Day in Tech History

Daily rundown of tech history

By Jeffrey Powers


November 20, 2013: AOL Tries to Shut Down WinAmp

November 20, 2019

2013 – AOL shocked a lot of geeks when they announced would be shutting down and the software would be no longer available come December 20th.  The next day rumors surfaced that Microsoft was planning to buy it – which didn’t go further than...


November 19, 1993: Don’t Post Bomb Instructions Online

November 19, 2019

1993 – The Ionizer – Otherwise known as Michael Elanky, recieved 28 months in prison for posting bomb-making instructions on his BBS. There have been other instances of this throughout history, but Elansky was a member of the International Information ...


November 18, 1985: Calvin and Hobbes

November 18, 2019

1894 – The first Sunday Comics section is printed by the New York World. 1985 – 91 years later, Bill Watterson syndicates a comic about a boy and his stuffed Tiger. Calvin and Hobbes will bring laughter to millions for the next ten years.


November 17, 2008: Jerry Yang Steps down as Yahoo! CEO

November 17, 2019

2008 – After battle upon battle between Microsoft, Google and shareholders (including Carl Icahn), Jerry Yang finally announced to all he was stepping down as CEO of Yahoo! The previous days, Steve Ballmer said they are not going forward with any futur...


November 16, 1977: Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind Debuts

November 16, 2019

1977 – Most of the time, we skip over movie releases, unless it has had a definite impact on the Tech and geek community. That is the case with this movie. Close Encounters of the Third Kind – Directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Richard Dreyfuss,...


November 15, 1971: Intel 4004 Microprocessor

November 15, 2019

1971 – Intel announced the 4004 microprocessor in an ad in Electronic News Magazine. Intel called it a micro-programmable computer on a chip, this was the first single-chip processor. It was also concidered to be the precursor to the x86 processor.


November 14: Computer Dealer Exhibition – COMDEX

November 14, 2019

During the 80’s and 90’s, there was a little show called COMDEX. It stood for Computer Dealer Exhibition. For a while, there were 2 versions: The Spring COMDEX (Alternating for a while between Altanta and Chicago) and the Fall COMDEX (Las Vegas).


November 13, 2006: Google Completes YouTube Acquisition

November 13, 2019

2006 – In February 14, 2005, 3 former Paypal employees started a website that let you upload and share your video. YouTube brought a new idea of putting your creations on the internet. However, their creation got very popular.


November 12, 2002: Gary McKinnon Indicted

November 12, 2019

2002 – Gary McKinnon has been in the news ever since his arrest. Back in 2002, he hacked into networks run by NASA, the Pentagon, along with other military bases around the US. He claims he was on a hunt to find evidence that the US has been covering u...


November 11, 2005: Sony suspended CD copy protection

November 11, 2019

2005 – In an effort to curb piracy, record companies began putting copy protection on the CD’s themselves.  The electronic marking would cause CD’s to error out if they tried to copy. Unfortunately this idea was riddled with problems.


November 10, 1983: Microsoft Windows 1.0

November 10, 2019

1983 – Windows 1.o was announced at the Helmsley Palace Hotel in New York City. It was one of the most elaborate product introductions to date. Gates says Windows 1.0 will officially release in 1984, yet it didn’t release until June, 1985.


November 9, 2004: Mozilla Firefox 1.0 Released

November 09, 2019

2004 – Mozilla launches the web browser that would finally give Internet Explorer a run for it’s money. Firefox 1.0 web browser was created by Mozilla, who broke free from the Netscape Navigator browser to develop in Open Source.


November 8, 1993: Windows for Workgroups 3.11

November 08, 2019

1993 – Microsoft releases the OS Windows for Workgroups 3.11 – which is the last big release before Windows 95. It was built to connect better with Windows NT for businesses. It also had updates to improve stability and system performance.


November 7, 2000: Closes

November 07, 2019

2000 – It was a time that would be known as when the Bubble burst. The event technically happened on March 10, 2000. Since that time,  dot com-ers began losing their sites and livelihood. Although had a pretty good run and marketing strategy,


November 6, 1995: Voodoo 3D Accelerator

November 05, 2019

1995 – 3DFX releases the much anticipated Voodoo 3D acceleerator. QuakeGL becomes the first game using the Voodoo 3D. Hi-resolution rendering was it’s advantage. 3Dfx would continue to make the VooDoo until NVidia acquires the rights.


November 5,1999: Microsoft Found a Monopoly

November 05, 2019

1999 – It was over 12 years that we saw Microsoft go through the Department of Justice over Monopoly issues. US district Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson issued a 207 page Findings of fact on this day. In it, he ruled that Microsoft did have a Monopoly po...


