Today in Tech History

Today in Tech History – December 3, 2016

Today in Tech History logo1992 – The first text message was sent on Vodafone’s UK network from a PC to a mobile device with the message “Merry Christmas.”

1994 – The Sony PlayStation game console went on sale in Japan.

1999 – NASA lost radio contact with the Mars Polar Lander moments before the spacecraft entered the Martian atmosphere. It just wasn’t a good year for Mars exploration.

2001 – In Bryant Park in Manhattan, Inventor Dean Kamen unveiled a secret project with the codename “Ginger” that Steve Jobs reportedly said would cause cities to be re-architected. The Segway Personal Transporter has become iconic for mall cops and mailmen.

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Today in Tech History – December 2, 2016

Today in Tech History logo1942 – Enrico Fermi, Leo Szilard and their colleagues achieved a successful nuclear fission chain reaction in a squash court underneath the football grandstand of the University of Chicago’s Stagg Field. The atomic age had begun.

1982 – A Seattle dentist named Barney Clark, deemed too sick for a heart transplant, became the first human recipient of a permanent artificial heart, the Jarvik 7. He survived for 112 days.

1993 – NASA launched the Space Shuttle Endeavour on a mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope, turning the Hubble from a late night talk show joke to the source of some of the most beautiful and valuable astronomy yet done.

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Today in Tech History – December 1, 2016

Today in Tech History logo1847 – The London and North Western Railway along with the Caledonian Railway adopted London Time on instructions from the General Post Office. Other railways followed suit and this was seen as the establishment of the first time zone.

1913 – Henry Ford added the moving-chassis assembly line to produce Model T’s in his Highland Park, Michigan factory. It was the crowning glory in his attempts to increase efficiency and production.

1977 – Time Warner launched QUBE in Columbus, Ohio, the first two-way interactive cable system. One of its channels called “The Pinwheel” would later be relaunched as Nickelodeon.

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Today in Tech History – November 30, 2016

Today in Tech History logo1934 – The steam locomotive Flying Scotsman became the first to officially exceed 100 mph.

1955 – A Colorado Springs youngster misdialed a telephone number set up for inquiries about Santa and accidentally called the Combat Operations Center of the Continental Air Defense Command. COC Commander Col. Harry Shoup told the child “There may be a guy called Santa Claus at the North Pole, but he’s not the one I worry about coming from that direction.”

1999 – British Aerospace and Marconi Electronic Systems merged to form BAE Systems, Europe’s largest defense contractor and the fourth largest aerospace firm in the world. Marconi had been founded by Guglielmo Marconi in 1897.

2006 – Microsoft released Windows Vista for business use. Vista improved on security over Windows XP, but took criticism for other features, and never rivaled Windows XP in adoption.

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Today in Tech History – November 29, 2016

Today in Tech History logo1777 – The Spanish founded California’s first civilian settlement called Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe. It would become the future state’s first capital and eventually the heart of Silicon Valley.

1910 – The first US patent for a traffic signal system was issued to Ernest E. Sirrine. It switched an illuminated sign between the words “stop” and “proceed.”

1972 – Nolan Bushnell installed a coin-operated arcade game at Andy Capp’s tavern in Sunnyvale, California. It only played Allan Alcorn’s Pong. Within four months there were 10,000 across the country.

1974 – The January issue of Popular Electronics was published featuring the Altair 8800 microcomputer from Micro Instrumentation Telemetry Systems in Albuquerque, New Mexico on the cover. For $439 you got everything you needed to build a computer in one kit boasting 256 bytes of memory!

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Today in Tech History – November 28, 2016

Today in Tech History logo1660 – Twelve men, including Christopher Wren, Robert Boyle, John Wilkins, and Sir Robert Moray met after Wren’s astronomy lecture to discuss the formal constitution of a society of philosophers that would become the Royal Society. It still exists and recently opened its archives on the Web.

1814 – For the first time, an automatic steam-powered press printed The Times in London. German inventors Friedrich Koenig and Andreas Friedrich Bauer built the press. The Times quickly pointed out that they would not layoff workers, but instead increase printing, bringing the paper to a wider audience.

1964 – NASA launched Mariner 4 toward Mars where it would conduct the first successful flyby of the red planet.

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Today in Tech History – November 27, 2016

Today in Tech History logo1971 – The Soviet Union’s Mars 2 orbiter released its descent module which probably had too steep an angle of entry, and malfunctioned and crashed. But hey, it was still the first manmade object to reach the surface of Mars.

1998 – The Sega Dreamcast game console launched in Japan.

2001 – Scientists announced they had used the Hubble telescope to detect and analyze the atmosphere on an extrasolar planet for the first time. The planet HD 209458 b, unofficially called Osiris was found to have sodium in its atmosphere.

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Today in Tech History – November 26, 2016

Today in Tech History logo1894 – Norbert Wiener was born in Columbia, Missouri. He would get his BA in mathematics at age 14 but is most remembered for his theory of regulation and of signal transmission which he called “cybernetics.”

1922 – “Toll of the Sea” debuted. It was the first color movie that didn’t require a special projector, the second technicolor film ever, and the first in wide release.

2003 – The final flight of a Concorde ended when the supersonic jet touched down at Filton, Bristol, England, the airfield where it was built.

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Today in Tech History – November 25, 2016

Today in Tech History logo1816 – Gaslight illuminated Philadelphia’s Chestnut Street Theatre, improving on an innovation pioneered in London. Instead of coal the gas was created from pitch, reducing the malodorous vapors caused by the wonder’s creation.

1915 – Albert Einstein presented general theory of relativity to the Prussian Academy of Sciences.

1957 – PG&E and General Electric inaugurated the Vallecitos Nuclear Power Plant in Pleasanton California. It was the first privately funded atomic power plant.

1976 – The Project Viking landers passed through superior conjunction at Mars, enabling scientists to begin an experiment that used the landers as transponders. The data collected confirmed the Shapiro Delay, becoming one of the best confirmations of General Relativity we have seen.

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Today in Tech History – November 24, 2016

Today in Tech History logo1932 – The FBI Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory (known then only as the Technical Crime Laboratory) officially opened in Washington DC. It’s location was chosen because it had a sink, and its one employee, Agent Charles Appel had to borrow a microscope.

1969 – The Apollo 12 command module with its all-Navy crew splashed down safely in the Pacific Ocean, ending the second manned mission to the Moon. Credit goes to the USS Hornet for its second flawless recovery effort.

1998 – AOL announced it would purchase Netscape Communications, merging what were then two of the biggest names on the Internet.

2014 – Attackers calling themselves “Guardians Of Peace” hacked into Sony Pictures Entertainment’s internal networks, stealing data, deleting data, and placing a message and an image of a red skeleton on computer desktops throughout the company.

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