ce magazine march 2019 issue

CEoMC17

This month is Dog with modern Technology

Michigan City Indiana

March Vol. 7 - 2019

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Thanks to all who contributed to CE

Magazine. Have an article you would like

contribute? You can mail it to:

CE, P.O. Box 8619

Michigan City In 46360

Or E-Mail it to

computerease@juno.com

CE Magazine® is part of OtherSide Ministries ©

all rights reserved

Founder & Chief Editor

Peter Nadal

Editor

Pamela Kennoy

Art & Design

Peter Nadal

Our Writers

Rodrigo Esperanza / Nomar Shaw

Diane G / Big Poppa

Outside Sources On This Month issue

Elisabeth Geier / North Carolina State

University / Andrea Huspeni / Alicia Rius

Money cnn / Hunter Scott

Our March 2019 Edition

4 Pete’s Corner

6 Hey Pete!

8 Links of the Month!

9 To Hack or not to Hack Your cell phone

That is the question

11 Biz Cards board!! Hey its free

12 How These 5 Advances in Dog Tech

Could Change Your Life

17 Dogs, technology and the future of

disaster response

20 New Technology to Help Search and

Rescue Dogs Find Survivors

23 A Few Pictures Of Rescue Dogs At

Their Best

24 TOP 5 TECH DEVICES FOR

DOGS

29 Armor to guard $50,000 dogs

31 Something to enlighten you up!

36 Come a Long Way Baby!

37 Back Cover - Last Look

Front Cover:

Custom Cover “Last walk to heaven”

Back cover “Last look”

Original Computer-Ease logo ©

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I have to say our office has a ghost and her name is Cini, last week we

came in and papers on desks were scattered everywhere and to boot the art

work had her face on it. So, in her memory we did not change anything

and ran with it, so this Cini edition we dedicate to all of you in reader’s

land who have lost your best pal! Oh, don’t mind her foot prints at the

bottom of the pages.

In this March issue we cover the exploration of hack not to hacking and a

chock full technology for our dogs and may I say I was totally awed by the

technology that is coming out for our loyal canine.

Our links of the month is some very interesting how-to- do, if you have a

computer question that you can’t find an answer to, email us at:

computereas@juno.com we have a full staff of computer techs that will

find you an answer

Thank You for reading CE Magazine…

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Please Don’t Be A

Victim!

4 month public announcements run by CE Magazine

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On this March issue, no how do’s, just click the link below the

picture…

―Dog music – Relax your dog! Unique sound technology‖

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7okOpjq6deA

You have a YouTube page of music Links for your dog, as matter

of fact you will find it extremely relaxing too!

ENJOY!

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What You Seek Is Knowlege

You Will Find In those Links

Take a look-see!

http://www.geeksengine.com/article/recover-deleted-file.html

http://www.geeksengine.com/software/free/bmp-to-jpg.html

http://www.geeksengine.com/software/free/infrarecorder.html

http://www.geeksengine.com/software/free/7zip.html

http://www.geeksengine.com/software/free/image-photo-editing.html

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To Hack or not to Hack

Your cell phone

That is the question!

If I, Shakespeare, were alive today I would be having a field day with your

21 st century technology. So, you found, given, passed down to you, however

“legally” you got it, the fist thought is;

OR

1: young, teenager range “let’s hack it”

2: mid 30’s to 40’s “I know a cell shop, money no problem”

3: 50’s + “Hey, I’ll just clean the data junk and apps I don’t want and

Set it up as a PDA!”

What is a PDA? I shall tell you, “A personal digital assistant (PDA), also

known as a handheld PC,[is a variety mobile device which functions as a

personal information manager. PDAs were largely discontinued in the early

2010 after the widespread adoption of highly capable Smartphone’s, in

particular those based on iOS and Android.”

So, aaaaaaaa love ya Billy, my turn!!!!!

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I spent 4 days on research on how to hack a Samsung Galaxy J3

(pict 1) and bypass Google block, I can tell you that everyone in

cyber land has ―THE FIX‖ and I tried the top 30 and they are all

duds and the reason is you don’t know if or any updates were ever

done to the operating system which would have plug those holes.