November 4, 1984: Dell Computers Launches

November 04, 2019

1984 – Michael Dell launches his new business of IBM compatible PC’s from his dorm in Austin, TX. The idea was to sell a philosophy over a product. The philosophy was to sell direct to customize to the shopper. Of course,


November 3, 1999: REAL Networks Admits to Data Collection

November 03, 2019

1999 – Real Networks admits to collecting data without telling users with their software program RealJukebox player. When the issue was brought up by a competitor, Real apologized and issued a patch to change the collection process.


November 2, 1931: DuPont DuPrene (Neoprene) Introduced

November 02, 2019

1931 – E.I. DuPont announces to the world they have come up with a new substance that is a Synthetic rubber called DuPrene. Made from Acetylene, salt and rubber, this combination would eventually be renamed NeoPrine in 1937.


November 1, 1995: Intel Pentium Pro Announced

November 01, 2019

Intel announced in 1995 the next generation processor – the Pentium Pro. Unlike the Pentium, the Pentium Pro was a chip designed for 32-bit architecture, so Windows 95 and Windows NT could run true.  The processor ran between 150-200 MHz,


October 31st, 2008: Bitcoin Paper Authored

October 31, 2019

The paper was called “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” by Satoshi Nakamoto. It was posted to a cryptography mailing list. This was a roadmap to the creation of the crypto-currency, which officially launched on January 3, 2009.


October 30, 1938: War of the Worlds – the Fake One

October 30, 2019

1938 – Orson Welles shocks the nation with radio broadcast of “The War of the Worlds” by H. G. Wells. A large number of listeners who tune into the program ten minutes late (because the singer on the Edgar Bergan show was not that great).


October 29, 2013: William Lowe Passes

October 29, 2019

2013: If you grew up in the 80’s, you knew what an IBM PC was. Even in the 90’s and 00’s, the PC was what you had in the corner of the house to do homework on, surf the internet, work out expenses and more. William C.


October 28, 1955: Happy Birthday Bill Gates

October 28, 2019

1955 – William Gates Sr. and Mary Maxwell Gates has a son. William Gates III was born in Seattle, WA. Bill Gates, of course, went on to start Microsoft. Bill was CEO of Microsoft until he retired in 2008. In 2000,


October 27, 1999: Dell PC Sales Hit #1

October 27, 2019

1999 – Dataquest, a company that monitors PC sales, has shown a trend that Dell had maintained a 5% lead over Apple for 2 consecutive quarters. Therefore, Dell had become #1 in computer sales for 1999. Of course,


October 26, 1998: First Computer by Thought

October 26, 2019

1998 – A Georgia man became the first person that ran a computer controlled by thought. The subject (known as J.R.) was paralyzed due to stroke. Dr Roy Bakay and Dr. Phillip Kennedy implanted a glass cone into J.R’s brain,


October 25, 1984: Osbourne Vixen, Encore Computers

October 25, 2019

1984– The Osbourne Vixen debuted. Inside was a ZILOG Z80a processor, with 64k RAM and the CP/M OS. Other programs included Wordstar, Supercalc and M-Basic. All this for $1,498.The Encore was also introduced. It was developed by Vadem Inc for $2,195.


October 24, 1995: FCC Coins Term “Internet”

October 24, 2019

1995 – The Federal Networking council officially coins the term Internet: the Council’s Committee on Computing, Information and Communications (CCIC) created the FNC on Sept. 20th, 1995 to act as a forum for networking collaborations among Federal agen...


October 23, 2001: Apple iPod is Announced

October 23, 2019

2011 – Steve Jobs by Walter Issacson was released on Kindle and iBookstore, with a full release at Midnight. The book was planned to be released a lot later. However due to Job’s health, they pushed it up as much as possible.


October 22, 2009: Microsoft Released Windows 7, Server 2008 R2

October 22, 2019

2009 – Microsoft released not only the Windows 7 Operating system, but also Server 2008 R2 (as mentioned on the Windows 7 team blog). Although there are many versions of Windows OS, Windows 7 stood for the 7th kernel update.


October 21, 1949: Wang Patents Magnetic Ferrite Core Memory

October 21, 2019

1949 -An Wang files a patent for magnetic core memory using ferrite. It was entitled “pulse transfer controlling devices.” This was the first sign and the rise of Wang industries – a company that would be a dominant computer to IBM until it’s fall in 1...


October 19, 1985: First Blockbuster Opens

October 19, 2019

1985 – The first Blockbuster opens it’s doors in Dallas, TX by David Cook. The 29 year old store owner eventually sold it to Scott Beck, John Melk and Wayne Huizenga. Eventually it becomes a nation-wide franchise and online movie and game rental store....


October 18, 1931: Passing of Thomas Alva Edison

October 18, 2019

A lot happened on this day that Thomas Edison was responsible for. In 1878, Edison brought electricity into the home. 1879 Edison manufacturers the first incandescent light bulb, which was tested on October 22nd. Two major leaps in the technology ago.


