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This Day in Computer History: December 6

written by: Pipedreamergrey•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 12/6/2008

Today marks the anniversary of the publication of one of the most over-used statistics ever released regarding the net. 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


    Thomas Alva Edison made the first audio recording in history. He recorded himself reading the nursery rhyme “Mary had a Little Lamb” onto a tin-wrapped cylinder using his newly invented phonograph.


    Just one day before the United States formally entered World War II, Geophysical Service, Inc. was acquired by Cecil H. Green, John Erik Jonsson, Eugene McDermott, and Dr. Henry Bates Peacock, all employees of the company. The four young investors would eventually rename the company Texas Instruments, Inc. and sell it to Halliburton.


    IBM released an economy model of the IBM 2420 magnetic tape unit for its seven models of the IBM System/360 family.


    Covidea shut down its videotex services, which were among the earliest precursors to the internet.


    Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) version 2.1 was released.


    After almost a year of shipping the Mosaic web browser with its Windows 3.1 operating system at no cost, Microsoft agreed to pay a royalty fee of one dollar per copy to Spyglass, Inc. for each unit of the Windows 3.1 operating system shipped.

    Both Adobe and IBM announced that they had entered into licensing agreements with Sun Microsystems for the use of the company's Java technology.

    Late into the night (nearly midnight), following days of intense negotiations, Microsoft and Sun Microsystems agree upon terms under which Microsoft would license Sun's Java platform for its Internet Explorer.


    Reuters news service's Frances Hong reported that traffic over the internet was doubling every one hundred days in an article entitled “Internet Capacity Major Theme For 1999 Study.” The statistic, while not wholly accurate, instantly became one of the most quoted statistics of the day. The article was a report on PricewaterhouseCoopers' "Technology Forecast: 1999.''


    Opera Software ASA released version 5 of the Opera internet suite. Version 5 was the first to be ad supported. Earlier versions were distributed as trials to entice customers to purchase full versions.

    The value of Apple Computer shares fell to their lowest point in over two years the day after the company had announced that lower-than-expected holiday sales were projected to contribute to the company's first quarterly operating loss in three years.


    Yahoo! launched its Yahoo! Finance Money Manager service.


    CRUX 1.3 was released. The Linux distribution was an operating system optimized for i686 systems and designed for advanced Linux users.


    Apple Computer announced that it had sold over 3 million videos through its iTunes Music Store since their initial availability on October 12, 2005.


    Version 1.5.2 of the BioPerl programming language for the development of bioinformatics applications was released. The application was notable for its use in the the Human Genome Project.