Test Your Nerd Knowledge: June 28, 2022

Here’s a review of this week’s questions:

  1. What is the name of the highly successful web hosting company that was originally called Jomax Technologies?
  2. 500 Startups and Y Carbonator are examples of what kind of Silicon Valley enterprise?
  3. What is the name of the computer function originally designed for IBM by John Socha in 1983?

And here are the answers:

  1. GoDaddy.com. Remembering the 2009 Danica Patrick Super Bowl ads may conjure GoDaddy.com’s prior, “problematic” branding efforts. The company has certainly evolved since founder Bob Parsons launched the company in 1994 as Jomax Technologies. Three years later, its name changed to GoDaddy.com, and by 2005, it became the largest web registrar on the internet. While its TV advertising was criticized as “cheesy” and “raunchy,” the company continued to grow, and now has more than 20 million customers and 9,000 employees worldwide. It underwent an image and logo overhaul in 2020.
  2. Startup Incubators. While they are not geographically confined to Silicon Valley, startup incubators seem to exist in those areas where engineering brilliance meets deep pocket investors willing to fund the next big tech innovation. Defined as “a collaborative program designed to help new startups succeed…incubators help entrepreneurs by providing workspace, seed funding, mentoring, and training,” and they are often non-profits subsidized by major universities. Then, there’s the hilarious “incubator house” depicted in HBO’s “Silicon Valley,” which features 4-5 tech savvy introverts living in a dilapidated dwelling owned by an inebriated blow-hard with no understanding of technology, but plenty of bravado, showmanship, and weird facial hair (played by T.J. Miller). Either way they exist, incubators are a crucial part of the next developments in tech supremacy.
  3. Screensaver. While the need for screensavers has declined with the prevalence of LCD and LED monitors, the memories that are conjured by recalling a pixelated school of fish traversing your computer screen are very comforting to some people. The psychology of the screensaver became a popular theme in the media’s coverage of the computer industry in the 90s and early 2000s. Some found the twinkle of a module like Starry Nights hypnotic; others avoided productivity by playing with settings. Inversely, analysts claimed that employees actually got more done when they were able to personalize their workspace with unique screen savers. John Socha lead the charge with his invention, ScrnSave. Socha went on to many more tech innovations, including the development of Norton Commander in 1984.