Today in Tech History

Today in Tech History – June 21, 2015

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1948 – The Small-Scale Experimental Machine, SSEM took 52 minutes to run its first program, written by Professor Tom Kilburn. SSEM was the first computer to store programs electronically. The SSEM was nicknamed the “Manchester Baby”.

In 1981 – IBM retired the last of its “STRETCH” mainframes. These mainframes were part of the 7000 series that made up the company’s first transistorized computers.

In 2004 – SpaceShipOne became the first privately developed piloted vehicle to leave Earth’s atmosphere and reach the edge of space.

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Today in Tech History – June 22, 2015

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1675 – Britain’s King Charles II established the observatory at Greenwich with the main purpose of determining precise longitudes to aid in navigation. This purpose led to Greenwich being marked as the prime meridian and later Greenwich Mean Time.

In 1799 – The first definitive prototype metre bars (mètre des Archives) and kilograms were constructed in platinum.

In 1999 – The first demonstration of live rats directly controlling a robot arm with their thoughts was published by Nature Neuroscience.

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Today in Tech History – June 20, 2015

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1840 – Samuel F.B. Morse received a US patent for “Improvement in the mode of communicating information by signals by the application of electro-magnetism.” We call it Morse code.

In 1963 – A hotline was established between the Soviet Union and the United States following the Cuban Missile Crisis. While later it would become the famous “red telephone” it started as a teletype.

In 2003 – The WikiMedia Foundation was founded in St. Petersburg, Florida by Jimmy Wales to oversee the various Wiki projects like Wikipedia.

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Today in Tech History – June 19, 2015

20140404-073853.jpgIn 240 B.C. – Greek astronomer, geographer, mathematician and librarian in Alexandria, Eratosthenes calculated the Earth’s circumference. His data was based on the length of shadows in different locations and simple geometry, but his calculations were not far wrong.

In 1623 – Mathematician Blaise Pascal was born in France. He invented a digital calculator, the Pascaline, to help his father in his tax-collecting work.

In 2003 – Apple released dock connector-to-USB 2.0 cables and drivers for third-generation iPods. Previous iPods had been FireWire only.

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Today in Tech History – June 18, 2015

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1908 – Scottish electrical engineer, Alan Archibald Campbell-Swinton, published a brief letter in the journal Nature, describing the essentials of making and receiving television images. He described using an electron gun in the neck of a cathode-ray tube to shoot electrons toward the flat end of the tube, which was coated with light-emitting phosphor. Others like Farnsworth and Baird would make just such devices years later.

In 2002 – Kevin Warwick had his chip removed. Warwick implanted the chip earlier that year in order to experiment with human-computer interaction, culminating in a direct connection to his wife.

In 2009 – The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), a NASA robotic spacecraft was launched on its mission to collect information about the Moon, particularly around the poles.

In 2014 – Amazon announced their first cell phone the Fire Phone at an event in Seattle. The phone featured object recognition and a dynamic perspective 3D interface.

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Today in Tech History – June 17, 2015

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1936 – Edwin Armstrong presented FM radio at FCC headquarters. Armstrong played a jazz record over conventional AM radio, then switched to an FM broadcast. “[I]f the audience of 50 engineers had shut their eyes they would have believed the jazz band was in the same room.”

In 1946 – The first mobile telephone call was made from a car in St. Louis, Missouri.

In 1997 – Programmers deciphered code written in the impenetrable Data Encryption Standard, the strongest legally exportable encryption software in the United States. The hackers organized over the Internet and cracked the software in five months, proving that stronger encryption was needed.

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Today in Tech History – June 16, 2015

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1911 – The Tabulating Company (founded by Herman Hollerith), the Computing Scale Company, and the International Time Recording Company merged to form the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company in Endicott, New York. They would later change the company name to International Business Machines,and later just IBM.

In 1963 – Soviet Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman to fly in space, orbiting the Earth 48 times.

In 1977 – Software Development Laboratories was incorporated in Redwood Shores, California, by Larry Ellison, Bob Miner and Ed Oates. They later came up with the catchier name, Oracle.

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Today in Tech History – June 15, 2015

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1878 – Photographer Eadweard Muybridge used high-speed photography to capture a horse’s motion. The photos showed the horse with all four feet in the air during some parts of its stride. Stop-motion photography was born.

In 1949 – Jay Forrester wrote down a proposal for core memory in his notebook. Core memory was the standard for computer memory until advances in semiconductors in the 1970s.

In 1987 – Compuserve’s Sandy Trevor and his team, which included inventor Steve Wilhite, released GIF version 87a. The new enhanced format allowed people to create compressed animations. “Under Construction” GIFs everywhere became possible.

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Today in Tech History – June 14, 2015

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1822 – Charles Babbage announced his difference engine in a paper to the Royal Astronomical Society entitled “Note on the application of machinery to the computation of astronomical and mathematical tables.”

In 1951 – The US Census Bureau officially put UNIVAC I into service calling it the world’s first commercial computer.

In 1962 – The European Space Research Organization, which would become the European Space Agency, was established in Paris.

In 1967 – NASA launched Mariner 5 on its mission to fly by Venus.

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Today in Tech History – June 13, 2015

20140404-073853.jpgIn 1925 – Charles Jenkins publicly demonstrated synchronized transmission of silhouette pictures and sound, becoming the first person to demonstrate TV in the US.

In 1941 – John Mauchly visited John Atanasoff to see his computer. The two computer pioneers later battled in court over who was the legal inventor of the electronic digital computer.

In 1944 – Germany launched the first guided missile attack in history, sending V-1 rockets into London.

In 1983 – Pioneer 10 became the first human-made object to pass outside Pluto’s orbit and leave the central solar system.

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