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This Day in Computer History: December 5

written by: Pipedreamergrey•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 12/8/2008

Today marks the anniversary of the completion of the first program-controlled digital computer and completion of the first computer science thesis. 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


    German engineer Konrad Zuse completed construction of his Z3 computer, which was the first program-controlled "Turing-complete" digital computer. In 1946, Zuse would go on to publish the first high-level programming language, Plankalkül.


    Richard L.Wexelblat became the first computer science candidate to complete his doctoral dissertation. His diploma from the University of Pennsylvania would be the first in history to be granted in the field of “computer science."


    Texas Instruments (TI) publicly announced the development of an integrated circuit manufacturing technique that used copper wiring created from a new material called “Xerogel" in place of the industry-standard aluminum to link the transistors on a microchip. TI made the prediction that the technique would enable it to develop processors up to ten times faster than anything currently on the market, while still reducing power requirements. The announcement came within days of similar technological advancements on the part of IBM, which first announced the technology, and Motorola, which was hot on its heels.


    The Reuters news service published an article reporting the discovery of the first Y2K worm in the wild, the W32/Mypics.worm. The news had long been anticipated and warned of by both security firms and the media. The Mypics worm was transmitted through e-mail as an attachment.


    Apple Computer announced that lower-than-expected holiday season sales would likely contribute to what it predicted would be its first quarterly fiscal loss in more than three years.

    The website of ecommerce giant crashed and was offline for forty minutes due to an “internal software mix-up."


    Apple Computer launched its iTunes music service in New Zealand.

    Ártica ST released version 1.2 of Pandora FMS (Free Monitoring System) for Linux under the GNU General Public License. The suite was a free set of applications that analyzed the status and performance of a software's operation, including databases, firewalls, proxies, routers, and web servers.

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