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This Day in Computer History: December 2

written by: Pipedreamergrey•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 12/3/2008

Today marks the anniversary of the endorsement of the Virginia Internet Policy Act, the first U.S. legislation in history to address web issues. Read 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


    NORC IBM delivered the Naval Ordnance Research Calculator (NORC) to the Naval Surface Weapons Center in Dahlgren, Virginia, where it was inaugurated by the United States Navy with a keynote speech from mathematician John von Neumann and a demonstration of its abilities in the form of calculating Pi to the 3,089th digit. NORC was constructed at the Watson Scientific Computing Laboratory by a team led by Wallace Eckert.


    Apple Computer released the first version of QuickTime as an add-on for System Software.


    In the case of Intel vs. AMD, filed on November 12, 1992, a federal court ruled that Advanced Micro Devices did not have the right to use Intel’s 486 microcode in its microprocessors without paying licensing fees.


    The administrators of the popular Amateur Action Bulletin Board System (BBS), which was hosted in Milpitas, California, were sentenced to prison in Memphis, Tennessee for violating that state's obscenity standards. Robert Thomas is sentenced to thirty-seven months in prison, and his wife, Carleen Thomas, is sentenced to thirty months in prison. The pair had been drawing an audience to their BBS by posting sexually explicit photographs that they had scanned from magazines and charging a $55 membership fee. Under federal rules, both Thomases are required to serve their full sentence, though the basis for the cross-state prosecution was questionable. It was the first case of BBS operators being prosecuted for the content they published based on the standards of another jurisdiction.


    The Net Address service is launched online. The service provides free e-mail addresses with “” extensions to users.


    The +At Home Network cable internet service provider announced the acquisition of television set-top box software developer Full Force Systems, Inc.

    The Commission on Information Technology assembles at the College of William and Mary in Willamsburg, Virginia to publicly endorse Virginia Governor James Gilmore's proposed Virginia Internet Policy Act, a piece of proposed legislation that would, in part, make spam illegal. The thirty-six person commission included such nation industry notables as Robert McDowell, vice president of Microsoft, Frank Bowers, vice president of Cox Communications, John Sidgmore, vice chairman of MCI-Worldcom, and Michael Daniels, chairman of Network Solutions. The seven-part act addressed a wide range of internet-related issues, including child pornography, consumer privacy, fraud, and spam. It was the first piece of legislation drafted to address such issues anywhere in the United States.


    Apple Computer announced that it would release enhanced versions of its entire Power Mac G4 computer line with ATI Rage 128 Pro graphics cards in addition to the 350 MHz configuration being upgraded to the architecture used in the 400 and 450 MHz configurations with the same DVD-ROM drive the other configurations featured.


    Bootlegged copies of a pre-alpha version of Microsoft’s as-of-yet-unreleased Windows “Longhorn” operating system are sold in markets across Malaysia for less than two U.S. dollars each, more than a year before Microsoft's scheduled released date.

    The Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS) announced the discovery of the fortieth known Mersenne prime number, 2^220996011 - 1. With 6,320,430 digits, it was the largest prime number yet to be discovered.


    International Chess Master Vasik Rajlich released a beta version of his Rybka chess engine.