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May 12, 2015 AT 6:00 am

Time Travel Tuesday #timetravel a look back at the Adafruit, maker, science, technology and engineering world

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All that really belongs to us is time; even he who has nothing else has that. ~Baltasar Gracian


1820 – Florence Nightingale, English social reformer and statistician; founder of modern nursing is born.

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Florence Nightingale, OM, RRC was a celebrated English social reformer and statistician, and the founder of modern nursing. She came to prominence while serving as a manager of nurses trained by her during the Crimean War, where she organised the tending to wounded soldiers. She gave nursing a highly favourable reputation and became an icon of Victorian culture, especially in the persona of “The Lady with the Lamp” making rounds of wounded soldiers at night.

Some recent commentators have asserted Nightingale’s achievements in the Crimean War were exaggerated by the media at the time, to satisfy the public’s need for a hero. Nevertheless, critics agree on the decisive importance of her followup achievements in professionalizing nursing roles for women. In 1860, Nightingale laid the foundation of professional nursing with the establishment of her nursing school at St Thomas’ Hospital in London. It was the first secular nursing school in the world, now part of King’s College London. The Nightingale Pledge taken by new nurses was named in her honour, and the annual International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world on her birthday. Her social reforms include improving healthcare for all sections of British society, advocating better hunger relief in India, helping to abolish prostitution laws that were over-harsh to women, and expanding the acceptable forms of female participation in the workforce.

Nightingale was a prodigious and versatile writer. In her lifetime, much of her published work was concerned with spreading medical knowledge. Some of her tracts were written in simple English so that they could easily be understood by those with poor literary skills. She also helped popularise the graphical presentation of statistical data. Much of her writing, including her extensive work on religion and mysticism, has only been published posthumously.

Read more.


1910 – Dorothy Hodgkin, English biochemist, Nobel Prize laureate is born.

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Dorothy Mary Hodgkin, OM, FRS, known professionally as Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin or simply Dorothy Hodgkin, was a British biochemist who developed protein crystallography, for which she won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1964.

She advanced the technique of X-ray crystallography, a method used to determine the three-dimensional structures of biomolecules. Among her most influential discoveries are the confirmation of the structure of penicillin that Ernst Boris Chain and Edward Abraham had previously surmised, and then the structure of vitamin B12, for which she became the third woman to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

In 1969, after 35 years of work and five years after winning the Nobel Prize, Hodgkin was able to decipher the structure of insulin. X-ray crystallography became a widely used tool and was critical in later determining the structures of many biological molecules where knowledge of structure is critical to an understanding of function. She is regarded as one of the pioneer scientists in the field of X-ray crystallography studies of biomolecules.

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1941 – Konrad Zuse presents the Z3, the world’s first working programmable, fully automatic computer, in Berlin.

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The Z3 was an electromechanical computer designed by Konrad Zuse. It was the world’s first working programmable, fully automatic digital computer. The Z3 was built with 2000 relays, implementing a 22-bit word length that operated at a clock frequency of about 5–10 Hz. Program code and data were stored on punched film.

The Z3 was completed in Berlin in 1941. The German Aircraft Research Institute used it to perform statistical analyses of wing flutter. Zuse asked the German government for funding to replace the relays with fully electronic switches, but funding was denied during World War II since such development was deemed “not war-important”. The original Z3 was destroyed in 1943 during an Allied bombardment of Berlin. A fully functioning replica was built in the 1960s by Zuse’s company, Zuse KG, and is on permanent display in the Deutsches Museum. The Z3 was demonstrated in 1998 to be, in principle, Turing-complete.

Thanks to this machine and its predecessors, Konrad Zuse is often regarded as the inventor of the computer.

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2008 – Adafruit Wave Shield introduced!

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I’m back from maker faire and am wrapping up the documentation for my latest fun toy. Its an Arduino shield that can play high quality audio, music and speech. One thing I’ve noticed in doing tronix for the last few years is how incredibly hard it is to have a project with audio in it. Audio takes up a lot of space, so you need a storage element, and our ears are sensitive to errors and noise so its tough to make it sound good. After mucking around with ISD chips, embedded MP3 boards, wiring to CD players, generating PWM sound, etc. I decided to investigate playing uncompressed Wave files from a memory card. Success!


2010 – Adafruit joins GitHub!

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We’re enjoying GitHub, many of our projects will be living there – you can follow the updates via our Twitter account or our GitHub RSS feed.


2013 – Winners of the Adafruit 6 second electronics film festival! #adafruit6secs

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The judges have picked the winners of the The Adafruit 6 second electronics film festival! We had over 130+ entries from around the world! We could not be more pleased with the all the makers out their sharing something special, all in 6 seconds. Entries came in via email, Vine/Twitter, Google+ and more. The judges from Adafruit – John De Cristofaro, Becky Stern, Matt Griffin, Molly Rae Thorkelson & Ladyada. We have one grand prize winner ($600 in the Adafruit store) and 6 additional winners ($60 each in the Adafruit store).


2014 – SAMSUNG SM481 arrived today – almost doubling our manufacturing capabilities and more #makerbusiness #manufacturing

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The SAMSUNG SM481 arrived TODAY.


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