Here’s a review of this week’s questions:
- In 1978, Harvard student Dan Bricklin invented a computer application loved and hated by legions of users ever since. What program was it?
- What major computer company did Lenovo acquire in 2005?
- What does TFT mean on a laptop?
And here are the answers:
- The spreadsheet. Dan Bricklin is often referred to as, “the father of the spreadsheet,” as he was the co-creator of VisiCalc in 1979. Bricklin and partner Bob Frankston represented a company called Software Arts, which teamed with Apple to offer the “killer app” on its Apple II computer system. The program sold for $100 ($382 today) and eventually sold over a million copies. Dan Bricklin eventually went on to run Software Garden, Trellix and Alpha Software.
- IBM. The IBM-Lenovo deal in 2005 will go down as a win-win scenario. Lenovo bought IBM’s PC business and an iconic ThinkPad brand and leveraged it to be the No. 1 PC maker. By shedding the PC business, IBM transformed into a hardware, software and services outfit. Big Blue is also looking for a sequel of its own as it sheds commodity servers to focus on analytics, mobile, security and cloud.
- Thin film transistor. A TFT is a transistor that is deposited onto a substrate in thin layers. TFT transistors are commonly used in active matrix LCD screens, which are sometimes called “TFT screens.” As a semiconductor device, the TFT uses solid-state electronics, meaning that electricity flows through the structure of the semiconductor layer rather than vacuum tubes. TFT’s have played a major role is screen technologies used in laptops, tablets and computer monitors for over 50 years.