This Day in the Tech History

Technology has become a huge part of our lives. It is how we communicate, how we work, and how we play with friends and family. But what events in the history of technology have had the most impact on our lives? From the first personal computer to the invention of WiFi, here are some major moments that changed the world.

October 13: Cellular Network

On October 13, 1983, Ameritech Mobile Communications executive Bob Barnett makes a phone call from a car parked near Soldier Field in Chicago, officially launching the first cellular network in the United States.

October 11: NASA launches Pioneer 1

On October 11, 1958, NASA launches Pioneer 1, the initial spacecraft introduced by the newly formed room agency. Initially planned to fly by the Moon, a launch malfunction because of a programming mistake caused Pioneer 1 to only achieve a ballistic trajectory, which caused it to drop back to the Earth after 43 hours of the trip. However, some valuable scientific information was returned by the spacecraft.

October 7: A Transistor Calculator for the First Time

On October 7, 1952, IBM researchers convert an existing vacuum tube calculator, the Model 604, to use transistors. This experiment did neither shrink or speed up the desk-sized machine, but it did consume just 5% of the power that the vacuum tube-based device did. Following this successful experiment, IBM released the model 608, the first commercial transistor calculator, four years later.

October 6: Patents Issued for Photocopying

On October 6, 1942, Chester Carlson receives a patent for what is now known as photocopying, a method he invented dubbed electrophotography. It wasn’t until 1946 that a business decision to make a go of commercial photocopying. Finally, the Haloid Company obtained a license to Carlson’s invention and coined the term “xerography” to describe the new method.

October 5: Steve Jobs Passes Away

On October 5, 2011, Steve Jobs, the technology innovator and creator of Apple Computer, has died after a protracted battle with pancreatic cancer. Jobs have made incalculable contributions to the IT industry. With the Apple II computer, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak launched the personal computer revolution. Jobs went on to start NeXT, Inc. and then purchase Pixar, the business that would reinvent the animated motion picture industry, after being thrown out of Apple. Jobs returned to Apple after Apple purchased NeXT in 1997, and the technology produced at NeXT was utilized as the cornerstone for Apple’s future operating systems, Mac OS X and iOS. By releasing the iPhone and iPad, Steve put an end to the PC era he established, ushered in The New World of Technology, and propelled Apple from the brink of bankruptcy to the world’s most valuable firm.