Yesterday - Tomorrow - Day In Tech History
Early Bird, Lana Bird, and ART-B satellites broadcast the first global satellite television program, “Our World,” to an audience of 400 million people. “For the first time ever, linking five continents and bringing man face to face with mankind,” eulogizes the BBC press release, “in places as far apart as Canberra and Cape Kennedy, Moscow and Montreal, Samarkand and Söderfors, Takamatsu and Tunis.” However, the USSR will withdrew from the broadcast at the last moment. Performers in nineteen nations contribute a six minute segment showcasing their home nation. Most notably, England’s contribution will be a performance by the The Beatles of the song All You Need is Love.
Texas Instruments, Inc. (TI) is awarded a patent for the TI-2500 DataMath microcalculator which it applied for in 1967. (US No. 3,819,921) The inventors are recognized as James H. Van Tassel, Jerry D. Merryman, and Jack St. Clair Kilby.
Paul Allen of Microsoft proposes to Rod Black of Seattle Computer Products that Microsoft buy all rights to 86-DOS for US$30,000 plus a free license to Microsoft’s 8086 macro assembler and linker. Microsoft is subsequently restructured to become an incorporated business in its home state of Washington, changing its name to “Microsoft, Inc.” As part of the restructuring, Bill Gates becomes president of the company and Chairman of the Board, and Paul Allen becomes Executive Vice President. Founded six years earlier by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, Microsoft grew out of the friends’ development of BASIC for the MITS Altair home computer kit.
Version 1a revision 10 of Synchronet, a multiplatform bulletinboard system (BBS) software package, is released. It is the first BBS package to support QWK message networking, natively without requiring any external utilities.
The front page of the Geocities free web host service’s front page is hacked.
Daniel Chan in Australia is recognized as the official first purchaser of WINDOWS ‘98 and receives a package personally autographed by Mr. William Henry Gates, III, Chairman of Microsoft. Microsoft releases Windows 98.
The Atari Historical Society is republished on the Internet. Webmaster Curt Vendel lost the files when hackers erased the site. Originally, he had declared that he abandon his hobby as a webmaster and collector of rare Atari prototypes, but he was encouraged by an unexpected volume of messages from fans and colleagues asking him to reconsider. With the assistance of his Internet Service Provider (ISP), Vendel was able to restore much of his site from back-up tapes.
The Cassiopeia BE-300Casio announces the Cassiopeia BE-300 handheld computer, featuring a 166 MHz NEC processor, a 320×240 resolution color screen, the Windows CE 3.0 operating system, and a CompactFlash card slot. Price: US$199
Compaq announces that its Alpha processor technology, which was developed by the Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) before its merger with Compaq, will be made available to Intel, and that future Compaq servers will be based on the Intel Itanium processor.
Compaq reveals that it has entered into a “technology sharing pact” to build high-end computers with Intel Corporation. The agreement indicates the company’s intention to phase out non-Intel-based computers from their product line.
IBM announces that they have developed the world’s fastest silicon transistor. Based on the new technology, computers sold within two years might run as much as five times faster than current models.
Sony releases the Clie PEG-N610C handheld computer, featuring a 33MHz Motorola Dragonball VZ processor, 8MB RAM, 4MB flash memory, the Palm OS 4.0, and a 16-bit color 320×320 resolution screen. The unit will be available in August. Price: US$400
Sony releases the Clie PEG-S320 handheld computer, featuring a monochrome 160×160 display, a 33MHz Motorola Dragonball VZ processor, 8MB RAM, 4MB flash memory, and the Palm OS 4.0. The unit will be available in August. Price: US$200
Intel releases 2.5 and 2.6GHz Celeron processors, featuring 128kiB Level-2 caches and 400MHz system buses. Price: US$89 (2.5 GHz) and US$103 (2.6 GHz)
Version 0.8 of Camino, the free, open source, GUI-based Web browser based on Mozilla’s Gecko layout engine and designed for the Mac OS X operating system, is released.
Michael Jackson passes away. The traffic over MJ was so great, it also brought Twitter, Google Search and other sites down at periods of time. The biggest confusion was about MJ being in a coma – some thought his death was a hoax or a misinterpretation of the news. Twitter saw traffic double between 10pm – 12 AM, which was the biggest jump since the US presidential election. Wikipedia also found it was constantly fixing MJ’s page as the masses try to “re-edit” the page. It ultimately leads Wikipedia to change policy on locking down certain pages after an event happens.
At the same time, a hoax that Jeff Goldblum died in a tragic fall in New Zeland came out
President Barak Obama announced that Meredith Attwel Baker would fill the final FCC seat.
Barnes and Noble announced its board authorized the spin-off of the Nook into a separate business
Google Glass upgraded to 2 GB of RAM, making the device available to run more robust programs
Google announced "Cardboard" a way to turn your smartphone into a VR headset. You can build your own, or get a pre-made one starting at $21 (with free app download