Category: Tips & tricks

Hi folks,

When it comes to IT, we all somehow tend to assume that everything was created and done in the USA.
But this is not really quite so.
And to prove this, today we are going to tell you about just a few French contributions in the hardware/software/internet domains of IT.

The first microcomputer using a microprocessor was invented by a French scientist named Francois Gernelle.
It happened in January 1973, when the Micral N was issued by Gernelle and his team for INRA, the French National Institute for Research in Agronomy (just as a side-note, the first US-made microcomputer was released one year later, in March 1974).
The “Micral N” was able to perform the requested tasks same as minicomputers (at that time the smallest/cheapest available computing devices) but for just a fifth of the price.

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Hi folks,

Today we will try to give you a quick overview on the GIF file format.

GIF format was introduced by CompuServe in 1987 and soon became widely adopted because it supported colours (unlike its CompuServe predecessor, RLE) and it was small-sized (thanks to the LZW lossless compression algorithm, we’ve told you a story about that in a previous article), allowing reasonably fast file transfers even for the slow, dial-up modems era.
CompuServe was a company way ahead of its time.

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Hi folks,

As promised in the previous article, today we will try to untangle the frequent confusions generated among many computer users by this simple word : “resolution”.
To do that, we are going to explain screen resolution, printing resolution, pixel dimensions, physical dimensions and how everything relates with regard to bitmaps.

Bitmaps dimensions are expressed in pixels (image width x height) either separated (usually for image files) or as the effective result of the multiplication (usually to express digital cameras sensitivity).
For example, an “8 Megapixels digital camera” means the photos it produces (actually bitmaps) are made up of cca. 8 million pixels, a photo being, for example, 3456 pixels wide by 2304 pixels high, which gives 7,962,624 pixels (cca. 8MP).
Funny thing is that the pixel dimension of the image has little to do with how the bitmap image appears on screen but is has lots to do with how the image will print!

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Hi folks,

As shown in a previous article, all raster (bitmap) files hold information on each and every pixel in the grid that makes an image.
Today we are going to describe some consequences of this storage principle and, hopefully, we will shed some light on some related, “esoteric” terms.

First, all bitmap images are rectangular, as there has to be a grid (vector images, being defined by mathematical equations not by pixels, aren’t “restricted” to rectangular shape)

Secondly, bitmaps are resolution-dependant.

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Hi folks,

This week we are going to tell you a short story about LZW compression and how it influenced 3 widespread graphics file formats: TIFF, GIF and PNG.

The story begins in 1977 and 1978 when israeli computer scientists Abraham Lempel and Jacob Ziv published descriptions of lossless data compression algorithms named LZ-77 and LZ-78, respectively.
Terry Welch, an MIT trained computer scientist, further developed the LZ algorithms and, in 1984, he published the Lempel-Ziv-Welch (LZW) algorithm.

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