Pict 1.. Samsung Galaxy J3

If you are asking why we reset the phone to factory, well, two

phones that came in to our possession the J3 on the left and the

one below Galaxy S6 – G920A. We kept the S6 for its memory,

speed and updates, so, the S6 was the 1 st to go on the bench and

we meticulously went through it , deleted all data and apps we did

not want then put in our own contacts and apps, now we have a

modern PDA, here is some the apps we installed from Google

Play.

1: Snap Biz Card

2: QR Code Reader

3: ES File Explore

4: File Manager +

5: LinkedIn

6: Messenger... You can make private calls via internet

7: Dropbox & 4Shared

8: Textfree ... This app I have used over yrs, you get a phone

number you can use...Look into it

This is some of the business apps we use a lot, number 7 is

great, take pictures on the fly then up load then, call the

office and they have it of if they are out they can see it on

their phone.

Pict 2.. Samsung Galaxy s6

Your phone will be just for calling and texting, it will run

faster……

CHOW!

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How These 5 Advances in Dog Tech Could Change

Your Life

SXSW (South by Southwest) is happening right now, and in addition to new musical acts, it

increasingly highlights exciting developments in the tech world. And that includes the dog tech

world.

According to the American Pet Products Association, Americans spent over 60 billion dollars

on their pets last year, and the tech world is cashing in with innovative, practical, and downright

silly stuff to make life with your dog more advanced. From pet wearable’s to doggy spy cams to

novelty tech that’s more fun than functional, these are the craziest tech advances for dogs.

Canine Wearable’s

via FitBark.com

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One of the earliest and still-hottest tech trends for dogs is wearables that track their activity.

Dog fitness trackers are great if you’re trying to help your dog lose weight, or just want to

generate some cool charts and graphs based on their daily activity.

FitBark was one of the first pet activity trackers on the market, and may be the most popular.

It’s a colorful, bone-shaped device that attaches to your dog’s collar, monitors her activity

throughout the day, and syncs to your smartphone or computer via bluetooth. PC Magazine

praises FitBark’s app and build-in social network, which lets you set a ―BarkPoints‖ activity

goal, compare your dog’s stats to others, and track her progress over time.

Newer pet trackers emphasize safety over fitness, using built-in GPS to track your dog’s

whereabouts, which can provide life-saving location services if she gets lost. Devices like

Whistle let you set up ―virtual fences‖ by designating specific coordinates as your dog’s

home/safety zones. If your dog strays beyond the boundaries, the device will send an alert to

your phone.

Surveillance Tech Toys

The PetCube in action. Photo via instagram/urban_aussie

Do you come home from work to mysteriously chewed-up couch cushions? Wondering what

else your dog is up to while you’re out of the house? The latest tech for dogs combines good

old-fashioned surveillance with interactive features to remind your dog that you’re with them,

even when you’re not.

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Sure, you could just set up a simple webcam to keep an eye on your dog during the day. But

why stop there? The PetCube camera syncs to your smartphone and lets you watch, talk to,

and even play with your dog from afar (though the built-in laser dot ―toy‖ may be more

appealing to cats than dogs). The PawsCam is a motion-activated camera that affixes to your

dog’s collar and points the lens outwards, so you can watch recorded video from your dog’s

point of view (I have a feeling I’d get an inside view of the cat’s litter box, my dog’s favorite

place to visit when I leave).

Then there are gadgets that combine monitoring with food motivation. For instance, the Petzi

Treatcam streams a basic video feed to an app on your phone, which you can use to monitor

your pup, connect with other pet people, and ―treat‖ your dog remotely. Very cool!

Training Technology

via PupPod.com

Looking for a fun, interactive puzzle toy to keep your

dog busy while you’re at work? There’s an app (and

gadget) for that!

Puzzle toys like the PupPod combine surveillance tech

(a camera that streams video) with training incentives (a

challenging game resulting in tasty treats), and it’s all

controllable remotely, so you can join in the fun from

afar.

Video games for dogs may sound like a joke, but guess

what: they’re already here! The CleverPet ―game

console‖ doesn’t have a camera or controller, but it’s a

treat-dispensing puzzle toy that challenges your dog

with light-based puzzles, and streams data to an app you

can follow from work.

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Safety Gadgets

Via NPR.org/Georgia Tech

Safety features are a major draw in dog tech, but some companies are taking it one step further

with products designed for dog and human safety alike.

