Technology Fun Facts for August

Here we are, already nearing the end of summer. Where did the time go? Kids are getting back to school and our vacations are ending. Luckily, we are here to take your mind off these thoughts and give you your Technology Fun Facts for August! Enjoy!


August 21, 1888

A patent was given to William S. Burroughs for his calculating machine. 50 machines were produced within a year, but were considered difficult to use. Burroughs improved them and became a prominent figure in the calculator industry.


August 9, 1898

Rudolf Diesel was awarded the patent 608,845 for his diesel internal combustion engine.


August 2, 1939 & August 6, 1945

A letter was written to President Franklin D. Roosevelt from Albert Einstein about his concern for the possibility of atomic weapons. The gist of his letter was that one single bomb delivered by a boat and exploded at a port could possibly destroy the entire port. He was correct, and the first Atomic Bomb was dropped on Japan’s port of Hiroshima six years later on August 6, 1945.


August 7, 1944

IBM presented their Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator to Harvard University. The ASCC was an electro-mechanical computer named the Harvard Mark I, and it was the first large-scale calculator ever built.


August 10, 1966

The first lunar orbiter is launched with its mission to take photos of possible landing sites for Apollo missions in the future. It was aptly named, “Lunar Orbiter I”.


August 3, 1977

Radio Shack revealed its first personal computer, the TRS-80 Model I. It came equipped with cassette tape storage, 4KB of RAM and a BASIC interpreter. The TRS-80 was one of the first personal computers to be mass-marketed.


August 9, 1991

The first e-mail was sent from space by astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis. They used an Apple Macintosh Portable computer with AppleLink online service. The message contained a greeting from the crew and told that they were having a great time and promised to be back.


August 24, 1995

Windows 95 goes on sale and it went on to sell much more than expected, due to being the biggest product campaign launch in history.


August 6, 1997

A truce that was called between Microsoft and Apple was announced at the Macworld Expo in Boston. The famous ‘big brother” appearance was made by Bill Gates on the huge presentation screen when the announcement was made, met by booing from the Mac crowd. Part of the deal was that Apple would make Internet Explorer their default browser and Microsoft would continue developing Microsoft Office for Mac over the next five years.


August 4, 2007

The Mars Phoenix lander was launched by NASA. The Phoenix became the first spacecraft to land on the arctic surface of Mars, with a mission to dig for ice. The results were to be used to decide if the Martian arctic was ever able to support life.