November 22

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Podcast Episode

Day in Tech History: Nov 22nd

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Prev: November 21 - Next: November 23 - Full Catalog list at Day in Technology History Project


The first US patent issued in the US for a metallic writing pen is issued to Peregrine Williamson, a Baltimore jeweler. The pens are made of steel rolled from wire to for a steel quill that never needs its nib to be sharpened. A few steel pens have already been in use in Britain.


The first direct current, electric motor to be patented in the US is issued to Mathias Pfatischer of Phildadelphia, Pennsylvania. (US No.775,310) The Variable Speed Motor is designed to effect commutation without sparking, with a variable load as well as at variable speed and which is capable of rotation in either direction.


The International Radio Telegraphic Convention in Berlin adopts the Morse code representation of the letters S.O.S. as a universal distress signal. The previous distress signal was C.Q.D., which was the usual call sign CQ, plus the letter D for Distress.


The first US patent for a computerized gas pump is issued to inventors Robert J. Jauch, Ivan R. Farnham and Ross H. Arnold. (US No. 1,888,533) The Liquid Dispensing Apparatus is a motorized pump that meters gasoline and displayed the exact amount (in gallons) dispensed.


J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly leave the University of Pennsylvania’s Moore School of Electrical Engineering, where they had developed ENIAC, the first digital computer, after a dispute arose over their right to their intellectual property rights in regard to ENIAC. Irven Travis, head of research at the Moore School, had requested that they relinquish the patents they developed while at the school. The two will later develop UNIVAC, the first general purpose business computer, while the school eventually looses its position as a national leader in computer science.


A USSR chess program begins a correspondence match with the Kotok-McCarthy MIT chess program. The match will last nine months and will be won by the Soviet computer, three wins to one.


The lunar module of Apollo 12, which was launched on November 14, lands on the southeastern Oceanus Procellarum region of the Moon.


IBM The Data Processing Division (DPD) releases the IBM 3872 and IBM 3875 modems.


Al Hokeness scores 5,205,000 points on Atari’s Battlezone after playing the game for four hours and thirty minutes at University Game Room in Madison, Wisconsin.


John Sculley of Apple Computer and Bill Gates of Microsoft sign a licensing agreement permitting Microsoft royalty-free use of the visual characteristics of the Macintosh for Windows 1.0, while promising Macintosh versions of several popular Microsoft products.


Universal Pictures releases the science fiction film Back to the Future Part II, directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, and Thomas F. Wilson, to 1,865 US theaters. In it, Marty McFly and Doc Brown make an exhilarating visit to the year 2015 seemingly to resolve a few problems with the future McFly family. But when the two return home, they soon discover someone has tampered with time to produce a nightmarish Hill Valley, 1985. Their only hope is to once again get back to 1955 and save the future. In the film, Elijah Fox age eight, is credited as the Video Game Boy, although undocumented references refer to the character as Mickey. In one scene, Marty McFly enters the Café 80’s and recognizes an arcade video game called Wild Gunman and begins to play it. Watching him play, Mickey asks, You mean you have to use your hands? Produced on a budget of US$40 million, it will gross US$27,835,125 domestically in its opening weekend. MPAA Rating: PG Running Time: 1 hrs 48 mins


Intel begins shipping production versions of the Pentium processor.


Novell acquires the WordPerfect Corporation for WordPerfect and Borland International’s Quattro Pro in an attempt to wrest market share from Microsoft’s own word processing and spreadsheet suite, Microsoft Office. Ultimately, the strategy will fail. The WordPerfect suite will decline until it holds only twenty percent of the market in 1996, and in January 1996, Corel will buy the WordPerfect Corporation from Novell.

The Sega SaturnSega releases the Sega Saturn video game system in Japan. The system features two 28.6 MHz 32-bit Hitachi SH7064 RISC processors, two video display processors, a Hitachi SH7034 processor controlling the double-speed CD-ROM drive, a Tamaha FH1 digital signal processor, a Motorola 68EC000 sound processor, QSound surround sound, 2MB main memory, 1.5 MB video memory, a memory cartridge slot, and an expansion slot. Price: ¥44,800 (about US$450)


Symantec completes the acquisition of Delrina, a Canadian software company, in a stock deal worth over CDN$500 million.


Bandai releases the original Tamagotchi virtual keychain-size pet is released in Japan. The devices are available in six color combinations, including: blue with yellow buttons and a clock face, clear blue with yellow buttons, light blue with pink numbers, orange with yellow buttons, red with blue buttons and a clock face, and white with black buttons. The name Tamagotchi is a portmanteau which combines the Japanese word tamago, which means egg, and the English word watch. Visit the official Tamagotchi website. Price: ¥1,980 (about US$19.80)

Nintendo announces that it has achieved a sixty-two percent share of the next generation game market in the United States. The data backing the claim is derived from the Nintendo 64 video game system’s first six weeks’ sales figures. However, some experts find the claim dubious, criticizing the company’s decision to include the Super Nintendo’s marketshare into the figure.