October 17, 1985: Intel 80386DX Processor Released

October 17, 2019

1985– Intel released the 80386 DX processor. The 275,000 transistor chip was a big jump from the 20 MHz 286. It contained the ability to address up to 4 GB of memory and had a bigger instruction set.  The chip would be released,


October 16, 1923: Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio

October 16, 2019

1923– 90 years ago, Walt and Roy Disney start what is known as the Walt Disney Company. It started as the Disney Brothers Cartoon studio. Walt Disney created a short film entitled Alice’s Wonderland. In 1986,


October 15, 1985: IBM Announces Token Ring Network

October 15, 2019

1985– IBM announced, with co-developer Texas Instruments, the Token Ring network along with PC Network software – six months ahead of schedule. The Token Ring only did network transmission speed of 4 Mbps (It didn’t hit speeds of 16 Mbps until 1989),


October 14,1986: Open Source ZModem Released

October 14, 2019

1986 – Telenet funded a project to develop an improved public domain application to application file transfer protocol. This protocol would alleviate the throughput problems their network customers were experiencing with XMODEM and Kermit file transfer...


October 13, 1999: Priceline Lawsuit on Microsoft, Expedia

October 13, 2019

1999– Priceline filed a lawsuit against Microsoft and its Expedia travel service. The suit outlined how they violated U.S. patent number 5,794,207, “Method and Apparatus for a Cryptographically Assisted Network System Designed to Facilitate Buyer-Drive...


October 12, 1988: Steve Jobs Introduces NeXT Computer

October 12, 2019

1988– Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, California. Steve Jobs shows off the NeXT Computer featuring the Motorola 68030 microprocessor at 25 MHz. The computer introduces several new features including optical storage disk, voice recognition,


October 11, 1979: Visicalc – First Killer PC App Released

October 11, 2019

1979– Visicalc is released by Dan Bricklin and Bob Frankston. The spreadsheet application is called the first killer app for personal computers. It turned the PC from a hobby to a business tool. The software was released under their company name “Softw...


October 10, 1980: Pac Man North American Release

October 10, 2019

1980– The video game that changed it all debut in North America. The infamous yellow pie chart gobbling up little dots and avoiding ghosts for top scores was released to the Japanese arcades in May, but finally made it to North America in 1980.


October 9, 1998: Hayes Microcomputer Filed Chapter 11

October 09, 2019

1998 – We all remember the modem, right? Dial into the internet through an ISP? Some of you may still have that technology, but if you have dealt with modems for a while, you remember Hayes. The Hayes corporation was pretty big back in the day – giving...


October 8, 1991: Apple vs. Apple is Settled

October 08, 2019

1991– The second lawsuit of Apple vs. Apple was settled: Apple computers vs. Apple records (the Beatles label). The suit was about producing music. Of course there was a fine line between the lawsuit – after all Apple Computers is in the computer busin...


October 7, 1954: Goodbye Vacuum Tube, Hello Transistor

October 07, 2019

1954 – IBM created the first calculating machine to use solid-state transistors. This was the first nail in the coffin for vacuum tubes.  The end result was a 2,000 transistor calculator no smaller in size and no faster in speed.However,


October 6, 1997: Michael Dell: “I’d Shut Apple Down”

October 06, 2019

1997 – Gil Amelio just was just removed as CEO of Apple. People were calling for Steve Jobs to return, but others thought that would be a bad investment. At a Garner Symposium, Michael Dell was asked what he would do with Apple.


October 5, 2011: Steve Jobs Passes Away

October 05, 2019

2011– Steve Jobs passes away in his home at 3 pm Pacific. He went into respritory failure due to the pancreatic cancer he was fighting for over 10 years. Twitter exploded with over 10,000 tweets per second on this event (Osama Bin Laden death was 5,


October 4, 1979: HP 41c Programmable Calculator

October 04, 2019

Hewlett Packard came out with their first Programmable calculator in 1979. The HP-41c was the first to give alphanumeric display capabilities. It would actually tell you what to do (ex. “ENTER RADIUS”) instead of leaving your wondering.


October 3: Happy Birthday to the Buffalo Wing!

October 03, 2019

This is an especially Geeky day, for not only in 1955 was Captain Kangaroo and the Mickey Mouse Club debuting on CBS and ABC, but in 1964 the first Buffalo Wings were made in Buffalo, New York. Hence the name – Buffalo wings.


October 2, 1997: Worldcom outbid BT – Wins MCI Communications

October 02, 2019

1997– MCI was under a bid to be purchased by British Telecommunications. Worldcom came in and outbid BT to snag up the company. What made this the coup de grace is it would make Worldcom the #2 telecom provider, under AT&T.


October 1, 1979: Ex-Atari Employees Started Activision

October 01, 2019

1979– Activision was founded by four ex-Atari, Inc. game designers: David Crane, Larry Kaplan, Alan Miller and Bob Whitehead. They teamed up with Jim Levy to produce game cartridges for the Atari 2600 game system.  This, in fact,