Today in Tech History

Today in Tech History – Oct. 11, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1950 – CBS’s mechanical color system is the first to be licensed for broadcast by the FCC. Color TV would not become widespread until the late 1960s.

In 1957 – The Jodrell Bank observatory, with the world’s largest radio telescope, designed by Sir Bernard Lovell, began operation. It’s first job was to track the just-launched Sputnik satellite.

In 1958 – NASA launched the lunar probe Pioneer 1 the first of the Pioneer program. It didn’t get very far, falling back to Earth and burning up in the atmosphere.

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Today in Tech History – Oct. 10, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1964 – The opening ceremonies of the summer Olympics in Tokyo became the first Olympic broadcast relayed live by geostationary communication satellite. Too bad the US networks gave up on live broadcasts of the Olympics.

In 1967 – The Outer Space Treaty came into force, banning nuclear weapons or any other weapons of mass destruction being placed in Earth orbit or on any other celestial body. It also prevents any state from claiming a sovereignty over any celestial resource like the Moon.

In 1995 – The Media Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology wrapped up “A Day in the Life of Cyberspace” an attempt to chronicle what people did online that day.

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Today in Tech History – Oct. 9, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1876 – The first two-way telephone conversation occurred over outdoor wires between Alexander Graham Bell and his assistant, Watson. They used a two-mile telegraph line linking Boston and East Cambridge.

In 1947 – Eckert-Mauchly Computer Co. signed a contract with Northrop to develop the BINary Automatic Computer. BINAC was the only computer ever built by the company founded by ENIAC pioneers J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly.

In 2009 – The first lunar impact of the Centaur and LCROSS spacecrafts kicked up some dust as part of NASA’s Lunar precursor Robotic program. The impact has led to greater certainty that there is water on the moon.

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Today in Tech History – Oct. 8, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1860 – Telegraph lines opened between Los Angeles and San Francisco. This allowed gold miners to tell backers farther south that they still hadn’t found any gold.

In 1921 – KDKA radio in Pittsburgh conducted the first live broadcast of a football game from Forbes Field. The University of Pittsburgh beat West Virginia University.

In 2003 – To allow IT departments to prepare for critical updates, Microsoft conducted the first regularly scheduled Windows patch release. It became lovingly known as “Patch Tuesday”.

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Today in Tech History – Oct. 7, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1806 – Englishman Ralph Wedgwood received the first patent on carbon paper, which led to the initials cc to indicate a carbon copy which led to the email option to “cc” somebody.

In 1954 – IBM sounded the death knell of vacuum tubes, building the first calculating machine to use solid-state transistors. It was an experimental version of the IBM 604 Electronic Calculating Punch, that was desktop-sized and slow just like it’s vacuum-tube powered brother, but it used 5% of the power!

In 1959 – The Soviet Space Probe Luna 3 took the first photographs of the dark side of the moon. You’re welcome Pink Floyd.

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Today in Tech History – Oct. 6, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1893 – U.S. copyright was issued to William K. L. Dickson for a “publication” consisting of “Edison Kinetoscopic Records.” It was the first motion picture copyright in North America. No torrents were uploaded until much later.

In 1914 – Edwin H. Armstrong received a US patent for a “Wireless Receiving System” which described his famous regenerative, or feedback, circuit. Armstrong would go on to pioneer FM radio.

In 1927 – Al Jolson appeared on a movie screen in New York City and said for all to hear “Wait a minute, wait a minute, you ain’t heard nothin’ yet.” It was the first talkie.

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Today in Tech History – Oct. 5, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1969 – The first episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus aired on the BBC. The show created the Spam sketch that would eventually inspire the slang term for unsolicited email.

In 1991 – Linux Kernel, version 0.02 was released, attracting a lot of attention. Author Linus Torvalds felt this version was at least usable and worth a wider release.

In 1992 – IBM announced the ThinkPad line of Notebook computers at offices in New York City.

In 2002 – “Xbox Media Player” and its first beta source code was released. The code was a result of Frodo, the founder of “YAMP” (Yet Another Media Player), joining the Xbox Media Player team. The project was later changed to Xbox Media Center and then just XBMC.

In 2011 – Steve Jobs died at his home surrounded by family. The co-founder and CEO of Apple has fought pancreatic cancer for years.

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Today in Tech History – Oct. 4, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1957 -The Soviet Union launched Sputnik I, becoming the first artificial satellite to orbit the Earth, and motivating the US to get into gear and heat up the space race.

In 1985 – Richard Stallman started a non-profit corporation called the Free Software Foundation, dedicated to promoting the universal freedom to create, distribute and modify computer software. The FSF among other things, enforces the copyleft requirements of the GNU General Public License often referred to as the GPL.

In 2004 – SpaceShipOne returned from its third journey, a reusable spacecraft that could carry passengers beyond the earth’s atmosphere. It won the $10 million Ansari X prize for private spaceflight.

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Today in Tech History – Oct. 3, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1942 – Germany conducted the first successful test of the V-2/A4 rocket, launched from Test Stand VII at Peenemünde. It traveled 118 miles.

In 1950 – John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley received US patents for circuits what would eventually be called the transistor.

In 1972 – The first USA/Japan Computer Conference was held in Tokyo.

http://books.google.com/books/about/First_USA_Japan_Computer_Conference_proc.html?id=eY4mAAAAMAAJ

In 1985 – STS-51J lifted off Sending the Space Shuttle Atlantis on its maiden flight. It was the fourth shuttle created and eventually became the last shuttle to fly in July 2011.

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Today in Tech History – Oct. 2, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1925 – John Logie Baird performed the first test of a working television system. It delivered a grayscale 30-line vertically scanned image, at five frames per second. After a ventriloquist’s dummy appeared on screen, 20-year-old William Edward Taynton became the first person televised in full tonal range.

In 1955 – ENIAC was shut down for the last time. After 11 years running at 5,000 operations a second and taking up 1,000 square feet of floor space, it had earned its retirement.

In 1996 – US President Bill Clinton signed amendments to the Freedom of Information Act requiring the US government to make electronic documents available online.

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