Harry Huskey dies in Santa Cruz; ENIAC pioneer also designed ‘first PC’

Read the full SJMN article at mercurynews.com.

“Huskey thinks his G-15 could be ordained as the first personal computer. It was small for its time, cheap for its time and designed to be used by one person. Although that concept of a personal computer is the same today, the G-15 is a far cry from the desk-top models available today at Macy’s for about $1,000.

For one thing, the G-15 is as big as two refrigerators. And instead of using computer chips, it uses 350 vacuum tubes that must warm up before the computer can be turned on. It has no display screen, just a Teletype that spits out what the computer was thinking.

The price: only $50,000. That’s about $222,000 in 1988 dollars, but it was absolutely a steal back when the cheapest computers sold for more than $1 million.”

Safe software download sites – Beware of deceptive download links & PUPs

I download and use freeware. My primary freeware source is snapfiles.com. I also use other sources.

Two software sources, Softpedia.com and Softonic.com, have similar-sounding names but different reputations, and I can’t easily remember which is which, so when I find some software available via one of them I have to find if it’s the site I want to trust, using the Google search [softpedia softonic].

A few items down in my first page of Google results I found this article which was originally published January 14, 2014. It includes this list of software sites the author considered safe:

Filehippo.com — See this.

Read the full article at thewindowsclub.com.

A little farther down my Google results page I found this ghacks.net article, dated November 22, 2012. In it, Martin Brinkmann says : “Before we take a look at software download portals that use web installers to bundle third party offers, I’d like to take a moment to list a few portals that do not: Softpedia, File Hippo, Freeware Files and Major Geeks. If you need to download something, I’d suggest you check out those portals first.”

Be sure to also read the comments to that article, ghacks.net comments.

Whatever site you choose to download from, please try be as smartly safe as you can. Don’t quickly accept the biggest DOWNLOAD button they show you.

Why You Should Care About The Supreme Court Case On Toner Cartridges

Read the full article at consumerist.com.

“A corporate squabble over printer toner cartridges doesn’t sound particularly glamorous, and the phrase “patent exhaustion” is probably already causing your eyes to glaze over. However, these otherwise boring topics are the crux of a Supreme Court case that will answer a question with far-reaching impact for all consumers: Can a company that sold you something use its patent on that product to control how you choose to use after you buy it?”

Here’s Consumerist’s TL;DR summary of the article:

• In order to stop customers from using third-party companies that refill printer toner cartridges, Lexmark began asserting patent control over its cartridges.
• One those third-party companies sued Lexmark, contending that this an abuse of patent protection, and that consumers have the right to do what they want with a product after they buy it.
• If the Supreme Court sides with Lexmark, it could have far-reaching implications, allowing companies to further limit consumers’ ability to use, reuse, or resell the things they purchase.
• A ruling is not expected in this matter until later in the spring or summer.