Test Your Nerd Knowledge: Jan 25, 2022

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

  1. What was the first computer system that used color display?
  2. Ivan Sutherland’s Sketchpad was the predecessor of what commonly used tool for interacting with a computer?
  3. What does “CPU” stand for?

And here are the answers:

  1. Apple II. In 1977, as part of the Apple/Commodore/Tandy rollouts known as the “1977 Trinity,” Apple II stood out due to its defining feature of being able to display color graphics. Apple even redesigned its logo to the familiar “Rainbow Apple” in order to increase public awareness of the development. The Apple II was the first model in the Apple II series, followed by Apple II+, Apple IIe, Apple IIc, and the 16-bit Apple IIGS. Production of the last available model, Apple IILE, ceased in November 1993.
  2. GUI. As a student at MIT in 1963, Sutherland created Sketchpad, also known as Robot Draftsman, as part of his PhD thesis. The main idea was to have master drawings which one could instantiate into many duplicates. If the user changed the master drawing, all the instances would change as well. While this may seem far-removed today’s Graphical User Interfaces, Sutherland’s invention was adapted, fine-tuned and re-engineered over the years by everyone from Xerox to Microsoft to become the ubiquitous tool that we all use every day, the GUI.
  3. Central Processing Unit. The CPU is the primary component of a computer that processes instructions. It runs the operating system and applications, constantly receiving input from the user or active software programs. It processes the data and produces output, which may be stored by an application or displayed on the screen.