Today in Tech History

Today in Tech History – August 22, 2015

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1932 – The BBC began public television broadcasts.

In 1955 – The first computer user group, SHARE was founded by users of IBM’s Model 704 computer. The first meeting was held in the basement conference room of the RAND Corporation.

In 2007 – The Storm botnet sent out a record 57 million virus-infected emails. It failed to take down the Internet.

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Today in Tech History – August 21, 2015

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1888 – William Seward Burroughs received four patents, including one for a ‘Calculating Machine’. It would power the Burroughs Adding Machine Company.

In 1973 – Sergey Brin was born in Moscow. His family emigrated to the US in 1979. He would grow up to co-develop a search engine with Larry Page and co-found Google.

In 1993 – NASA lost contact with the Mars Observer three days before it was supposed to enter orbit. As it began to pressurize fuel tanks, the spacecraft’s transmitters went silent and it was never heard from again.

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Today in Tech History – August 20, 2015

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1920 – The first commercial radio station, 8MK, began operating in Michigan. Now, WWJ, it is owned by CBS.

In 1930 – W2XCR began broadcasting at 2.1-2.2 mHz from Jersey City, New Jersey, with the first demonstration of telecasts meant for the home. A half-hour program, hosted by the cartoonist Harry Hirschfeld, was viewed on screens placed in a store in the Hotel Ansonia, the Hearst building, and a home at 98 Riverside Drive.

In 1970 – John Carmack was born in Shawnee Mission, Kansas. He would grow up to co-found id software and bring the world Doom, Wolfenstein and Quake.

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Today in Tech History – August 19, 2015

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1839 – At a crowded meeting of the Paris Academy of Sciences, Louis Daguerre demonstrated the process of making photos called daguerreotypes.

In 1906 – Philo Farnsworth was born on Indian Creek in Beaver County, Utah. He would grow up to inspire the beloved professor character on Futurama. He also gets credit for inventing the first completely electronic television.

In 1934 – Gordon Bell was born in Kirksville, Missouri. He would grow up to help build PDP computers and oversee the development of DEC’s VAX series.

In 2003 – Dave Winer posted an experiment with RSS enclosures. It allowed subscribers with the right aggregator to have an MP3 of an interview Chris Lydon did delivered with no click-wait. This would lead to Christopher Lydon becoming the first podcaster before it was called podcasting.

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Today in Tech History – August 18, 2015

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1937 – The first Frequency Modulation or FM radio permit was granted to W1XOJ, in Paxton, Massachusetts. It went on the air with scheduled programs in May 1939 and operated with the highest output power (50 kilowatts) granted prior to World War II.

In 1947 – Eight years after William Hewlett and David Packard founded it, Hewlett-Packard was officially incorporated.

In 2005 – The largest and most widespread power outage in history happened on the Indonesian island of Java, affecting almost 100 million people.

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Today in Tech History – August 17, 2015

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 – August 16, 2015

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 M1 or ‘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 – August 15, 2015

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 – August 14, 2015

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.

In 1989 – Sega launched the Genesis console in the US. It had been released in Japan the previous October as the ‘Mega Drive.’

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Today in Tech History – August 13, 2015

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.

Like Tech History? Get the illustrated Year in Tech History at Merritt’s Books site.