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3Dfx Brought the GPU Industry to Life But Didn't Live to See It Thrive

In a few short years, the graphics card company 3Dfx Interactive provided a polygon-laden shock to the PC world—then fell apart, fast. What happened?
Ernie Smith
4 days ago
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Why Did Slack Win Out Over IRC, Anyway?

Internet Relay Chat beat Slack to real-time chat by decades and helped define much of our early online culture, yet way more people use Slack. Why is that?
Ernie Smith
2.13.18
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How File Sharing Broke the Internet’s First Forum

Usenet—a formative online protocol intended for conversations—was forever changed once the public figured out you could transfer binary files through it.
Ernie Smith
2.6.18
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Google’s Forgotten Service: How FeedBurner Became a Zombie

Why FeedBurner, a service that Google once bought for $100 million, has become the one service it literally can’t kill.
Ernie Smith
2.5.18
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The Tale of the Free-Net, the Cheap Way Dial-Up Users Got Online

In the 80s, a defining online phenomenon—being able to use the internet for free—came from (of all places) Cleveland. Here’s the story of the Free-Net.
Ernie Smith
1.20.18
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The Story of the Trackball, Canada's Earliest Gift to Computing

The evolution of the trackball, which is more than an upside-down mouse. It's the Royal Canadian Navy’s greatest contribution to modern-day computing. Really.
Ernie Smith
1.17.18
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The Wildly Popular Christmas Game That Got Mistaken for Spyware

How 'Elf Bowling,' the incredibly popular viral game from 1999, became an early victim of what we might now call “fake news.”
Ernie Smith
12.26.17
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The Pixel-Perfect Evolution of High-End Retro Gaming

The push for pixel perfection at the heart of the enthusiast retro movement—and the company that wants those pixels to look better than you remember.
Ernie Smith
12.14.17
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Tedium

Beyond Net Neutrality: What You Should Know About the FCC's New TV Standard

Nine years ago, the federal government painfully pushed the public into the arms of digital TV. Soon enough, we could be making that upgrade all over again.
Ernie Smith
12.12.17
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The 80s Software Program That Made Email Famous

Even as die-hard Eudora users held on, it couldn’t. Did we lose something great?
Ernie Smith
12.6.17
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The Company That Waited Decades for the Touchscreen Revolution

How the stylus-controlled graphics tablet, most notably produced by Japanese firm Wacom, helped shape our multitouch-friendly world—even if that shaping took a little while.
Ernie Smith
12.1.17
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Tedium

Rise of the Wannabes: The Game Boy's Many Uninspired Knockoffs

How the success of the Game Boy inspired a wealth of rip-off consoles sold under a variety of bizarre corporate structures. This goes deeper than the Lynx.
Ernie Smith
11.7.17