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This Day in Computer History: October 7

written by: Pipedreamergrey•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 10/8/2008

Today marks the anniversary of the destruction of one of the largest shipments of pirated software in history. Read about it and more in "This Day in Computer History", a chronology of notable events in the computer, ecommerce, and software industries on this day in history.

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    This Day in Computer History

    1952

    American mathematician Raphael Robinson discovers the Mersenne prime number M2203, which can be expressed as 22,203 - 1, using the Standards Western Automatic Computer (SWAC). The number, which is 664 digits long, is the record-breaking fourth Mersenne prime discover by Robinson since the beginning of the year.

    Joseph Woodland and Bernard Silver received a patent on the world's first system of bar codes (No. 2,612,994). The codes mark the beginning of the use of computers in every day commerce. Unlike the later ubiquitous UPC bar codes, the Woodland and Silver barcodes were composed of concentric rings of varying thickness forming a sort of bull’s eye of numeric data.

    1954

    IBM demonstrated an all-transistor calculator that required only five percent of the power typically consumed by an electronic calculator. Within three years, IBM will introduce the IBM 608 to the market, the world’s first commercial all-transistor calculator.

    1974

    The boards of directors of Philips and MCA officially ratified the merger of the two companies' disc systems. The two companies had both been independently developing separate versions of what would later become the Compact Disc format.

    1997

    Sun Microsystems filed suit against Microsoft for bundling a non-standard implementation of the Java programming language into version 4.0 of its Internet Explorer web browser. Sun claims the move constitutes a breach of contract.

    1998

    Representatives from Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) supervise the destruction of the largest shipment of pirated software ever intercepted by United States Customs officials. The shipment, which contained forty thousand pirated games in Compact Disc format, was discovered in Miami, Florida on its way to Paraguay from Taiwan and Singapore during a routine inspection. Forty-four different PlayStation titles were included in the shipment, NBA Shoot-Out ‘98, Parappa The Rapper, and Rally Cross. All told, the forty thousand discs had a combined retail value of over $1.5 million.

    2001

    The developer behind the Renegade BBS, Jeff Herrings, publicly announced that he would not longer continue work on the once-popular software that had, during the age of dial-up modems, powered some of the most popular communities on the web.

    2003

    Yahoo! acquired Overture Services, Inc. for $1.63 billion. The company was used by Yahoo! to power "sponsored searches," which allowed business to inject links into searches for certain keywords. Prior to its acquisition, Overture was the chief rival of Google's AdWord service and had, in fact, unsuccessfully filed an infringement suit attempting to bar Google from associating keywords with ads.

    2007

    The website of security firm Trend Micro was hacked by a Turkish hacker known as “Janizary” or, in other hacks, “Utku”.