The Birth of IBM

CTR Company LogoFebruary 14, 1924

The Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation is renamed International Business Machines, aka IBM. Either way, it certainly makes for a boring sounding company.

Telephone Patented By Two Men

Bell vs GrayFebruary 14, 1876

The telephone was patented on this date separately by two men – Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray. This set the stage for controversy over who actually invented the telephone and a drawn out legal battle.

1234567890 Day!

1234567890 DayFebruary 13, 2009

Unix time passed 1,234,567,890 seconds at exactly 23:31:30 (UTC). Hey, geeks gotta have a reason to party too!

Apollo Computer Incorporated

Apollo WorkstationFebruary 13, 1980

Apollo Computer is incorporated in Chelmsford, MA. From 1980 to 1987, Apollo was the largest manufacturer of network workstations. In 1989, Hewlett-Packard Company acquired Apollo in a $476 million deal.

Motion Picture Projector Patented

Lumiere BrothersFebruary 13, 1895

The Lumiere brothers patent their cinematograph, one of the earliest motion picture projectors. The cinématographe also served as a film camera and developer, making it one of the first “all-in-one” devices, beating HP by about 100 years.

Spacecraft Lands on an Asteroid

ErosFebruary 12, 2001

The NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft touches down in the “saddle” region of asteroid 433 Eros, becoming the first spacecraft to land on an asteroid.

She Was Also Famous for Tennis

Anna Kournikova VirusFebruary 12, 2001

Jan de Wit sends out an email stating that it is a picture of the famous tennis player Anna Kournikova. Rather than being a picture of the Russian known more for her looks than her play (although she was ranked as high as #8 in the world in singles and #1 in doubles), it was a malicious script that tried to send itself to every address in a user’s address book and e-mail inbox (Windows users only, of course). The malware was so efficient, it was known to be spreading twice as fast as the “Love Bug” virus that devastated corporate networks a year earlier. The moral of the story is that men are easily manipulated.

First Long Distance Telephone Call Made

Bell PlaqueFebruary 12, 1877

Alexander Graham Bell makes the first long distance telephone call between Boston and Salem, Massachusetts. No witches were hung at this time.

Discovery Launches to Service Hubble

STS-82February 11, 1997

The Space Shuttle Discovery is launched on a mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope. This was the second of five missions necessary to fix the flawed telescope. In most states, the entire thing could have been replaced as a lemon.

Titan-Centaur Fails First Test, Yet Mission Successful

Centaur RocketFebruary 11, 1974

The first Titan-Centaur rocket test launch fails. However the test was successful enough that no more tests were performed and this rocket design was used 6 more times successfully. Scientists are strange.