Today in Tech History

Today in Tech History – May 1, 2016

20140404-073853.jpg1884 – Construction began in Chicago on the Home Insurance Building, generally acknowledged as the first steel-frame high-rise skyscraper.

1959 – Shortly after construction had begun, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland was officially named in honor of the pioneering rocket scientist.

1964 – Thomas Kurtz and John Kemeny of Dartmouth College, launched a time-sharing system using a language meant to be learned quickly, called BASIC.

Like Tech History? Get the illustrated Year in Tech History at Merritt’s Books site.

Today in Tech History – April 30, 2016

20140404-073853.jpg1904 – George Stibitz was born. He pioneered the principles of relay-based computing. And named the “model K” design after his kitchen table. His work led to the Complex Number Calculator, the first remotely accessed computer.

1916 – Claude Elwood Shannon was born. He is considered the father of information theory and is the man who coined the term ‘bit’ for the fundamental unit of both data and computation.

1939 – RCA began regularly scheduled television service in New York City, with a telecast of President Franklin D. Roosevelt opening the New York World’s Fair. Programs were transmitted from mobile camera trucks to the main transmitter, which was connected to an aerial atop the Empire State Building. The broadcasting division of RCA was called the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC).

1993 – CERN released a statement declaring the software protocols developed for the World Wide Web would be available in the public domain.

Like Tech History? Get the illustrated Year in Tech History at Merritt’s Books site.

Today in Tech History – April 29, 2016

20140404-073853.jpg1882 – Ernst Werner von Siemens presented his “trackless trolley” called the “Elektromote” in a Berlin suburb. The system pulled electricity from overhead wires, but used road wheels instead of tracks.

1953 – KECA-TV, an ABC affiliate in Los Angeles, California, broadcast the first US experimental 3D-TV. An episode of Space Patrol required specially polarized glasses to watch.

2005 – Apple released Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, introducing spotlight search and dashboard functionality.

Like Tech History? Get the illustrated Year in Tech History at Merritt’s Books site.

Today in Tech History – April 28, 2016

20140404-073853.jpg2001 – Dennis Tito became the first “space tourist” in human history paying his own way to the International Space Station aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

2003 – Apple opened the iTunes Music Store with 200,000 songs at 99 cents a piece. Songs could play on any iPod and up to three authorised Macs. Windows users were out of luck but tracks could be burned to unlimited numbers of CDs.

2003 – Apple unveiled the “third-generation” iPod. The new iPods were thinner and featured the bottom Dock Connector port rather than the top-mounted FireWire port. The iPod controls also became entirely touch sensitive.

Like Tech History? Get the illustrated Year in Tech History at Merritt’s Books site.

Today in Tech History – April 27, 2016

20140404-073853.jpg1981 – The first mouse integrated with a personal computer made its appearance with the Xerox Star workstation.

1995 – The Justice Department sued to block Microsoft’s purchase of Intuit, claiming the acquisition would raise prices and squash innovation. Intuit still exists but Microsoft Money is long gone.

1998 – Roughly 8,000 AOL subscribers joined the first known live interspecies chat with Koko the gorilla. Koko signed her answers; Penny Patterson interpreted them; and an AOL chat facilitator entered them in the computer.

Like Tech History? Get the illustrated Year in Tech History at Merritt’s Books site.

Today in Tech History – April 26, 2016

20140404-073853.jpg1884 – The New York Times reported that “sending mails by electricity” was to be investigated by the Post Office Committee of the US House, by providing for contracts with an existing telegraph company. The article promised it could lead to 10 cent telegrams!

1970 – The Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization entered into force.

1986 – Design flaws made worse by human error during a safety test, led to the worst nuclear disaster yet, and a partial meltdown at the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant.

1999 – RePlay TV began shipping the first Digital Video Recorder. It could pause and rewind live TV as well as schedule shows to be recorded. Models ranged from being able to store 6 hours to 26 hours of recorded shows.

2014 – A team of archaeologists hired by Fuel Entertainment and Xbox Entertainment Studios uncovered a pile of buried Atari E.T. games in a landfill in Alamogordo, New Mexico. The games were dumped 31 years before after the game flopped in sales.

Like Tech History? Get the illustrated Year in Tech History at Merritt’s Books site.

Today in Tech History – April 25, 2016

20140404-073853.jpg1944 – Lt. Carter Harman of the 1st Air Commando Group rescued four men from the jungle in Burma, flying a Sikorsky YR-4 helicopter. It was the first combat rescue by helicopters in the US Army Air Forces.

1953 – Watson and Crick presented their findings on the double helical structure of DNA in the publication Nature. They noted that the structure “suggests a possible copying mechanism for the genetic material.” 50 Years later the Human Genome Project had concluded sequencing the genome and published a follow-on in Nature on their vision for genetic research.

1961 – Robert Noyce received the US patent for the silicon-based integrated circuit. He went on to found the Intel Corporation with Gordon E. Moore in 1968. Noyce fought a long patent rights battle with Jack Kilby who invented a germanium based integrated circuit.

2014 – Microsoft completed its acquisition of Nokia’s handset business. Nokia retained its mapping, research and network infrastructure business. Microsoft gained most of the mobile phone parts of the company.

Like Tech History? Get the illustrated Year in Tech History at Merritt’s Books site.

Today in Tech History – April 24, 2016

1970 – The Chang Zheng-1 rocket launched, carrying the first Chinese satellite, the Dong Fang Hong-1.

1981 – At a meeting called “Apple II Forever”, Apple introduced the portable Apple IIc. The machine came with 128 kilobytes of RAM and a 5 1/4 inch floppy disk drive.

1990 – The Space Shuttle Discovery launched with the Hubble Space Telescope on board. The following day, Hubble was released into space.

2015 – The Apple Watch started shipping. It could be bought in some high-end fashion stores but Apple Stores had none in stock. Only online orders could be taken through Apple.

Like Tech History? Get the illustrated Year in Tech History at Merritt’s Books site.

Today in Tech History – April 23, 2016

20140404-073853.jpg1827 – Mathematics student William Rowan Hamilton presented his “Theory of Systems of Rays” at the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin. It led to the development of the wave theory of light which led to the development of quantum mechanics.

1940 – A patent was granted to Herman Anthony for a leak-proof dry-cell battery. The patent was assigned to Ray-o-Vac.

1941 – Ray Tomlinson was born in Amsterdam, New York. In 1971 he would expand SNDMSG to work between computers on the Arpanet, which would become email. He chose the @ symbol to separate the recipient’s name from the computer domain.

1982 – Sinclair launched the ZX Spectrum which popularised home computing in the UK.

2005 – At 8:27 PM, Jawed Karim, one of the co-founders of YouTube, uploaded the video Me at the zoo making it the first video ever to be uploaded to YouTube.

Like Tech History? Get the illustrated Year in Tech History at Merritt’s Books site.

Today in Tech History – April 22, 2016

20140404-073853.jpg1592 – Wilhelm Schickard was born. He would grow up to create an early form of calculating machine called the “calculating clock”, that could add and subtract up to six-digit numbers.

1993 – NCSA Mosaic 1.0 was released, becoming the first web browser to achieve popularity among the general public.

2000 – The Big Number Change took place in the United Kingdom, changing how phone numbers were dialed in many areas. With the boom in mobile devices, the UK had almost exhausted all possible numbers, and needed the change to increase the pool of numbers to be assigned.

Like Tech History? Get the illustrated Year in Tech History at Merritt’s Books site.