The FIDO vest is wearable technology designed with service dogs in mind, meant to not only

supervise your dog, but provide extra safety to humans. FIDO stands for ―Facilitating

Interactions for Dogs with Occupations‖ and according to the creators, this vest was designed to

expand what service dogs can do (source). For instance, if a physically impaired person is in

danger, their service dog can use a tug or bite sensor on the vest to call 911. Now that’s lifesaving

technology.

If you’re looking for truly innovative, wearable, does-it-all pet safety tech, the Kyon Pet

Tracker may be your best bet. This sleek collar isn’t even available commercially yet, making it

all the more elite. In addition to activity tracking and a built-in GPS, the Kyon has a heat sensor

that sends an alert if the external temperature is dangerously high, and a water sensor for dogs

that aren’t strong swimmers. It even claims to sense your dog’s mood: if the Kyon notices your

dog’s activity level is especially low, it sends an alert to your phone reading, ―I’m not feeling

well!‖ With a starting price of $249, plus a $4.99/month fee to cover the cellular tracking

network, the Kyon collar isn’t cheap, but it’s hard to put a price on being the coolest canine tech

on the bloc.

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Just for Fun

What’s the point of all this crazy new technology if we can’t have a little fun? There are plenty

of just-for-fun apps and devices available to make life with your dog more tech-savvy

and irreverent.

If you’re looking for a fun diversion, check out Fetch!, the app that identifies breeds based on a

picture, but is most fun for categorizing humans as dogs. Fetch! had a little trouble identifying

my pit bull mix, but it correctly identified me as a pug at heart.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Then there’s tech-infused fashion for dogs, from a “smart harness” with a camera mount

to the DiscoDog LED vest, which lets you customize light shows and text messages to turn

your dog into a light-up billboard.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Finally, the craziest tech advance for dogs just might be the tech advance that is a dog: Boston

Dynamics’ robot dog, Spot. Though based on the video recently released by the design team,

Spot isn’t about to replace real dogs. Technology is cool, but nothing beats the good oldfashioned,

analog companionship of a warm-blooded dog.

Top image via flickr/thomashawk

Elisabeth Geier

Elisabeth Geier is a writer, teacher, and animal advocate with extensive animal handling experience and a soft

spot for bully breeds and big orange tabbies. She shares her home with one pit bull and three cats.

For more info, click the link below!

https://www.rover.com/blog/dog-tech-advances/

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Dogs, technology and the future of disaster response

May 6, 2014, North Carolina State University

Credit: Alper Bozkurt

Imagine a team of humans, dogs, robots and drones swooping onto the scene in the

aftermath of a disaster and working together to find and rescue anyone trapped in

collapsed buildings. That's the goal of a team of researchers from around the United

States working on what they call the Smart Emergency Response System (SERS).

The team is part of the Smart America Challenge, which kicked off in late 2013 to

highlight state-of-the-art, practical innovations stemming from U.S. research. The

SERS team is one of more than 20 research groups presenting projects as part of the

challenge.

The SERS project's goal is to use cyber-physical systems to share information and

coordinate emergency and disaster response and recovery. These systems are

designed to work in real-time via a variety of wireless network technologies. In

addition to NC State, the SERS team includes researchers from MathWorks, the

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University of Washington, MIT, BluHaptics, National Instruments, the University

of North Texas, Boeing and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

The NC State researchers, Alper Bozkurt and David Roberts, are focused on a very

specific aspect of the SERS equation: dogs.

Roberts and Bozkurt have developed a high-tech harness equipped with sensors and

other devices that will both make the dogs more effective at collecting information

and incorporate the dogs into the larger network of a coordinated disaster response.

"We're using a range of technologies to modify off-the-shelf harnesses," Bozkurt

says. "And of course, all of the tech is supplemented by training for the dogs and

their handlers."

Credit: Alper Bozkurt "We're not trying to replace dog handlers – we're trying to open the door

to new possibilities," says Roberts, who is also an experienced amateur dog trainer.

The SERS dog harnesses include three kinds of technologies: environmental

monitoring, dog monitoring and active communication.

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The dogs will be equipped with passive environmental monitoring devices – such as

microphones, cameras and gas sensors – that allow the dogs to retrieve and transmit

data from the field in real time.

