April 29

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Podcast Episode

Day in Tech History: April 29th

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Prev: April 28 - Next: April 30 - Full Catalog list at Day in Technology History Project

1980

At the Roosevelt Hotel in New York, New York, Data General, one of the earliest microcomputer manufacturers, announces the Eagle computer. The system, which will be critically acclaimed, features a 4MHz Zilog Z80 A processor, 64KB RAM, and the CP/M 2.2 operating system.

1985

Apple Computer discontinues the Macintosh XL line of computers. The Macintosh XL is a modified version of the Apple Lisa personal computer that features a 5MHz Motorola 68000, a 400K 3.5″ floppy drive, and an optional external 10 MB hard drive. Visit the official Apple website for the Macintosh XL.

1994

Commodore International announces that it will declare bankruptcy due to its inability to renegotiate its outstanding loan terms. The process will take months due to the company’s sheer size and complications that will arise from the fact that the company is incorporated in the Bahamas while many of the company’s creditors are based in the United States. Commodore’s assets will be sold to German PC manufacturer ESCOM in 1995 when it is finally unable to renegotiate its loans. The former site of Commodore’s operational headquarters in West Chester, Pennsylvania, will eventually house the headquarters and broadcast studios of cable retailer QVC, Inc. Read more about the history of Commodore.

1996

The media reports that, in the first quarter of the year, personal computers have outsold televisions for the first time in history. The Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association (CEMA) will issue a correction to the figures the next day. Due to an error made by a CEMA representative while referring to a table of sales figures, the number of television sales for the first quarter is cited as 660,000. The correct number, however, is 4.6 million, far more than the number of personal computers sold during the same period.

Power Computing releases the PowerCenter and PowerTower line of Macintosh-compatible computers. All systems feature the PowerPC 604 processor. Price: US$1,895 to US$4,195

1999

Chen Ing-hau, a computer engineering student at the Tatung Institute of Technology, is identified as the creator of the Chernobyl virus that disabled hundreds of thousands of computers around the globe on April 26. The institute will punish Ing-hau with a demerit in April of 1998 when the university experienced damage to their own data system.

Mpath Interactive Inc., the Silicon Valley company that runs Mplayer.com, a free online gaming service, issues their Initial Public Offering (IPO) of common stock with an opening price of US$18 per share. The stock closes at $50 per share at day’s end. The huge growth of MPlayer in the future will be closely associated with the growth in the internet that culminates in the dot com boom in the late nineties. The company will be forced to sell out to GameSpy in June 2001 because of financial difficulties. By the time of the buyout, MPlayer will have over ten million registered members and over twenty million unique visitors per month.

2002

Apple Computer announces the Apple eMac computer, which was developed exclusively for the educational market. The system features a 700MHz G4 processor, 128MB, CDROM, a 40GB hard drive, a CD-RW drive, a 17-inch monitor, an nVidia GeForce2 MX video card, five USB ports, two FireWire ports, built-in speakers, a built-in microphone, a keyboard, a mouse, and OS X 10.1.5. Price: US$1,099

2003

Version 2 (v1.4.2) of the Java programming language is released. Visit the official Java website.

2004

Assistant Attorney General Christopher A. Wray and US Attorney Jeff Collins of the Eastern District of Michigan announce the arrest of two Detroit-area men allegedly responsible for sending hundreds of thousands of commercial electronic mail messages advertising diet patches and other such devices, while using false and fraudulent headers to hide their identities. The messages resulted in over ten thousand complaints to the Federal Trade Commission’s unsolicited electronic mail database since January 1, 2004 The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which worked in conjunction with the US Attorney’s Office during the investigation, has filed a civil action against the defendants. The criminal charges in this case are the first filed under the “Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Marketing and Pornography Act” (”CAN-SPAM”), which was enacted in December 2003 and took effect on January 1, 2004. The Act criminalizes, among other things, sending multiple commercial electronic mail messages with materially false or fraudulent return addresses.

Google files an S-1 form with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) to raise as much as US$2,718,281,828. This number, an allusion to the mathematical constant e, is a is a bit of mathematical humor reflecting Google’s lighthearted corporate culture. April 29th is the 120th day of 2004, and, according to section 12(g) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, “a company must file financial and other information with the SEC 120 days after the close of the year in which the company reaches $10 million in assets and/or five hundred shareholders, including people with stock options”. Google has stated in its Annual filing for 2004 that every one of its 3,021 employees, “except temporary employees and contractors, are also equity holders, with significant collective employee ownership”, so Google is required to make its financial information public by filing with the SEC regardless of whether or the company intended to make a public offering. As Google states in the filing, the company’s, “growth has reduced some of the advantages of private ownership. By law, certain private companies must report as if they were public companies. The deadline imposed by this requirement accelerated our decision.” The SEC filing also reveals that Google has turned a significant profit in the preceding year.

The Sasser worm is released. Sasser will first be thought to have been authored in Russia by the same person or group who created the worm referred to as Blaster, Lovsan, or MSBlast, due to similarities in the code of the two worms. However, on May 7, 2004, computer science student Sven Jaschan, age 18, from Rotenburg, Lower Saxony, Germany will be arrested for writing the worm. He will immediately confess to having written it when he was seventeen, along with Netsky.AC, a variant of the Netsky worm. On Friday, July 8, 2005, Jaschan will receive a twenty-one month suspended sentence after being tried as a minor.

2005

Apple Computer releases Mac OS X v10.4, “Tiger,” for the Apple Macintosh. Apple stated that Tiger contains more than 200 new features. Among its new features, Tiger introduces Automator, Core Image and Core Video, Dashboard, QuickTime 7, Safari 2, Smart Folders, Spotlight, updated Mail program with Smart Mailboxes, and VoiceOver.

Apple Computer releases QuickTime 6.2 exclusively for Mac OS X to provide support for iTunes 4, which allows AAC encoding for songs in the iTunes library.

Version 8.0 of Darwin, an open source, Unix-like operating system is released. First released by Apple Inc. in ==2000==, it is a standalone operating system as well as the core set of components upon which Mac OS X was developed. It is primarily developed by Apple to support Mac OS X.

2006

PC-BSD 1.0 is released. PC-BSD is a Unix-like, desktop-oriented operating system based on FreeBSD. Visit the official PC-BSD homepage.

2008

Oracle finishes a 6.7 Billion dollar merger of BEA.

2009

Microsoft files their response to the EU over software bundling issues.

Reddit launched Reddit.tv

2012

Kickstarter project "Joey Bra" gets national attention. The Joey bra has a pocket on the side to hold a wallet or smartphone

2013

Scaled Composites' SpaceShipTwo hybrid spaceplane successfully conducts its first rocket-powered flight.This is part of years of unpowered glide tests.

ESA's Herschel Space Observatory runs out of liquid helium coolant. In return, The four-year mission to observe the far infrared universe would come to an abrupt end

LivingSocial was hacked

Microsoft unveils big plans to rebrand Bing, Skype and XBox.

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