GREAT BIG STORY
Strap on your thinking cap …
… and get ready to explore …
… the who, what, how and why …
… of important inventions.
This is the IBM Personal Computer.
It was the most advanced computing machine ever created.
However, this isn’t a story about a computer,
but a story about when a computer stops working,
and the man who created a way to start it all over,
the man who invented Ctrl-Alt-Del.
THE THREE-FINGER SALUTE
Let’s get into it.
Hi, I’m Dr. Dave Bradley,
你好 我是Dave Bradley博士
but you can call me Dr. Dave.
Back in 1980, I worked on the IBM Personal Computer.
My particular job on the IBM PC was writing the basic input/output system.
Even with an elite team of engineers and designers,
not everything goes smoothly when you’re building a computer.
We had programs that ran most of the time.
But when they failed,
the only way to reset the system was turn the power off,
wait a while, turn the power back on.
And it would go through a very long self-test.
But the system might die every 5 to 10 minutes.
What he needed was a way to shortcut the restart process.
One of the things we discussed was putting a reset button on it.
But if you put it on the system board,
there was a chance that you could hit it by mistake,
and all your data gets lost.
So what we did was came up with a three-key sequence,
that would reset the computer and you couldn’t hit by mistake.
A single Ctrl key, a single Alt key
and than all the way over at the right hand side, a single Del key.
When you hit that Ctrl-Alt-Del,
you’re deleting everything that you’re working on right now and starting new.
I was also able to skip over many of the tests,
so instead of taking a minute or two, it was 10 or 15 seconds.
But it wasn’t the big deal at that time.
It was like number 17 on a list of hundred different things I had to fix.
Even though it was built only as a development tool,
programmers began incorporating the feature into their applications.
From there, it was released into the wild,
but didn’t immediately reach pop culture status.
For years, it was no big deal.
And then at the 20th anniversary of the IBM PC,
that’s when Ctrl-Alt-Del became sort of a cultural icon.
It was the simplest and easiest way to fix your problem.
Hit Ctrl-Alt-Del, start all over.
Despite all this, Dr. Dave doesn’t think much of this contribution to computing history.
I get lots of things with IBM,
but all everybody remember is Ctrl-Alt-Del.
But I’ll take that.
The fame of Ctrl-Alt-Del means that
I worked on a very successful product.
And I’m very proud of having been able to do that.
Ever toiled over a Rubik’s Cube?
Thank this guy.
There are 43 quintillion possible combinations.
Now imagine you have no websites, no books
想象一下 如果没有网站 没有书籍
and no one to show you how to solve it,
because you invented it.
But you didn’t invent the Rubik’s Cube,
this guy did.
My name is Erno Rubik.
I was born here in this beautiful city of Budapest.
It was 1974, 30-year-old Erno Rubik was just beginning his career in academia.
I was lecturing design and architecture.
I was very similar in age with the students.
I was very ambitious to find new ways to teach them,
especially about space and three-dimension[s].
I made a cube as a teaching aid,
and for myself, to learn something from it.
Once the physical cube was put together,
Erno began hunting for its secrets.
The question was not, “[Is it] possible to solve it?”
But, The question was,
“[Is it] possible to find a method to do that?”
There are 26 small cubes.
It looks the same,
but in the structure of the cube, they have different rules.
Erno racked his brain for a strategy,
twisting and turning the cube in his hands
and his head to unlock his creation.
After I started to understand the nature of the structure and the movements,
I found the way for a solution, it’s not a straight way.
And after a month, he cracked the code.
But the story doesn’t end there.
I had the feeling [of] the potential of the object.
I found it very simple to manufacture,
and the result of that, it can be an object, which is available for everyone.
In 1980, Erno would finally bring his cube to the world.
And from there, it took off,
becoming one of the best selling toys of all time
Because of the content of the cube, the world discovered it’s not a gadget.
It’s something that is more valuable, [has] more long life.
And after almost 40 years,
Rubik’s Cube has seen a comeback,
with hundreds of competitions every year across the world.
For Erno, the cube that bears his name is more than just a toy.
It’s a reminder to never give up.
There is always a way for a solution.
There’s always a way to find something else,
something new, something different, or find the result of you work.
If today is not everything is good,
it doesn’t mean tomorrow cannot be better.
Depends on you.
He’s dapper, 91 years young and holds over 3,500 patents.
他精明能干 91岁高龄 拥有超过3500项专利
Take that, Thomas Edison!
There is a wise old Japanese saying,
“The nail that sticks out, gets hammered down”.
Well, down in Tokyo, there’s one nail that sticks out,
just about as far as you can imagine,
an inventor known across the country,
a mad genius with a staggering number of patents.
I have over 3,572.