Paramount Pictures releases the science fiction film Star Trek: First Contact, directed by Jonathan Frakes and starring Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis, Alfre Woodard, James Cromwell, and Alice Krige to 2,812 US theaters. It is the eighth feature film in the Star Trek franchise. In it, the crew of the Enterprise encounter the Borg, who seek to change history by conquering the Earth by traveling through time to the 21st century. Produced on a budget of US$45million, it will gross US$30,716,131 domestically in its opening weekend. MPAA Rating: PG-13 Running Time: 1 hr 53 mins

Twentieth Century Fox releases the science fiction film Independence Day (ID4), directed by Roland Emmerich and starring Jeff Goldblum, Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Margaret Colin, Vivica A. Fox, Judd Hirsch, Mary McDonnell, Robert Loggia, and Blogger’s note: Independence Day makes use of many ideas and troupes from the 1956 film, Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, directed by Fred F. Sears. The film is also known as Invasion of the Flying Saucers. It is based on the novel Flying Saucers from Outer Space by Donald Kehoe. Both films featured ground breaking special effects and the same general premise.


A class-action lawsuit is filed in San Francisco Superior Court by attorney Joseph Saveri of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP against the Microsoft Corporation on behalf of all customers who bought Windows 95 and 98 operating systems from Microsoft between August 1, 1995 and the present. The suit alleges that the company overcharges consumers for the operating systems, joining other suits in Alabama, Louisiana, Ohio and other states.

AOL and Electronic Arts (EA) announce a five-year strategic relationship to create and deliver online interactive content for AOL properties.

Apple announces that its blueberry iBook was the number one selling portable computer in the US retail market in October, according to the monthly hardware report by PC Data. Based on the report, the combined sales of Apple’s iBook and PowerBook portable computer lines give Apple an eleven percent share of the US retail portable market for the month.

Microsoft announces a newly signed agreement with AOL to provide DirectX 7.0 game software components for online gaming.

Microsoft releases Service Pack 6 for Windows NT 4.0.

Professor Chenming Hu at the University of California, Berkeley, announces a new semiconductor transistor that can now hold four hundred times more than it’s previous capacity. The new prototype is called FinFET and the new gate size is eighteen nanometers long, about the width of one hundred atoms

Sega announces that one million units of the Dreamcast video game system have been sold in North America to date.


Lisa Chen, a 52-year-old Taiwanese woman who pleaded no contest in one of the largest software piracy cases in the history of the US was sentenced to nine years in prison, one of the longest sentences ever for a case involving software piracy. Chen was arrested along with three associates in a November 2001 raid during which local sheriffs seized hundreds of thousands of copies of pirated software worth more than US$75 million, which Chen had smuggled from Taiwan.


Microsoft launches the Xbox 360 video game system in North America. The system features an IBM PowerPC CPU with three 3.2GHz cores, a 500 MHz ATI graphics card with a 10MB cache, and 512 MB RAM. The Xbox 360 is the first console with the ability to use wireless controllers out of the box. The system is available in four versions: a Core version for US$249, a Premium Version for US$349, an Elite version for US$449, and a Halo 3 limited edition, US$399. The biggest difference between these versions is the addition of a 20GB hard drive in the Premium edition, a 120GB hard drive and HDMI in the Elite edition, and a specially designed case in the Halo edition. Code-name: Xenon

Microsoft launches Xbox Live Arcade.

Version 1.0 of QiLinux is released

Version 4.2 of the Scientific Linux operating system is released by the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) under a GNU General Public License.


Microsoft releases an Xbox 360 update for high-definition displays.


Fei Ye and Ming Zhong were sentenced for stealing sensitive chip data for the companies they worked for (including NEC, Sun, Transmeta and Trident Microsystems) to take back to their home country. They were arrested back in 2001 trying to flee the country.

YouTube posts 3,000 videos entitled "how to cheat". These were how-to videos on cheating.

Verizon employees were fired after they accessed cell phone data of Barack Obama

Virgin debuts their WiFi option.


News Corp's owner - Rupert Murdoch initiated discussions with Microsoft to have their web content de-listed from Bing search.


Google ends Wave, Knol

2013 shuts down

After allowing devices to stay on, a survey states 54% of Americans do not want airlines to allow in-flight calls

Microsoft launched XBox One - 8-core x86 processor with 8 GB of RAM and 500 GB hard drive. The XBox One also contains an HDMI pass-through option  

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