Geek Fact for July 1st – FORTRAN, MSN and Rings

In 1977, 
FORTRAN-80, Microsoft’s second language product, was released at a cost of $500 for an individual license.

The name FORTRAN is an acronym for FORmula TRANslation, because it was designed to allow easy translation of math formulas into code.

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In 2004, Microsoft launched a technology preview of their own MSN search engine, MSN.

MSN had some features that Google lacked at the time on its home page, such as the ability to easily search a dictionary and encyclopedia (Microsoft’s Encarta) as well as get stock quotes and movie listings through a drop down menu.

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In 2004, Cassini-Huygens successfully sent back the first close-up photographs of the Saturn’s rings.

The spacecraft was named for Christiaan Huygens (1629-1695), a Dutch scientist who discovered Saturn’s rings and its largest moon, Titan, and Italian Jean-Dominique Cassini (1625-1712), who discovered Saturn moons Iapetus, Rhea, Tethys and Dione, and the narrow gap separating Saturn’s rings, known as the ‘Cassini Division’.

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About the Author

Judy Novotny

Judy is a computer veteran with 30 years of experience. She has owned everything from a TRS-80, Apple IIe and various Windows-based PCs. She is currently living in her Apple ecosystem at home consisting of an iPhone, iPad, iMac, MacBook, Apple TV, iPod nano and two Time Capsules. She is a fan of all things mobile since she got her first Palm Pilot in 1999. Check out her iPad app, Number Wizard, in the App Store. Follow her on Twitter @junovotech or at