Three times more than Thomas Alva Edison!
That includes a wig for self-defense.
Meet Yoshiro Nakamatsu.
You may notice his name is spelled NakaMats.
He dropped the letter U,
because he says an eight-letter name is easier to remember.
But he still wants you to pronounce it Dr. Nakamatsu.
You got it, Dr.
Dr. Nakamatsu’s quantity inventions brought him worldwide recognition.
Inventions like the PyonPyon boots
with springs that put an extra bounce in your step.
There’s Dr. Nakamatsu’s Cerebrex.
It looks like a lazy boy,
but the Dr. says the dark thing enhances brain power.
Then there’s the gold golf putter
that pings when you strike the ball.
Oh, would you look at that?
You know you’ve made it when the streets are named after you.
But make no mistake,
Dr. Nakamatsu’s inventions aren’t all noisy golf clubs and bouncy shoes.
He claims to have invented the floppy disk.
That’s right, that floppy disc.
Retractable landing gear,
a widely used kerosene pump,
and even the digital watch.
To maintain his hyper-creativity,
Dr. Nakamatsu keeps his mind and body in shape.
The lightweight inventor Thomas Edison said,
“Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.”
Is that your secret, Dr. Nakamatsu?
No. The secret is “Ikispiration.”
In order to creat many inventions, I have many different processes.
What do I mean by this? I change my environment.
I have the “sei” room, which is a “static” or “chill” room.
All the walls are gold.
That’s because gold blocks all TV and wireless frequencies completely.
“Dou” room–it means “movement” room.
I always listen to the 3rd movement of Beethoven’s 5th symphony
when I am in the dynamic room finishing my inventions.
But sometimes, even that is not enough.
I have a secret method. No one else in the world uses it.
The technique is to go underwater.
When underwater, the brain becomes deprived of oxygen.
I invented a waterproof notepad, which can be written on underwater.
I go underwater, and when I have an idea, I can write it down.
Unless I push myself to 0.05 seconds before death, the invention won’t come.
It’s a choice between invention or death.
Which one will it be?
The ultimate form of generating ideas.
I feel ill with a very difficult and rare type of cancer.
I thanked the heavens.
Dr. Nakamatsu saw the cancer as an opportunity.
It was his greatest challenge to invent his way out of an impossible corner.
He developed his own personal cancer treatment.
This includes a meticulously documented diet,
and a new invention to fight the cancer, he calls the “Gangan Robot”.
The doctors gave him one year to live. That was five years ago.
Even though I am 91 years old, I would never consider myself an old person.
I am young, and I am happy.
Perhaps when I turn 143 years old,
I might worry about dying soon.
I will invent untill the day I die
because I want to make people happy.
That’s what makes me happy.
Let’s take this outside and meet the scientist …
… behind the Super Soaker.
There’s this amazing picture of my coworker.
It’s him reading a Ninja Turtles book,
lying next to a Super Soaker.
When the Super Soaker came out,
it was a game changer.
The slogan “Wetter Is Better!”
was essentially a mantra for kids during summer break.
So when I went to Atlanta to interview the guy responsible for all that,
I had to show him the photo.
THE SCIENTIST WHO INVENTED THE SUPERSOAKER
Lonnie Johnson invented the Super Soaker back in 1982.
But that is not his only invention.
I have over 100 patents.
Everything from the Nerf gun to a thermoelectric energy converter.
He also worked on NASA’s Galileo mission to Jupiter and alongside the US military.
The first Super Soaker actually I made in my shop in my basement,
in the evenings when I would come home from work.
And at the time, I was actually working with a stealth bomber program,
back when it was highly classified.
And I actually couldn’t even tell my wife what I was working on during the daytime.
It was that top-secret.
The original name for the Super Soaker was the Drencher.
We ran into a challenge regarding the name
because another inventor claimed that.
So we changed the name the Super Soaker,
just to avoid having to deal with that.
Super Soaker is definitely a way better name.
When he started, Lonnie wasn’t trying to create a toy for kids.
I was working on a new type of heat pump
that would use water as a working fluid instead of Freon.
And I was experimenting with signals that I had machined.
And I shot a stream of water across the bathroom,
and I thought, geeze, maybe I should put this hard science stuff aside,
然后我想 天啊 也许应该把自然科学放一边
and work on something fun like a water gun.
This still works.
And this brings me back to a previous point–
Lonnie Johnson is a super genius scientist.
This is his lab,
and this is what he’s working on now.
Yeah, right now, I’m working on advanced battery technology.
My goal is to develop a battery
that will store about three times the energy of a lithium-ion battery.
In comparison, the Super Soaker might not seem as hard science,
but it was still a really really important invention.
GREAT BIG STORY