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This Day in Computer History: November 19

written by: Pipedreamergrey•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 11/21/2008

Today marks the anniversary of the sentencing of two infamous hackers, as well as the anniversary of the an infamous hack in Vietnam. 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


    IBM discontinues production of its IBM 1620 scientific computer, a popular system with an economical price that had been released on October 21, 1959.


    Michael Elansky was sentenced to twenty-eight months in prison for posting instructions on how to construct a bomb to a bulletin board system BBS he operated under the handle “The Ionizer”. At the time of his sentencing, Elansky had already been held for four months after being unable to make his half million dollar bail.


    At the COMDEX trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada, IBM demonstrated a method of transmitting data electronically through the human body that it believed might have future applications for personal data devices.


    Bell Laboratories announced that it had developed a sixty nanometer MOS transistor one-quarter the size and five time as fast as anything on the market that used one-sixtieth the power.

    Hard drive manufacturer Micropolis files for bankruptcy protection.

    Stanford University announced that it had “acquired thousands of pieces of memorabilia and artifacts that chronicle the unique 21-year history of Apple Computer, Inc.” The bequest, presented by Apple Computer, had been intended for a museum Apple's foundered had considered but never built. The lot included rare items such as an Apple I computer, internal documents, software developed but never released, and system prototypes.


    Santronics Software acquired all rights to the software of Wildcat BBS Software, including: the poular Wildcat! Bulletin Board System (BBS), the Wildcat! Interactive Net Server, and the company's Off-Line Xpress BBS Mail Reader.


    Nineteen year-old Eric Burns of Shoreline, Washington, was sentenced to 15 months in jail, 3 years of supervised release, and $36,240 in restitution for hacking under the screen name “Zyklon”. Burns had plead guilty September 7th to hacking computers including servers that hosted the web pages of the Vice-President of the United States, the United States Information Agency, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Burns used a hand-written utility he called “Web Bandit” to penetrate the servers and replace the homepage of legitmate site with pages of his own creation on which he took credit for the hack and espoused his love for a girl named “Crystal”. During his elocution, he also admitted advising fellow hackers on how to hack the official public website of the White House.


    156 domains hosted on North Vietnam’s largest internet service provider, most of which were either owned by the ISP itself or a government organization, are hacked by the “revengetheplanet” hacking group.

    Microsoft released its Office X office suite for the Mac OS X operating system, including Excel 5, PowerPoint 4, and Word X.


    Advanced Micro Devices announced the development of the Clawhammer processor at the COMDEX trade show in Las Vegas.