"We're developing a platform for sensors that is designed to be plug-and-play,

allowing emergency responders to further customize the harness," Bozkurt says.

"For example, if there's the possibility of a natural gas leak, you could attach a

natural gas sensor. Or if there's the possibility of radiation, you could attach a

Geiger counter." Using wireless communications, the sensors can be monitored

remotely at a command center or by dog handlers on a handheld device nearby.

The harness also includes new sensors developed by Bozkurt and Roberts that

monitor a dog's behavior and physiology, such as heart rate. These sensors will

allow both dog handlers and the emergency response command center to remotely

track a dog's well-being and to determine if the animal has picked up a scent or

found a specific object or area of interest.

The active communication technologies on the harness will allow handlers to relay

commands to a dog remotely. Bozkurt and Roberts have incorporated audio

communication, via speakers, into the vest. However, they think the more reliable

remote communication will come via "tactile inputs" – they're training dogs to

respond to gentle "nudges" that come from within the electronic harness itself.

"I want to be clear that these are not aversive punishments, but slight, tactile nudges

from motors in the vest – like a vibrating cell phone. We're using exclusively

reward-based training techniques," Roberts says.

Bozkurt, Roberts and the rest of the SERS team will be participating in the Smart

America Challenge event in Washington, D.C., this summer.

"After that, we plan to continue to engage emergency response personnel to identify

and overcome any obstacles to putting these smart-recovery techniques to work in

the field," Roberts says.

Explore further: Under preassure—A harness for guide dogs must suit both dog and owner

More information: www.smartamerica.org/challenge/WP/

Provided by: North Carolina State University

19


New Technology to Help Search and Rescue Dogs

Find Survivors

Andrea Huspeni

March 4, 2016

One Comment

Rescue dogs may soon be equipped with new technology to help improve their

search efforts.

Japanese researcher Kazunori Ohno is in the midst of developing a technology pack

that includes a tiny camera and a GPS device to be strapped to a search dog. This

equipment will record exactly what the dog sees and transmit the live video and a

map to a handler’s tablet. This will help overcome a huge problem handler’s face

when dealing with rescue dogs: not knowing what happened to the pup once he

entered a damaged structure or a hard-to-access location.

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―A handler can check a video to see where a dog is searching, how it looks inside a

building and where survivors are located,‖ Ohno told AFP News.

The hope is that this will help expedite rescue efforts, as searchers can more easily

find survivors. And with Japan being a hotspot for earthquakes and tsunamis, this

advancement could have major implications.

This sort of technology — cameras and GPS — have been used by other agencies,

including U.S. military units, but Ohno says his device is much more lightweight,

allowing smaller, more nimble dogs to use it. Also, his innovation allows the live

video to stream to various tablets, rather than just one.

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While the researcher has also been devoting his time to developing rescue robots,

which allows agencies to work longer hours and enter more dangerous locations,

Ohno says these machines don’t match the canine’s ability to find survivors quickly

over a wide area.

―I’ve learnt what robots can and cannot do… So I thought I could develop a new

technology that can unite dogs and robots,‖ he told the outlet.

He is currently working with Japan Rescue Dog Association to refine the

technology and hopes to soon begin renting the packs out to search-and-rescue

groups.

H/T and images AFP News

Tags: earthquake Japan researchers search and rescue dogs technology

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A Few Pictures Of Rescue Dogs At Their Best

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TOP 5 TECH DEVICES FOR DOGS

November 14, 2014

by Alicia Rius

As humans, there are very few of us who aren’t constantly attached to our favorite

piece of technology. Our iPhones, our iPods, our FitBits and BlueTooth devices are

constantly in use. Technology though, isn’t just for humans any more. There is tons

of wearable technology out there for our pets. Yes, you read that right, our pets.

This is a far-from-comprehensive list of some of the top tech tools out there for

your dog.

1. Whistle

Whistle is one of my favorite doggie tech products out there. It functions a lot like

the FitBit does for a human by tracking your dog’s activity 24/7. It allows you to

download your dog’s activity information and compare it to other dogs and breed

norms in certain areas.

I like that it is tiny and clips to your dog’s collar, it’s waterproof, and she’ll barely

even notice it’s there. It provides tons of cool and useful information.

