technology

Charles Babbage – The Father of the Computer who hated Street Music

Charles Babbage – The Father of the Computer who hated Street Music

On October 18, 1871, Charles Babbage, mathematician, inventor and early computer scientist passed away. We think, everybody should know about Charles Babbage and his seminal work on the first mechanical universal computer, the Analytical Engine. Although the Analytical Engine never was build during his lifetime, due to the lack of according fine mechanics in the 19th century, Babbage sketched out everything necessary to construct and to program a universal computer. “The whole…
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Stephenson’s Rocket wins the Rainhill Trials

Stephenson’s Rocket wins the Rainhill Trials

On October 8, 1829, George Stephenson‘s steam locomotive ‘The Rocket‘ won The Rainhill Trials, an important competition in the early days of steam locomotive railways, run in Rainhill, Lancashire (now Merseyside) for the nearly completed Liverpool and Manchester Railway. “George Stephenson told me as a young man that railways will supersede almost all other methods of conveyance in this country — when mail-coaches will go by railway, and railroads will become the…
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The Sputnik Shock and the Start of the Space Race

The Sputnik Shock and the Start of the Space Race

On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union shocked the western world by announcing the first successful launch of an artificial satellite orbiting the earth – Sputnik 1. Prelude – The International Geophysical Year The 1950’s were politically difficult times for the United States and the Soviet Union. In 1952, the International Council of Scientific Unions declared the time lasting from July 1, 1957 to December 31, 1958 as the International Geophysical Year…
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A4 – The First Human Built Vessel To Touch Outer Space

A4 – The First Human Built Vessel To Touch Outer Space

On October 3, 1942, the very first vessel constructed by humans, the ‘Aggregat 4‘ (A4) touched outer space. The liquid-propellant rocket was designed to be the world‘s first long-range combat-ballistic missile, but also the first known human artifact to enter outer space. Designer of the A4 was German rocket scientist and space pioneer Wernher von Braun, who was born on March 23, 1912, in Wirsitz (today Wyrzysk), Posen Province, Prussia, Germany (today Poland).…
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SpaceShipOne – the first private Spaceship

SpaceShipOne – the first private Spaceship

On September 29, 2004, the Burt Rutan Ansari X Prize entry SpaceShipOne performed a successful spaceflight, the first of two required to win the prize. Thus, SpaceShipOne also officially became the very first commercial spaceship, after achieving the very first space testflight already on June 21, 2004. The Ansari X Prize was proposed in 1995 demanding a demonstration of a private vehicle capable of flying a pilot to the edge of space,…
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Transatlantic Telecommunication Via Voice

Transatlantic Telecommunication Via Voice

On September 25, 1956,  the world’s first submarine transatlantic cable for telephony TAT-1 (Transatlantic No. 1) was inaugurated. It was laid between Gallanach Bay, near Oban, Scotland and Clarenville, Newfoundland between 1955 and 1956 by the cable ship Monarch. You might wonder that is was only possible to route a call between Europe and the United States before the mid 1950s, well at least by cable. Don’t you at least remember some…
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What a Brick! – The World’s First Cell Phone

What a Brick! – The World’s First Cell Phone

On September 21, 1983, the Motorola DynaTAC, the world‘s first commercially available cell phone received its FCC certification. DynaTAC was an abbreviation of Dynamic Adaptive Total Area Coverage. But, with a price of $3,995 in 1983 ($9,322 in present-day terms) it was a rather expensive while also exclusive gadget. But, it was not the first mobile phone at all. Actually, in Germany, the Deutsche Reichsbahn (German Railways) already started experimenting with a…
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Scott Fahlman and the Origin of the Emoticons :-)

Scott Fahlman and the Origin of the Emoticons :-)

On September 19, 1982, Scott Fahlman posted the first documented emoticons 🙂 and 🙁 on the Carnegie Mellon University Bulletin Board System. As SMS and the Internet became widespread in the late 1990s, emoticons became increasingly popular and were commonly used on text messages, internet forums and e-mails. Emoticons have played a significant role in communication through technology. “I often think there should exist a special typographical sign for a smile —…
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Linux at the Core of the Open Source Revolution

Linux at the Core of the Open Source Revolution

On September 17, 1991, the Finnish student of computer science Linus Torvalds, uploaded Linux kernel version 0.01 to the ftp server ftp.funet.fi. This might be considered as the date of birth of the famous free operating system Linux, although Torvalds announced the new OS a few weeks earlier on usenet already. Nevertheless, Linux has become one of the most popular operating systems today, and this of course with a god reason…. I…
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The Opening of the Panama Canal

The Opening of the Panama Canal

On August 15, 1914, the very first ship, the cargo ship SS Ancon passed the newly built Panama Canal. Unfortunately, in the same month, World War I started fighting in Europe and the official opening ceremony had to be postponed until 1920. The Panama Canal is an 82 km long ship canal in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean (via the Caribbean Sea) to the Pacific Ocean and therefore also a key conduit…
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