Today in Tech History

Today in Tech History – Nov. 21, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1877 – Thomas Edison announced his invention of the phonograph, a machine that could record and play sound.

In 1905 – The Annalen Der Physik published Albert Einstein’s paper, entitled “Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?” The paper revealed the relationship between energy and mass. You know the relationship as E = mc².

In 1969 The first permanent ARPANET link was established between the Interface Message Processor or IMP at UCLA and the IMP at the Stanford Research Institute.

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Today in Tech History – Nov. 20, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1984 – The SETI Institute, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence was founded by Thomas Pierson (CEO), and Dr. Jill Tarter. No luck so far, but they keep looking.

In 1985 – Microsoft finally released Version 1.0 of Windows. It was considered slightly inferior to competitors like DESQview and the Macintosh.

In 1998 – The first module of the International Space Station launched. Zarya, also called the Functional Cargo Block, provided electrical power, storage and propulsion. It’s now consigned to being used for storage.

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Today in Tech History – Nov. 19, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1872 – E.D. Barbour of Boston, Mass. received the first U.S. patent for an adding machine capable of printing totals and subtotals. The so-called “calculating machine,” proved impractical.

In 1967 – Hong Kong TV, the first free over the air commercial television station in Hong Kong was established. Today it is known as TVB.

In 1981 – Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos banned video games, citing such insidious examples as Space Invaders and Asteroids as a “destructive social enemy, the electrical bandit.”

2006 – The Nintendo Wii launched in North America.

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Today in Tech History – Nov. 18, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1883 – US and Canadian railways adopted five standardized time zones to replace the multitude of local times scattered across North America. It was called “The Day of Two Noons” as each railroad station clock was reset as standard-time noon was reached within each time zone.

In 1928 – Steamboat Willie premiered at Universal’s Colony Theater in New York City. It was the first fully synchronized sound cartoon, directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks. It was also the first official appearance of Mickey Mouse. Happy birthday Mickey, now give us back a reasonable public domain date.

In 1977 – A startup called Microsoft, fresh off developing its own version of FORTRAN, won the right in arbitration to license its version of BASIC, previously licensed exclusively through MITS, makers of the Altair.

In 2012 – The Nintendo Wii U launched in North America. The console did not yet feature it TVii service but did require a 5GB download which took over an hour to update the console’s software.

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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 – Nov. 17, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1790 – August Ferdinand Mobius was born in Schulpforta, Saxony. The mathematician, astronomer and physicist is most well remembered for the discovery of the Mobius strip, a 2-dimensional object with only one side when embedded in 3D space. Poor Johann Benedict Listing also discovered it at the same time but Listing strip just doesn’t have the same ring.

In 1947 – Walter Brattain dumped a semiconductor experiment into a thermos of water and unexpectedly saw a large amplification of electricity. Working with John Bardeen they developed it into a new amplifier that would eventually be called the transistor.

In 1970 – The Soviet Union landed Lunokhod 1 on Mare Imbrium on the Moon. It was the first roving remote-controlled robot to land on another world.

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Today in Tech History – Nov. 16, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1904 – Sir John Ambrose Fleming went “scudding down Gower Street” in London on his way to patenting the “oscillation valve” which we fondly call the Vacuum Tube. His patent was later invalidated by the US supreme court, but that didn’t stop Fleming from being Knighted and receiving a medal of honor from the Institute of Radio Engineers.

In 1965 – The Soviet Union launched the Venera 3 space probe toward Venus. It would become the first spacecraft to reach the surface of another planet, though it failed to return data.

In 2000 – ICANN announced its decision to include 7 new top-level domains giving birth to the .aero, .biz, .coop, .info, .museum, .name and .pro, TLDs.

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Today in Tech History – Nov. 15, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1926 – The National Broadcasting Company radio network opened with 24 stations. It was a joint creation of RCA, General Electric and Westinghouse. AT&T provided the spark for the network by selling WEAF to RCA.

In 1971 – Intel released the world’s first commercial single-chip microprocessor, the 4004 with an advertisement in Electronic News, though the chip may have been delivered earlier in the spring to some customers. It was the first complete CPU on one chip.

In 2001 – Microsoft entered the game console war with the first Xbox going on sale in North America. It pitted Microsoft against Sony’s PS2 just three days before Nintendo’s GameCube went on sale.

In 2013 – Sony’s PlayStation 4 game console went on sale with a big event in New York where Sony rented out the entire Standard Hotel.

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Today in Tech History – Nov. 14, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1922 – The BBC sent its first daily transmission from station 2LO at Marconi House London. Arthur Burrows, first Director of Programmes, read the first newscast.

In 1971 – The American space probe Mariner 9 began orbiting Mars becoming the first spacecraft to successfully orbit another planet.

In 2007 – The last Direct Current electrical distribution system in the US was shut down by Con Edison in New York.

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Today in Tech History – Nov. 13, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1851 – The first public message was sent on the submarine telegraph cable under the English Channel between Dover, England and Calais, France.

In 1982 – 15-year-old Scott Safran of Cherry Hill New Jersey set the world record score on Asteroids. His record stood for 27 years, the longest-running high score in videogame history.

1983 – The MIT TX-0, an experimental transistorized computer, was brought back to life for the last time at The Computer Museum in Marlboro, Massachusetts.

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Today in Tech History – Nov. 12, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1946 – The US Army held a contest between an abacus used by Kiyoshi Matsuzaki from Japan’s postal ministry and an electric calculator operated by Private Thomas Nathan Wood. The abacus won 4 to 1.

In 1970 – The Oregon Highway Divisions made an ill-advised attempt to destroy a dead whale by blowing it up with explosives. The results, documented by local news, eventually became Internet gold as the “exploding whale” video.

In 1990 – Tim Berners-Lee published a formal proposal for a hypertext project. The proposal referred to a “web of information nodes” and implementing “browsers” The project eventually became the World Wide Web.

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