This Day in Geek History: June 2
Alexander Graham Bell discovers that he can hear the sound of a twanging clock spring transmitted over a wire while working on his experimental “harmonic telegraph.” Bell’s assistant Thomas Watson, was attempting to free a reed from the pole of an electromagnet when it twanged. Bell, working it the telegraph’s receiving room heard the noise and came to realize that transmitting speech should be possible, as the complexity of the twang bore a resemblance to the tones of a human voice.
Thomas A. Edison is issued a patent for his “Sextuplex Telegraph.” (U.S. No. 453,601)
The first radio patent was issued to Guglielmo Marconi in England for his wireless telegraphy apparatus, described as “Improvements in Transmitting Electrical Impulses and Signals, and in Apparatus Therefor.” (UK No. 12,039)
Construction of the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch facility in Soviet Kazakhstan begins. While it is built as a long-range missile facility, it will eventually be expanded for launching space missions.
International Business Machines (IBM) releases the IBM 1301 Disk Storage system. Each module of the 1301 has twenty-five disks, each of which features fifty tracks per inch with a 520 bits per inch density and a total data storage capacity of 28MB (28 million characters). As many as ten modules can be added to an IBM 7000 series mainframe or IBM 1410 using the IBM 7631 file control unit for a total of up to 280MB of storage for the 7000 series or 250MB for the 1410. Read more at the system’s official IBM website.
The NASA lunar lander Surveyor 1 lands in Oceanus Procellarum (“Ocean of Storms”) on the Moon, becoming the first spacecraft to set down on an extraterrestrial body. In the course of its lifetime, it will transmit over eleven thousand television pictures of the surface of the Moon back the Earth.
International Business Machines (IBM) introduces the PS/2 Model 70 with the 80386 processor at 16, 20, and 25MHz clock speeds. IBM also introduces the PS/2 Model 25 LS and PS/2 Model 50 Z. Visit the official IBM website.
Compaq Computer introduces the TFT500 15.1-inch active-matrix flat-panel display. Price: US$3,799
The Spring ’97 COMDEX, Spring Consumer Electronics Show (CES), and Windows World ’97 trade shows are held in Atlanta, Georgia, over four days. Visit the official CES website. Visit the official COMDEX website.
The website of Tennis Korea is hacked by “senn”. View an archived version of the defaced website.
The Walt Disney Company publicly launches the massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) Toontown Online for personal computers. It is marketed as the first MMORPG, designed for children with kid-safe restrictions. Visit the game’s official website. CERO: A (All Ages) ESRB: E (Everyone) PEGI: 3+
Sun Microsystems Inc. announces that it has agreed to acquire Storage Technology Corp. for US$4.1 billion in order to bolster its marketshare in the data storage market. Visit the official Sun Microsystems website.