November 18

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Podcast Episode

Day in Tech History: Nov 18th

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The New York World published the first regular Sunday comic section.


Bell Telephone introduces the push button telephone for the first time ever. The phones are manufactured by Western Electric Manufacturing and feature ten buttons (not twelve) set into a round back so that they resemble the earlier rotary phones, and they are available for an extra charge to Bell System subscribers. The new push-button phones are first used in Pennsylvania. IBM releases the IBM 1231 optical mark page reader.


Bill Gates gets his start in computer programming at the Lakeside School in Seattle. The school owned some early computers and Gates and his friends spent nearly all their time on the machines. Time on Lakeside and other machines in the Seattle area was costly, however, so the newly formed Lakeside Programmers Group offered Information Sciences Inc. free programming services on its PDP-10 in return for free time on the computer. The group designed a payroll program for the company.


A court decides that Microsoft is free to market BASIC to others. Within months, Microsoft will licenses BASIC for the Commodore PET and TRS-80 computers, and begins negotiating with other companies.


The IBM Data Processing Division (DPD) releases the IBM 4321 processor, the IBM 4331 Model Group 11 processor, and the IBM 4341 Model Group 10 and Model Group 11 processors, which have twice the maximum main storage as the IBM 4341 Model Group 2 processors. IBM also releases the Small Systems Executive/Virtual Storage Extended, a simplified operating system for the IBM 4321 and IBM 4331 processors.


The comic strip Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson, is first syndicated. The strip will be syndicated until December 31, 1995. At its height, Calvin and Hobbes will be carried by over 2,400 newspapers worldwide, and more than thirty million copies of the eighteen Calvin and Hobbes compilations that will be printed. Visit the comic’s official website.


Atari releases the Atari Jaguar video game console in the US. Promoted as the first 64-bit system, the system features five processors residing in three chips, two of them, named Tom and Jerry, are proprietary and the third is a Motorola 68000 coprocessor, as well as 2MB RAM. The systems games are stored on cartridge which hold up to 6MB each. The system will be marketed with the slogan Do the Math, claiming superiority over competing 16-bit systems. Price: US$249.99


At COMDEX, Bill Gates announces Windows CE 1.0, a new operating system for the handheld computers to an audience of 1,500 people. Hewlett-Packard HP announces a US government approved encryption framework to secure data over the Internet. The system is called International Cryptography Framework (ICF). The system provides various levels of encryption strength, depending on government regulations in the US and importing countries. In some cases, ICF will allow US manufacturers to export the strongest encryption system approved for export by the US government to date.


AOL experiences a third major service brownout within a thirty day period, this time five hours in length.

Borland International, Inc. announces plans to acquire Visigenic Software, Inc. for US$130 million.

Cyrix shareholders approve a merger with National Semiconductor worth US$550 million.

Informix Corp., a Menlo Park, California publisher of database server software, blames overly aggressive accounting on the fact that the company had overstated revenues by US$278 million and earnings by US$236 million over the previous three years.


Macy’s Department Stores holds a news conference in New York to unveil one of the largest Internet Shopping Web Sites ever created by an established retailer.

Syquest Technology Inc. reveals that they have filed for bankruptcy protection and have reached a pending agreement to sell substantial assets including patents, intellectual properties, equipment, inventory, works-in-progress, raw materials, and parts. The buyer isn’t identified.

US District judge Ronald Whyte issues a preliminary injunction against the Microsoft Corporation giving the company ninety days to update Windows 98 and Internet Explorer to conform to Java programming language standards and to cease labeling its products that contain Java technology as being the official Java implementation.


Nintendo releases the GameCube video game console in North America. The system features a 128-bit custom 485MHz IBM Gekko PowerPC CPU, a 162MHz ATI Flipper graphics processor, 24MB 1T-SRAM, 16MB DRAM, a 16-bit Macronix DSP Sound Processor, and four controller ports. It is the Nintendo’s fourth game system. Price: US$199.95


Dell Computer unveils the Dell Axim X5 handheld computer, featuring a 300MHz Intel XScale processor, 32MB SDRAM, CompactFlash type II slot, a Secure Digital and MMC slot, 65,536-color transreflective TFT display, speaker, microphone, and Pocket PC 2002 operating system. Price: US$249 or US$349 (400MHz processor and 64MB RAM) Weight: 6.9 ounces


Apple Computer introduces an iMac with twenty inch LCD display. Apple also releases a new Power Mac G5 computers, featuring processors ranging from a single 1.66GHz to dual 2GHz G5 processors and a 80 or 160GB hard drive.


Nintendo releases the Game Boy Advance SP handheld gaming system in China. The device is available in eleven colors: Charizard red, Cobalt blue, Flame, Graphite, Midnight blue, Onyx, Pearl blue, Pearl pink, Pikachu yellow, Platinum, and Venusaur green.


The Cray XT4 supercomputer is released.


Amazon launches Cloud front - their new content delivery network

Divix sues Yahoo over the failed Yahoo - Google deal

IBM purchased Transitive, which is a company that powers the emulation layer in a processor so it can adapt through different processors

Apple releases Safari 3.2, which included anti-phishing tools (for the first time).

Psystar loses the anti-trust claim suit against Apple.


Oxford Dictionary adds the word 'Selfie' as word of the year

Google agreed to pay states $17 million in browser privacy settlement

A Google satellite photo showed a 2009 murder of Kevin Barrera. Kevin's father, Jose Barrera, petitions Google to have the photo removed.

US court of appeals vacated a judge's earlier denial of injunction to 26 patent infringements against Samsung

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