Computer applications and products

Preparatory Materials on computer applications and products:

1. The Apache Web Server: Apache is a widely-used free HTTP server. It was originally developed on top of the NCSA httpd server as a series of patches; hence came to be called ""a patchy server"", which later became the name ""Apache."" The first public release of Apache (version 0.6.2) came out in April 1995. Version 0.8.8 release, based on the new server architecture, codenamed Shambhala and designed by Robert Thau, was also released in 1995. Websites: Apache Software Foundation, Apache History - Timeline.

2. HotJava, a Java-based web browser, was developed by Patrick Naughton and Jonathan Payne (a Sun engineer) in 1994. It was initially named WebRunner.


3. MP3 is short for MPEG Audio Layer 3 -- where MPEG stands for Motion Picture Experts Group -- and it is a compression format for digital audio files. MP3 is the result of the work of Karlheinz Brandenburg at the Frauenhofer Institute in Erlangen, Germany in joint co-operation with Prof. Dieter Seitzer of University of Erlangen. The MP3 patent was awarded to Frauenhofer Institute in 1989. In 1997 Tomislav Uzelac, a developer at Advanced Multimedia Products, created the AMP Playback Engine for MP3. Justin Frankel and Dmitry Boldyrev added a Windows GUI to the AMP engine and created Winamp, which was offered as a free MP3 player. Links: MP3 Overview (, Fraunhofer Institute website: History of MP3, Karlheinz Brandenburg and The Secret History of MP3 (, MP3 history with timeline by Yu-Chin Chang, Interview with Karlheinz Brandenburg (, Karlheinz Brandenburg speaks out (BBC News)


4. Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) was code named as 'Denali' during development.

5. Opera, the popular and fast Web browser: Jon S. von Tetzchner and Geir Ivarsøy started writing this browser in 1994 while working for Norwegian telecom Telenor. The company Opera Software ASA was founded in Oslo, Norway in 1995. The first public release was Opera 2.1 in 1996. Version 3 came in 1998, Version 4 in 2000 and Versions 5 and 6 in 2001.

6. Jaguar is the code name for Apple's operating system Mac OS X v10.2. The code name for Max OS X v10.0 was Cheetah and for v10.1 was Puma.

7. Pong is a computer game written by Nolan Bushnell in 1971.

8. PostScript, Photoshop, PageMill, Aldus PageMaker and Acrobat are all from Adobe.

9. Microsoft Powerpoint, the presentation software, was a product of Forethought, California. It was originally named as 'Presenter' and was designed for Windows 2.0. Two developers worked on a Lisa machine for 16 months to complete the first version PowerPoint 1, which was released in April 1987. Microsoft acquired Forethought in August 1987.

10. Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) was developed by Philip Zimmerman. It uses the RSA (Rivest-Shamir-Adleman) algorithm for encryption.

11. Sketchpad was the first computer graphics application. It was designed by Ivan Sutherland in 1963 on a TX-2 computer at Massachussets Institute of Technology (MIT).

12. TeX, the text formatter, and METAFOND was written by Donald Knuth. He also authored the book 'The Art of Computer Programming,' considered a must read for any Computer Science student. Links: Donald Knuth, a portrait

13. VERONICA stands for Very Easy Rodent-Oriented Netwide Index to Computerized Archives. It was one of the first search application on the primitive Internet.

14. Bill Joy: Wrote ed (editor for mortals), the UNIX text editor in 1975 and vi in 1978. In 1976, he wrote a Pascal compiler for UNIX. He also wrote the utilities rsh, rcp, rlogin and the first BSD (Berkeley Software Development) release of utilities.

15. Visicalc was the first spreadsheet application (Microsoft Excel is a popular example of spreadsheet software). It was written in 1979 first for the Apple II by Dan Bricklin and Bob Frankston and sold by Software Arts which the authors founded. VisiCalc was soon sold to Lotus Development Corporation, where it was developed into the Lotus 1-2-3.

16. Winamp, the popular MP3 player for Windows is developed by Nullsoft. The development of Winamp was started in 1997 by Justin Frankel in 1997. Nullsoft is now owned by AOL.

17. WordStar was originally written by Seymour Rubenstein. He formed MicroPro International Inc. in 1978. WordStar for CP/M was released by MicroPro in 1979. It was later ported to MS/PC DOS by Jim Fo

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