Today in Tech History

Today in Tech History – Oct. 1, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1958 – The National Advisory Committee of Aeronautics was officially absorbed by the brand new National Aeronautics and Space Agency. Another expanded government bureaucracy that was only good for putting people on the moon.

In 1971 – The first clinical human CT scan was performed on a middle aged lady with a suspected frontal lobe tumour, at Atkinson Morley’s Hospital in South London.

In 1982 – Sony started selling the first CD players to the public, the CDP-101 for 168,000 yen (that’s about $730 US). At the time you could get Billy Joel’s album 52nd street on CD– and soon many more.

In 2003 – 4Chan launched its main page, intended as a sister-site to the Japanese 2Chan for discussions of manga and anime. They provided the fertile ground for the growth of lolcats, Rickrolling, Anonymous, Pedobear and more.

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Today in Tech History – Sep. 30, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1882 – Thomas Edison’s first commercial hydroelectric power plant began operation on the Fox River in Appleton, Wisconsin.

In 1954 – The USS Nautilus, the first nuclear submarine, was commissioned at Groton, CT.

In 1980 – Xerox published the Version 1.0 specifications for Ethernet in conjunction with Intel and Digital Equipment Corporation.

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Today in Tech History – Sep. 29, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1920 – The Joseph Horne department store in Pittsburgh ran an advertisement in the Pittsburgh Sun, describing wireless Victrola music being picked up by radio. Amateur Wireless Sets were on sale for $10.

In 1954 – CERN officially came into being. In addition to countless advancements in science, it would go on to foster the invention of the World Wide Web.

In 1994 – Programmers first demonstrated the HotJava prototype browser to executives at Sun Microsystems Inc. It was an attempt to port the Java language to the Web. It worked.

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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 – Sep. 28, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1998 – Microsoft’s Internet Explorer passed Netscape Navigator as the Web browser with the greatest market share, according to a report from the International Data Corporation.

In 2008 – SpaceX launched the Falcon 1, the first ever private spacecraft to enter orbit.

In 2011 – Amazon shook up the tablet market, announcing the the Amazon Kindle Fire 7-inch tablet for $199.

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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 – Sep. 27, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1922 – Scientists at the Naval Aircraft Radio Laboratory near Washington, DC, demonstrated radar by showing that if a ship passed through a radio wave broadcast between two stations, that ship could be detected.

In 1983 – Richard Stallman announced the GNU project which aimed at the time to develop a free Unix-like operating system.

In 1996 – Kevin Mitnick was indicted on charges he broke into the systems of major software companies, then transferred stolen material to computers at USC via the Internet. Seems prosaic today, but was unheard of at the time.

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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 – Sep. 26, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1960 – For the first time, a US presidential debate was televised. Vice President Nixon and Senator Kennedy debated in Chicago and were perceived differently by those who listened on radio versus those who watched on television.

In 1983 – 17-year-old Neal Patrick, of the hacking group 414s testified before the US House of Representatives about computer break-ins and how they might be stopped.

In 1991 – Eight people entered Biosphere 2, an airtight replica of the Earth’s biosphere in Oracle, Arizona. They left exactly two years later in 1993. Results of the experiment are still controversial.

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Today in Tech History – Sep. 25, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1956 – The first submarine transatlantic telephone cable system, TAT-1 was inaugurated, replacing slow telegraph and unreliable radio systems.

In 2001 – Apple announced the release of Mac OS X 10.1 Puma, the first major upgrade to OS X.

In 2012 – Blizzard launched its 4th World of Warcraft expansion, called Mists of Pandaria.

In 2013 – Amazon announced the Kindle HDX tablets with a service called “Mayday” that promised to let users speak with a real person by video over the Internet within 15 seconds of tapping a button.

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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 – Sep. 24, 2014

20140404-073853.jpg1979 – CompuServe began offering a consumer version of its dial-up online information service called MicroNET. The name would later be changed to CompuServe and offer public email among other online services.

In 1993 – Broderbund Software released the game Myst, for the Macintosh computer. It became a record-setting bestseller and helped popularize CD-ROM drives.

In 1997 – Ultima Online launched, revolutionizing online gaming by supporting thousands of simultaneous players in a persistent shared world.

In 2013 – Valve announced their new Steam OS, a free version of Linux built around the Steam video game service.

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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 – Sep. 23, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1889 – Fusajiro Yamauchi founded Nintendo Koppai in Kyoto, Japan, to manufacture hanafuda, Japanese playing cards. Mario came much later.

In 1999 – NASA lost contact with the Mars Climate Orbiter. It began orbit normally, but after it went behind the planet and out of range, it never made contact again. It was later determined that the approach attitude was wrong because software put out imperial units instead of metric units.

In 2002 – Mozilla Phoenix 0.1 was released. It was the first public version of the web browser, that would become Mozilla Firefox.

In 2008 – The T-Mobile G1 launched, the first phone to use Google’s Android OS, as it began it’s competition against the barely year-old iPhone.

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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 – Sep. 22, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1791 – Michael Faraday was born in south London. He grew up to discover electromagnetic induction and coined the terms ‘electrode’, ‘cathode’ and ‘ion.’ He also lent his name to the Faraday cage.

In 1986 – In NEC Corp. Vs. Intel Corp., the US District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that microprograms are copyrightable literary works. And so all the trouble began.

In 2011 – Facebook announced its new Timeline feature which would collect all your posts and materials in chronological order, replacing the old profile.

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