Test Your Nerd Knowledge — Feb 8, 2022

Here’s a review of this week’s questions:

  1. The invention of this technology tool is credited to numerous individuals, including Nir Zuk, Marcus Ranum, David Presotto, William Cheswick, Steven Bellovin, Brian Reid, Paul Vixie, and Brent Chapman. What is it?
  2. What is the name of the software program, developed in 1982, that is used by architects, project managers, engineers, graphic designers, city planners and other professionals?
  3. What was the name of the 2014 TV show that borrowed its title from the code instruction, “to cease meaningful operation, typically requiring a restart of the computer”?

And here are the answers:

  1. The Firewall. The firewall’s initial concept was simple but hard to nail down: Use packet filtering to deny all except what is specifically allowed. Cheswick and Bellovin were considered the fathers of the network firewall. Presotto added the “stateful inspection” concept and Zuk was the father of the “stateful firewall product.” Meanwhile, at Digital Equipment Corp. in the late 1980s, Reid and Vixie started with the gatekeeper.dec.com gateway, just as Ranum and his team rolled out DEC SEAL, the first commercial firewall.
  2. AutoCAD. Defined as “computer-aided design,” CAD drawing on computers had been around in one form or another since the mid-70’s. Things got serious, however, when Founder John Walker and his team at AutoDesk launched AutoCAD at the COMDEX trade show in Las Vegas as the first CAD program in the world to run on a PC. By 1986, only four years after it was introduced, AutoCAD had become the most widely used design application worldwide, a position it still holds today.
  3. Halt and Catch Fire. Set in Texas in the 1980’s, Halt and Catch Fire was a depiction of a fictionalized insider’s view of the personal computer revolution and the growth of the worldwide web. It starred Lee Pace, Mackenzie Davis and Scoot McNairy and was a modest hit for the AMC network, where it ran until 2017. The show’s three seasons can still be streamed on AMC +.