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I-Series Computing Concepts
Stephen Haag, University of Denver
Maeve Cummings, Pittsburg State University
Alan I Rea, Jr., Western Michigan University

Did You Know

At the beginning of each chapter and on a few pages throughout, we provide some interesting facts. Some of these facts aren’t related to technology in any way, but hopefully they make you want to turn the page.

Each chapter also starts with an interesting fact that has a key piece of information omitted. That’s why you’re here right now — to locate that interesting little tidbit.

Below we list them.


Thomas Watson, Chair of IBM, will go down in infamy for predicting in 1943 that there would be a world market for only 5 computers.

Everyone tries to predict the future — be careful when predicting technology. It changes more rapidly and dramatically than you can imagine.


Ebay, the Web’s most popular auction site, have over 4 million items up for auction. Consumer to consumer electronic commerce is alive and well at Ebay.

Besides that, Ebay has successfully supported the auctioning of more than 2 billion items.


Personal productivity software can in fact really help you be more "productive." With only 4 clicks on your mouse, you can easily add interactivity (animation, audio, or video) to a slide presentation.

You should learn all the features of your personal productivity software. It will help you be more productive, and, in the case of adding interactivity to a slide presentation, it may very well help your grade in class.


In 1998, 7.9% of Americans over the age of 14 made online purchases. By 2002, 42% over the age of 14 will.

Although the "Dot Com" fallout of 2001 might decrease the overall percentage, the number of Internet users in the U.S. continues to increase. The Wall Street Journal (Feb. 2002) cites a study by the U.S. Commerce Department that found 54 percent of Americans–143 million–were using the Web by September 2001. This is 26 percent more than in 2000, or more than 2 million new users coming online each month in 2001.

With so many new Web surfers, you can expect to see an increase in e-commerce purchases as well.


You would be able to purchase a home for $7,000 that would occupy 8.8 million square feet.

The pace of innovation in information technology has been astonishing, to say the least. Consider that it was as recently 1993 that Marc Andreessen created the first graphical Web browser originally called Mosaic and later, Netscape. A decade is not a long time for something as pervasive as the World Wide Web to have been in existence.


Intel®’s Pentium 4 has 48 million transistors built into the chip.

The Pentium 4 is built with Intel's 0.13-micron technology. That means that the wires are 0.13 microns wide. That’s hundreds of times narrower than human hair. A single particle of talcum powder is between 20 and 30 microns across.


Most hackers are young men aged 15 to 25 .

White-hat hackers usually like to think of themselves as an elite troupe seeking the vulnerabilities in computer systems for the good of all. They know that hacking into other people’s computers is illegal, but they think it’s ethical because they find security holes and then allow system administrators to fix those problems before anyone with malicious intent tries to get in.


The DNA project has more than a quintillion bits of data–more than twice the contents of the U.S. Library of Congress.

A quintillion is a trillion million. That’s a number far beyond what any of us can imagine. The DNA project isn’t the only one amassing large amounts of data. The Internet Archive collects copies of all Web pages and stores the information in a large digital library.

The Internet Archive has over 100 terabytes of Web pages alone. In contrast, all of the books and other information in the Library of Congress amount to only 20 terabytes of data. Your favorite radio station only has about 8 terabytes of data (15,000 hours of music).


By 2003, it’s estimated that over 25,000,000 people in the U.S. will have wireless access to the Web.

We actually believe the number will be much higher. Almost all new PDAs today come with wireless Web access. And cell phones seem to be moving in the direction of providing free wireless Web access (of course, you’ll be using your minutes).


Microsoft programmer consumed 126,237 pizzas while writing Windows ’95 — that’s one slice of pizza for every 9 lines of code.

How many pizzas Microsoft programmers consumed is interesting but not that useful. What you should focus on is the size of an operating system (over 11 million lines for Windows ’95) and how long it takes to write that many lines (almost 10 million hours for Windows ’95).


Producing a Sega Genesis game in the ‘90s cost $200,000. By 2000, the Playstation and Nintendo 64 games cost $2 million to develop. Today it costs at least $4 million to produce a video game.

The James Bond movie, "GoldenEye," cost $60 million to produce and made $106 million in domestic gross sales. That’s an impressive return. However, the Nintendo "GoldenEye" video game cost $4 million to produce and made $230 million in domestic gross sales. It’s not difficult to conclude which was the better investment.

Because of the profits that can be made on video games, companies are always looking for good programmers who can work in this fast-paced interactive environment. Maybe you’re one of them.


Boeing built the prototype for its new 777 completely on a computer. 8,000 employees participated on the project from over 200 departments. The new airplane included over 2 million parts.

Big business requires big technology. And so do small businesses. No matter the size, any business can benefit from the use of technology.


An old adage says that if business owners make the right decision 51 percent of the time, the business will probably be a success.

Of course, this old saying doesn’t take into account the type of decisions that are included in the 51 percent. Obviously, some decisions are much more important and far-reaching than others. Getting the right paper clips is not much help if you make bad decisions in selecting your target market. The point of the adage is to emphasize that you don’t have to do everything perfectly to be a success.