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This Day in Computer History: October 26

written by: Pipedreamergrey•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 10/27/2008

Today marks the anniversary of the airing of the first television program written by a computer program and the release of several new iPods. 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


    CBS aired the television program "Saga," a silent Western written by computer program run on the TX-0 computer, the first transistorized computer, to mark the one hundredth anniversary of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The program that wrote the script was thirteen thousand lines of code long and required 4,096 words of magnetic core storage. It choreographed the movement of each object in the script with a line of direction, though the final project was far from perfect. The program ended with the sheriff placing his six-shooter into the holster of the robber in a repeating loop. While the story made little sense, it did make history as the first story written by a computer.


    IBM introduced the Hypertape system for the IBM 7340, the fastest commercially available magnetic tape system on the market.


    Sig Hartmann, the last remaining executives that had worked under Jack Tramiel, formally resigned from his position as President of Software from Commodore. Several weeks later, Hartmann would take a position with Atari, once again working under Tramiel.


    The computer system responsible for routing ambulances in the greater London metropolitan area fails on Monday, October 26 and remained inoperative through Tuesday, October 27. Later, officials will credit the failure with twenty deaths.


    PhpMyAdmin 1.0.1, an open source utility for administering MySQL through a web browser, was released.

    Reuters published a story on a man from Georgia in the United States who had become the first human to control a computer using only a brain implant. The fifty-three year-old man was a paralyzed, and he used the system to relay messages to a computer screen in order to communicate with others.

    Security software developer Symantec acquired Quarterdeck Office Systems for sixty-five million dollars.


    Microsoft released its new UltimateTV system, a DirecTV receiver with integrated DVR and Internet functions.


    The Klez worm was first identified by F-Secure. By exploiting Internet Explorer's Trident layout engine, Klez infected Windows systems, further distributing itself and notably slowing down infected systems.

    William Zeller, a student at at Trinity College, released the first version of myTunes, a utility that circumvents copyright restrictions on Apple's iTunes services. The utility's release, just ten days after the initial release of iTunes, causes significant headaches for Apple, which, in order to lure music labels to its service, had made numerous assurances regarding copy protection. However, many will later posit that the utility actually played a significant role in popularizing iTunes among its key demographic, college students.


    U2 ipod Apple released the iPod Photo. The fourth-generation iPod featured the ability to display digital images, such as album art, on its color display. It was close to the earlier fourth-generation iPod in appearance, with only a few centimeters' thickness to differentiate the two. Price: $499 for the 40 GB model or $599 for the 60 GB model.

    Apple released the U2 iPod Special Edition. The 20 GB fourth-generation iPod featured a black face plate and a red control wheel. Its back also featured the signatures of the band U2. Price: $349.