The first man-made satellite to orbit the Earth, Sputnik 1, is launched from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, marking what is now considered the beginning of the Space Age. Surprising the world with its successful launch, Sputnik triggered the Space Race between the Soviet Union and United States ushering in an era of rapid advancement in the field of space exploration. After 3 months in orbit, Sputnik reentered the Earth’s atmosphere and burned up on January 4, 1958.
AT&T Bell Laboratories researchers John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley receive a US Patent for their invention of the transistor, which they had successfully demonstrated two years earlier. The transistor completely revolutionized the development of electronic and computerized technology.
Considered the world’s first fully electronic computer, after eleven years of continuous service the ENIAC computer was retired from service.
The first commercial compact disc player, the Sony CDP-101, goes on sale in Japan.
Digital, Intel, and Xerox release version 1.0 of the Ethernet specification, known as the Blue Book. Since that time, Ethernet has evolved into the de facto networking standard for local area networks (LAN) in businesses and in the home.
Microsoft releases their first software application, Microsoft Word 1.0. For use with MS-DOS compatible systems, Word was the first word processing software to make extensive use of a computer mouse. Not coincidentally, Microsoft had released a computer mouse for IBM-compatible PCs earlier in the year. A demo version was also included for free with a copy of PC World magazine, marking the first time a floppy disk was included with a magazine.
Just a little over two weeks after naming Steve Jobs interim CEO, Apple launches their “Think Different” ad campaign. Designed to reintroduce the Apple brand, the campaign was nearly universally praised by the press, general public, and advertising industry, winning several awards along the way. Looking back in context, Think Different was the symbolic start of Apple’s resurgence from near-collapse in the 1990’s into the most valuable company in the world.
The campaign was anchored on the now-famous prose commonly called, “Crazy Ones“, which was narrated by Richard Dreyfus in the commercial most people are familiar with. It is commonly thought that Steve Jobs wrote Crazy Ones, but in fact it was written by Rob Siltanen and Ken Segall who worked at Apple’s advertising agency, TBWA/Chiat/Day. Read more about the history of the Think Different campaign.
Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.
September 27th, 1998
For some peculiar reason, Google has at times chosen the date of September 27th as their birthday, even though it is more officially September 4th or 7th. Google has no explanation for celebrating their birthday on different days over the years other than to say:
Promising a “Free Unix”, Richard Stallman announces that he is going to write a complete Unix-compatible software system he calls GNU (which stands for Gnu’s Not Unix). This is a significant milestone in the history of open source and free software. Stallman would later found the Free Software Foundation.
The supersonic aircraft Concorde makes its first non-stop Atlantic crossing and sets a new speed record in the process. Flying from Washington D.C. to Paris, France in 3 hours 32 minutes at an average speed of 954 miles-per-hour, the Concorde cut the old speed record in half.