Day in Tech History

Daily rundown of tech history

By Jeffrey Powers


September 26, 1914: FTC Established

September 26, 2023

1914 The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is formed to regulate business in the US. President Wilson issued this to Trust bust. The FTC is controlled by a 5 member panel that serve in 7 year terms.


September 20, 1954: FORTRAN Code Run for First Time

September 20, 2023

1954 Fortranis a blend from theIBM Mathematical Formula Translating System that started as the assembly language for the IBM 704. Ageneral-purpose,proceduralprogramming language that is suited


January 31, 1984: Apple Reorganizes

January 31, 2020

1984 Apple announced they would split up the Cupertino based company into three divisions Apple II (handling all Apple III computers as well), the Apple 32 division (Lisa, and new Macintosh line o


January 30, 2004: Gateway Acquires eMachines

January 30, 2020

Gateway computer makes a bold move and purchases rival eMachines for 50 million shares of Gateway common stock and $30 million in cash. eMachines was a company founded by Lap Shun Hui along with South Korean companies Korea Data Systems, and TriGem.


January 29, 2014: Google Sells Motorola Mobility

January 29, 2020

Google owned Motorola Mobility for only 2 years before deciding to sell it off. They chose to sell to Lenovo for $2.91 billion. A major change in the $12.5 billion acquisition they made in 2011. But of course that was after Google striped the company d...


January 28, 1984: Tim McVey Day

January 28, 2020

1984 One billion points on one quarter. That was the reason for Tim McVey Day. At the Twin Galaxies arcade back on January 17th, Tim scored 1,000,042,270 points on one quarter to the game Nibbler


January 27, 2006: Western Union discontinued Telegram and Commercial Messaging services

January 27, 2020

2006 Founded in 1851, Western Union was responsible for getting the important messages from point A to B. Whether through telegram or commercial messaging, Western Union was synonymous with the servi


January 26, 2006: Grand Theft Auto Lawsuit: Hot Coffee

January 26, 2020

2006 Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was a game that changed perception of the industry. The grit and cruelty of the GTA franchise has not only brought controversy, its also brought the fans. One bit


January 25, 1881: The Oriental Telephone Company

January 25, 2020

1881 Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison establish theOriental Telephone Company of New York and the Angle-Indian Telephone Company Ltd. These companies were licensed to sell telephones in oth


January 24, 1948: IBM Dedicated Poppa in New York City

January 24, 2020

1948 At IBM world headquarters, IBM dedicated the Selective Sequence Electronic Calculator (SSEC). The machine otherwise known as Poppa was the first computer to combine electronic computation w


January 23, 1896: The First Public X-Rays

January 23, 2020

1896 Although he was not the only person to be working on the technology and not the first X-ray,Wilhelm Roentgen gave the first public lecture and demonstration of his device. He photographed Dr.


January 22, 1998: Microsoft and US Department of Justice

January 22, 2020

1998 Microsoft reached an agreement with the US Department of Justice regarding Internet Explorer on Windows 95. In the agreement, computer manufacturers could have the IE link removed. This was a s


January 21, 1981: The First Delorean DMC-12

January 21, 2020

1981 – While getting this up to 88 miles per hour doesn’t take you back in time, it was still a cool car to have. The First production Delorean DMC-12 was built. A prototype was made back in 1976 and all Deloreans were made in Ireland. 9,


January 20, 1885: the Gravity Pleasure Switchback Railway Patent

January 20, 2020

1885 – Sounding like anything but a roller coaster, the Gravity Pleasure Switchback Railway was the first American designed amusement coaster designed by LaMarcus Adna Thompson. Only 5 cents to ride, the Switchback was a simple coaster that took you ab...


January 19, 1983: Apple Lisa is Introduced

January 19, 2020

Happy Birthday to me. 1983 – at an introductory price of $9995, Apple introduces the Lisa computer – the first computer with a GUI (Graphical User Interface). The computer featured a 5 MHz 68000 microprocessor, 1 MB RAM, 12″ monochrome monitor,


January 18, 1983: The Franklin Ace 1200 PC

January 18, 2020

1983 – During the CP/M Show, Franklin Electronic Publichers revealed the Franklin Ace 1200 computer. The main feature of this computer (like the other Franklin computers before) was the fact they copied Apple’s ROM and operating system code.


January 17, 2012: Jerry Yang Resignes from Yahoo!

January 17, 2020

2012 – Yahoo! had some turbulent times from 2007 when founder Jerry Yang was CEO. Of course the big debacle being the Microsoft bid, which took over 9 months to settle with Carl Icahn being a major instigator.


