This Doll From The 18th Century May Be One Of The First Computers (Cool Weird Awesome 1023)

World Doll Day is tomorrow. And while the world has lots of amazing and well-loved dolls, there aren’t many like the 18th Century automata known as The Writer. 

By |2023-06-09T10:12:28-04:00June 9, 2023|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |

Clippy, The AI Paper Clip Chatbot That Really Wanted To Help You Write Letters (Cool Weird Awesome 959)

AI chatbots are big again, so let's hang out with the OG AI chatbot: Microsoft Word letter writing helper extraordinare, Clippy the paper clip.

The Birth Of The Blinking Cursor (Cool Weird Awesome 905)

Today in 1930, the inventor of the computer cursor was born. It’s one of those creations that’s so small and common that it’s easy to forget what a big deal it really is.

By |2023-12-15T09:18:28-05:00December 15, 2022|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |

An Email Mixup Led To A Very Strange Welsh Road Sign (Cool Weird Awesome 645)

This week in 2008, local officials in Swanzey tried to get English-to-Welsh translation for a road sign they wanted to put up. They got a Welsh sentence in response, but it wasn't what they thought. Plus: today in 1969, the first network message on ARPANET goes through, though without a few key letters. 

By |2021-10-29T07:29:31-04:00October 29, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |

Evelyn Berezin And Her Word Processor Brought The Computer Age Closer To Everybody (Cool Weird Awesome 517)

Today is the birthday of Evelyn Berezin, whose inventions include the first computer-based word processor, the first computerized airline reservations system, and so much more that so many of us use regularly today. Plus: artist Nadia Gonegaï has made the Portrait Urn, a pretty special way to remember someone special. 

By |2024-04-12T07:13:54-04:00April 12, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |

The Butler In A Box Was A Smart Speaker Before There Were Smart Speakers (Cool Weird Awesome 487)

You know about the Echo and the Google Home, but do you know about the Butler In A Box? It was a voice-controlled smart home device in the 1980s, and could do many of the same things our smart speakers do today. Plus: it's the birthday of Dr. Mark Dean, a computing pioneer who helped create some of the most important technology we have, and also saw the future of technology quite a few times.

By |2024-03-02T10:30:43-05:00March 2, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |

Ada Lovelace Was The First Computer Programmer, And Almost The First Computer Musician (Cool Weird Awesome 438)

Today's the birthday of Ada Lovelace, known as the first computer programmer. She also dreamed up the idea of generating music through a computer program, so if you've ever made music with a synthesizer, you're following in her footsteps.

By |2023-12-10T10:18:26-05:00December 10, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |

The Very First Computer Bug Was An Actual Bug (Cool Weird Awesome 377)

On this day in 1947, a team working on a computer at Harvard University discovered the first computer bug: a moth that had gotten trapped in the electronics. Plus: today in 2005, a guy writes to Major League Baseball to get that expressed written consent they always talk about to rebroadcast or retransmit a game.

By |2020-09-09T07:33:13-04:00September 9, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |

In The 1980s, You Downloaded Video Games Off The Radio (Cool Weird Awesome 337)

Today we download video games online all the time. Back in the 1980s, gamers without the Internet (such as it was) had to buy or borrow their games. But a few could download programs off the radio.

This Program Can Make You Invisible On A Webcam (Cool Weird Awesome 246)

Disappearing People is a computer program that can make us invisible on our computer’s cameras!

By |2024-02-26T07:59:55-05:00February 26, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |
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