Tech History Today – Aug. 27

In 1962 – NASA launched the Mariner 2 unmanned space mission to Venus.

In 1989 – The first direct-to-home TV satellite launched from Cape Canveral. Marco Polo I delivered the British Satellite Broadcasting service to homes in the UK.

In 2003 – Fairbanks, Alaska got the world’s biggest UPS backup. The city hooked up the world’s largest storage battery, built to provide an uninterrupted power supply of 40 megawatts.

Tech History Today – Aug. 26

In 1938 – A New York radio station first used the Philips-Miller system of tape recording on a radio broadcast.

In 1984 – Miss Manners confronted her first computer issue. The columnist responded to a reader’s concern about typing personal correspondence on a personal computer.

In 1996 – Netscape Communications Corp. announced it had partnered with several other big companies to create a software company called Navio Corp. Navio was meant to create an operating system to compete with Windows.

Tech History Today – Aug. 25

In 1609 – Galileo Galilei craftily beat a Dutch telescope maker to an appointment with the Doge of Venice. Galileo impressed the Doge and received a lifetime appointment and a doubled salary. Later that autumn, Galileo pointed his telescope to the Moon, and trouble began.

In 1981 – Voyager 2 made its closest approach to Saturn. 8 years later on the same day in 1989, Voyager 2 would make its closest approach to Neptune.

In 1991 – 21-year-old Finnish student Linus Torvalds wrote a newsgroup post about an free operating system he was working on. He said it was “just a hobby, won’t be big and professional like gnu.” His OS would eventually be called Linux.

Tech History Today – Aug. 21

In 1888 – William Seward Burroughs received four patents, including one for a ‘Calculating Machine’. It would lead to the creation of 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.

Tech History Today – Aug. 20

In 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.

Tech History Today – Aug. 19

In 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.

Tech History Today – Aug. 18

In 1937 – The first Frequency Modulation or FM radio permit was granted to W1XOJ, in Paxton, Massacusetts. It went on the air with scheduled programs in May 1939 and operated with the highest output power (50 kilowatts) granted previous 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.