The top 5 tech stories that changed America
Here are the five most influential tech stories of the past 25 years that changed American lives. 1993 Top 5 Tech Stories That Changed America (SFGate) In November 1993, Apple launched the Macintosh. This was the very first time that the company expanded beyond computers and went into areas like music, portable media and, of course, computers. The year was 1993 when Apple invented the personal computer with its Macintosh line of personal computers. Its initial offerings featured “WYSIWYG” (what you see is what you get) desktop publishing. They allowed users to insert, edit and publish a document directly from a graphic designer or professional. Apple revolutionized the personal computing world as it was able to bring a PC-like experience to the relatively small screen.
The first mobile phone
In 1992, the mobile phone had yet to change the world. And when it was released by the Motorola DynaTAC, the phone was so huge and clunky that it was marketed to police, mining companies, oil workers, and—most importantly—prostitutes. The world’s largest cell phone, the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X, measured 15.9 inches long, 12.5 inches wide, 8.3 inches tall, and weighed over 13 pounds. One of the most prolific cell phone inventors and developers is Arun Gaur, who, at the time, was working at Sprint’s Advanced Technology Group in Plano, Texas, trying to figure out how to make phones better for consumers. So, Gaur teamed up with another cell phone pioneer, Hans Westergaard, and created a prototype for a device that weighed just two pounds—and could fit in your pocket.
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When the internet hit
The internet was founded in 1976 by five computer scientists at the University of California at Berkeley. They wanted to create a new communication medium — a network of networks — that would give them the tools they needed to build their communication program called Jumbles. You might be thinking, “Huh, Jumbles? Who knows what that is?” Well, it’s quite a milestone. Basically, it was the first pre-internet chat system that became popular with the public. That meant users could talk directly to each other without the intermediary of a large group of random strangers. And back then, users didn’t have to dial a phone number to initiate a call — so talking via Jumbles was a major step forward. It also became the platform that the birth of the modern web would take.
The release of the iPhone
Last week’s turn of events also reminded me of another anniversary: last week marked the 10th anniversary of the iPhone’s release. In honor of the occasion, here’s a look back at some of the top stories from The Now Network’s coverage of the iPhone — a product we were very proud to launch, and still proud to publish — over the years. iOS 6: The iPhone 6 Release And iOS 7, Take 2 For years, everyone speculated what would be the next iPhone. The latest rumors called for a larger phone (the iPhone 6) that would launch alongside a larger version (the iPhone 6 Plus). This all seemed to make sense to us. Since the last iPhone launched with the iPhone 4, we’d already been planning what kind of iPhone would follow.
The rise of the 3D printer
For all the talk about 3D printers these days, MakerBot Industries’ first foray into making them was an early and largely overlooked statement of intent. In 2010, the New York company spent just $15,000 to launch a consumer 3D printer, and it almost shut down a few months later, shutting off its phones, hunkering down and wondering whether they’d ever get the 3D printer built. Just 18 months later, though, the MakerBot Replicator was a huge hit with enthusiasts, gamers and the makers who built and swapped in 3D printing and its 2.5 million-strong online community. MakerBot now sells more printers than almost all rivals combined — it’s more than 5,000 in total — and has extended its market share to 30 percent or so.