Whistle retails for around $129 and you can purchase it here.

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2. Fit Bark

Fit bark is a mobile wearable activity monitor for your dog. It clips on your dog’s

collar and you can monitor her activity via smartphone app.

I like it because it helps you take better care of your dog in getting them the

exercise they need.

You can learn more and pre-order FitBark here.

3. Pet ReMote

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The Pet ReMote is a wearable mobile training device that allows you to train your

pet from your smartphone. A small device attaches to your dog’s collar and you are

able to control the device from a smartphone app using BlueTooth. The device uses

acoustic or vibration to correct behavior, never shock.

I like it because it simplifies training and doesn’t add any additional gadgets for me,

the human, since I already use my smartphone all the time.

You can purchase it here for about $30.

4. Tagg

This is a hybrid GPS/pet-tracker. It not only tracks your pets whereabouts, but also

logs activity data for your pal. This awesome little gadget that clips on to your

dog’s collar will send text messages to your phone if your dog ends up outside of

the pre-set zone you set up so you can always be one step ahead of your dog.

I like this device because it lets you know when the battery is low by also sending

you a text message. This way, you can rest assured knowing the batteries are good

to go incase your dog decides he’s good to go!

Purchase Tagg here for $99.95.

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5. PetHub

PetHub is a dog ID that has gotten a dose of smart. There is a QR code on the back

of the tag that when scanned reveals all pertinent owner information so your pet can

be returned safe and sound. PetHub also sends you a notification when the QR

code is scanned so you will know right away if your dog has been found.

My favorite thing about PetHub is that is also lets you embed any necessary

medical information into the QR code as well. If you have a diabetic dog or a dog

with severe allergies and you can’t be reached right away, this allows your dog to

receive the care it needs in the interim.

PetHub tags start at just $9.95 and can be purchased here.

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Which wearable tool is right for your dog? Let’s compare!

If you are a pet lover you know how precious our little furry friends are. So go

share this article on your Facebook so all other dog lovers can find the right

device for their pet!

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Armor to guard $50,000 dogs

K9 Storm's canine armor and communication systems help keep working dogs

safe on the front lines of wars and police actions.

By Jonathan Blum

Last Updated: November 30, 2009: 1:53 PM ET

(Fortune Small Business) -- It's a tough world for man's best friend. Patrol dogs dodge

bullets every day at home and risk their lives sniffing out trouble in Iraq and

Afghanistan.

As a result, K9 Storm in Winnipeg, Canada,

makes $5 million a year selling custom armor

for dogs in the U.S. Army, Navy, Marines and

Special Forces; police departments in 13

countries; and security firms worldwide.

Next up, the 12-employee firm is offering a new

way to communicate with canines. In 2010 it

launches the K9 Storm Intruder, a bulletproof

dog vest with a wireless camera, speakers and a

microphone built in. The handler can see what

the dog sees and issue commands through the

audio system.

"This will change the way dogs are managed in

emergencies," says Glori Slater, 47, vice

president and co-founder of K9 Storm. "It will

extend the range of the handler to 300 yards."

Slater's husband, Jim, is a former dog handler

for the Winnipeg police department. For two

terrifying days in 1996, he and his German

K9 Storm makes custom vests,

like the harness worn by this

Special Forces dog.

shepherd Olaf helped subdue a prison riot in which the inmates were armed with

makeshift weapons. Slater worried more for Olaf than for himself.

"He was out working ahead of our lines," he says. "I realized it would be a bad way

for him to go down, stabbed with a screwdriver."

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After the riot, Slater retrofitted a human flak jacket for his canine partner. That

prompted orders from fellow canine officers, and soon K9 Storm was in business.

The Slaters spent 11 years perfecting the vest. Quality control was crucial, given

that a poorly sewn seam can inflict crippling lesions on a dog that's on its paws for

12 hours a day. The Intruder is their lightest camera and audio system, weighing

less than seven ounces.

The vest is not cheap. The Intruder system starts at $20,000. But the Slaters say

they have dozens of preorders. Military working dogs are major investments,

costing up to $50,000 each to purchase and train.

There also are plenty of donors stepping up to help cash-strapped municipalities

buy the vests. Ben Roethlisberger, the quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, gave

$250,000 to the Pittsburgh police and fire departments for canine armor.

