Tech history

  • January 31, 1984: Apple Reorganizes
    by Jeffrey Powers on January 31, 2020 at 2:00 am

    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 of computers) and Accessory Products (Printers, keyboards, etc). Delbert Yocam led the Apple II group which Steve Jobs would take care of

  • January 30, 2004: Gateway Acquires eMachines
    by Jeffrey Powers on January 30, 2020 at 2:00 am

    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. Their strategy was to put a PC in every house starting at $399.

  • January 29, 2014: Google Sells Motorola Mobility
    by Jeffrey Powers on January 29, 2020 at 2:00 am

    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 down a little and sold items like their cable modem

  • January 28, 1984: Tim McVey Day
    by Jeffrey Powers on January 28, 2020 at 2:00 am

    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” – a hybrid Pac-Man and Centipede game. McVey got his name in Computer Games Magazine for it, and so he

  • January 27, 2006: Western Union discontinued Telegram and Commercial Messaging services
    by Jeffrey Powers on January 27, 2020 at 2:00 am

    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. As Western Union wrote: “Effective 2006-01-27, Western Union will discontinue all Telegram and Commercial Messaging services.

  • January 26, 2006: Grand Theft Auto Lawsuit: Hot Coffee
    by Jeffrey Powers on January 26, 2020 at 2:00 am

    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 GTA. Hot Coffee was a euphemism for sex. In the minigame, the

  • January 25, 1881: The Oriental Telephone Company
    by Jeffrey Powers on January 25, 2020 at 2:00 am

    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, China and more. Countries recieving phones would have 3-digit numbers, which changed to 4, 5, then finally 7.

  • January 24, 1948: IBM Dedicated Poppa in New York City
    by Jeffrey Powers on January 24, 2020 at 2:00 am

    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 13,500 vacuum tube computer contained 21,000 relays. The 1,800 square foot computer room had a large glass window so the public could

  • January 23, 1896: The First Public X-Rays
    by Jeffrey Powers on January 23, 2020 at 2:00 am

    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 Medical Society. The first X-ray he ever took was of his wife’s hand (with

  • January 22, 1998: Microsoft and US Department of Justice
    by Jeffrey Powers on January 22, 2020 at 2:00 am

    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 and using bundled software and drive out competition. The Microsoft antitrust trial would begin on May

  • January 21, 1981: The First Delorean DMC-12
    by Jeffrey Powers on January 21, 2020 at 2:00 am

    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. 9,000 Deloreans were made before financial issues got to

  • January 20, 1885: the Gravity Pleasure Switchback Railway Patent
    by Jeffrey Powers on January 20, 2020 at 2:00 am

    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 about 600 feet to the next tower at six miles per hour. It had a height of

  • January 19, 1983: Apple Lisa is Introduced
    by Jeffrey Powers on January 19, 2020 at 2:00 am

    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, dual 5.25″ 860 KB floppy drives, a 5 MB hard drive and more.  Lisa

  • January 18, 1983: The Franklin Ace 1200 PC
    by Jeffrey Powers on January 18, 2020 at 2:00 am

    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. The Ace 1200 came with a Zilog Z80 processor a 1 MHz, 48K RAM, 16K ROM,2 – 5.25

  • January 17, 2012: Jerry Yang Resignes from Yahoo!
    by Jeffrey Powers on January 17, 2020 at 2:00 am

    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. Add to that the 2007 incident of the arrest of Shi Tao and Yahoo’s stance. Tao was arrested for

  • January 16, 1956: Semi-Automatic Ground Environment – SAGE Disclosed to Public
    by Jeffrey Powers on January 16, 2020 at 2:00 am

    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. The project started in 1950 and SAGE became fully operational on June 26,

  • January 15, 1990: The AT&T Reboot
    by Jeffrey Powers on January 15, 2020 at 2:00 am

    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 intervals. The continued failure lasted for 9 hours, leaving 60,000 customers without long

  • January 14, 1973: Live Via Satellite – Elvis Presley!
    by Jeffrey Powers on January 14, 2020 at 2:00 am

    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, entitled “Aloha from Hawaii via Satellite”, cost $2.5 million to produce. Presley

  • January 13, 2000: Steve Ballmer Takes the Microsoft Reins
    by Jeffrey Powers on January 13, 2020 at 2:00 am

    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, Ballmer kept Microsoft running and helped raise annual revenues. Ballmer would

  • January 12, 1966: Batman on ABC
    by Jeffrey Powers on January 12, 2020 at 2:00 am

    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 criminal of the week. Get Batman: The Complete Television Series (Limited Edition) [Blu-ray]

  • January 11, 2001: Podcasting is Technically Created
    by Jeffrey Powers on January 11, 2020 at 2:00 am

    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. Weiner demonstrated by enclosing a Grateful Dead song in his website at Scripting News.

  • January 10, 1996: TI-83 Graphing Calculator
    by Jeffrey Powers on January 10, 2020 at 2:00 am

    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, trigonometry and algebraic functions. The TI-83 was replaced by the 83 Plus in 1999 which added flashable memory for upgrades.

  • January 9, 2001: Mac OSX, iTunes Media Platform Announced
    by Jeffrey Powers on January 9, 2020 at 2:00 am

    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, Carbon and Cocoa allowed programs from OS9 to run. Cocoa is an object oriented API for

  • January 8, 1940: Bell Labs Complex Computer
    by Jeffrey Powers on January 8, 2020 at 2:00 am

    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, it didn’t go into operation until this day. The Complex Computer used 400-450 binary relays and initially could

  • January 7, 1943: Nikola Tesla Passed Away
    by Jeffrey Powers on January 7, 2020 at 2:00 am

    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. This started the “War of Currents”, which we talked about on January 3rd when Edison electrocuted Topsy, the