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Today in Tech History – February 20, 2017

Today in Tech History logo1900 – John F. Pickering of Haiti received a US patent for his design of an airship.

1962 – Following the USSR, the United States put its first man into orbit. John Glenn piloted the Mercury-Atlas 6 Friendship 7 spacecraft to a successful conclusion of the mission.

1986 – A Soviet Proton launcher boosted the base block of the Mir space station into orbit.

2004 – Apple’s first iPod Mini arrived in Apple retail stores and online. It was the first size variation of the iPod.

2013 – Sony announced the PlayStation 4 without giving out price or even showing what the hardware would look like.

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Today in Tech History – February 19, 2017

Today in Tech History logo1856 – Professor Hamilton L. Smith of Gambier, Ohio received the first US patent for the tintype photographic picture process. It described a method for “the obtaining of positive impressions upon a japanned surface previously prepared upon an iron or other metallic or mineral sheet or plate by means of collodion and a solution of a salt of silver.”

1878 – Thomas Edison received a US patent (No. 200521) for the phonograph. His first recording was of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” spoken into a large horn which transmitted vibrations to a needle that cut the recording on a hand-rotated cylinder.

1990 – John and Thomas Knoll launched a small software package for manipulating images meant to be bundled with scanners. It was called Photoshop.

2002 – Odyssey, the first of six current operational Mars vehicles began its mission to map the planet.

2014 – Facebook announced it was acquiring messaging app WhatsApp for $19 billion.

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

Today in Tech History – February 18, 2017

Today in Tech History logo1838 – In the small town of Chirlitz of the Austrian Empire Ernst Mach was born. His work in aerodynamics and supersonic speeds, led to the unit of measurement that bears his name. He would die one day after his birthday in 1916.

1908 -Dr Lee de Forest received a patent for “Space Telegraphy” which described a three-element vacuum tube later called the triode, which could amplify feeble electric currents, and proved especially useful for radio reception. Sorry it was not about Moon telegrams.

1977 – The Enterprise space shuttle orbiter prototype made the first of five “captive-inactive” flight tests, testing structural integrity and performance handling, while attached to the top of a 747 jumbo jet.

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

Today in Tech History – February 17, 2017

Today in Tech History logo1965 – The Ranger 8 probe launched on its mission to photograph the Sea of Tranquility on the Moon. The photos paved the way to select the area as the site of the first manned Moon landing.

1996 – World chess champion Garry Kasparov defeated Deep Blue in game 6 winning the match 4-2. He would lose the next match a year later.

2000 – Microsoft released Windows 2000, the successor to Windows NT 4.0, and the final Windows release to display the “Windows NT” designation.

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Today in Tech History – February 16, 2017

Today in Tech History logo1880 – 30 engineers from eight states met in the New York editorial offices of the American Machinist to found the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

1968 – The first-ever 911 call was placed by Alabama Speaker of the House Rankin Fite from Haleyville City Hall to US Rep. Tom Bevill at the city’s police station.

1978 – After a particularly harsh January gave them plenty of time for programming, Ward Christensen and Randy Suess completed the Computerized Bulletin Board System (CBBS) in Chicago. It was the first BBS.

2016 – Magistrate Sheri Pym of the US District Court of Central California ordered Apple to assist the US FBI in cracking the password on an iPhone 5C. Apple CEO Tim Cook announced Apple’s intent to resist the order writing, “Once created, the technique could be used over and over again, on any number of devices.” The FBI eventually accessed the data without Apple’s assistance.

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

Today in Tech History – February 15, 2017

Today in Tech History logo1897 – Ferdinand Braun published a paper in the journal Annalen der Physik und Chemie describing his “Braun tube”, the first cathode-ray oscilloscope, which paved the way for the modern CRT.

1946 – A few days after its first public demonstration, the first practical all-digital computer, ENIAC was formally dedicated.

1995 – The FBI arrested Kevin Mitnick on charges of wire fraud and breaking into the computer systems of several major corporations. http://www.wired.com/thisdayintech/2012/02/feb-15-1995-mitnick-arrested/

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

Today in Tech History – February 14, 2017

Today in Tech History logo1924 – The Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company merged with its subsidiary and took the subsidiary’s name, International Business Machines Corporation. Yes it was later shortened to IBM.

1989 – The Department of Defense put the NAVSTAR II-1 into orbit, the first of 24 satellites that would make up the global positioning system.

2005 – The domain name YouTube.com was registered. It would eventually become the dominant place to share videos on the Internet.

2011 – IBM’s Watson, a computer system, competed against Jeopardy champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. Watson cleaned up, winning $77,147 to Mr. Jennings’s $24,000 and Mr. Rutter’s $21,600.

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

Today in Tech History – February 13, 2017

Today in Tech History logo1895 – French patent No. 245,032 was filed for appareil servant à l’obtention et à la vision des épreuves chrono-photographiques, AKA the Cinématographe, a combined motion-picture camera and projector.

1946 – ENIAC (the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator) the first practical, all-electronic computer was unveiled at the University of Pennsylvania’s Moore School of Electronics. The New York Times carried the report the next day.

2001 – Microsoft gave the first public look at their new version of Windows, called Windows XP, formerly codenamed Whistler.

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Today in Tech History – February 12, 2017

Today in Tech History logo1877 – Alexander Graham Bell demonstrated the telephone for the first time in public at the Salem Lyceum Hall. The demonstration ended with the sending of the first telephone news dispatch which was received by the Boston Globe.

1973 – Along Interstate 71 in Ohio, the first metric distance road signs to be erected in the US were put in place. They informed of the distance between Columbus and Cleveland and Columbus and Cincinnati.

2001 – The NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft touched down on 433 Eros after transmitting 69 close up pictures. It became the first spacecraft to land on an asteroid.

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Today in Tech History – February 11, 2017

Today in Tech History logo1847 – Proud parents Samuel and Nancy welcomed their seventh and last child into the world. Thomas Edison would grow up to embody the word inventor.

1970 – With the launch of Osumi 5, Japan became the fourth country (after the US, USSR and France) to place a satellite into orbit using its own rocket.

1997 – The Space Shuttle Discovery launched on Mission STS-82 with the objective of making significant upgrades to the scientific capabilities of the Hubble Space Telescope. The upgrades helped turn the Hubble from a punchline, to one of the greatest telescopes ever created.

2004 – Ben Hammersley wrote a column for The Guardian called “Audible revolution” describing a boom in “radio” on the Internet. He proposed three terms for the new wave of shows, Audioblogging, GuerillaMedia, and Podcasting. It was the first known publication of the term podcasting.

2016 – Researchers at LIGO published evidence of the first direct observation of gravitational waves in Physical Review Letters. Einstein predicted such waves as part of General Relativity.

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