Geek Facts for October 4th – Sputnik, HP and Palm


In 1957, the Space Age began when Russia launched Sputnik I into Earth orbit.

Sputnik I was the world’s first artificial satellite. It was about the size of a beach ball and weighed only 183.9 lbs. (83.6 kg.). It took about 98 minutes to orbit the Earth.

Learn more at http://history.nasa.gov/sputnik/.

In 1979, 
Hewlett-Packard released its first programmable calculator, the HP-41c.

It was the first calculator to feature an alphanumeric display, which will revolutionize the way calculators are used. Seven Space Shuttle mission were equipped with an HP-41c for making re-entry calculations in an emergency.

Learn more at http://www.hpmuseum.org/hp41.htm.

In 1999, Palm Computing released the Palm Vx handheld computer.

The personal digital assistant benefited from the sleek design and low weight of its predecessor, the Palm V, while increasing the available storage for 2 MB to 8 MB. It is one of the lightest models ever offered by Palm and sold for $299.

Learn more at http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/det/4641/Palm-Vx-PDA/.

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About the Author

Judy Novotny

Judy is a computer veteran with 30 years of experience. She has owned everything from a TRS-80, Apple IIe and various Windows-based PCs. She is currently living in her Apple ecosystem at home consisting of an iPhone, iPad, iMac, MacBook, Apple TV, iPod nano and two Time Capsules. She is a fan of all things mobile since she got her first Palm Pilot in 1999. Check out her iPad app, Number Wizard, in the App Store. Follow her on Twitter @junovotech or at Junovo.com.