In 1882 French illustrator Albert Robida (1848–1926) completed a wildly futuristic engraving (Leaving the Opera in the Year 2000): his vision of fashionable Parisian opera attendees, in the year 2000.
In tandem, Robida wrote a science fiction trilogy in the late nineteenth century, which drew comparison to author Jules Verne’s renown works, such as Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. In Robida’s novels he predicted many phenomena of the forthcoming modern world: mass tourism, pollution, guided missiles, chemical weapons and the emancipation of women.
Most striking was the Téléphonoscope, a flat screen television display delivering 24-hour news, programs, education and face-to-face communication.
Today in 1851, the first issue of the New- York Daily Times was published. Six years alter it changed its name to The New-York Times. Also today, in 1927, the “Columbia Phonographic Broadcasting System” went on the air with a presentation by the Howard Barlow Orchestra from flagship station WOR in Newark, New Jersey, and fifteen affiliates. The next year, the new owners of the radio network installed 26-year-old William S. Paley as president of the renamed Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS).
Today in 1997, Steve Jobs announced that he would take over running Apple Computer as interim CEO, a title that invariably got abbreviated as iCEO. That was almost 12 years to the day (September 17, 1985) when he resigned from Apple. “For the fiscal year that ended when Jobs became interim CEO in September 1997,” writes Walter Isaacson in Steve Jobs, “Apple lost $1.04 billion. ‘We were less than thirty days from being insolvent,’ he recalled… For the full fiscal year of 1998, it would turn in a $309 million profit. Jobs was back, and so was Apple.”
See also Think, Think, Think
Today in 1947, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) was founded as the Eastern Association for Computing Machinery at a meeting at Columbia University in New York. From ACM’s website:
Its creation was the logical outgrowth of increasing interest in computers as evidenced by several events, including a January 1947 symposium at Harvard University on large-scale digital calculating machinery; the six-meeting series in 1946-47 on digital and analog computing machinery conducted by the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers; and the six-meeting series in March and April 1947, on electronic computing machinery conducted by the Department of Electrical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In January 1948, the word “Eastern” was dropped from the name of the Association. In September 1949, a constitution was instituted by membership approval.
The original notice for the September 15, 1947, organization meeting stated in part:
“The purpose of this organization would be to advance the science, development, construction, and application of the new machinery for computing, reasoning, and other handling of information.”
The first and subsequent constitutions for the Association have elaborated on this statement, although the essential content remains. The present constitution states:
“The Association is an international scientific and educational organization dedicated to advancing the art, science, engineering, and application of information technology, serving both professional and public interests by fostering the open interchange of information and by promoting the highest professional and ethical standards.”