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Friday, June 28, 2024

Friday, June 28, 2024
Photo by Steve Johnson / Unsplash

Good morning. How are you? I am fine.

Look at that scamp! And his computers!

Back in 1972-73, Paul Friedl and others at IBM cobbled the SCAMP (Special Computer, APL Machine Portable) together from a bunch of parts. This was what passed, in those days, for a portable computer.

Friedl and his colleagues used the SCAMP in over one hundred demonstrations. A menu on the screen indicated possible uses – as a calculator or for financial analysis, project planning, educational drill, engineering analysis, or statistical analysis. The machine served as a prototype for the IBM 5100 portable computer, a machine announced in 1975 that sold for between $8975 and $19,575 and found a range of applications. Some consider the SCAMP as the grandfather of the highly successful IBM Personal Computer (IBM 5150), introduced in 1981.

You can see in the photo below how the part with the screen could fold down into a marginally more compact size, perfect for tweaking one's back trying to lug it to and from the office. Still, this goofy device was much more convenient to carry than its extremely influential grandchild. Plus it has a friggin' tape deck.

Item 2: a list

High school grades, ranked:

  1. Senior year
  2. Sophomore year
  3. Freshman year
  4. Junior year

Item 3: a media recommendation

Donovan - Season of the Witch

Item 4: word of the week


I've been fossicking through my desk drawers for hours with no luck. Where did I put those darned Vanderpump Rules temporary tattoos?

Item 5: a photograph

What creates Saturn's colors? The featured picture of Saturn only slightly exaggerates what a human would see if hovering close to the giant ringed world. The image was taken in 2005 by the robot Cassini spacecraft that orbited Saturn from 2004 to 2017. Here Saturn's majestic rings appear directly only as a curved line, appearing brown, in part from its infrared glow. The rings best show their complex structure in the dark shadows they create across the upper part of the planet. The northern hemisphere of Saturn can appear partly blue for the same reason that Earth's skies can appear blue -- molecules in the cloudless portions of both planet's atmospheres are better at scattering blue light than red. When looking deep into Saturn's clouds, however, the natural gold hue of Saturn's clouds becomes dominant. It is not known why southern Saturn does not show the same blue hue -- one hypothesis holds that clouds are higher there. It is also not known why some of Saturn's clouds are colored gold. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, JPL, ISS, Cassini Imaging Team; Processing & License: Judy Schmidt

See ya!

Thanks for reading. I hope you found something to enjoy in this issue. Or, failing that, I hope you appreciated how little time you wasted reading it.

See you next week.