1947 – Michio Kaku, American physicist and academic is born.
Michio Kaku is an American theoretical physicist, futurist, and popularizer of science. Kaku is a professor of theoretical physics at the City College of New York and CUNY Graduate Center. He has written several books about physics and related topics, has made frequent appearances on radio, television, and film, and writes online blogs and articles. He has written three New York Times best sellers: Physics of the Impossible (2008), Physics of the Future (2011), and The Future of the Mind (2014). Kaku has hosted several TV specials for the BBC, the Discovery Channel, the History Channel, and the Science Channel.
1955 – Lynda Weinman, American businesswoman and author is born.
Lynda Susan Weinman is an American business owner, computer instructor, and author, who founded an online software training web site, Lynda.com, with her husband, Bruce Heavin. Lynda.com was acquired by online business network LinkedIn in April 2015 for $1.5 billion.
Weinman, with self-taught computer skills, worked in the film industry as a special effects animator, and became a faculty member at Art Center College of Design, UCLA, American Film Institute, and San Francisco State University multimedia studies program teaching computer graphics, animation, interactive design, and motion graphics. She has also written some books.
1984 – Apple Computer places the Macintosh personal computer on sale in the United States.
After the Lisa’s announcement, John Dvorak discussed rumors of a mysterious “MacIntosh” project at Apple in February 1983. The company announced the Macintosh 128K—manufactured at an Apple factory in Fremont, California—in October 1983, followed by an 18-page brochure included with various magazines in December. The Macintosh was introduced by a US$1.5 million Ridley Scott television commercial, “1984”. It most notably aired during the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII on January 22, 1984, and is now considered a “watershed event” and a “masterpiece.” McKenna called the ad “more successful than the Mac itself.” “1984” used an unnamed heroine to represent the coming of the Macintosh (indicated by a Picasso-style picture of the computer on her white tank top) as a means of saving humanity from the “conformity” of IBM’s attempts to dominate the computer industry. The ad alludes to George Orwell’s novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, which described a dystopian future ruled by a televised “Big Brother.”
Two days after “1984” aired, the Macintosh went on sale, and came bundled with two applications designed to show off its interface: MacWrite and MacPaint. It was first demonstrated by Steve Jobs in the first of his famous Mac keynote speeches, and though the Mac garnered an immediate, enthusiastic following, some labeled it a mere “toy.” Because the operating system was designed largely around the GUI, existing text-mode and command-driven applications had to be redesigned and the programming code rewritten. This was a time-consuming task that many software developers chose not to undertake, and could be regarded as a reason for an initial lack of software for the new system. In April 1984, Microsoft’s MultiPlan migrated over from MS-DOS, with Microsoft Word following in January 1985. In 1985, Lotus Software introduced Lotus Jazz for the Macintosh platform after the success of Lotus 1-2-3 for the IBM PC, although it was largely a flop. Apple introduced the Macintosh Office suite the same year with the “Lemmings” ad. Infamous for insulting its own potential customers, the ad was not successful.
1990 – Japan launches Hiten, the country’s first lunar probe, the first robotic lunar probe since the Soviet Union’s Luna 24 in 1976, and the first lunar probe launched by a country other than Soviet Union or the United States.
The Hiten Spacecraft, given the English name Celestial Maiden and known before launch as MUSES-A (Mu Space Engineering Spacecraft A), part of the MUSES Program, was built by the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science of Japan and launched on January 24, 1990. It was Japan’s first lunar probe, the first robotic lunar probe since the Soviet Union’s Luna 24 in 1976, and the first lunar probe launched by a country other than the Soviet Union or the United States.