First computer mouse

This week, we continue our Odd and Awesome Computer Facts series! Without further ado, here are some more strange and interesting computer facts to geek out over. Start reading to learn more about the Apollo 11 mission to the first computer mouse.

DID YOU KNOW … 571 new websites are created every 60 seconds?

That’s a lot of websites! Here are some more things that happen every minute on the Internet:

  • Over 5 million videos are viewed on YouTube
  • 88,000 calls are made on Skype
  • 433,000 tweets are made
  • 67,000 photos are uploaded to Instagram
  • 70 new domains are registered
  • 1,800 WordPress posts are published
  • 138.8 million emails are sent (including spam)

Learn more things that happen every minute online in’s “Online in 60 seconds” infographic.

DID YOU KNOW … that the first computer mouse was made out of wood?

The first mouse prototype was invented in the 1960s, by Douglas Engelbart at the Stanford Research Institute. And it had a square, wooden base, two wheels to roll it back and forth, and could fit in a user’s hand.

The mouse got its name because the cord coming out of the end of the unit (cords were initially attached to the rear) gave the device a mouse-like appearance.

Check out this mashable article to brush up on your mouse history.

DID YOU KNOW … Control-Alt-Delete wasn’t made for public use?

That’s right, the handy set of keystrokes that help you reset your computer and quit stalled tasks wasn’t meant for you to use!

David Bradley was one of the 12 engineers who worked on the original IBM PC. Bradley said that the Control-Alt-Delete combination wasn’t intended for general use, but rather, was invented for the engineers to restart their computers without powering them down.

In the 1980s, the now-famous key combo was described in an IBM technical manual and thereby revealed to the general public. The shortcut didn’t come to prominence until the 1990s, though.

The reason these particular keys were selected for this function is that it is nearly impossible to accidentally press them simultaneously on a standard keyboard.

Read more about the history of Control-Alt-Delete in this mental_floss article.

DID YOU KNOW … the computer on Apollo 11 was less powerful than a basic pocket calculator?

Apollo 13 dashboard

Indeed, the computer that first put man on the moon was more basic even than a modern toaster with stop/start/defrost functions or a USB memory stick. Amazingly, it was still able to safely guide the first lunar astronauts from the Earth to the Moon and back.

The computer aboard the Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) had approximately 64 KB of memory and operated at 0.043 MHz. The code listing for the AGC navigation program can be downloaded as a PDF file.

Find out more about the 1960s computer technology that helped put Neil Armstrong & Co. on the moon in this Computer Weekly article.

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the first part of this blog series, Odd and Awesome Computer Facts, Part I.