Daily rundown of tech history
By Jeffrey Powers
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 service. But on January 27, 2006, that all ended.
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 of controversy was the “Hot Coffee” minigame within ...
January 25, 1881: The Oriental Telephone Company
January 25, 2020
1881 – Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison establish the Oriental Telephone Company of New York and the Angle-Indian Telephone Company Ltd. These companies were licensed to sell telephones in other countries such as Greese, Turkey, India, Japan,
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 with stored instruction. The 13,
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. Albert von Kolliker’s hand at the Wurzburg Physical ...
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 small step in the antitrust suit against Microsoft an...
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...
December 14, 1994: W3C Held First Meeting
December 14, 2019
1994 – The World-Wide Web Consortium (W3C) held its first meeting at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Albert Vezza and
December 13, 1982: Atari 1200XL
December 13, 2019
1982 – After a decent success of the Atari 400/800 line the company noticed the console was looking a little “old”. After all, the Atari 400 actually discolors upon UV light. The 400’s non-tactile keyboard was replaced with the 800’s raised key keyboar...
December 12: Apple Initial Public Offering
December 12, 2019
1980 – Apple Computer goes up for their Initial Public Offering and makes a statement in the market. Using the symbol “FidoNet #1 Hard drive failure Gawker.com is hacked and full email, password information was up on the Pirate Bay
December 11, 1967: The Concorde Supersonic Airliner
December 11, 2019
1967 – The Concorde was a British and French venture. It wa the first supersonic airliner. The prototype (Concorde 001) was rolled out to 1100 present. British technology minister Anthony Wedgwood Benn coined it Concorde on that day.
December 10, 1993: DOOM Released Unofficially
December 10, 2019
1993 – 20 years ago, a Shareware copy was uploaded through a server at the University of Wisconsin (and although I was going to school there at the time, it wasn’t me – HONEST). The end result was the beginning of the first-person shooter.
December 9, 2002: Jon Lech Johansen (DVD Jon) Trial
December 09, 2019
2002 – The trial of Jon Lech Johansen, better known as “DVD Jon,” begins with Johansen pleading not guilty. DVD Jon has been a pioneer in “Reverse engineering”. O.K, so that is a fancy way of saying “Pirating”, but without his efforts,