The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which treats

50,000 animals a year, has received a $5,000 grant for dogs at Boston's police

department from Roethlisberger.

"Suspects pursued by police will stab, shoot and kick working dogs," says Brian

Adams, spokesman for the MSPCA-Angell veterinary hospital in Boston. "They are

like any officer of the law. We want to protect them."

First Published: November 30, 2009: 1:43 PM ET

https://money.cnn.com/2009/11/24/smallbusiness/k9_storm.fsb/index.htm

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Something to enlighten you up

Hunter Scott

Could the ancient Romans have built a digital computer?

The Romans were undoubtedly master engineers. They were experts at civil

engineering, building roads, improving sanitation, inventing Roman concrete, and

constructing aqueducts that adhere to tolerances impressive even by today’s

standards. Perhaps the best evidence of their aptitude is the fact that many of

those structures still stand today, almost 2000 years later. They even began

dabbling in technology vastly ahead of their time. Hero of Alexandria drew up

plans for a rudimentary steam engine in his Spiritalia seu Pneumatica. He called it

the aeolipile.

It didn’t work very well. However, by the late 3rd century AD, all essential parts for

constructing a steam engine were known to Roman engineers: Hero’s steam power,

the crank and connecting rod mechanism (in the Hierapolis sawmill), the cylinder

and piston (in metal force pumps), non-return valves (in water pumps) and gearing

(in water mills). That got me thinking: Could the Romans have built a digital

computer using only the technology and manufacturing processes available to

them?

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Maybe the first thing you would think of is a mechanical computer, like the

Babbage Difference Engine:

While it’s a beautiful piece of engineering, it’s actually not a computer. It’s a

calculator. Charles Babbage did design a mechanical computer, called the analytical

engine. It’s never been built, because it would take up an entire room and be

extremely expensive. I don’t think the Romans could have built the analytical

engine or other purely mechanical computer because of the tolerances required. I

don’t know much about their manufacturing abilities, but I know they didn’t do a

lot of it and imported most things. I couldn’t find the tolerances needed for the

Harvard Mark I, an electromechanical computer, but I’m hesitant to believe that

they could have built that either. It’s hard to know how precise manufacturing

techniques were back then, but one of the best clues we have is the Antikythera

mechanism. It uses hand cut gears that are surprisingly precise, but still probably

not good enough for a mechanical computer. Small inaccuracies in the gear trains

would add up, and this is evident in the Antikythera mechanism. It would be even

more pronounced in a room sized contraption and would almost certainly prevent

any useful calculations from being performed.

If the Romans couldn’t do it mechanically, they would have needed a

semiconductor. When most people think of semiconductors, they think of clean

rooms and millions of dollars of machinery. However, that kind of equipment is

only needed for high performance semiconductors used in modern integrated

circuits with high speed, high efficiency switching. It turns out that

naturally occurring semiconductors are actually quite common. Minerals like

zincite, bornite, and carborundum will work. However, the best mineral to use is

lead sulfide, AKA galena. It be used without any modification directly after mining.

It’s got a band gap of about 0.4 eV. Ancient societies knew all about galena, and the

Egyptians used it as makeup.

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They could have easily made a cat’s whisker diode by using a small piece of

springy wire to touch a point on the galena crystal, creating a crude and unstable

metal-semiconductor junction called a Schottky barrier diode. Current will flow

from the metal into the galena, but not the other way around. This is the same

technique that was used in early crystal radio receivers. POWs in World War II

used the oxidation on razer blades as a semiconductor and a safety pin to create a

diode so they could build receivers to keep up to date with news on the war. It took

a lot of patience to find a perfect spot on the blade that would work, and likewise it

would take time to poke the galena with the wire in different spots to find a place

that would act as a diode.

If they could have built a diode, could they have built a transistor? The first

transistor that Bell Labs built (although not the first transistor ever built) was point

contact and looked pretty similar to the cat’s whisker diode.

Instead of a single point, they had two, each formed by the contact of the edge of a

piece of gold foil onto a hunk of Germanium. A simpler version of this can be done

by basically building a cat’s whisker diode but using two springy wires touching

two different spots on the galena. So couldn’t the Romans have just modified their

diodes to make transistors? In my opinion, no. When Bell Labs was experimenting

with transistors, they tried making a galena cat’s whisker version and ran into some

problems. To being ―transisting‖, the whisker tips had to be closer than 0.1 mm.

