'computers' on Serious Eats

Video: Cookie Monster in the IBM Muppet Show

Cookie Monster has a ravenous appetite for cookies, true, but really he'd polish off anything you put in front of him. Including this talking contraption, which Jim Henson used in an IBM training video [Update: IBM contracted Henson to make the videos for employees and a then-less-technologically-savvy public; read more about it here] back in 1967. At the time, the blue (well, greenish here) monster's name was actually Arnold the Munching Monster. Here he omnoms everything from the antenna to the generator to the krypton wavelengths. And who can forget about those scrumptious sonar metabolic transducers! More

Heinz Introduces World's Smallest Microwave, and It's USB-Powered

In England, Heinz has unveiled the world's smallest microwave—and it plugs into a USB port so you can nuke some grub at the desk or on the go. Called the Beanzawave, it's obviously a ploy to increase brand awareness for Heinz baked beans, but you could also warm some coffee, tea, or maybe a meatball or two. Don't get your wallet out yet, though. The 7.4-by-6.2-by-5.9-inch device is still in prototype stage, and who knows if it'll ever see the inside of stores. Apart from its size, the key breakthrough is the use of a combination of mobile phone radio frequencies to create the heat to cook both on the outside and within in under a minute...."It is possible... More

CrazyPC 5.25-Inch Bay Toaster

We're all familiar with gamers who never leave their computer stations. However, is this new hard drive toaster taking it a bit too far for those gamers who "crave toast"? The toaster fits in a standard 5.25 inch bay on your PC tower, and includes software for adjusting temperature as well as a "crumb tray for easy cleanup". Last I checked, gamers don't eat dry toast. This means you'll still need to trek over to the fridge for some butter or jam. Lucky for you, Mac users, your version is on the way. No word on if you'll be able to attach to your laptop. Oh, and don't forget--bread not included. [via The Presurfer]... More

Tea Shop Business Computer Pioneer Passed Away

David Caminer, who helped develop the world's first business computer, passed away two weeks ago at age 92. What in the world does this have to do with food? As an employee of J. Lyons & Company, Caminer helped the famous British tea shop chain computerize its commercial operations for its over 200 teahouses in London with the LEO (Lyons Electronic Office) computer, which helped do things like standardize cost-effective cups of tea. In other words, a tea company developed their own hardware and software in 1951: LEO performed its first calculation on Nov. 17, 1951, running a program to evaluate costs, prices and margins of that week’s baked output. At that moment, Lyons was years ahead of I.B.M. and... More

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