June 7, 1983
Michael Eaton is granted a patent for the AT Command Set for Modems, which had created a standard language for interacting with modems. Two years earlier, the rights for this command set were purchased by the Hayes Corporation and incorporated into the Hayes Smartmodem 300 as the “Hayes Command Set.” The protocol will become an industry standard used for years to come.
In the early 90’s, needing to use modems so that I could connect to pre-Internet bulletin board systems, I learned the AT command set. I then used and supported modems extensively for about 15 years, and occasionally still do. Because I worked with modems so much, I used to be able to speak the AT command set in my sleep. I know, it impresses the ladies.
June 6, 2009
Palm, Inc. releases the Palm Pre smartphone through Sprint in an attempt to regain marketshare, after their Treo line of smartphones is dwarfed by Apple’s iPhone. Featuring the Linux-based Palm webOS operating system, the Pre receives some praise from technical reviewers, but due to poor marketing and the rapid pace in which Apple dominates the New World of smartphones, Palm’s series of phones and the webOS never really have a chance to gain a foothold. Within the course of one year, Palm is purchased by HP for $1.2 billion. One year later, after just 2 months of abysmal sales of their TouchPad tablets, HP halted production of all webOS-based devices. HP later released webOS under an open source license, sold the operating system to electronics manufacturer LG, and the webOS and Palm patents to Qualcomm. Today, LG licenses webOS from Qualcomm as the operating system for their smart televisions, smart refrigerators, and smart projectors. webOS also lives on in open source form.
May 24, 1844
Samuel Morse sends the first telegraphic message over a line from Washington, D.C. to Baltimore. The message, “What hath God wrought!” was transmitted to his partner, Alfred Vail, who retransmitted the same message back to Morse. This formally opened America’s first telegraph line, launching America’s first form of instant communication in history. The biblical text was selected by Annie Ellsworth, the teenage daughter of the U.S. Commissioner of Patents.
May 23, 1903
Paris, France and Rome, Italy are connected by telephone for first time. Feel free to congratulate me for finding this picture at any time.
April 3, 1973
Martin Cooper, considered the “father of the cellular phone”, makes the first cell phone call on a New York City street.
The first truly long distance telephone call was made by Alexander Graham Bell to his assistant Mr. Watson from Boston to New York City. The call lasted 90 minutes before the line failed. However this call was done as an experiment using copper wire instead of galvanized iron. Spanning a distance of 235 miles for the experimental call, its success proved the feasibility of using copper wiring and opened the possibility of long distance telephone service which eventually spread around the country and the world.
March 10, 1876
Alexander Graham Bell makes the fateful call to his assistant, Mr. Watson, which is considered the first phone call in history: “Mr. Watson come here I want you.”
Exactly 50 years to the day that Alexander Graham Bell received a patent that made the telephone possible, the first transatlantic telephone call was made from London to New York. Using radio communication technology because phone voltages were too low to transmit through underwater transatlantic cables, commercial service would start less than a year later on January 7, 1927 at the cost of $75 for the first three minutes.
March 7, 1876
Alexander Graham Bell receives a patent (US No. 174,465) for an “Improvement in Telegraphy,” which will later come to be known as the variable resistance telephone.
February 28, 1885
The American Telephone and Telegraph Company is incorporated in New York State as the subsidiary of American Bell Telephone. Eventually the companies would “merge” and thus AT&T was born.