Today in Tech History

Today in Tech History – July 30, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1889 – Vladimir Zworykin was born in Russia. He would go on to earn the title “Father of Television” (one of several called that) for his work on the iconoscope and the kinescope. He worked on television for RCA.

In 1898 – The Winton Motor Carriage Company placed a magazine advertisement in Scientific American calling on readers to “dispense with a horse.” It’s the earliest known automobile ad.

In 1971 – The Apollo 15 mission landed the first lunar rover onto the moon.

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Today in Tech History – July 29, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1947 – ENIAC was switched on after being transferred to the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. It operated continuously until October 2 1955.

In 1951 – A recording was made of Beethoven’s 9th by EMI that eventually became used to justify the diameter of the CD.

In 1958 – President Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act, creating the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

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Today in Tech History – July 28, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1858 – The first use of fingerprints as identification took place in India. William James Herschel, magistrate of Nuddea, India requested local businessman Rajyadhar Konai make a handprint on the back of a contract. Herschel wanted to “frighten [Konai] out of all thought of repudiating his signature.”

In 1997 – Dell announced its entry into the workstation market with the Dell Workstation 400.

In 2000 – Ted Kekatos celebrated the First System Administrator Appreciation Day. He had been inspired by an HP ad showing people bringing gifts to their System Administrator. The day is celebrated annually on the last Friday of July.

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Today in Tech History – July 27, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1949 – The first jet-powered airliner, the de Havilland Comet, made its first flight. Previously jet engines had only been used to power small fighter aircraft.

In 1981 – Microsoft bought the rights for QDOS (Quick and Dirty Operating System) from Seattle Computer Products for $25,000.

In 1993 – Microsoft released Windows NT 3.1, completing its attempt to build an advanced 32-bit operating system from scratch.

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Today in Tech History – July 26, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1989 – Cornell student Robert Tappan Morris became the first person indicted under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act after releasing a worm on the Internet. Morris claimed his worm was just measuring the size of the Internet.

In 1996 – Microsoft released Beta 2 of Internet Explorer 3.0, touting customization options like parental controls and the ability to handle shared applications and Web phone calls.

In 2004 – Motorola announced that its next generation of cell phones would be iTunes-compatible. This first Apple phone, the Rokr, was not to meet with much success.

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Subscribe to the podcast. Like Tech History? Get Tom Merritt’s Chronology of Tech History at Merritt’s Books site.

Today in Tech History – July 25, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1959 – Christopher Cockerell’s Hovercraft crossed the English Channel for the first time, celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Frenchman Louis Bleriot’s historic first cross-Channel heavier-than-air flight.

In 1990 – Microsoft became the first software company to exceed $1 billion in sales in a single year, reporting revenues of $1.18 billion for fiscal year 1990.

In 2010 – Wikileaks published classified documents about the War in Afghanistan, one of the largest leaks in U.S. military history.

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Today in Tech History – July 24, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1874 – Woodward and Evans Light filed a patent for “Artificial light by means of electricity” with the Canadian Department of Agriculture. Woodward later sold the patent to Thomas Edison, who patented a different and more successful version of the incandescent lamp in the US.

In 1950 – The Bumper 8, made of a German V-2 missile lower stage and WAC-Corporal upper stage launched from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It was the first launch from what would become the Kennedy Space Center.

In 1969 – Apollo 11 arrived safely in the Pacific Ocean, ending the first manned mission to land on the Moon.

In 2013 – Google announced the Chromecast, a $35 HDMI stick, powered by USB, that streamed video from the Internet and other devices to a TV.

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Today in Tech History – July 23, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1903 – Ford sold its first car to Dr. Ernst Pfenning of Chicago. The two-cylinder Model A was assembled at Mack Avenue Plant in Detroit.

In 1985 – Commodore introduced the Amiga personal computer at the Vivian Beaumont Theater in New York’s Lincoln Center. Amiga cost $1,295 and shipped with a base configuration of 256K of RAM.

In 1996 – The first commercial HDTV signal was broadcast in North Carolina by WRAL channel 32 operating at 100 kilowatts with an antenna 1,750 feet above the ground. 200 members of the press watched the broadcast at WRAL.

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Today in Tech History – July 22, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1933 – Wiley Post returned to Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, New York, 7 days, 18 hours, 49 minutes after leaving, becoming the fastest person to circumnavigate the Earth by air and the first to do it solo.

In 1962 – The first Mariner space probe to Venus had to be destroyed shortly after lift-off because of “improper operation of the Atlas airborne beacon equipment.” The error was caused by a missing overbar in the program that must have disappeared during hand transcription.

In 1997 – Apple announced OS 8 for Macintosh computers. It added easier Internet integration and a 3D look to the OS.

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Today in Tech History – July 21, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1975 – Xerox announced its withdrawal from computer mainframe manufacturing. The company did indicate it would continue activities in other computer-related businesses like computer disk drives, serial printers, and apparently giving away secrets to companies like Apple and Microsoft.

In 2002 – WorldCom filed for the largest Chapter 11 bankruptcy in US history. It was the number two long-distance phone company, at a time when that still meant something. It would end up changing its name back to MCI, and its remains exists as Verizon’s business division.

In 2011 – The Space Shuttle Atlantis landed at Kennedy Space Center’s Shuttle Landing Facility, Runway 15, ending the US space shuttle missions.

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Subscribe to the podcast. Like Tech History? Get Tom Merritt’s Chronology of Tech History at Merritt’s Books site.