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Sixty-five years ago, in a cluttered lab in Manchester, UK, three scientists changed the world of computing forever. Working with a machine they’d built and nicknamed Baby, they ran the first ever program to be stored electronically in a computer’s memory.
Back in 1981, Bill Gates and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen pulled of an audacious feat: they licensed MS-DOS to IBM in a deal that saw them retain entire control of the software. To mark the occasion, the pair were photographed amid a sea of contemporary computers — and now they’ve recreated the image.
Shocking as it may be, we as a species have been desperately clutching mobile phones like our lives depended on it for the past 40 years. And it’s hard not to get a little nostalgic.
Forty years ago, senior Motorola engineer Marty Cooper made one very important phone call. From midtown Manhattan, Marty called Joel Engel, then the head of rival research department Bell Labs. When Joel picked up, Marty uttered something rather unexpected: “Joel, this is Marty. I’m calling you from a mobile phone, a real handheld portable mobile phone.”
Obama may seem like a “hip” man of the people, with his Google+ hangouts and his Reddit AMAs and his talking to the kids over the Twitters, but he’s just following in FDR’s trailblazing footsteps. Because, on March 12, 1933, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt became the very first president to reach the people on a more intimate level — through radio.