September 21

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Podcast Episode

Day in Tech History: September 21st

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The first edition of 'The Hobbit' by J.R.R. TolkienJ.R.R. Tolkien, an Oxford University professor, publishes the The Hobbit. Visit the official Tolkien website.


Texas Instruments, Inc. (TI) enters the electronic calculator market with three new calculators. The TI-2500 or the Datamath offers four-function, full-floating decimal point with an eight-digit Light Emitting Diode (LED) display. The unit is also rechargeable and works with AC or DC power sources. It sells for US$119.95. The desktop models, the TI-3000 and TI-3500 sell for under US$85 and US$100 respectively. Both are four-function with gas-discharge displays. The TI-3000 has an eight digit display and the TI-3500 has a ten digit display. Dealers are required to order a minimum of 96 per model to stock them. They are the first patented calculators on the market.


Microsoft releases the Windows NT 3.5 operating system. It is released in two editions: Server and Workstation. The system was developed for the purpose of increasing the speed of the operating system. The project was given the codename “Daytona” as a reference to the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. View the system’s interface at GUIdebook.


A New York Times article reveals that an investigation into the crash of American Airlines Flight 965 in Colombia in December 1995 revealed that a programming error may have contributed to the disaster. The pilots apparently selected the first choice of a beacon to guide the plane’s autopilot to a landing without checking that it was the correct destination. As a result, the plane flew one hundred miles off course, with the devastating result of 159 deaths.


3dfx Interactive files a suit in Northern California District Court against Nvidia, a competing 3D chip producer. The suit alleges patent infringements on its multi-texturing technologies.

Apple Computer releases the AppleWorks 5 software suite. Price: US$99 or US$79 (upgrade)


Researchers at F-Secure and researchers discover the first handheld computer virus “Phage”, which targets the Palm OS.

United States prosecutors reveal that Jason Diekman, age 20, is charged with allegedly hacking into computer systems at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena and NASA computers at Stanford University. Additional charges allege the theft of over five hundred credit card numbers, which were used to make more than six thousand dollars worth of purchases. Version 7.0 of Corel Paint Shop Pro, a bitmap and vector graphics editor, is released for Windows.


AMD releases the 1917MHz Athlon XP 2600+ processor, featuring a 512KB Level-2 Cache and a 333MHz Front Side Bus.

Intel releases the 2667MHz Pentium 4 HT 2.66 mobile processor, featuring a 512MHz Level-2 cache and a 533MHz Front Side Bus.


Version 9.02 of the Opera Internet Suite is released.


Stephen Hawking unveils the Corpus Clock, which conveys a somber message about our relationship to time.


Chrysler announces they will be getting rid of paper manuals and going digital by providing a DVD copy of the manual.


Google puts out a Transparency Repot that reveals which governments are blocking or censoring Google.

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