Today in Tech History

Today in Tech History – November 23, 2016

Today in Tech History logo1889 – A “nickel-in-the-slot player” was installed at the Palais Royale Saloon in San Francisco, the first jukebox. Up to four people could put in a coin, put on earphones and listen to a record playing on an Edison Class M phonograph.

1963 – At 5:16 PM the BBC premiered its new family science fiction show, Doctor Who, with its first episode, “An Unearthly Child.”

2004 – Blizzard launched World of Warcraft, destined to become the largest MMORPG ever made.

2015 – Blue Origin successfully launched its BE-3 rocket carrying an unoccupied New Shepard space capsule to a suborbital height of 100.5 km and landed the used rocket safely on the ground.

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Today in Tech History – November 22, 2016

Today in Tech History logo1963 – One of the most famous 8mm home movies ever recorded was filmed on a Model 414 PD Bell and Howell in Dealey Plaza in downtown Dallas, Texas. The Zapruder film showed President John F. Kennedy and Governor John Connally being shot.

1995 – The first feature-length film created entirely using computer-generated imagery was released to theaters. Toy Story grossed more than $350 million worldwide, making executive producer Steve Jobs, very happy.

2005 – Microsoft’s Xbox 360 went on sale in North America. The follow-up to the Xbox would become a smash hit.

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Today in Tech History – November 21, 2016

Today in Tech History logo1877 – Thomas Edison announced his invention of the phonograph, a machine that could record and play sound.

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.

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 – November 20, 2016

Today in Tech History logo1984 – 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.

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

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 – November 19, 2016

Today in Tech History logo1872 – E.D. Barbour of Boston, Mass. received the first US patent for an adding machine capable of printing totals and subtotals. The so-called “calculating machine,” proved impractical.

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

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.

2007 – Amazon launched an e-reader called the Kindle that used an e-ink screen.

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Today in Tech History – November 18, 2016

Today in Tech History logo1883 – 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.

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.

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.

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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Today in Tech History – November 17, 2016

Today in Tech History logo1790 – 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.

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.

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.

1971 – The Kenbak-1 desktop computer was advertised for sale in ComputerWorld for $750 It had first been advertised in Scientific American in September. The 8-bit computer had 256 bytes of memory and was dubbed the world’s first commercially available personal computer by a panel of experts involving Steve Wozniak.

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Today in Tech History – November 16, 2016

Today in Tech History logo1904 – 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.

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.

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 – November 15, 2016

Today in Tech History logo1926 – 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.

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.

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.

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 – November 14, 2016

Today in Tech History logo1922 – The BBC sent its first daily transmission from station 2LO at Marconi House London. Arthur Burrows, first Director of Programmes, read the first newscast.

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

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

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