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This Day in Computer History: November 20

written by: Pipedreamergrey•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 11/21/2008

Today marks the anniversary of the first use of the term "Hacking" in print and the release of version 1.0 of Windows. 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


    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology's student newspaper made the earliest known use of the word "hacking" in print, marking its entry into the mainstream of computer science. In an article published on this day "The Tech" reported that, “Many telephone services have been curtailed because of so-called hackers, according to Prof. Carlton Tucker, administrator of the Institute phone system. [...] The hackers have accomplished such things as tying up all the tie-lines between Harvard and MIT, or making long-distance calls by charging them to a local radar installation. One method involved connecting the PDP-1 computer to the phone system to search the lines until a dial tone, indicating an outside line, was found. [...] Because of the ‘hacking,’ the majority of the MIT phones are ‘trapped.’”


    IBM introduced the IBM System/360 Model 20, which was the least expensive of the six computers in the widely used IBM System/360 line and which would go on to become the most popular.


    Microsoft released Windows 1.0 in four different versions: 1.01, 1.02, 1.03 and 1.04. Version 1.01 was distributed in the U.S. Version 1.02 was a multi-lingual version distributed globally in the most common European languages. Version 1.03 was distributed only in the U.S., but it included a range of drivers for popular European devices. Version 1.04 included support for the then-new VGA monitors. All versions provided a front-end to the MS-DOS operating system which provided a limited ability to multi-task. The OS would never become popular as it provided little in the way of innovation to the already widely used MS-DOS. Price: US $99.99.


    America Online (AOL) Studios acquired the sports content provider Extreme Fans, Inc.

    1998 announced the approval of a three-for-one common stock split on Friday, December 18.

    Sony unveiled its Memory Stick and memory card drive for digital cameras at the COMDEX trade show. The sticks feature an 8 MB storage capacity on a card only 1.5 inches long. Price US $40.

    Touchstone Pictures released the suspense thriller Enemy of the State, starring Will Smith and Gene Hackman In the film, a defense lawyer becomes the target of a corrupt politician and a squad of NSA agents armed with a wide array of paranoia-inducing surveillance equipment after he unwittingly becomes the recipient of murder evidence. (MPAA Rating: R)


    Intel introduced Pentium 4 processors with clock speed of 1.4 and 1.5 GHz. Following the introduction, server major manufacturers released desktops featuring the new chips, including: Compaq, Dell, Gateway, and IBM. Code-name: Willamette. Price: US $819 and US $644 respectively.


    A Court in Amsterdam ordered the KaZaA peer-to-peer file sharing network to shut down within two weeks or pay a penalty of forty thousand dollars per day thereafter. However, come December, KaZaA would remain open, ignoring the order.

    NeuStar takes on the duties of managing the .us top-level domain (TLD) of the internet.