Radio Shack Chooses Compaq

Radio Shack LogoJanuary 28, 1998

Radio Shack partners exclusively with Compaq rather than IBM to sell PCs throughout their 7,000 stores. Six years later, IBM sold its PC division to the Chinese company Lenovo. Compaq was the exclusive PC sold in Radio Shack stores for many years.

Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster

Challenger Flight 51-L CrewJanuary 28, 1986

On this cold January morning, the Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart after liftoff, killing all seven astronauts on board. Contrary to popular belief, while the external fuel tank did combust, the Challenger didn’t truly explode as much as it was torn apart by aerodynamic forces.

Yahoo! Buys GeoCities

GeoCities LogoJanuary 28, 1999

Yahoo! buys GeoCities for $3.65 billion USD. GeoCities was an early web hosting service getting its start in 1994. As a testament to its popularity, there were at least 38 million pages remaining on GeoCities when Yahoo!  shut it down in 2009.

iPad Introduced

iPad IntroductionJanuary 27, 2010

Apple introduces the iPad. While still only a few years old, the introduction of the iPad triggered the close of the PC era and will certainly go down in history as one of the pivotal points in computing history.

Jim Clark Leaves Silicon Graphics

Netscape LogoJanuary 27, 1994

Silicon Graphics Inc. co-founder Jim Clark leaves the company to start Mosaic Communications, the operation that later became Netscape Communications Corp. With Netscape cofounder Marc Andreesen, Clark helped popularize the World Wide Web by distributing the company’s browser for free.

Apollo 1 Tragedy

Apollo 1 PatchJanuary 27, 1967

Astronauts Gus Grissom, Edward White and Roger Chaffee are killed in a fire during a test of their spacecraft at the Kennedy Space Center. After the fire, the spacecraft and planned launch which never took place was posthumously named Apollo 1, in the astronauts honor.

Edison Patents Incandescent Lamp

Incandescent Lamp PatentJanaury 27, 1880

Thomas Edison patents the electric incandescent lamp. While other incandescent lamps were created before his, Edison’s version was able to outstrip the others because of a combination of three factors: an effective incandescent material, a higher vacuum than others were able to achieve (by use of the Sprengel pump) and a high resistance that made power distribution from a centralized source economically viable.

Compaq Purchases DEC

DEC LogoJanuary 26, 1998

Compaq Computer purchases Digital Equipment Corporation for $9.6 billion. Digital, or DEC, was a pioneering company in the early history of computers from the 1960’s – 1980’s. Unfortunately, as was seen with many companies, they were slow to recognize the rise of the PC which ultimately led to the sell-off of all the company’s business units, cumulating with the final sale to Compaq. Compaq itself was eventually merged with HP.

Lotus 1-2-3 Goes on Sale

Lotus 1-2-3 for DOSJanuary 26, 1983

The Lotus Development Corporation releases Lotus 1-2-3 for IBM computers. While not the first spreadsheet program, Lotus was able to develop 1-2-3 because the creators of VisiCalc, the first spreadsheet, did not patent their software. 1-2-3 outsold VisiCalc by the end of the year and 2 years later Lotus bought out the assets of VisiCalc and hired its main creator as a consultant.

Ranger 3 Launched

Ranger 3January 26, 1962

Ranger 3 is launched to study the Moon. The space probe was designed to transmit pictures of the lunar surface to Earth stations during a period of 10 minutes of flight prior to impacting on the Moon. Due to a series of malfunctions, the spacecraft missed the Moon by 22,000 miles.