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This Day in Computer History: November 12

written by: Pipedreamergrey•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 11/13/2008

Today marks the anniversary of the publication of the "Turing Machine" and the day Microsoft got its name. Read about these events 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


    Alan Turing published “On Computable Numbers with an Application to the Entscheidungs-problem." In the ground-breaking paper, Turing describes what would later become the basis for the theory of computability. The abstract engine described in the paper, which would later be renamed the "Turing Machine," introduced many of the fundamentals of computing that other later be independently made reality by a wide range of inventors.


    A small Seattle-based software firm officially began using the "Microsoft" tradename “to identify computer programs for use in automatic data processing systems; pre-programming processing systems; and data processing services including computer programming services."


    Microsoft's Windows operating system was first mentioned on Usenet.


    Lotus Development released the Jazz office suite for the Macintosh 512K, which would ultimately be a commercial failure due to overpricing and the lack of brand recognition caused when the suite wasn't given a "Lotus" branding. Price: $595.

    Newsweek magazine published the renounced article “The Night of the Hackers“ by Richard Sandza that introduced a nation of computer enthusiasts to the world of BBS culture.


    Bill Gates kicked off the Fall ‘90 COMDEX trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada with the keynote speech, “Information at Your Fingertips." At the event, a number of market leaders introduced their latest technologies. IBM introduced its 486-based PS/2 90 and 95, Microsoft introduced its Windows 3.0 operating system, Motorola introduced its 68040 microprocessor, and SCO introduced its Open Graphics Operating System.

    Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau published a paper in which they propose the development of what would later become the World Wide Web.


    Iomega announced that it had surpassed ten million Zip drive sales.


    Be announced BeOS Release 4 for Intel and PowerPC systems. The new version featured improved integratation with Windows, improved interaction with files, and a complete range of keyboard shortcuts. Price: $69.95 (online) / $99.95 (retail).


    At the Comdex trade show, Bill Gates demonstrated Microsoft's proposed Tablet PC initiative, under which Windows would bundle applications capable of converting handwritten pen strokes from a stylus into usable graphics.


    Advanced Micro Devices announces the 950MHz mobile Duron processor. Price: $160.

    Advanced Micro Devices announces the 1.2GHz mobile Athlon 4 processor. Price: $525.

    An uncompressed real-time gigabit HDTV transmission is broadcast via a wide-area IP network for the first time in history on the “Internet2."


    JUGENE, the first supercomputer to feature 65536 processors, went online at the Jülich Research Centre with a processing speeds in excess of 167 TFLOPS. At the time of its initial launch, it was Europe's fastest computer and the sixth fastest in the world.

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