Archive for October 2017

First Crew to International Space Station

Soyuz TM-31October 31, 2000

Russia launches Soyuz TM-31, carrying the first crew to the International Space Station. The ISS has been continuously manned since this first mission.

War of the Worlds Scares Pants Off Nation

Orson WellesOctober 30, 1938

Orson Welles broadcasts his radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds, which reportedly caused panic among listeners who believed the theatrical presentation was a real news broadcast. Regardless of the actual levels of panic caused, The War of the Worlds is one of the most famous radio broadcasts in history.

First Message on the Internet

First ARPANET IMP Log

This is the log of the first message sent on the Internet.

October 29, 1969

UCLA student Charley Kline attempts to transmit the text “login” to a computer at the Stanford Research Institute over the first link on the ARPANET, which was the precursor to the modern Internet. After the letters “l” and “o” are sent the system crashed, making the first message ever sent on the Internet “lo”. About an hour later, after recovering from the crash, the full text of “login” is successfully sent.

DMCA Signed into Law

Digital Millennium Copyright ActOctober 28, 1998

US President Bill Clinton signs into law the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The law is intended to criminalize production and dissemination of technology designed to circumvent digital copyright protection (known as Digital Rights Management or DRM). However, the law has been very controversial, with accusations of abuse of the law to stifle innovation and competition.

First Major ARPANET Outage

The ARPANET in 1980

The ARPANET in 1980

October 27, 1980

The ARPANET, the precursor to the modern Internet, stops functioning for about four hours after the network’s routing tables are corrupted by a malfunctioning Interface Message Processor (IMP).

Pony Express Goes Bye-Bye

Last Ride of the Pony ExpressOctober 26, 1861

Only two days after the Transcontinental Telegraph line opened, the Pony Express ceases operation. Prior to the opening of the cross-country telegraph line, the Pony Express was the fastest way to send communication between St. Jospeph, Missouri and San Franscisco, California.

Windows XP Released

Windows XP LogoOctober 25, 2001

Microsoft releases the operating system Windows XP, the successor to both Windows 2000 and Windows ME. Designed to unify the Windows NT line and Windows 95 line of operating systems, Windows XP was not replaced by Microsoft until January 2007 with Windows Vista. However, with a nearly six-year run and the public debacle surrounding the release of Windows Vista, Windows XP remained the world’s most popular operating system until August 2012.

Last Flight of the Concorde

Last Flight of the ConcordeOctober 24, 2003

The Concorde supersonic jet makes its last commercial flight. While being able to cross the Atlantic in about 3.5 hours, low passenger numbers and rising maintenance costs made operating the Concorde unprofitable for British Airways and Air France.

First Transcontinental Telegraph Line

First Transcontinental Telegraph LineOctober 24, 1861

Western Union completes the first transcontinental telegraph line across the United States, making nearly instantaneous cross-country communication possible for the first time. Previously, it took ten days for a letter to be sent from Missouri to California via the Pony Express. Not coincidentally, two days later the Pony Express shut down operations.

1000 Songs in Your Pocket

Steve-Jobs-2001-iPod-releaseOctober 23, 2001

Using the slogan, “1000 Songs in Your Pocket,” Steve Jobs introduces the original iPod, featuring a 5 GB hard drive, Firewire connectivity, and synchronization to iTunes. By using a 1.8″ drive, the iPod was significantly smaller than competing MP3 players of the time. The Firewire port allowed simultaneous charging and high-speed music synchronization, innovative for its time. At the time, the original iPod only worked with Macintosh computers. However, the popularity of the iPod among Windows users – who had to hack together a solution to use it with their computers – prompted Apple to release a Windows compatible version in the second generation of iPods. With the introduction of the iTunes Music Store in June of 2003, the runaway success of the iPod completely changed the landscape of the music and computer industry.