Today in Tech History

Today in Tech History – Aug. 17, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1944 – Larry Ellison was born in the Bronx in New York City. 9 months later, after contracting pneumonia, he was taken to Chicago to be raised by his Aunt and Uncle. He would grow up to drop out of college, move to Berkeley and co-found Software Development Labs, one of the most successful corporations in history. Today it’s known as Oracle.

In 1982 – Royal Philips Electronics manufactured the world’s first Compact Disc (not counting test pressings) at a Polygram factory in Langenhagen, just outside of Hanover, Germany. The CD was “The Visitors” by Abba.

In 2000 – Nielsen/NetRatings announced that according to their data, more than half (52%) of United States households had Internet access for the first time. This confirmed Media Metrix’s report from April which estimated that 51% of US households now had Internet access.

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Today in Tech History – Aug. 16, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1989 – A solar flare created a geomagnetic storm that caused three hard drives to fail in an otherwise fault-tolerant system at the Toronto Stock Exchange. This prevented access to critical market data, leading the exchange to be shut down for three hours.

In 1993 – Ian Murdock announced the Debian Linux distribution system. The name combined his then girlfriend Debra’s name with his own, Deb-Ian. And now you know how to properly pronounce it.

In 1994 – The IBM Simon went on sale, combining a mobile phone with computer functions. It weighed 500 grams, could run apps and be linked to a fax machine, selling for $899. The word smartphone hadn’t even been coined yet.

In 1995 – The first version Microsoft’s Web browser, Internet Explorer 1, debuted. It was based on Mosaic, which Microsoft had licensed from Spyglass Inc.

In 2011 – Xiaomi launched their first phone, the M1or ‘Xiaomi Phone’ with a 1.5 GHz dual core chip and 1 GB of RAM for ¥1,999.

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Today in Tech History – Aug. 15, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1877 – In a letter to T.B.A. David, president of the Central District and Printing Telegraph Company in Pittsburgh, Thomas Edison suggested using the word ‘hello’ to indicate a telephone connection was active. Alexander Graham Bell had reportedly preferred ‘Ahoy’ as the greeting.

In 1960 – A long-distance phone link was tested using the Echo 1 satellite. William Victor placed a call from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Goldstone, California to William C. Jakes Jr. at the Bell Laboratories in Holmdel, New Jersey, bouncing off the satellite to make the connection.

In 1994 – Microsoft programmer Benjamin Slivka sent an email to his team suggesting they make a Web browser for Windows 95.

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Today in Tech History – Aug. 14, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1888 – Mr. George Gouraud introduced the Edison phonograph to London in a press conference, including the playing of a piano and cornet recording of Sullivan’s “The Lost Chord,” one of the first recordings of music ever made.

In 1894 – The first wireless transmission of information using Morse code was demonstrated by Oliver Lodge during a meeting of the British Association at Oxford. A message was transmitted about 50 meters from the old Clarendon Laboratory to the lecture theater of the University Museum.

In 1940 – John Atanasoff finished a paper describing the Atanasoff Berry Computer, or ABC, the computer he designed with Clifford Berry to solve simultaneous linear equations.

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Today in Tech History – Aug. 13, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1888 – John Logie Baird was born in Helensburgh, Scotland. He would grow up to invent the first working television system in the world.

In 1912 – The US Department of Commerce issued its first experimental radio license in compliance with the International Radio Convention and Radio Act of 1912. St. Joseph’s College received a license with serial number 1 to operate 2 kilowatts station 3XJ.

In 2004 – Adam Curry launched an RSS feed of audio recordings called “Daily Source Code” and podcasting became a thing.

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Today in Tech History – Aug. 12, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1877 – Thomas Edison sketched his idea for the phonograph, and may have even completed a model. The first working model wasn’t completed until December 6.

In 1960 – The first NASA communications satellite, Echo 1 was launched from Cape Canaveral. The satellite was a balloon of mylar polyester film.

In 1977 – The space shuttle Enterprise carried out its first free flight test, when the orbiter was released from the back of a 747 in flight.

In 1981 – IBM introduced the model 5150 personal computer. It had a 4.77 MHz Intel 8088 microprocessor and used Microsoft’s MS-DOS operating system.

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Today in Tech History – Aug. 11, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1942 – Hedy Markey and composer George Antheil received a U.S. patent for a frequency-hopping device. The technique has led to many advancements in wireless technology including Wi-Fi. Markey was better known under her stage name of Hedy Lamarr.

In 1950 – Steve Wozniak was born in San Jose, California. He would grow up to invent the first successful personal computer, and revolutionize desktop computing.

In 1965 – Shinji Mikami was born in Japan. He grew up to become a video game designer for Capcom, revolutionizing survival-horror games with his popular series, Resident Evil.

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Today in Tech History – Aug. 10, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1519 – Ferdinand Magellan set sail to find that pesky trade route that Columbus was looking for, and instead circumnavigated the globe. Well, at least his ship did.

In 1990 – The Magellan space probe, named after Ferdinand Magellan, reached Venus, beginning its mission to map the planet’s surface.

In 2004 – The iTunes Music Store library passed the mark of 1,000,000 songs available.

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Today in Tech History – Aug. 9, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1859 – US Patent no. 25,076 was issued to Nathan Ames of Saugus, Mass. for the first escalator-type moving staircase.

In 1927 – Computer pioneer Marvin Minsky was born in New York City. Minsky grew up to become a pioneer in Artificial Intelligence research and wrote the book “The Society of Mind.”

In 1995 – Netscape Communications staged an IPO. Shares opened at $28 and shot up to $75 per share in one day, becoming one of the indicators of the beginning of the dot-com boom.

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Today in Tech History – Aug. 8, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1876 – Thomas Edison received a US patent for a mimeograph, which combined with an invention by A. B. Dick led to the first widely successful mimeograph machine.

In 1908 – For the first time in public, Wilbur Wright showed off the Wright Brothers’ flying machine at the racecourse in Le Mans, France. French doubts about the Wright Brothers’ claims to flight were put to rest for the time being.

In 2007 – Barbara Morgan became the first educator to safely reach space on the U.S. Space Shuttle Endeavour.

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