July 5

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Podcast Episode

Day in Tech History: July 5th

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Isaac Newton publishes Philo-soph-iae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, the three volume explanation of Newton’s laws of motion. Read Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica online.


Spam, the luncheon meat, is introduced the Hormel Foods Corporation.


Dr. William Shockley announces the invention of the junction transistor in Murray Hill, New Jersey. This new type of transistor overcomes problems created by earlier point-contact transistors. The junction transistor consists of three layers. The outer layers are semiconductors with too many electrons (N-type) and the inner layer has too few (P-type). They don’t have the same ability to handle signals that fluctuate extremely rapidly as point-contact transistors, but in every other way, they are superior. The NPN transistors are much more efficient, use very little power, and are so much quieter that they can handle far weaker signals than the type-A transistors ever could. The junction transistor is a mudlike substance in the center of the board.


At Atari, many departments outside of engineering are notified that Friday will be their last day of employment. In a meeting held with customer service, management announces its intentions to reduce Atari to a just two hundred people. Shiraz Shivja and a few other employees appointed by Jack Tramiel interview engineering personnel at Atari. Those already working on 68000 projects were clearly being prioritized. By Thursday, superiors will ask employees, such as Jerry Jessop, if they wish to stay at Atari or take advantage of a severance package that will expire after Friday, July 6.


Fujitsu buys thirty-eight percent of Poqet Computer.


In San Francisco, California, US District Court judge Fern Smith rules in favor of Lewis Galoob Toys over Nintendo, allowing the manufacture and sale of the Game Genie to continue. Nintendo alleged that the product infringes on its copyrights, and plans to appeal the decision.


Intel announces the first of two price cuts on its microprocessors in a move designed to keep rival companies from taking a larger share of its market. Long dominant in the microprocessor industry, Intel will try a number of tactics to make its Pentium chips standard for IBM-compatible personal computers.


The Smith Corona Corporation, a major manufacturer of typewriters and personal word processors, files for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code with liabilities of US$198.8 million against assets of $207.9 million. The growing use and affordability of personal computers are blamed.


The first known Excel macro virus, called Laroux, is discovered in Africa and Alaska. The virus was written in Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). It is able to operate under Excel 5.x and 7.x under Windows 3.x, Windows 95 and Windows NT. Once an Excel environment has been infected by this virus, the virus will always be active when Excel is loaded and will infect any new Excel workbooks that are created as well as old workbooks when they are accessed. The macros are stored in a hidden datasheet named “laroux”. ExcelMacro/Laroux consists of two macros, auto_open and check_files. The auto_open macro executes whenever an infected Spreadsheet is opened, followed by the check_files macro which determines the startup path of Excel. If there is no file named PERSONAL.XLS in the startup path, the virus creates one. This file contains a module called “laroux”. Laroux contains no deliberately destructive payloads; it exists only to replicate. Before long, it Laroux will become one of the most common Windows viruses in circulation.

Dolly, the first cloned sheep, is born at the Roslin Institute, in Edinburgh, Scotland.


Three hundred websites are hacked by the members of the “Milw0rm” and “Ashtray Luberjacks” hackavist groups.


Apple announces a special educational configuration of the iMac, replacing the old G4 eMac. An auction begins in the Entropia Universe with an opening release of six new land areas full of hunting and mineral rights that will close in late July with a total of thirteen properties sold. The various virtual land masses include remote snow covered mountains, riverfront estates, vast rainforests, jungles, lake homes, and more sold for a combined US$213,784.00 dollars.

EA Games announces they will provide stock to appease dissatisfied employees and to compensate for the company’s poorly performing stock price, which has dropped by eighteen percent in the past two years.


People start standing in line for the iPhone 3G


Chief Spy of MI6’s Wife posts all on Facebook.

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