The first automatic fire sprinklers are developed, IBM introduces the disk drive and Microsoft introduces a new Windows for a new millennium… It all happened This Week in Tech History.
This week in 1872 – Phillip W. Pratt, of Abington, MA, patented an automatic sprinkler system for putting out fires. The system was operated by means of a valve to which cords and fuses were attached. The cords held the valve closed with a spring-loaded lever. In case of a fire, when the fuses ignited, the cords burned, and the valve opened, releasing a stream of water.
1931 – RCA Victor began demonstrating a very early version of the long-playing (LP), 33-1/3 RPM phonograph record. It would be another 17 years before RCA rival Columbia would begin mass production of the LP.
1956 – IBM introduced the Model 305 RAMAC (Random Access Method of Accounting and Control), a computer capable of storing 20 megabytes of data. IBM lab leader Reynold Johnson developed a way to store computer data on a metal disk instead of on a tape or drum. RAMAC was the beginning of the disk drive industry.
And this week in 2000 – Microsoft Windows Me (Millennium Edition) was released. It was the successor and last version of the popular Windows 9x series of operating systems which began with the enormously popular Windows 95. It also was, “Quite possibly, the most under-hyped version of Windows ever created.”