Today in Tech History

Today in Tech History – Dec. 7, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1962 – Ferranti Ltd. switched on the Atlas, the UK’s first supercomputer. It was the most powerful computer in the world at the time and doubled the UK’s scientific computing capability.

In 1963 – The CBS broadcast of the college football game between Army and Navy featured the first use of video instant replay during a sports telecast. Some people got confused and called to complain.

In 1972 – The last Apollo moon mission, Apollo 17 was launched. The crew took the famous Blue Marble picture that now graces desktop background everywhere.

In 1999 – The Recording Industry Association of America sued 6-month-old Napster. The Industry refused to settle, thus insuring that digital music sales would remain low for years to come.

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Today in Tech History – Dec. 6, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1877 – Thomas Edison tested out his new phonograph invention, by recording the first lines of the poem “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” He recreated the event in 1927.

In 1957 – Responding to Sputnik, the United States launched the Vanguard TV3. The rocket only made it a little over a meter off the launchpad before it fell back and was destroyed. A fuel leak was thought to have caused the failure.

In 2006 – NASA revealed photographs from the Martian Global Surveyor, of two craters called Terra Sirenum and Centauri Montes which appeared to show the evidence that water existed on the surface Mars, as recently as five years before.

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Today in Tech History – Dec. 5, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1766 – James Christie held his first sale on Pall Mall in London. Christie’s still operates auctions today and is much more civilized than EBAY.

In 1901 – At 2156 Tripp Avenue in Chicago, Elias and Flora welcomed their new baby boy into the world. They had no idea at the time that Mickey Mouse had also come into the world along with their son, Walt Disney.

In 1901 – Physicist Werner Heisenberg was born. We may not know both his precise position and precise momentum at the same time, but we are certain he was born in Wurzburg, Germany.

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Today in Tech History – Dec. 4, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1985 – The Cray X-MP/48 began operation at the San Diego Supercomputer Center. It almost doubled the speed of other machines with a parallel processing system, which ran at 420 megaflops.

In 1996 – General Motors began delivery of the EV1, an electric vehicle that would become well-loved by its drivers then be taken back in 2002 and sent to car-crushers.

In 1998 – The space shuttle Endeavour lifted off from Cape Canaveral, carrying the first American-built component of the International Space Station, a connecting node, known as Unity.

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Today in Tech History – Dec. 3, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1992 – The first text message was sent on Vodafone’s U.K. network from a PC to a mobile device with the message “Merry Christmas.”

In 1994 – The Sony PlayStation game console went on sale in Japan.

In 1999 – NASA lost radio contact with the Mars Polar Lander moments before the spacecraft entered the Martian atmosphere. It just wasn’t a good year for Mars exploration.

In 2001 – In Bryant Park in Manhattan, Inventor Dean Kamen unveiled a secret project with the codename “Ginger” that Steve Jobs reportedly said would cause cities to be re-architected. The Segway Personal Transporter has become iconic for mall cops and mailmen.

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Today in Tech History – Dec. 2, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1942 – Enrico Fermi, Leo Szilard and their colleagues achieved a successful nuclear fission chain reaction in a squash court underneath the football grandstand of the University of Chicago’s Stagg Field. The atomic age had begun.

In 1982 – A Seattle dentist named Barney Clark, deemed too sick for a heart transplant, became the first human recipient of a permanent artificial heart, the Jarvik 7. He survived for 112 days.

In 1993 – NASA launched the Space Shuttle Endeavour on a mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope, turning the Hubble from a late night talk show joke to the source of some of the most beautiful and valuable astronomy yet done.

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Today in Tech History – Dec. 1, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1847 – The London and North Western Railway along with the Caledonian Railway adopted London Time on instructions from the General Post Office. Other railways followed suit and this was seen as the establishment of the first time zone.

In 1913 – Henry Ford added the moving-chassis assembly line to produce Model T’s in his Highland Park, Michigan factory. It was the crowning glory in his attempts to increase efficiency and production.

In 1977 – Time Warner launched QUBE in Columbus, Ohio, the first two-way interactive cable system. One of its channels called “The Pinwheel” would later be relaunched as Nickelodeon.

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Today in Tech History – Nov. 30, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1934 – The steam locomotive Flying Scotsman became the first to officially exceed 100 mph.

In 1999 – British Aerospace and Marconi Electronic Systems merged to form BAE Systems, Europe’s largest defense contractor and the fourth largest aerospace firm in the world. Marconi had been founded by Guglielmo Marconi in 1897.

In 2006 – Microsoft released Windows Vista for business use. Vista improved on security over Windows XP, but took criticism for other features, and never rivaled Windows XP in adoption.

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Today in Tech History – Nov. 29, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1777 – The Spanish founded California’s first civilian settlement called Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe. It would become the future state’s first capital and eventually the heart of Silicon Valley.

In 1910 – The first US patent for a traffic signal system was issued to Ernest E. Sirrine. It switched an illuminated sign between the words “stop” and “proceed”

In 1972 – Nolan Bushnell installed a coin-operated arcade game at Andy Capp’s tavern in Sunnyvale, California. It only played Allan Alcorn’s Pong. Within four months there were 10,000 across the country.

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Today in Tech History – Nov. 28, 2014

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1660 – 12 men, including Christopher Wren, Robert Boyle, John Wilkins, and Sir Robert Moray met after Wren’s astronomy lecture to discuss the formal constitution of a society of philosophers that would become the Royal Society. It still exists and recently opened its archives on the Web.

In 1814 – For the first time, an automatic steam-powered press printed The Times in London. German inventors Friedrich Koenig and Andreas Friedrich Bauer built the press. The Times quickly pointed out that they would not layoff workers, but instead increase printing, bringing the paper to a wider audience.

In 1964 – NASA launched Mariner 4 toward Mars where it would conduct the first successful flyby of the red planet.

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