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Take a break and test your local tech, computer history and internet culture knowledge

If you missed the all-virtual Super Meetup, try your hand at these trivia questions we played live.

A LEGO rendition of Grumpy Cat. (Photo by Flickr user Ochre Jelly, used via a Creative Commons license)

Breathe. It’s only Monday. You could use a break. Might we suggest some local tech, computer history and internet culture trivia?

This year,’s tech-focused meetup of meetups, aka Super Meetup, was not only virtual (duh), it also included groups and their members from across Philly, Baltimore, D.C. and Delaware as well as lightning talks and interactive trivia. Using the Kahoot app, nearly 200 of you played along on Aug. 13 as we tested your knowledge in three tech-related categories while our reporters offered some background on each of the facts.

It all went down as part of the ongoing Summer Series of our Philly Tech Week 2020 presented by Comcast. Missed the big event? Here’s your chance to learn something new, or pat yourself on the back for being so dang smart. Scroll to find the answers:

Local tech facts

Pick from Virginia, D.C., Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Delaware.

  1. Once a dial-up service and the country’s best known web brand in the 1990s, AOL maintained its headquarters in what state before its 2015 acquisition by Verizon?
  2. During WWII, a group of women from this city’s Goucher College — known as WAVES — played a key role in a top secret mission to decode the German Enigma code machine.
  3. Apple’s influential iPhone touch technology was developed in a research lab at what university?
  4. In 2015, Uber made headlines by poaching several elite robotics researchers at a university in what city to strengthen autonomous vehicles research?
  5. A live game of Tetris played on the side of a skyscraper here was named the world’s largest architectural video game display by Guinness World Records in 2014.
  6. As of 2012, more than half of U.S. publicly traded companies and 64% of the Fortune 500 were incorporated here.
  7. This city has offices from big tech brands including Apple, Amazon, Google, Twitter and Facebook.
  8. If you like being able to stay connected with your team remotely on a Zoom call, thank this city’s Carnegie Mellon University for pioneering the video call 50 years ago.
  9. Women programmers kept the ENIAC — aka the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer, aka the world’s first computer — running at an engineering school in this city in 1946.
  10. Sid Meier’s Civilization was created by MicroProse in the suburbs of this city, leading the charge for a long line of video game developers behind titles like XCOM and DomiNations.

Baltimore meetup groups introduce themselves at the all-virtual Super Meetup 2020. (Screenshot)

Computer history

  1. Known as a father of medieval robots, whose early work on mechanization is seen as a precursor to systems of automation?
  2. English polymath Charles Babbage (1791-1871) is known as the father of what?
  3. In 1843, Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) published what is widely recognized to have been the first what?
  4. In 1890, Herman Hollerith’s tabulating machine transformed U.S. Census data collection. The company founded on his research is now known as what?
  5. In 1950, English mathematician Alan Turing first proposed an eponymous test to determine what?
  6. Computer scientist and U.S. Naval Rear Admiral Grace Hopper (1906-1992) was an early proponent of the interoperability of machine-independent programming languages. Her work is credited with leading directly to what widely used and long-lasting computer languages?
  7. In 1965, Gordon Moore, the cofounder of Fairchild Semiconductor and CEO and cofounder of Intel, made the enduring rule-of-thumb observation that what would double every two years?
  8. In 1982, what became the best-selling computer in history?
  9. Tim Berners Lee is credited with inventing what in 1989?
  10. Which so-called unicorn company has not yet gone public of Airbnb, Rackspace, Slack and Uber?

Grace Hopper. (Photo by Flicker user Karen)

Internet culture

  1. Which celebrity, popular for use in internet memes, was compensated $710,000 in a copyright infringement lawsuit after a beverage company used their image for its product and merchandise?
  2. Which of these is the name of a bot on popular 2000s chat platform AIM between Alice, Watson, Clippy and SmarterChild?
  3. In the classic Oprah giveaway meme, what flies out of a giant box and accosts audience members?
  4. What is the most liked Instagram post to date?
  5. Which 1999 movie pioneered incorporating ARG (alternate reality game) elements into its internet marketing campaign?
  6. Created in 1990, what was the name of the first internet search engine?
  7. What is MySpace Tom’s last name?
  8. What is the name of the alien in the Reddit logo?
  9. How is meme pronounced?
  10. Which celebrity has the most followers on Instagram, as of August 2020?

Oprah’s big giveaway. (Screenshot via YouTube)

Answer key

Click each answer to read the story behind the fact.

Local tech facts:

  1. Virginia
  2. Baltimore
  3. University of Delaware
  4. Pittsburgh — Carnegie Mellon University
  5. Philadelphia
  6. Delaware
  7. D.C.
  8. Pittsburgh
  9. Philadelphia — University of Pennsylvania
  10. Baltimore

Computer history: 

  1. Ismail al-Jazari (1136-1206)
  2. The computer
  3. Algorithm
  4. IBM
  5. Artificial intelligence
  6. COBOL
  7. The number of transistors on a microchip
  8. Commodore 64
  9. World Wide Web
  10. Airbnb — though it since has gone public

Internet culture:

  1. Grumpy Cat, aka Tardar Sauce
  2. SmarterChild
  3. Bees
  4. An egg
  5. The Blair Witch Project
  6. Archie
  7. Tom Anderson
  8. Snoo
  9. “Meem”
  10. Christiano Ronaldo

The all-virtual Philly Tech Week 2020 is happening Sept. 21 through 25. Stay up to date on the latest details for all of our virtual events:

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