January 16, 1956: Semi-Automatic Ground Environment – SAGE Disclosed to Public

January 16, 2020

1956 – The U.S. Semi Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) was disclosed to the public. SAGE is a computer that connected hundreds of radar stations in the US and Canada as a one-stop monitoring of the sky. SAGE was commissioned and developed by MIT.


January 15, 1990: The AT&T Reboot

January 15, 2020

1990 – AT&T suffers the oddest outage nationwide. A switch in New York crashed, then rebooted. This caused the other switches linked to the New York switch to also reboot. The cascade continued on until all 114 switches were rebooting on 6 second inter...


January 14, 1973: Live Via Satellite – Elvis Presley!

January 14, 2020

1973 – Elvis is broadcast via satellite to over 1 billion viewers in over 40 countries. That is, except for the U.S. because Superbowl VII was being played. The U.S. finally got to see the concert on April 4, 1973 on NBC. The show,


January 13, 2000: Steve Ballmer Takes the Microsoft Reins

January 13, 2020

2000 – Microsoft CEO Bill Gates announces he will be stepping down from his role but remain on the Board and embrace a new role as Chief software architect. Steve Ballmer will take over the CEO role and also remain president. Love him or hate him,


January 12, 1966: Batman on ABC

January 12, 2020

1966 – Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson entered our lives via ABC on Wednesdays. The television series “Batman” debuted with the episode Hi Diddle Riddle. Each half hour episode contained either part 1 or part 2 of the dynamic duo’s fight against the crimi...


January 11, 2001: Podcasting is Technically Created

January 11, 2020

2001– Dave Weiner added a new functionality to the RSS feed called “Enclosure“. It was defined as passing any audio file (mp3, wav, ogg, etc), video file (mpg, mp4, avi, mov, etc), PDF, or ePub (electronic publication) into the syndicated feed.


January 10, 1996: TI-83 Graphing Calculator

January 10, 2020

1996 – Texas Instruments announced it would release the TI-83 and became one of the most popular calculators. The TI-83 had many graphing modes including polar, parametric, sequence and function graphs. It could also run statistics,


January 9, 2001: Mac OSX, iTunes Media Platform Announced

January 09, 2020

At MacWorld 2001, Steve Jobs announced Mac OSX – the base OS for Apple for the next couple decades. With Darwin, an open source BSD Unix service, 2D (Quartz), 3D (OpenGL) and Quicktime (QT5). The programming language of Classic,


January 8, 1940: Bell Labs Complex Computer

January 08, 2020

1940 – a full-scale relay calculator designed by Bell Labs engineer Dr. George Stibitz, becomes operational. The machine was first designed in February 1938, and construction began in April, 1939. Although the device was ready by October, 1939,


January 7, 1943: Nikola Tesla Passed Away

January 07, 2020

Born in 1856, Nikola Tesla was the inventor of alternating current. Tesla even worked for Edison from 1882 to 1886. He then started the Tesla Electric Light & Manufacturing company in where he worked more on AC electricity.


January 6, 2001: Microsoft XBox Unveiled

January 06, 2020

2001– It was CES where Microsoft unveiled the XBox video game system. The system had a 733 MHz processor, hard drive and 250MHz graphics processor. The console didn’t release until November 15, 2001. XBox was the first American gaming system since the ...


January 5, 1984: GNU Project Founded

January 05, 2020

1984 – Richard Stallman quit his job at MIT to begin the writing of GNU software. GNU – a recursive acronym for “Not Unix” and reference to the song “the Gnu” – is an operating system that is compatible with Unix software.


January 4, 1904: Thomas Edison Electrocutes an Elephant

January 04, 2020

1904– To show the effects of how dangerous Nikolai Tesla’s Alternating current was, Thomas Alva Edison filmed the electrocution of the elephant, Topsy. This was falsely advertised as the first Elephant to be born in America by the Forepaugh Circus.


January 3, 1977: Apple Computer Corporation is Incorporated

January 03, 2020

1977 – Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak officially incorporate the Apple Computer Corporation. Mike Makkula jr. invests $250,000 in venture capital and becomes the first chairman of Apple. They also decided to move operations of the company outside of Stev...


January 2, 1975: Bill Gates and Paul Allen BASIC for MITS

January 02, 2020

1975 – Bill Gates and Paul Allen write a letter to the Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry System (MITS) stating they have BASIC language for the Intel 8080 processor and would like to incorporate on the Altair computer in exchange for royalty payments...


January 1, 1994: Happy Anniversary Bill and Melinda Gates

January 01, 2020

Happy New Year! 1994 – It was a 6 year office romance that ended in marriage. Best part – where we hear marriages dissolve, this one has continued on for over 20 years. So we wish Bill and Melinda (French) Gates a happy and joyous wedding anniversary.


