Daily rundown of tech history
By Jeffrey Powers
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,
December 8, 2004: IBM sells PC Division to Lenovo
December 08, 2019
2004 – It was an interesting day in the Tech community when we heard the news. IBM was getting out of the desktop and laptop markets and focus on server and infrastructure. They started by selling all their assets to Lenovo – China’s largest computer m...
December 7, 1978: Microsoft Staff Picture
December 07, 2019
1978 – It is one of the most infamous pictures in tech today. This is the Microsoft crew. Can you guess which one is Bill Gates? The picture was updated in 2008 when the group (except Bob Wallace, who passed away in 2002) got back together for Bill Gat...
December 6th, 1768: Encyclopedia Britannica Published
December 06, 2019
1768 – Encyclopedia Britannica began publishing the first print – otherwise known as “part I”. It was the brain child of Colin Macfarquhar, and Andrew Bell, and was a conservative reaction to the French Encyclopédie of Denis Diderot.
December 5, 1965: First Computer Science Degree: Richard Wexelblat
December 05, 2019
1965 – Richard Wexelblat was the first candidate to complete his doctoral dissertation, hence giving him a degree in “Computer Science“. It was presented at the University of Pennsylvania – Moore School of Electrical Engineering.
December 4, 1985: Cray X-MP/48 Supercomputer
December 04, 2019
1985 – The Cray X-mp/48 Supercomputer begins operation in San Diego Supercomputer Center in California. The $15 million dollar supercomputer could process 400 megaflops (200 per processor). It was a shared-memory parallel vector processor and supported...
December 2, 1991: Apple Quicktime
December 03, 2019
1991 – What was first a Multimedia add-on for System 6, Quicktime has spent 21 years being Apples’ proprietary player. The original version contained graphics, animation and Video codecs – What was refered to as “Road Pizza”.
December 3, 1981: Disbanding of IBM Data Processing Division
December 03, 2019
1981 – For many years, whenever something came out, it was “IBM’s Data Processing Division releases”… Well, on Dec 3rd 1981, IBM decided and announced that the Data Processing Division was going to be absorbed into the IBM National Accounts Division (N...
December 1, 2013: The Amazon Flying Drone Project
December 01, 2019
2013 – Jeff Bezos is interviewed on the show “60 Minutes” on CBS with Charlie Rose. During his interview he unveils a project Amazon has been working on – Flying drone delivery. This secret R&D project called “Octocopter” will have drones fly the packa...
November 30, 1959: $2.9 Million IBM 7090 Mainframe
November 30, 2019
1959 – Want to see a 2.9 million dollar computer? That was the IBM 7090 – a transistorized mainframe computer that was designed for scientific research and tech applications. It replaced the 709 series, which used vacuum tubes.
November 29, 1972: First Pong Machine
November 29, 2019
1972 – Andy Cappa’s tavern in CA was the site for the first Pong game was wheeled into the establishment. The coin-operated game was put in by Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell and game designer Al Alcorn. The duo decided that making their own game – rat...
November 28, 1983: Tandy TRS-80 Model 2000
November 28, 2019
1983 – To counter IBM, Tandy releases the Tandy TRS-80 Model 2000 computer. It housed the 80186 processor and 128 KB of RAM. There were 2 – 720 KB floppy drives and the MS–DOS Operating System. The prices ranged from $2,750.
November 27, 1998: Sega Dreamcast Launched in Japan
November 27, 2019
1998 – Sega releases their next generation console – the Dreamcast – in Japan. It didn’t get released in the US until Sept 9 1999, but it was one of the more successful console launches of it’s time.The Dreamcast had a 200 MHz processor with on-die 128...
November 26, 2001 Intel at TeraHertz
November 26, 2019
2001 – One problem with technology is that you hit limitations, mostly due to materials used or how small machines can make parts like transistors. For instance, today’s multi-core x86 processors will eventually be replaced because we won’t be able to ...
November 25, 2002: Roxio Purchased Napster
November 25, 2019
2002 – While in Bankruptcy since the following September, Roxio – along with the Private Media Group – came in and took over the $2.43 million dollar company. They took all logos and names and rebranded it “Napster 2.0”. This time,
November 24, 2008: Novell Owns UNIX, UNIXWare
November 24, 2019
2008 – After a long court battle with the Santa Cruz Operations (SCO) group, a judge rules that Novell is the owner of UNIX and UNIXWare copyrights. In 2003 – just after SCO changed their name from Caldera – had made a claim that the SCO IP was incorpo...
November 23, 1889: First Commercial Jukebox
November 23, 2019
1889 – Congratulations to the first commercial jukebox which was installed in San Francisco, CA. It was called the “Nickel-in-the-Slot”, and played wax cylinder records. Within 6 months it would earn $1,000.
November 22, 1994: Sega Saturn Released
November 22, 2019
1994 – The Sega Saturn is released featuring 2 28.6 MHz processors running 32 bit. It had 2 video display processors, QSound surround and 2 MB of memory, with 1.5MB of video memory. It went for 44,800 Yen, or $450.
November 21, 2008: Justin.TV Online Suicide of Abraham Biggs
November 21, 2019
2008 – Some watched in horror. Others watched thinking it was a joke. Still, Abraham Biggs was a troubled teen. He decided to end it all and do it in front of a live audience. He got on Justin.tv and told people he was taking sleeping pills.
November 20, 2013: AOL Tries to Shut Down WinAmp
November 20, 2019
2013 – AOL shocked a lot of geeks when they announced WinAmp.com would be shutting down and the software would be no longer available come December 20th. The next day rumors surfaced that Microsoft was planning to buy it – which didn’t go further than...
November 19, 1993: Don’t Post Bomb Instructions Online
November 19, 2019
1993 – The Ionizer – Otherwise known as Michael Elanky, recieved 28 months in prison for posting bomb-making instructions on his BBS. There have been other instances of this throughout history, but Elansky was a member of the International Information ...
November 18, 1985: Calvin and Hobbes
November 18, 2019
1894 – The first Sunday Comics section is printed by the New York World. 1985 – 91 years later, Bill Watterson syndicates a comic about a boy and his stuffed Tiger. Calvin and Hobbes will bring laughter to millions for the next ten years.
November 17, 2008: Jerry Yang Steps down as Yahoo! CEO
November 17, 2019
2008 – After battle upon battle between Microsoft, Google and shareholders (including Carl Icahn), Jerry Yang finally announced to all he was stepping down as CEO of Yahoo! The previous days, Steve Ballmer said they are not going forward with any futur...
November 16, 1977: Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind Debuts
November 16, 2019
1977 – Most of the time, we skip over movie releases, unless it has had a definite impact on the Tech and geek community. That is the case with this movie. Close Encounters of the Third Kind – Directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Richard Dreyfuss,...
November 15, 1971: Intel 4004 Microprocessor
November 15, 2019
1971 – Intel announced the 4004 microprocessor in an ad in Electronic News Magazine. Intel called it a micro-programmable computer on a chip, this was the first single-chip processor. It was also concidered to be the precursor to the x86 processor.
November 14: Computer Dealer Exhibition – COMDEX
November 14, 2019
During the 80’s and 90’s, there was a little show called COMDEX. It stood for Computer Dealer Exhibition. For a while, there were 2 versions: The Spring COMDEX (Alternating for a while between Altanta and Chicago) and the Fall COMDEX (Las Vegas).
November 13, 2006: Google Completes YouTube Acquisition
November 13, 2019
2006 – In February 14, 2005, 3 former Paypal employees started a website that let you upload and share your video. YouTube brought a new idea of putting your creations on the internet. However, their creation got very popular.