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This Week in Tech History: Tandy, Calculators, and the Traffic Light

It's been about 100 years since the introduction of electric traffic lights. Chris is here to remind us of that, along with the introduction of a calculator that wasn't exactly "pocked-sized", with his feature, "This Week in Tech History."

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This week in 1914 – The first electric traffic light in the U.S. was welcomed with a ceremony at the corner of Euclid Avenue and East 105th Street in Cleveland, Ohio. It consisted of four pairs of red and green lights that served as stop-go indicators. The lights were wired to a manually operated switch inside a control booth.

1944 – IBM dedicated the first program-controlled calculator, the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator. This wasn’t the calculator you’re used to using in math class. This machine took up an entire room and was used in the war effort during the last part of World War II.

1977 – Tandy Corporation announced the TRS-80, one of the world’s first mass-produced personal computers. It was sold by Tandy Corporation through their Radio Shack stores. The name is an abbreviation of Tandy/Radio Shack, Z-80 microprocessor.

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2007 – NASA’s Phoenix spaceship is launched. Mission scientists used instruments aboard the lander to search for environments suitable for microbial life and to research the history of water on Mars.

Five years later in 2012 – NASA’s Curiosity rover landed on the surface of Mars. It’s job was to investigate Martian climate and geology; including the role of water; and planetary habitability studies in preparation for future human exploration.

Written by Chris Graveline

Chris has covered consumer technology for over 20 years. He is the host of This Week in Tech History as well as a regular co-host on "Into Tomorrow with Dave Graveline" and our Technical Director.

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