They also found that you had to use freshly cleaved galena surfaces and any

humidity would interfere. They had to make extremely sharp whiskers by

dissolving the ends with electrolysis. Now, I don’t want to underestimate the

Romans. Maybe they could have trained workers to be that precise or come up with

some other way of solving the problem. But we’re going to take it easy on them

because there’s a better way to get around the problem of no transistors.

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The Romans knew how to make wire and also knew how to work iron. So now the

question is, can you build a computer using only diodes, wire, and iron? Well, prior

to 1953, no computers used transistors. The Romans knew how to work glass, but

it’s unlikely they could have manufactured vacuum tubes. While a lot of early

computers did use vacuum tubes, they often also relied on diode logic. There are

two major problems you have to solve with diode logic. First, diodes have a voltage

drop across them, which means you need to amplify the signal every so often. Early

designers solved this problem using transistors as amplifiers. The second problem is

that you can’t design a NOT gate (an inverter) using only diodes. Designers got

around this problem also by using transistors (or vacuum tubes). So how could the

Romans have done it without transistors? Well, you can build an inverter using a

transformer by simply flipping the secondary output wires around. A transformer is

just a square iron ring with wire wrapped around each side. You have to use

discrete pulses rather than continuous logic levels, but that’s how everyone did it in

the 40’s and 50’s. To solve the amplification problem, you can use a relay. You can

make a relay using only iron and wire, but they’re often small, intricate devices and

they have moving parts. I think if they recruited Roman jewelry makers and scaled

the size so it was reasonable to work with, they could have produced relays. There

are some really impressive pieces of Roman jewelry that have been found. The

image is too large to embed here, but take a look at the chain on this piece.

They also would have needed to make memory, a way to preserve the state of the

machine. The obvious candidate here is core memory. Most core memory was made

using ferrite, but regular iron can be used. I won’t go into detail here on how core

memory works because Wikipedia has a good article on it. If you’re not familiar, I

recommend checking it out. It’s a really neat idea. Incidentally, you can also make

logic using ferrite cores, like the Elliot 803 did, so that could be useful for

supplementing (or even replacing) diode logic.

The last, and perhaps most important thing you need for a computer is electricity!

We know that the Baghdad Battery existed back then, but it’s highly unlikely that a

plausibly large array of them could power this hypothetical Roman computer.

Instead, they would have had to use a generator. This is probably the most difficult

part of this hypothetical computer. To turn a water wheel into a generator, they

could have used a configuration like this:

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But you need a magnet for that. Basically the only magnet they would have had

access to is Lodestone. There are a couple of ways they could have made a better

magnet. From Wikipedia:




Heating the [iron] above its Curie temperature, allowing it to cool in a

magnetic field and hammering it as it cools. This is the most effective method

and is similar to the industrial processes used to create permanent magnets.

Placing the item in an external magnetic field will result in the item retaining

some of the magnetism on removal. Vibration has been shown to increase the

effect. Ferrous materials aligned with the Earth’s magnetic field that are

subject to vibration (e.g., frame of a conveyor) have been shown to acquire

significant residual magnetism.

Stroking: An existing magnet is moved from one end of the item to the other

repeatedly in the same direction.

By iterating the process several times to make successively stronger magnets, the

Romans could probably have made some magnets good enough for a generator.

It’s important to note that I’m not a historian; I’m a computer engineer (who was

trained using modern techniques, at that). So this is all speculation. I think if you

traveled back in time to the Roman Empire and told them how to manufacture this

stuff, you could plausibly create a very modest computer. My main concern is

powering the device, I still don’t know if that would work well enough. But there’s

only one way to find out: Experiment…

Are you an expert at Roman history or the kind of engineer who remembers using a

mercury delay line? I’d love to hear about other tricks they could have used!

35


Come a Long Way Baby!

36


In Memoriam..

If you see a single Red Rose in the middle of a snow filled

field with tracks that come out from nowhere then disappears,

then you’re seeing a door of heaven that opened for all loving

animals

Thank for reading CE Magazine,

Chow for Now!

Nanomites

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