Today in Tech History

Today in Tech History – Sep. 15, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1947 – The Association for Computing Machinery was founded as the Eastern Association for Computing Machinery, during a meeting at Columbia University in New York. It developed into the world’s largest organization of computer professionals.

In 1947 – RCA released the 12AX7 vacuum tube for public sale. The miniature dual triode vacuum tube with high voltage gain became popular with tube amplifier enthusiasts and has been in continuous production since. The tube is also known as the ECC83 in the European Union.

In 2008 – Electronics retailer Best Buy acquired the Napster music service for $121 million, preventing the once dominating music-sharing service from going out of business.

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Today in Tech History – Sep. 14, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1959 – After 33.5 hours of flight, Luna 2 became the first human-made object to strike the moon.

In 2000 – Microsoft released Windows ME. The ME stood for Millenium Edition but deserving or not, would eventually become code for a bad or unnecessary OS update.

In 2001 – The Nintendo GameCube went on sale in Japan. It was the first Nintendo game console that did not use cartridges.

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Today in Tech History – Sep. 13, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1983 – Osborne Computer declared bankruptcy in Oakland, California federal bankruptcy court, listing assets of $40 million, liabilities of $45 million, and 600 creditors. Two years earlier, Osborne had produced the first portable computer, the 24-pound Osborne I.

In 1985 – Nintendo released Super Mario Brothers in Japan. It became the best selling video game for 20 years until it was surpassed by Wii Sports.

In 2000 – The public beta of Apple’s Mac OS X, code named Kodiak, was released. Users had to pay $29.95 for the beta.

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Today in Tech History – Sep. 12, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1962 – US President John F. Kennedy delivered a speech at the stadium of Rice University, declaring “We choose to go to the moon.” Many consider the speech the beginning of the space race.

In 1985 – Steve Jobs announced to the Apple board that he would resign. Jobs said, “I’ve been thinking a lot, and it’s time for me to get on with my life. It’s obvious that I’ve got to do something. I’m 30 years old.”

In 1994 – Mosaic Communications introduced its first software, the Mosaic NetScape network navigator and the Mosaic Netsite server line.

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Today in Tech History – Sep. 11, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1928 – Radio station WGY of General Electric made the first simulcast in Schenectady, New York. A play called “The Queen’s Messenger” had audio broadcast over radio with the picture in sync over television at same time.

In 1985 – ISEE-3, renamed the International Cometary Explorer (ICE) flew through the gas tail of comet P/Giacobini-Zinner.

In 1998 – The US Congress released the contents of the Starr report on the internet. The report led to the impeachment but not the removal of President Clinton. The websites that hosted the report were slammed with traffic.

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Today in Tech History – Sep. 10, 2014

20140404-073853.jpg1990 – Peter Deutsch posted to comp.archives about the Internet Archive Server called “Archie” that he, Alan Emtage, and Bill Heelan had put together. It is often considered the Internet’s first search engine.

In 1991 – Paul Lindner posted to comp.unix.misc introducing “The Internet Gopher” a distributed information service. Before the World Wide Web, Gopher was the prime way to find and share documents online.

In 2008 – The Large Hadron Collider at CERN powered up in Geneva, Switzerland, on its quest to discover the secrets of particle physics, especially evidence for the Higgs Boson.

In 2013 – Apple announced two new phones, the iPhone 5S with a fingerprint scanner, and the iPhone 5C a cheaper and colored version of the iPhone 5.

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Today in Tech History – Sep. 9, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1940 – At McNutt Hall at Dartmouth College, George Stibitz demonstrated the first remote operation of a computer. He connected to his Complex Number Generator at Bell labs by telephone using 28-wire teletype cable.

In 1947 – While troubleshooting the Harvard University Mark II Aiken Relay Calculator, operators found a moth trapped between the points of relay #70 in Panel F. They affixed the bug to the log and wrote “First actual case of bug being found.” While this was not the first use of the term ’bug’ for a computer problem, ‘debugging’ became popular for fixing bugs after this case.

In 1999 – The Sega Dreamcast debuted in North America. However many were distracted by the supposed 9/9/99 bug that ended up being just as much of a non-problem as the Y2K bug.

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Today in Tech History – Sep. 8, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1930 – The first roll of waterproof, transparent, pressure-sensitive tape was sold. Its brand name “Scotch” has become synonymous with cellophane tape.

In 1966 – The TV show Star Trek made its network television debut with the episode “The Man Trap”. Star Trek would have a profound influence on future technology thought and design.

In 2004 – NASA’s unmanned spacecraft Genesis crash-landed when its parachute failed to open.

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Today in Tech History – Sep. 7, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1927 – The first fully electronic television system was demonstrated by Philo Taylor Farnsworth in San Francisco.

In 1979 – The Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, ESPN, makes its debut. It will become one of the main drivers of cable TV adoption and one of the main factors in the switch to Internet television.

In 1981 – The first large parallel processing computer, ILLIAC IV, ends its nearly decade-long life at the University of Illinois.

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Today in Tech History – Sep. 6, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1947 – The aircraft-carrier Midway became the first U.S. vessel from which a long-range rocket was launched. The rocket had a mishap though, and exploded at 5,000 feet.

In 1954 – US President Eisenhower waved a ceremonial “neutron wand” over a neutron counter in Denver, Colorado, to signal a bulldozer in Shippingport, Pennsylvania to begin construction on the first commercial nuclear power plant. It was part of the “Atoms for Peace” program.

In 1997 – The USS Grace Murray Hopper, guided missile destroyer, was commissioned by the U.S. Navy in San Francisco, named after the computer pioneer.

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