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This Day in Computer History: December 4

written by: Pipedreamergrey•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 12/5/2008

Today marks the anniversary of the beginning of the DOJ's investigation into Microsoft and the beginning of the development of Javascript. 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


    Jack St. Clair Kilby of Texas Instruments presented the world’s first miniature electronic calculator, the TI Cal-Tech, to the Smithsonian Institution for preservation.


    Cray Research's first system to feature parallel vector processors, the Cray X-MP/48 supercomputer, goes into service at the University of California's San Diego Supercomputer Center. The X-MP processor powering the machine would become widely popular for use in computer graphics, especially in film effects. Each X-MP is capable of operating at two hundred megaflops for a a total of four hundred megaflops. Price: $15 million.


    IBM released the first copies of version 1.0 of its OS/2 Standard Edition operating system.


    IBM licensed the Java platform from Sun Microsystems for use in its own systems. The same day, Symantec, Sybase, Mitsubishi Electronics, and Borland also announced plans to license Java. Sun Microsystems also announced plans in partnership with Silicon Graphics and Netscape to develop the Javascript cross-platform scripting language specifically to provide an accessible development tool to non-programmers.

    The U.S. Department of Justice launched an investigation of potential market abuses committed by Microsoft. The D.O.J. alleges that Windows 95 was purposely designed to disable competing internet browsers without the users’ consent.


    In Wisconsin, seventeen year-old Chad Newman used e-mail to send a bomb threat to the Goodyear Tire and Rubber in Sun Prairie after his father was fired from the store.


    Researchers at McAfee announced the discovery of the Pentagone worm, otherwise knowns as the "Goner". The highly destructive worm was transmitted through email messages sent through Microsoft Outlook to all the entries in the application's address book. The messages generated by the worm bore the subject, “Hi" and a message body that read "How are you? When I saw this screen saver, I immediately thought about you I am in a harry, I promise you would love it!" The attachment of these messages, “GONE.SCR," once opened, released a hybrid virus that would immediately terminate all processes involved with popular anti-virus software before deleting the files associated with those processes. The virus would also create a registry key that would reactivate the virus each time the infected system booted. All told, the tenacious virus would cause an estimated eighty million dollars of damages globally. In August, five Israeli boys (one eighth grader and four high school sophomores and juniors) would be charged with creating the virus.


    PhpMyAdmin 2.7.0 was released, featuring improved import abilities, a simpler configuration, and minor user interface tweaks.