geek history Archive

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October 30, 1938: Orson Welles Reported the War of the Worlds

War of the Worlds

War of the Worlds

1938 - Orson Welles shocks the nation with radio broadcast of “The War of the Worlds” by H. G. Wells. A large number of listeners who tune into the program ten minutes late (because the singer on the Edgar Bergan show was not that great). Because of this, they didn’t know this was a fictional story and start to panic. The story was brought through a series of “Newscasts” that Welles portrayed the reporter on the street and how these giant machines landed and began to attack the population.This event would launch Orson Welles career. Of course, he would go on to create Citizen Kane, Othello, Don Quixote and other classic cinema pieces.

This Day in Tech History podcast show notes for October 30

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  • 1986 – First Fibre-optic cable
  • 1995 – Oracle announces Websystem
  • 2007 – Nine Inch Nails Trent Reznor says “Take my music”
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June 18: Phi Day! John Scully of Apple, Terry Semel of Yahoo Step Down

John Sculley

John Sculley

1993 - After a 10 year run and new focus on Politics – along with a failed promise to catch up to the PC market – John Sculley was removed of his CEO role at Apple by the board of directors. They immediately hire Michael Spindler, who was instrumental in the introduction of the PowerPC. However, he eventually would get ousted and replaced by Gil Amileo, which would get ousted and replaced by Steve Jobs.

2007 - Terry Semel was under pressure  by the board because of dissatisfaction of his compensation. Terry was brought in to create a partnership with Hollywood, which really didn’t happen. He handed the reigns over to Jerry Yang, who started promising revitalized talks with Microsoft. There are a few that even speculate that was when the buyout of Yahoo began. Jerry Yang stepped down in 200

Full Day in Tech History podcast show notes for June 18

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  • Happy Phi Day! Phi is the Golden Ration - 1.61803398874989484820458683436564
  • 1999 – Palm announces the m100
  • 2009 - Jammie Thomas-Rasset was found guilty of copyright infringement and ordered to pay 1.92 million to the RIAA.
  • Microsoft announced the Surface Tablet
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June 17: Firefox 3 – 24 Hour Guinness Record

Firefox

June 17, 2008: Firefox Guinness World Record Download Day

2008 – Mozilla takes a new marketing step as they announce they want to break the Guinness world records for downloads in a 24 hour period of release. A grand idea, however, it was slightly hampered by the fact that the servers didn’t come up at 10 AM. The bug was fixed and they got the record of 7 million downloads. It was expected to be around 10 million if the bugs did not creep up, for some downloaded 3.0 from other sites.

Full Day in Tech History podcast show notes for June 17

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  • Linus Torvolds announces he will leave Transmetta to work for the Open Source Development Labs
  • Flickr co-founders leave the company
  • Compaq announces the Armada line of computers
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June 16: Software Development Labs (Oracle) Incorporated

Oracle

June 16: SDL (Oracle) is Incorporated

1977 - Larry Ellison, Bob Miner and Ed Oates incorporate Software Development Laboratories (SDL). Of course, SDL’s big program was Oracle. It was a codename for a CIA funded project.

Full Day in Tech History podcast show notes for June 16
[dithstand]

  • 1657 - The first Pendulum Clock
  • 1884 – Coney Island’s first gravity powered Roller Coaster
  • 1988 - Intel releases the i386DX
  • 1999 - Windows 98 SP1 is released
  • 2008 - Google Docs gets PDF Support
  • 2009 -iPhone OS 3.0
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June 15: Computing Tabulating Recording Company (aka IBM) Incorporated

CTR

CTR

1911 - The Computing Tabulating Recording Company (CTR) is incorporated. It was built between the Computing Scale Company of America, The Tabulating Machine Company and The International Time Recording Company of New York. Later, this company would be renamed to International Business Machines (IBM)

Full Day in Tech History podcast show notes for June 15
[dithstand]

  • 1752 - Benjamin Franklin flies a Kite
  • 1983 - Microsoft eXtended Basic (MSX)
  • 1982 - Arcades and the First Amendment
  • 2006 - Bill Gates announces he is stepping down from CEO of Microsoft
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June 14: UNIVAC I Unveiled

Univac

June 14, 1951: Univac I was Unveiled

1951 - It was the first commercial general-use computer. The UNIVAC I was unveiled in Washington DC. It was developed for the US census bureau. It stood 8 foot high and used magnetic tape at 10,000 characters a second.UNIVAC is an acronym for the Universal Automatic Computer. The computer itself was delivered to the United States Census Bureau on March 31st, 1951. UNIVAC I was also used to predict the result of the 1952 Presidential election.

UNIVAC I cost around 1.2 million to build, which was a lot larger than their estimated price of $159,000. 46 units were built and delivered. 5,200 vacuum tubes were used to run UNIVAC I. It performed 1,905 operations per second.

Want more info on UNIVAC? Check out A Few Good Men From Univac (History of Computing) on Amazon

Full Day in Tech History podcast show notes for June 14
[dithstand]

  • 1938 - The First Superman comic
  • 1985 - Apple lays off 1,200 employees
  • 1997 - Tamapittchi, a cellular phone with a Tamagotchi built into it, is released in Japan
  • 2006 - Google Maps for Enterprise
  • 2009 - #CNNFail
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June 12: US Digital Television (DTV) Transition

DTV

DTV

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
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