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This Day in Computer History: October 9

written by: Pipedreamergrey•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 10/11/2008

Today marks the anniversary of the launch of the development of the world's first computer capable of storing programs. 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


    The Eckert-Mauchly Computer Company, founded by John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert formerly of the University of Pennsylvania, entered into a contract to develop the BINAC (BINary Automatic Computer) for the Northrop Aircraft Company. BINAC was both the world's first commercially built digital computer and the first computer with the ability to store programs. The system was the first and only computer built by the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Company before it became a division of the Remington Rand Corporation. BINAC has a program capacity of five hundred twelve words. The final cost of the system was $278,000.


    Using the Standards Western Automatic Computer (SWAC), American mathematician Raphael Robinson discovered the Mersenne prime M2281, which can be expressed as 2 2,281 - 1. The number, which is 687 digits long, is the record-breaking fifth Mersenne prime discover by Robinson since the beginning of the year. The five numbers discovered by Robinson, which were the first to be discovered in seventy-five years, were the thirteenth through seventeenth Mersenne Primes discovered. M2281 will remain the largest prime number to be discovered for more than four years.


    The Data Processing Division of IBM released the IBM 3850 mass storage system.


    The hackers known as "Minor Threat" and "Mucho Maas" released ToneLoc 1.10, a popular wardialing program for DOS that analyzes dial tones to locate private branch exchanges (PBX) or modems for hacking and security purposes. The name ToneLoc is an amalgam of the words “Tone Locator.”


    The Hayes Corporation, one of the largest and oldest manufacturer of computer communications hardware such as modems, files for chapter eleven bankruptcy protection for the second time since 1994.


    The New York Times publishes an interview with Intel researcher Paul Packan reporting that semiconductor engineers had come to an impasse in regard to further miniaturization of silicon transistors for processors. The article speculates as to whether the barrier may mark the end of Moore's Law.


    Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) released the first of its Athalon XP processors, the 1.33GHz Athlon XP 1500+ processor for $160. The entire chip line featured a 64KB Level-1 data cache, a 64KB Level-1 instruction cache, a 256KB Level-2 cache, three pipelined FPUs, 4GB of address space, and a 266MHz system bus. AMD also released the 1.4GHz Athlon XP 1600+ for $160, the 1.467GHz Athlon XP 1700+ for $190, and the 1.53 GHz Athlon XP 1800+ fo $252. Code-name: Palomino.

    The United States Supreme Court declines to hear an appeal of the final ruling in Microsoft’s antitrust case.


    Nineteen year-old Drexel University student Van T. Dinh, of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania was arrested for allegedly orchestrating an elaborate plan to dump worthless options for Cisco Systems stock at an exhorbitant mark-up in July 2002. The case is the first time that both computer hacking and identity theft charges have both played a part in a fraud prosecution brought by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Dinh is charged with convincing users of financial discussion groups to download a malicious key-logging program disguised as a stock-charting utility, then using the logger to obtain account information for a TD Waterhouse Investor Services account. With the victim’s account, Dinh bought his own valueless options at his victim's expense for roughly $46,986.


    YouTube Search engine giant Google acquired the popular video sharing service YouTube for a headline-making $1.65 billion.

    Version 4.4 of the Scientific Linux operating system, “Beryllium,” was released. Scientific Linux was developed by CERN in cooperation with the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory to be free, open source, and completely compatible with and based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.