Yesterday - Tomorrow - Day In Tech History
The software company Infocom is founded by a group of programmers from the Dynamic Modeling Group at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) staff and students led by Joel Berez, Marc Blank, Dave Lebling, and Albert Vezza. It will be notable for the numerous works of interactive fiction games it will develop and it’s single business application, Cornerstone, the database program whose development costs and spectacular belly-flop in the PC market will essentially bankrupted Infocom. It will be bought by Activision in 1986 and shut down in 1989, although Activision will release several popular titles under Infocom’s Zork brand.
Xerox introduces the 820-II computer, an update of the 820 complete with monitor, keyboard, hard disc drive and Word Star word processing software. Price: US$3295
US President George Bush presents Microsoft Chairman William Henry Gates III with the National Medal of Technology. Gates is the richest person in the United States, with Microsoft stock worth US$6 billion excluding US$450 million sold throughout the years for tangible assets.
Dean Fox leaves the Atari Corporation.
GT Interactive releases the first person shooter Quake for personal computers. The game was developed by Id Software. Quake combines a cutting edge fully 3D engine with a distinct art style to create what will be regarded as a feast for the eyes. For audio effects Id recruited Nine Inch Nails lead singer Trent Reznor to produce unique sound-effects and ambient music for the game. Furthermore, Quake introduces the ability to play a deathmatch between living opponents via the Internet rather than against computer operated characters, will vault the game into unparalleled popularity.
The Learning Company and Broderbund Software, Inc. jointly announce plans to merge the two companies. An informal joint telephone conference call is established at 8:45am EST to answer the questions of investors and analysts.
The first demonstration of brain signals from live rat directly controlling a robot arm is published by the journal Nature Neuroscience. The research will be hailed as a breakthrough by other scientists working to combine computing with biology. Researchers from MCP Hahnemann University medical school and Duke University taught laboratory rats to operate a water-dispensing robot by thought alone. Their aim is to restore movement to patients who are paralyzed or have had limbs amputated. At first, the robot was controlled by the rat pressing a lever and researchers identified the corresponding brain activity. Then, the robot was linked to a computer interpreting the rats’ brain signals. The rats gained water merely by thinking about pawing the lever.
Microsoft unveils plans for implementing its “.Net” technology platform.
Version 7.1 of the Slackware Linux distribution is released by creator Patrick Volkerding. Slackware is most notable for its policy of incorporating only stable releases of applications. It’s philosophy is to maintain its stability and simplicity, in an effort to be the most UNIX-like Linux distribution. Visit the official Slackware website or the official Slackware blog.
Midway Games, Inc. announces that it will no longer manufacture and distribute coin-operated video games citing a “declining demand.” Its game development efforts will now be focused on games for home game platforms. The decision will result in layoffs of “less than sixty employees.”
The SCO Group releases version 6.0 of OpenServer, a closed source version of the Unix computer operating system. SCO OpenServer 6 is based on the System V Release 5 UNIX kernel and features multi-threading application support for C, C++, and Java applications through the POSIX interface. OpenServer 6 features kernel-level threading and is bundled with numerous open-source applications including Apache, Samba, MySQL, OpenSSH, Mozilla Firefox, and KDE. Some improvements over OpenServer 5 include improved SMP support for up to thirty-two processors, support for files over one terabyte on a partition, better file system performance, and support for up to 64GB of memory. OpenServer 6.0 maintains backward-compatibility for applications developed for Xenix 286 onwards. In addition, SCO has changed their pricing and licensing scheme to provide customers twice the number of users, four times the number of CPUs and 4GB memory support for the same price as OpenServer 5.0.7. Codename: Legend
NVIDIA releases the GeForce 7800 GTX (codenamed G70, and previously NV47) graphics card. It is the first graphics processing unit (GPU) in the GeForce 7 Series. It supports the highest specification Direct X 9 vertex and pixel shaders, currently at 3.0. It is a natively PCI Express chip, but use of a bridge chip could allow an AGP version to be produced. NVIDIA’s SLI support has been retained and improved in this unit.
IBM and The United States National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announce that the Blue Gene/L, the first computer in the Blue Gene series of next-generation supercomputers, has achieved 207.3 TFLOPS on a quantum chemical application.
The US Senate has reportedly passed an energy bill that would raise fuel efficiency standards to an average of 35 miles-per-gallon
The FTC announces that they will be looking into bloggers that accept free gifts to write good reviews. They will have to be held accountable and announce that the review is based on an item received. Yahoo! Rolls out DIY display ads.
Noah Fulmor and Erin Finnegan get married… in zero gravity. The Zero Gravity corp helped the Brooklyn couple get married on a 727 during the 90 minute flight.
After 74 years, Kodak announces they will end production of Kodachrome color film. They will continue to process leftover film until it is gone.
Comscore announced Google hit 1 billion site visitors in May 2011