Modified & Updated: 30 Dec 2023

monitor, computer facts

In modern society, computers are heavily relied on for daily tasks and entertainment. These days, most people think they know everything there is to know about computers and the technology behind it. Computers have made a great impact on us all. While it may be overwhelming for some, it excites the majority of us. So today, we take a look at 50 interesting computer facts that no tech geek will tell you about.

  1. Johann Henrich von Muller conceptualised a computer on paper, called the Difference Engine, in 1786.
  2. The first hard drive could only hold 5MB of data.
  3. The first computer looked like an oversized calculator.
  4. Creeper, written by Bob Thomas in 1971, is the first computer virus.
  5. The first hard disk cost $40,000 and weighed 550 lbs.
  1. In 1989, Sir Tim Burner Lee invented the internet.
  2. Abacuses was the inspiration for computers.
  3. Computer viruses were originally used to protect research information.
  4. The Dirty Dozen is the engineering group that developed the first IBM computer.
  5. Russians built a computer that ran on water in 1936.
  6. The Z1 is the world’s first freely programmable computer.
  7. The first fully functioning electro-mechanical computer in 1939.
  8. Steve Jobs built the first Apple computer from spare parts from his former employer.
  9. Hewlett Packard first started manufacturing computers in his garage.
  10. On the internet’s 4th year there were already 50 million users.
  1. By now there are over 17 billion devices connected to the internet.
  2. The computer control password for US nuclear missiles was 00000000 for 8 years before changing it.
  3. ENIAC was the first electronic computer.
  4. Hackers hack 30,000 websites every day.
  5. The average computer blinks 7 times a minute.
Table of Contents

1 out of 8 people in the United States met online.

These people went on to later marry each other.

The United States Air Force used the first transistor computer.

Engineers from Bell Labs built the first computer without vacuum tubes. They called it TRADIC. TRADIC stands for Transistorized Digital Computer. This machine was only three cubic feet.

92% of the world's currency exists only on computers.

Only about 8-10% of the world’s currency is physical money. The rest is in online banking, in-network currencies, etc.

online transactions, computer facts
Photo by Blake Wisz

A random memory stick an employee found in a parking lot hacked U.S military computers.

This was the worst breach of U.S military computer in history. A foreign intelligence agency encrypted the memory stick.

Three students once installed keystroke loggers onto their teacher's computers to hack and sell grades to students.

Through the loggers, they stole test answers and sold them to other students on campus. School authorities found the spyware during a routine check-up of campus computers. As a result, the students were later sent to prison.

John Lasseter promoted computer animation. They fired him for it.

Before he became the CEO of Pixar, John Lasseter was very keen on the idea of computer animation. After that, he went on to work for LucasFilm which produced a groundbreaking film with the use of CGI. After some time, he later returned to Disney and became the new CEO of the Pixar company.

The new Texas Instrument calculators have ABC keyboards as the standardised tool for tests.

If the keyboard would have a QWERTY keyboard, they are considered computers. Thus, it is not allowed for standardised test-taking.

Mary Kenneth Keller is the first woman from the U.S. to earn a PHD in Computer Science

She was able to meet this honor in 1965. In addition, She also had a background in Mathematics and Physics studies before receiving her Ph.D.

The Sasser worm mainly targets computers running on Microsoft OS and exploits a vulnerable network port.

This was mainly used in Microsoft XP operating systems. This worm could download a patch from Microsoft and infect the system. Once it had open a port of vulnerability, it deletes itself from the device so that no one can trace it.

A 15-year-old once hacked NASA.

This incident forced NASA to command a shut down of operations for 21 days. This cost an approximate 41,000 dollars to check the systems and fix it. Jonathan James, the teen who managed to hack NASA’s database, was under house arrest. He was not allowed to leave until he turned 18 and was under strict surveillance.

Large banks use computers to process checks and debit card charges by the highest amount first.

This is because checks with higher amounts of value need to be thoroughly double-checked first before clearing. This explains why it may take a few working days before clearing can be issued.

A computer as powerful as the human brain would be able to perform 38,000 trillion operations per second.

This machine would be able to hold more than 3580 terabytes of memory.

The father of Computer Science committed suicide.

Alan Turning committed the act after forcing him to undergo hormonal treatment for his homosexuality. He was also banned from continuing his research unless he went through the treatments.

The Tandy TRS-80 Model I computer radiates so much interference that you need to use an AM radio to play sounds from games.

Some of the games specifically so you could use this to play the sounds.

The word "Typewriter" is the longest word you can type using only one row of the keyboard.

Other words you could also try typing are pretty, power, and tweety.

Around 70% of virus programmers allegedly work under a strict contract for crime syndicates.

hack, hacking, computer facts
Photo from Pixabay

Their jobs are to constantly detect vulnerabilities within their own company and try to find a way to block unwanted breaches out. There is often a black or white scale in the world of virus programming.

Programmers that are deemed good are called white hats. While programmers who use their skills to steal information are called black hats.

80% of emails sent daily are spam mail.

Most of these emails are ads, newsletters, and other junk emails.

HP, Apple, and Microsoft all began developing their computers in a garage.

HP’s original garage, in particular, has been preserved as much as possible to tell the history of how the brand started. This was also made into a private museum in which tours are not allowed.

In 2010, a high school in Pennsylvania issued MacBooks to its entire student body.

These computers were linked to the school. Its real purpose was to be used to remotely control the webcams to spy on their students at home.

Amazon now sells more ebooks than hardcover books.

In the age of digital media, it is no surprise that more and more people would prefer a digital book over a hardbound copy.

The QWERTY keyboard was invented to reduce the typing speed of users.

Often, the fast typing speed of some users would cause the computer to freeze for some time repeatedly.

This is mainly because parts were harder to come by during earlier times and would often have to be custom made or ordered.

The computer on your smartphones are a million times cheaper than the computers at MIT in the year 1965.

The Windows 98 OS would move windows outside the average monitor's resolution as a way of minimising them.

But with the screen’s resolution at the time, we could barely tell the difference.

Douglas Englebert invented the first computer mouse in 1964.

This mouse was made out of wood, just like the first computer was.

Over 5000 new computer viruses are released every month.

More than 317 million new pieces of malware are also found each day.

Bill Gates' house was designed using a Macintosh computer.

Some people who designed Bill Gates’ famous private residential compound in Washington were James Cutler Architects and the architectural firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson (BCJ).

macintosh computer
Photo by Museums Victoria

The founder of the McAfee Antivirus program, John McAfee does not use his software.

He admitted in an interview in 2012 that his software was too annoying.

The woman who rented out her garage to Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1998 later became the CEO of YouTube.

YouTube’s current CEO is Susan Wojcicki.

Cambridge University used the first webcam.

Through this webcam, they watched a coffee maker. As a result, the user would not have to make unnecessary trips to an empty pot. One camera was where the coffee pot was in. Then, the receiving video would be set up in the user’s workstation.

Windows’ original name was Interface Manager.

The windows project started in 1982.