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Flashback calendar

The first successful portable computer is unveiled in San Francisco

The Osborne 1 was the first commercially successful portable microcomputer, released by Osborne Computer Corporation. It weighed 10.7 kg, cost US$1,795, and ran the CP/M 2.2 operating system. Powered directly from a mains socket as it had no on-board battery, it was still classed as a portable device since it could be hand-carried when packed.

The first handheld mobile phone call

10 years before a cell phone was first released to the public, the first mobile phone call was made by Motorola researcher Martin Cooper from New York to his rival Dr. Joel Engel of Bell Labs in New Jersey. The phone was an early prototype of the DynaTAC 8000X mobile phone.

First nuclear power system in space

The United States launched experimental satellite SNAP-10A. It was powered by a small fission reactor. It stopped working after just 43 days due to an electrical component failure. Nuclear power in space offers many advantages. It's independently of sunlight and has lower weight-to-capacity ratio than solar cells.

British primatologist Jane Goodall is born

Goodall is best known for her study of wild chimpanzees in o Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania. She recorded social and family interactions. Goodall also worked extensively on conservation and animal welfare issues. She has served on the board of the Nonhuman Rights Project.

First flight over Mount Everest

RAF pilots David McIntyre and Douglas Douglas-Hamilton became first men to fly over the highest mountain in the world. They used a two-seat general-purpose biplane, Westland Wallace. It didn't have a pressurized cabin but was fitted with heating and oxygen equipment. The cockpits were fully enclosed.

British desert explorer Ralph Bagnold is born

He is known for his book The Physics of Blown Sand and Desert Dunes. It laid the foundations for the research on sand transport by wind. It is still used, even by NASA in studying sand dunes on Mars. Bagnold also invented a sun compass, which is not affected by large metal deposits found in the desert areas or by metal vehicles as a magnetic compass might be.

Anniversaries of the (in)famous

born 1952

H. C. Verma

born 1693

John Harrison

died 1950

Kurt Weill