1997- MCI was under a bid to be purchased by British Telecommunications. Worldcom came in and outbid BT to snag up the company. What made this the coup de grace is it would make Worldcom the #2 telecom provider, under AT&T. The $37 Billion dollar merger would finalize on November 10th. Then, September 1998 – MCI Worldcom would officially launch. This all crumbled in 2002 when Worldcom filed for bankruptcy.
I was an employee of Worldcom and had been since its original namesake LDDS. At the time we were awestruck.
Radio Shack released a few new TRS-80 line computers in 1980. One was the introduction of Model III. It contained a Zilog Z80 processor and 4 kb of RAM> The price was only $699.Then again, you could get the TRS-80 for $399 with the Motorola 6809E CPU, or the TRS-80 Pocket computer for $230
Full Day in Tech History podcast show notes for July 31
2009 - After much planning and a couple set backs, the Digital TV transition is completed in the US. Stations will Non-profit status or emergency bands could broadcast using analog signal. 2.8 million users were still not ready for the conversion.
Full Day in Tech History podcast show notes for June 11 [dithstand]
Swiss Army Knife is patented
Mr. Wizzard passes away
First 500,000 watt power radio station – W8XAR – begins tests
1896 - Henry Ford gets ready to test drive the first Quadricycle (a.k.a. Car). Only one problem – They didn’t make the garage door big enough. Out comes the Ax – A couple chops and a wider door was created. The car ran 2 speed, but could not go in reverse.
2003 – Palm board of directors announce they have unanimously approved an agreement for Pam to purchase Handspring – one of its rivals in the PDA market. The deal is all stock realted where Handspring stockholders would get .09 cents of a share of Palm and no shares of PalmSource (Palm shares were at $13.89 and Handspring were at $1.27). The deal would be worth $169 million.
Full Day in Tech History podcast show notes for June 4 [dithstand]
2008 - The Mozilla foundation made an interesting statement – They want to be in the Guinness book of world records as the most downloaded browser with Firefox 3.0. Download day was June 17th. After a problematic start, they hit their record over 8 million. Enough to make the Guinness book of World Records.Mozilla broke off of Netscape and created Firefox on November 9, 2004. Mozilla is currently the #3 browser, behind Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. Mozilla 12 is the current revision. Firefox uses the Gecko engine, and is open source, so it can be customized. It can be downloaded at Mozilla.org, and also comes included in certain Linux distributions.
Full Day in Tech History podcast show notes for May 30
May 29, 2002: Netflix initiated Public Offering at $15/share
2002- Netflix, the rental movie-by-mail service, initiated their Public offering. They sold 5,500,000 starting at $15 a share. They sold an additional 825,000 the next day. Of course, the Netflix stock has fluctuated over the years, including 2011, when CEO Reed Hastings tried to split their online and DVD rentals, then announced Qwikster – with hopes to sell that side of the company. Of course, he retracted that statement, but not before loosing 2/3 of stock price (was at $291 in 2011, now at $70 / share).
Full Day in Tech History podcast show notes for May 29
2003 – Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little created a Fork of B2/cafelog. From there, WordPress was born. Since its release, WordPress has taken over Content Management Systems (CMS) with its ease of use and plethora of programmers that have made plugins, themes and other tweaks to the system since. The current version is 3.5.1 which has been downloaded over 18 million times.
Microsoft Released Windows 286 and Windows 386 on May 27, 1988
1988 – In competition to IBM OS/2, Microsoft releases 2 versions of Windows 2.1x – One version for x286 computers (aka Windows 286) and one for x386 computers (aka Windows 386). Windows 2/x386 introduced the protected code Kernal – applications would run as a virtual 8086 mode, and MS-DOS programs could run in parallel. Windows 2/x386 also provided EMS emulation, which would give Windows memory management features. System RAM beyond 640k could be used, and felt like banked memory. Finally, it has a Presentation Manager mode, to compete with OS/2
Windows updated this software to 2.11. It was finally retired when Windows 3.0 was released in 1990.
Full Day in Tech History podcast show notes for May 27
Windows 386 full video. Linda needs to save the client, so she loads Windows 386 with Presentation Manager
This was the promo video for Windows 386. It starred Victoria Carver (as Linda) as an executive who had to save a client. She was given a task to make a presentation by 5 pm. She decided to load and use Windows 386 to build this presentation. Using the “Mission Impossible” theme throughout, Linda is confronted by a fellow employee – Mike the mainframe guy. He wants to help Linda out, but Linda knows that the mainframe subroutines simply take too long to write. He then spots Windows 386.
“You are not suppose to be running OS/2 – we haven’t finished evaluating it” Said Mike, the mainframe guy.
“It’s not OS/2. It’s Microsoft Windows 386. It has the same interface as the OS/2 Presentation Manager. So, when OS/2 is recommended, I’ll be ahead of the learning curve.”
“As usual. What else does it do, besides look like OS/2?”
At this point, Linda shows Mike the interface. Of course, Linda then creates the presentation and keeps the client. The video is written like a cheesy 80′s soap opera, and goes on for twelve minutes.
Other Events in the Day in Technology History
Wang introduces: Wang Personal computer
Batman Debuts in Detective comics #27
Google gives away 4,000 Android phones at Google I/O
1995 - Bill Gates sends out a memo to his staff saying that Microsoft needs to “Get back on track” to the Internet. The memo was entitled “The Internet Tidal wave.” Gates emphasizes that this is as important as IBM was to the personal computer.
Full Day in Tech History podcast show notes for May 25