Test your nerd knowledge: Jan. 11, 2023

  1. What system was originally authored by Linus Torvalds in 2005 for the development of the Linux kernel?
  2. In computer parlance, what does ACK stand for?
  3. In 1981, Sony marketed a product called Mavipak. What was it?

And here are the answers:

  1. Answer: Git. Finnish IT innovator Linus Torvalds and his team authored the Linux kernel in 1991 for his i386-based Linux PC, and years later developed what would become Git. The purpose of Git was initially to create a Source Code Management system that met their rigid standards. Today, Git is used for thousands of projects. It has also taken pair programming in a new direction by introducing social coding among programmers. To access Gits, the user must visit a GitHub, which is a website and cloud-based service that helps developers store and manage their code, as well as track and control changes to their code.
  2. Answer: Amsterdam Compiler Kit. Not to be confused with the other ACK (acknowledgement code) or the statement of frustration exclaimed by Bill the Cat in the 1980s comic strip, “Bloom County” (ACK!), the Amsterdam Compiler Kit is a retargetable compiler suite developed by Dutch engineers. It is also described as “a toolchain suite that is small, portable, extremely fast and extremely flexible.” The ACK contains compilers for ANSI C, K&R C, Pascal, Modula-2, Occam 1, and a primitive version of Basic. It contains code generators for many architectures, mostly 8- and 16-bit machines.
  3. Answer: Mini disk for video cameras. Sometimes referred to as a “Video Floppy,” the Mavipak was introduced by Sony along with its Mavica electronic still video camera. Oddly, Sony would release another video camera called the Mavica in 1997. The 1981 original, however, was an innovation that caught users’ attention as the “first digital camera.” The Mavipak was a magnetic disk, measuring 60mm x 54mm, used to store still frames of composite analog video. The video floppy format was later implemented by Minolta, Panasonic and Canon for their digital cameras. The technology became quite popular in the 1980s and 1990s in the medical field, used by medical professionals to store data from endoscopy and borescopes.