10 Weird But True Facts About Technology

Whether you are already a die-hard tech junkie or just someone who wants to learn a little more about the world of technology, it is always interesting to hear some surprising facts about the technology we use each day.


1. At one point, you could send an e-mail without using the internet as we know it

You might be surprised to know that e-mail predates the development of the world wide web. However, sending an e-mail then involved a lot more than just logging into your Gmail account, typing something, and hitting send. If you wanted to e-mail someone before the contemporary internet was developed, you needed both a computer and a rotary phone. You then would need to connect to Micronet, a service that was essentially an early version of the internet.


2. There are specially-designed computers for the Amish

If you are familiar at all with Amish culture, you may already know that the majority of these people live their lives without modern convenience. However, there are special computers designed specifically for the Amish. These computers are not internet equipped, but they include word processing and spreadsheet functions as well as drawing applications. However, in order to make them compatible with the Amish lifestyle, they do not play music or video.


3. The first computer mouse was made out of wood

The computer mouse was invented decades ago in 1964. And while most computer mice we see on a day-to-day basis are made out of plastic, this one was made of a block of wood. It had a tiny button in one corner as well as a connector cord coming out the back. Unsurprisingly, the mouse’s creator, Doug Engelbart, gave it its name because it reminded him of an actual mouse.


4. Which came first — the meat or the junk mail?

You likely know that junk e-mails and a certain budget meat product are both called “Spam.” However, it might surprise you to know that the junk mail is named after the meat product. Hormel’s Spam meat hit the market in 1937, and by 1998, the definition of “spam” as junk mail made it into the dictionary.


5. Nintendo did not always make video games

Nintendo is one of the most legendary game manufacturers, but the company started out as a playing card manufacturer. It started making hand-painted playing cards in 1889 in Japan. The cards were very successful, and Nintendo used the revenue to venture into several other markets. The company sold ramen noodles, operated a taxi service, and rented out short-term hotels. They also ventured into video games, which became Nintendo’s primary focus.


6. Millions of Americans still use dial-up internet

Many of us think of dial-up as a thing of the past. However, as of 2017, over two million people in America were still using dial-up service from AOL. Usually, those who use dial-up live in areas where high-speed internet is inaccessible. Dial-up may be slow, but it is also cheap — it costs around $20 per month.


7. Amazon was not always called Amazon

Originally, internet giant Amazon was only supposed to be an online bookstore. Founder Jeff Bezos wanted to call it “Cadabra” (short for “Abracadabra”). However, his lawyer kept hearing the name as “cadaver,” leading Bezos to reconsider. This was also in the days where web search results came back in alphabetical order, so having a company whose name began with “A” was an advantage.


8. It used to be free to register a domain name

In the early days of the internet, most people did not realize how much of a phenomenon it would be. For a time, you could reserve as many domain names as you wanted — all for free. When fees started being charged, they were much more expensive than many people had anticipated. Domain name registrations for two years usually cost around $100.


9. The first iPhone was not ready in time for its presentation

When Steve Jobs presented the first iPhone in 2007, there were still six months before it was set to hit the shelves. As one of the first smartphones, the original iPhone still was incredibly buggy at the time of the presentation. Jobs had to switch between a few different phones to get through the presentation without the iPhone crashing.


10. Casey Anthony may have been acquitted because she used Firefox

In Casey Anthony’s murder trial, her internet searches were of great interest to prosecutors. However, after the trial, it came out that prosecutors had only focused on her Internet Explorer search history. Casey Anthony preferred Firefox, and her Firefox search history included “fool-proof suffocation.”

While many of us do not think twice about the technology we use each day, there is a rich and sometimes humorous history to each device or program we use. Our list of interesting facts is just the beginning — tomorrow’s new technologies are already in the works.