October 2022 Tech Upload
NEW Digital News
As of May 27th, 2022, NEW Digital Alliance is under the direction of new leadership with the resignation of Director, Kim Iversen. Iversen would like to thank you for your trust, patronage, and support in the NEW Digital Alliance’s efforts to solve the digital and IT talent gap in Northeast Wisconsin over the last five years. Her position as Director has not yet been filled. If you have comments or questions, please email NEW Digital Alliance at email@example.com. Thank you!
October in Tech History:
Technology plays a huge role — the biggest role, in fact — in our everyday lives. It helps us do our jobs, it helps us get to where we need to go, and it keeps us healthy. It’s so engrained in us that we don’t often take the time to acknowledge everything technology allows us to do.
The history of technology in October sees the dawn of the age of the personal automobile, the unintended beginnings of video gaming, the release of the classic MP3 player that changed everything, and even the formal definition of the internet. Let us take a look back at some significant dates in technology history for the month of October. Read on for all the details.
October 1, 1908: Ford Model T Goes On Sale
Today, it’s hard to imagine a world without personal vehicles. But, at the start of the 20th century, most people still got around by foot, horse, boat, buggy, or train. And even though manufacturers had been producing automobiles since the 1880s, and Ford itself had been making them since 1903, the Ford Model T was the first personal motorcar to be affordable to middle-class Americans.
With over 15 million cars produced between 1908 and 1927, the Model T was an immense commercial success. It also normalized the concept of a personal-use vehicle for regular people. It was the most-sold car in history until 1972, when the German-made Volkswagen Beetle eclipsed it. In 1999 the Model T won the Car of the Century award by the Global Automotive Elections Foundation.
October 18, 1958: World’s First Video Game
When William Higinbotham designed Tennis for Two, he didn’t know he was making the world’s first video game. Higinbotham intended to entertain the attendees of the Brookhaven National Laboratory’s annual public exhibition. Most exhibition items were for scientific instruments like a pulse height analyzer and electronic counters. Higinbotham later said he wanted to “liven up the place” with a game for people to play. The game consisted of a simple horizontal line representing the tennis court with a vertical line in the center for the net. The ball would be paddled back and forth between the players, using the controller’s knob to angle the shot and the button to hit the ball.
Tennis for Two was a smash hit at the exhibition, particularly on the day designated for high school students. The line to play the first video game reached into the hundreds. It was so popular that the laboratory upgraded Tennis for Two for the following year’s exhibition. The game received a larger screen, and simulations that incorporated the gravity of the Moon and Jupiter were added.
October 1, 1982: Sony Releases First CD Player
Optical media may seem like retro tech today, but in the early ’80s, it was cutting-edge stuff. When Sony released the first CD player, the Sony CDP-101, in 1982, no CDs existed to play on it. The same day, Billy Joel’s album 52nd Street was reissued on compact disc, making it the first commercially released music album in that format.
Adoption of the new technology was slow at first. But by 1988, CDs were outselling vinyl records, and by 1991 had eclipsed cassette tape sales. The CD format would remain the top format for music consumption until 2005 when the iPod and the iTunes Music Store dethroned it.
October 12, 1988: Steve Jobs Introduces NeXT Computer
When Steve Jobs resigned from Apple in 1985, he didn’t waste any time before establishing a new computer company: NeXT. With funding from the future U.S. presidential candidate Ross Perot, Jobs led the development of the NeXT Computer, a high-end workstation aimed at the higher-education market. In his typical fashion, Jobs made the launch of the NeXT Computer a multimedia event.
However, the NeXT Introduction served not only as a launching pad for a new computer but also as a triumphal re-entry onto the public stage for Jobs. The NeXT Computer never achieved the enormous sales numbers as Job’s crowning achievement, the Macintosh. This is likely due to its astronomical price tag of $6,500–the equivalent of $14,000 in 2021. But it did serve several critical roles; the NeXT machine was used as the world’s first web server at CERN.
October 8, 1992: Apple Settles Second Lawsuit with ‘The Beatles’
Throughout its history, Apple has been involved in many high-profile lawsuits. One of its long-standing legal adversaries was Apple Corps, the holding company formed by The Beatles. In 1978 Apple Corps filed suit against the computer company for trademark infringement. The companies settled out of court in 1981, with Apple Computer agreeing not to enter into the music business, and Apple Records (Apple Corps music division) would stay out of the computer market.
However, the truce didn’t last long. In 1986, Apple Computer built a MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) and audio-recording components into their Mac computer line. According to Apple Corps, this violated the 1981 agreement and sued Apple Computer again in 1989. The companies settled out of court again in October 1991, with Apple Computer paying Apple Corps 26.5 million dollars and promising never to sell or distribute physical musical media.
October 24, 1995: ‘Internet’ Defined
According to the resolution, “Internet” refers to the global information system that:
(i) is logically linked together by a globally unique address space based on the Internet Protocol (IP) or its subsequent extensions/follow-ons;
(ii) is able to support communications using the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) suite or its subsequent extensions/follow-ons, and/or other IP-compatible protocols; and
(iii) provides, uses or makes accessible, either publicly or privately, high level services layered on the communications and related infrastructure described herein.”
In the days of the early internet, the United States government had to cope with multiple world-changing technologies springing up at once. Several federal agencies, including Defense Department, Energy Department, National Science Foundation, and NASA, informally established the Federal Networking Council as a forum for network collaborations, and to help the agencies meet their research, education, and operational mission goals. The internet definition was the Federal Networking Council’s only claim to fame.
October 23, 2001: iPod Released
MP3 players had been a common part of the digital landscape for years before Apple announced the iPod in 2001.When Steve Jobs announced the iPod at a special Apple event in October 2001, it revolutionized how the world consumed music. The company sold 125,000 units of the MP3 player by the end of the year. It took two years for the company to ship a million iPods. But growth was exponential after that. By 2007 Apple sold more than 100 million iPods. Of course, after the introduction of the iPhone, iPod sales began to dwindle because people didn’t need a separate MP3 player and a smartphone. Nevertheless, the line continued on as the iPod touch until 2022.
October 2, 2007: Google opened its San Francisco office
On this day in 2007, Google opened its San Francisco office. Many of the employees in the were commuting daily from homes in the San Francisco area to the headquarters in Mountain View, CA. A Google spokeswoman said: “We’re always looking at where people want to live; where people want to work, and the footprint on the environment…This will alleviate the commutes for some people.”
October 21, 2015: Back to the Future Day
October 21, 2015 is “Back to the Future Day.” It’s the day Marty McFly and Doc Brown travel to the future in their time machine, the DeLorean, in Stephen Spielberg’s “Back To The Future: Part II.”
The date was carefully chosen for one simple reason: It was a day, theoretically, the Chicago Cubs could win the World Series. In the movie, Marty McFly notices while time traveling that the Cubs finally win the world series in 2015, and buys a sports almanac so his younger self can make bets and get rich when he returns from the future. But his nemesis, Biff, gets his hands on the almanac and gets rich instead. “The Cubs winning the World Series was the most absurd thing we could think of [for someone to bet on],” the movie’s producer and screenwriter Bob Gale tells The Wall Street Journal’s Mike Ayers. If the Cubs were going to win the World Series, what date would that be on? In 1988, when we wrote this, there was only one set of playoffs, not two. If the World Series was going on and the Cubs were going to sweep the World Series, it could’ve happened on October 21. That’s how we arrived on that day.