This Day in Geek History: August 4
All thirteen million telephones in North America go silent for the space of one minute at sunset during the funeral services of Alexander Graham Bell. Bell is buried in a coffin built by his lab staff in a tomb carved into the solid rock of Beinn Bhreagh Mountain on his estate in Nova Scotia, Canada. To commemorate his pioneering contributions to telecommunications technology, AT&T and the Bell System suspends service at their switchboards and switching stations across Canada and the United States. Bell passed away on August 2, 1922.
The U.S. launches a satellite into lunar orbit from a manned spacecraft for the first time.
U.S. Air Force Air Rescue Service helicopters successfully complete the first transatlantic helicopter flight upon landing in Germany. The flight lasted 51 hours and 55 minutes.
According to Twin Galaxies, Leo Daniels scores a record-setting 565,100 points playing the Midway arcade game Gorf at the Light Years Amuse arcade in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. Visit the official Twin Galaxies website.
According to Twin Galaxies, Michael Buck scores a record-setting 282,370 points playing the Sega arcade game Carnival at The Fun Machine arcade in Casselberry, Florida. Visit the official Twin Galaxies website.
International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) introduces the PS/2 Model 25, with an 8MHz Intel 8086 CPU, a combined system unit complete with monitor, dual floppy drives (no hard drive), and reduced-size keyboard. Price: US$1,350
The first shuttle mission since the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster is delayed when a computer cancels the ignition of the Space Shuttle Discovery during an engine test after determining that a valve was failing to close fast enough. Both the test and the computer system were instituted since the Challenger’s launch to ensure the mission’s safety.
Aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis (mission STS-43), an AppleLink, running on a Macintosh Portable is used to send the first email from space. Astronauts Shannon Lucid and James C. Adamson send the message, “Hello Earth! Greetings from the STS-43 Crew. This is the first AppleLink from space. Having a GREAT time, wish you were here,…send cryo and RCS! Hasta la vista, baby,…we’ll be back!” to Marcia Ivins, a shuttle communicator at the Johnson Space Center. AppleLink was interfaced to NASA’s communication system to allow the Shuttle to call up GEIS’ network from space. The Shuttle’s e-mail address is a secret, but exposed to GEIS’ email network as any other AppleLink address would be. To avoid a deluge of incoming mail generated by the media publicity surrounding the event, Apple set up a number of obvious “honeypot” addresses, such as STS43@AppleLink, to draw unwanted mail.
By Apple Computer’s estimate, the System 7 operating system is estimated to be installed on more than four million Macs, nearly half the total installed base.