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July 12: Etch A Sketch Debuts in the US

Etch A Sketch

July 12, 1960: Etch A Sketch Debuts in US

It is the famous drawing tool that became a cult classic. A toy that is as collectable as the LEGO or Star Wars memorabilia. The Etch A Sketch was first brought out on shelves in 1960. Of course, since then it has taken it’s popularity to many levels. Some people create masterpieces, while others just play with the dials. I have an Etch A Sketch attached to a pencil, but it’s size is about the same as an iPad or other Tablet.Full Day in Tech History podcast show notes for July 12
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May 25: Star Wars – Episode IV Released

Star Wars

Star Wars

1977 - in a theater not too far away…

Star Wars (Episode IV: A New Hope) was first released to theaters. Opening weekend sees $6 million of the $11 million budget in return, however, the longevity of the movie has grossed over $797 million (for Ep. IV only). This surpassed Jaws as the nominal highest-grossing film and remained that way until being surpassed by E.T. the Extra Terrestrial in 1983. Add to that, George Lucas was the first movie maker to keep the rights of the toy creation – netting billi0ns in revenue. The film starred Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Cushing, and Alec Guinness, among others.

Star Wars: A New Hope was followed by Empire Strikes Back, then in 1983, the Third (technically 6th) movie in the series – Return of the Jedi – was released. That had a budget of $32 million and netted $23 million opening weekend and $656 million worldwide.

Of course, George Lucas also released Episode I: the Phantom Menace (1999), Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002) and Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith (2005)

Happy 35th anniversary to a historic franchise!

Full Day in Tech History podcast show notes for May 25

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  • Phillips electronics released the Laservision
  • CERN holds the first World Wide Web conference
  • Google Street view is launched in the US
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May 19: Apple III (aka “Apple Failure III”)

Apple III

May 19, 1980: Apple “Failure” III was released

1980 – The machine was code named “Sara”. It was the Apple III and was planned to be the successor to the Apple II. However, the machine had enough failures that Apple had to re-launch this computer in August. Therefore, it was refered to as “Apple Failure III”. Then IBM came out with the PC and Apple switched gears with their Macintosh line. Apple III saw modest numbers before it was retired on April 24th, 1984.

Full Day in Tech History podcast show notes for May 19
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  • Star Wars Episode I
  • Apple opens the first Apple Stores
  • Intel debuts the pineview Atom chip
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May 14: Happy Birthday George Lucas

George Lucas

George Lucas

George Lucas was born on May 14th, 1944. Of course, George went on to create one of the biggest franchises in geek history. Lots of geek news this last year as George Lucas sold Lucasfilm and Star Wars to Disney.  Happy birthday to George.

Full Day in Tech History podcast show notes for May 14
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  • Texas Instruments starts to compete with IBM
  • ZDTV (TechTV, G4) Channel begins operation
  • Google suffers a 1 hour outtage
  • Sony Playstation relaunched after being offline for weeks
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