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This Day in Computer History: December 25

written by: Pipedreamergrey•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 12/27/2008

Today marks the anniversary of the first test of the early internet by Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau. Read about its 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

    1959

    In Japan, Sony's model TV-301 television becomes the first widely distributed transistor-based household appliance.

    1973

    ARPANET, the forerunner of the internet crashed when a bug routed all of its traffic through Harvard's server, causing it to freeze.

    1987

    The first WAN virus, dubbed the Christmas virus, spreads across the internet. Infected computers display a Christmas tree before searching out other network systems on which to spread.

    1990

    The World Wide Web was first tested when Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau used a basic browser designed by Berners-Lee to connect with the world’s first web server, info.cern.ch, from their respective computers.

    1994

    The computer of computer security expert Tsutomu Shimomura is hacked and a software disassembler written by Shimomura for cell phones was stolen. Eventually it would be discovered that an Israeli hacker was actually responsible for hacking the computer, but, initially, Kevin Mitnick would be implicated. The resulting pursuit and arrest of Mitnick set off by the hack would become legendary after being documented in a series of New York Times articles, the book Takedown, and the Jonathan Littman film The Fugitive Game.

    1998

    Apple Computer sells its eight hundred thousandth iMac computer since the release of the system on August 15, 1998. Having sold an average of one computer every fifteen seconds for over four months, the iMac officially set a new record as the best-selling computer in history.

    2003

    Version 1.8.1 of the Ruby programming language was released.

    2004

    Version 1.8.2 of the Ruby programming language was released.

    2005

    The research firm Byte Level Research released a report revealing the results of a study that less than 30% of internet users around the globe are English-speaking natives. The report projected that by 2010 the total percent of English-speaking natives would dip as low as twenty-five percent once the internet had penetrated Brazil, China, and Russia.

    2006

    A custom version of firmware release 3.02 is leaked for the PlayStation Portable by a hacking group. The "custom" version allowed users to play game titles released for the original PlayStation from a Memory Stick, accommodating game piracy as well as significantly broadening the titles available for the system.