This Week in Boomer History: Apple’s ’1984′ … ‘The Exorcist’ … DeLorean

Noteworthy facts from our shared experience: 1. Jan. 20, 1981 – 444 days after Iranian students overran the U.S. embassy in Tehran, 52 American hostages are released. Ted Koppel’s Nightline, born as The Iran Crisis – America Held Hostage: Day XXX, seeks fresh material. 2. Back to the future! The first gull-wing DeLorean sports car rolls off the assembly line on Jan. 21, 1981. 3. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducts its first members this week in 1986, including Chuck …

Meet the iPad Air … and Its Competition

Everybody knew that Apple would announce its new, lighter, slimmer, faster iPads on Oct. 22. Only the change in name came as a surprise. Welcome the iPad Air. Whether the faster processor, faster graphics, better cameras and sound, improved software, and slimmer-than-ever appearance mean you need this thing is, of course, up to you. Apple makes the case that 475,000 apps give the iPad an unbeatable advantage. Sign up for the AARP Money Matters newsletter And, if the 1-pound, 7.5-mm …

Siri, Who Is Siri?

“When I first discovered that was my voice, to be honest it was a little creepy.” That’s Susan C. Bennett, identified today by CNN as the voice of Siri, Apple’s talking virtual assistant. At least she was the voice of Siri in the United States before two different voices began to replace her as part of Apple’s new operating system. Apple won’t confirm the news, but CNN enlisted a vocal forensics expert, who is “100 percent” certain that Bennett is …

Douglas Engelbart: The Man Behind Your Mouse (And a Lot More)

If it weren’t for Douglas Engelbart, the computer on your desk might still be little more than a glorified typewriter, and you might still be struggling to remember arcane DOS commands so you could type them into a luminous green C:\ prompt on a black screen. And the multimedia marvels of the Web might not have ever existed. As computer historian Howard Rheingold once wrote, “We wouldn’t be sitting in front of personal computers today if it wasn’t for him.” Back …

Could That Be a $671,400 Relic in Your Garage?

If you were one of the 200 or so people who bought an Apple-1 computer back in 1976 or 1977 and still have it on a shelf in the back of your garage, guess what? You’re in the chips. And we don’t mean microprocessor chips, either. The technology news website ZDNet reports that a surviving Apple-1, the computer giant’s first product, fetched a breathtaking $671,400 at a German auction. Other Apple-1s have fetched six-figure prices in the past, but this …

The Best Apps of 2012 (50+ Edition)

My life has become app centered.  In fact, I probably spend more time on my smartphone testing apps than most 20-somethings. I ask my friends, I ask the Internet, I ask my Twitter followers … and I download, tap and swipe away. All in the service of this blog. I must admit, I download a lot of toads before I find a prince.  So I offer these suggestions for my favorite apps of 2012 after extensive personal research. What apps …