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This Day in Computer History: November 6

written by: Pipedreamergrey•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 11/6/2009

Today marks the anniversary of the signing of the contract that started Microsoft down the road to fame and fortune. Read about the contract 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


    The Hewlett-Packard Company, Inc. goes public, holding its initial public offering (IPO).


    IBM and Microsoft enter into what would become the most famous business contract in the history of the computer industry.

    In the terms of the contract, the small software firm Microsoft agreed to develop a viable alternative to Digital Research’s market-dominating CP/M operating system and a simple programming language for the upcoming IBM PC, which would go on to sweep the market.

    Microsoft would be paid two hundred thousand dollars to adapt Seattle Computer Products' 86-DOS system into MS-DOS and another half million dollars to develop the BASIC programming language and its compiler.

    However, the monetary gain would pale in comparison to financial gains that would result from Microsoft retaining control over its DOS (Disk Operating System). The stipulation eventually made Microsoft one of the largest and most successful software developers in the world. Microsoft would deliver the initial versions of its software in mid-January.


    ViaCrypt released the ViaCrypt PGP 2.4 security application. ViaCrypt is a commercial version of Pretty Good Privacy (PGP).


    3dfx released the first consumer 3D accelerator, the Voodoo Graphics PCI. The VooDoo is capable of rendering high resolution graphical scenes in realtime. The first-person shooter QuakeGL, a port of the popular Quake, would become the first game to make use of the technology, and shortly thereafter Tomb Raider would vault VooDoo into the limelight.


    Rajib Mitra was convicted of hacking into the networks of the University of Iowa and University of Wisconsin. Mitra. Elevated to minor celebrity for the exploit, he would later make headlines again when he was sentenced to an eight year prison term for jamming emergency radio channels. becomes the three millionth domain to be registered on the internet.


    GNUnet was first published. GNUnet was a free software framework for peer-to-peer networking. The framework, written entirely in the C programming language features link encryption, peer discovery, and improved resource (memory) allocation.


    Apple Computer updated its iBook and PowerBook computer lines. The upgraded systems feature the Mac OS X 10.2 “Jaguar” operating system, more powerful graphics cards, and faster processors. The updated iBooks feature the new ATI Mobility Radeon 7500 graphics controllers standard.


    The iMesh 7.0 filesharing app was released, expanding the system into a social networking system.

    Microsoft publicly announced that it would offer AVG Security applications through Windows Vista's Windows Security Center.