Microsoft were able to provide deployment cost reductions of up to 50% whilst providing a 40% increase in stability for some companies when compared to Windows NT 4.0.  Other benefits reported included a reduction of up to 30% in relation to the number of servers needed to achieve the same workload throughput with some customers also benefitting from a 20% reduction in management costs.

 

Windows Server 2003 was the first server designed to support Intel Itanium 64-bit systems and therefore able to serve high levels of demand and business workloads.  It offered increased scalability for those who needed it as well as a solution to meet the needs of the small business with simplicity and ease of use key features of the release.

 

Over 5,000 developers and 2,500 testers were involved in its production, Microsoft implemented 650 advancements and enhancements with Windows Server 2003 including increased security with changes made to default installation components and the IIS web server rewrite, as well as the first of Microsoft’s operating systems to be included in its Trustworthy Computing initiative, which it set up to address concerns regarding privacy, security and public confidence in the industry.  Further developments were evident in terms of improvements to Message Queuing, the Active Directory and Group Policy.  The Automated System Recovery which replaced rescue disk creation together with enhanced back up and disk management features were also included.  Greater management functionality was offered with the Manage Your Server Tool for administrators and support for watchdog timer for the restarting of a server was also included.

 

Microsoft offered Windows Server 2003 in five editions Web, Standard, Enterprise, Datacentre and Small Business and on December 6 2005, Windows Server 2003 RS was subsequently made available.

 

Windows Server 2003 would be succeeded by Windows Server 2008 following its release by Microsoft on 4th February 2008.

 

Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1jA2DPF


A Movie in the Making – Steve Jobs

 

Whilst speaking at the Tribeca Film Festival, Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin hasn’t given too much away about one of his latest projects, whereby he focusses on the life of Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple.  Although his screenplay is based on the biography written by Walter Isaacson, Sorkin has confirmed that he has achieved his goal in creating something that is very different and doesn’t take the form of a biopic.

 

The Sony production was originally expected to be directed by David Fincher, however Danny Boyle is now the favourite to direct this movie which is due to begin filming later in the year.  Rumours are also rife that Leonardo DiCaprio could be in line to play Jobs in the movie.

 

It will be very interesting to see how the film develops, especially as in only 2013 Ashton Kutcher played the Apple co-founder in the film entitled Jobs, which focussed on Jobs’ early life and the journey of Apple’s creation and success.  Prior to this in 1999, Pirates of Silicon Valley starred Noah Wyle as Steve Jobs and explored the challenges faced together with Steve Wozniak, played by Joey Slotnick, in founding what would later become one of the biggest ever global brands.

 

So what could be covered in the latest film about the incredible life of the Father of the Digital Revolution?, it will be difficult to tell the tale without reflecting on so many of the significant events that took place in one person’s lifetime.  From his early adopted life and eventful college experiences to the 1st Apple Computer developed by Jobs and Wozniak in 1976, and the amazing technology and growth of the company that followed. It may include Jobs’ shock departure from Apple in 1985 whereby he later founded NeXT, followed by the surprising acquisition of NeXT by Apple and Jobs return to the company which he would then led to bring us the iconic and revolutionary technology of the iMac, iPod, iPad, iPhone, iTunes and iCloud, technology that is used globally on a daily basis by us all.

 

Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1fUYR5s