Recent Articles By John Martellaro [RSS]

TMO Background Mode Interview with Professor of Computer Science Dr. John Gustafson

· · Background Mode Podcast

Dr. John Gustafson on Background Mode.

Dr. John Gustafson is a professor of computer science, now at The National University of Singapore. He holds a Ph.D. in Applied mathematics from Iowa State University and also specializes in high performance (supercomputer) computing. (HPC). He’s worked at Sun Labs, Clearspeed Technology, Massively Parallel Technology, Intel, and AMD. At an early age, he was fascinated by chemistry and also had a good sized electronics lab in his basement (thanks to indulgent parents). But by the time he started his undergraduate degree at Cal Tech, he’d settled on applied mathematics with physics as a second major. It was at Cal Tech where he met and was influenced by the Nobel Prize winning physicist, Dr. Richard Feynman. John, describes his career arc, and at the end has some great advice for young scientists just getting started.

What Does 'Wi-Fi' REALLY Stand For? Who Knew?

· · Cool Stuff Found

What does the term Wi-Fi really stand for? The Wi-Fi Alliance came up with it. It’s not an acronym. It’s not an initialism. Are you ready? it’s a nonsense word. Back in the dawn of time, the alliance needed something a little catchier than “IEEE 802.11b Direct Sequence.” So a branding firm just made it up.. And catchy it is. So now you know.

What Does ‘Wi-Fi’ REALLY Stand For? Who Knew?

TMO Background Mode Interview with TekRevue Founder Jim Tanous

· · Background Mode Podcast

Jim Tanous on Background Mode.

Jim Tanous is the founder of the TekRevue website. That’s where you’ll find a wealth of technical articles and reviews for Apple, PC and Linux products. He’s also a regular contributor and editor here at The Mac Observer. Jim was always interested in computer technology, even from age seven. There was no computer at home when he was growing up, but his elementary school had Apple IIs, and he learned the BASIC language. However, Jim’s father was an attorney, and Jim thought, all the way into his second year of law school, that he would become an attorney also. Then one day, he realized that he wasn’t enjoying himself. That, in turn led, by his account, to becoming an Apple Genius. Tune in to find out how he made that grand leap.

[Background Mode will return on July 10.]

How to Start a Campfire With a Plastic Sandwich Bag and Water

· · Cool Stuff Found

This video isn’t conventional computer tech. And yet’s immensely technical, invoking a principle of physics. Gotta love that. And so, if you’re camping, don’t have matches, can’t find a flinty rock and can’t get your campfire started for a cold night to come, here’s a really cool demo. What you need is some pulverized wood, a clear plastic sandwich bag, and some water from a nearby stream. Or your cooler. Sound impossible, Mr. MacGyver? Check it out.

Behold: A Miniature, Working Apple II Replica With $9 Innards

· · Cool Stuff Found

If you thought the Raspberry Pi is small, take a look at this US$9 CHIP board from Next Thing Co. Game developer Chris Larkin combined it with a 12V battery, some 3D printing magic, and a wireless keyboard to host a fully working emulator of an Apple II computer. And just in time for the 40th anniversary of the Apple II from 1977. This video demonstrates how to build one yourself. Super cool.

How to Sell More iPhones - Build a Global Satellite Internet

· · Link

Satellite with an Apple logo

After selling a billion or so iPhones, Apple would love to sustain growth. One way to do that is to tap into its enormous cash reserves and work with a company that knows how to build a constellation of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites, providing internet access. Say, Boeing. Many more locations on Earth would open up. In this potential partnership, Apple would manage the consumer side and fund a part of the satellite operations built by Boeing. This is looking more and more real. Particle Debris points to the story at Investor’s Business Daily.