December 31: Technology Roundup

December 31, 2019

On this day, we basically crunch numbers. This is where you will see companies let you know how much of their products are out there. How many copies of Windows have been sold, how many PC‘s were bought – how much shareware has been downloaded.


December 30, 2008: Does Facebook Allow Breastfeeding?

December 30, 2019

2008 – Facebook made an initiative to remove any picture showing breastfeeding. In return, 11,000 women posted pictures in protest. On June 15, 2014, after the #FreeTheNipple campaign brought success, Facebook officially changed their stance on the sub...


December 29, 2004: Commodore Acquired

December 29, 2019

2004 – Once Commodore dropped from the market in the 80’s, it pretty much started bouncing around the world from company to company. Ultimately it landed in the lap of  KMOS – a Deleware company. However, on this day,


December 28, 1995: 200 Sites Blocked by Compuserve

December 28, 2019

1995 – Compuserve blocks access to over 200 sites that have explicit content. They do it to avoid issue with the German Government. The sites would be blocked until Feb 13, 1996 when all but 5 sites were restored.


December 27, 2001: HotJobs Acquired by Yahoo

December 27, 2019

2001 – Yahoo announces that they will acquire 98.6 percent of the outstanding stock to Sun Microsystems discontinues


December 26, 2007: Apple Hits $200 a share

December 26, 2019

2007 – With iTunes just signing a deal with FOX and their content for iTunes, stocks pushed upward to $200 a share. It was the first time Apple hit that barrier, and promptly dropped after. The company has been up and down,


December 25, 1998: Official Y2K Compliance

December 25, 2019

1998 – during the last couple years of the 20th century, the race was on to fix an oversight in multiple computer systems. The problem was dubbed “Y2K” or the Millennium bug. Bottom line was that all computers worked on a 2 digit year system instead of...


December 24: Watch out for Werewolves

December 24, 2019

An interesting fact: Russian folklore believed that December 24th was the day people could be turned into Werewolves. Any child that is born on December 24th would be considered a werewolf. There are many ways to detect a werewolf – bristles under the ...


December 23, 2008: Santa Claus via Google Earth

December 23, 2019

2008 – Santa Claus is spotted on Google Earth. Of course the story of St. Nicholas is an interesting one that doesn’t really involve religion. But now we know where he resides, thanks to Google! Of course, watching Santa’s route is big for children,


December 22, 1845: the First Euphonium

December 22, 2019

1845 – Today, we’re travelling to the Geek side of things. It’s not everyday that I get to talk about my other passion – Music. The Euphonium – often mistaken for a Tuba – was created. It was also coined in later years as “P.T. Barnums’ Euphonium.


December 21, 2000: Child Internet Protection Act into Law

December 21, 2019

2000 – President Bill Clinton signs the Child Internet Protection Act into law. The law is implemented to set rules for the web to expose them to pornography and sexual content. In 2003 the law will be challenged, but will be upheld.


December 20, 1996: Apple Buys NeXT

December 20, 2019

1996 – Steve Jobs started Apple. When he left Apple, he started NeXT. When Apple started to fall, Steve Jobs came back. Of course, having 2 computer companies is not a good idea – So why not buy it out?That is what Apple did. In a $400 Million deal,


December 19, 1974: Do it Yourself Altair Kit

December 19, 2019

1974 – Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS) puts out the first ever “Do it yourself” Altair 8800. You would get it through Popular Mechanics Magazine, then assemble it yourself. This is a turning point in home computer setup.


December 18, 1926: Photon is Coined

December 18, 2019

1926 – The term “Photon” is coined. Of course a photon is the basic “unit” of light and all other forms of electromagnetic radiation. Newton Lewis is the one who coins the term. HTML 4.0 is published .au goes back to auDA Dan Hesse becomes CEO of Sprint.


December 17, 1989: First Simpsons Episode

December 17, 2019

1989 – The first full episode of the Simpsons airs on FOX TV network. 21 years and 1 movie later, the show still continues on strong. The cast stayed pretty much the same since 89. The Simpsons started on FOX as an animated short on the Tracy Ullman Sh...


December 16, 1994: Large Hadron Collider Approved

December 16, 2019

1994 – Although its only been in mainstream news for a couple years, the Large Hadron Collider has actually been around for many years now. On this day, for example, MacWorld


December 15, 1983: AltaVista Launches

December 15, 2019

1995 – At the turn of the Internet age, researchers at Digital Equipment Corporation, led by Paul Flaherty, Louis Monier and Michael Burrows, created a web crawler and indexer algorithm. The web program was launched on December 15th and called “AltaVis...