August 28: What happened today in Computer History

Page content

This Day in Computer History


Jack St. Clair Kilby, of Texas Instruments demonstrates his mutivibrator circuit of discreet silicon elements to Willis Adcock. The circuit is a forerunner of his later Integrated Circuit that will revolutionize the computer industry.


IBM representatives meet with Microsoft to sign up the company as consultants for fifteen thousand dollars. Microsoft is given the task of developing the software specifications for IBM’s upcoming personal computer, and Jack Sams specifically asks Bill Gates for alternatives to the CP/M-86 operating system.


AppleLink running on a Macintosh Portable is used to send the first email from space during the Space Shuttle Atlantis’ mission STS-43. Astronauts Shannon Lucid and James C. Adamson send the message, “Hello Earth! Greetings from the STS-43 Crew. This is the first AppleLink from space. Having a GREAT time, wish you were here,…send cryo and RCS! Hasta la vista, baby,…we’ll be back!” to shuttle communicator Marcia Ivins at the Johnson Space Center. AppleLink was interfaced with NASA’s communication system to allow the Shuttle’s crew to access the GEIS network from space. To avoid the deluge of incoming mail that might be generated by the media coverage of the event, Apple set up a number of false addresses, such as STS43@AppleLink, while keeping the shuttle’s address a secret.


A United States Court of Appeals reverses the decision of Sega Enterprises vs Accolade, which ruled in Sega’s favor in April. The reversal accepts Accolade’s arguments that reverse engineering Sega games to create games for the Sega console fell under “fair use.” The ruling sets precedence for software developers to legally learn system specs and protocol from hidden software interfaces when such details are otherwise unavailable.


Apple Computer releases its first shipments of PowerBook 5300 portable computers to retailers. Within the first three weeks of sales, fewer than one thousand units will be sold and those will be recalled due to a fault in the lithium ion batteries that may caused two units to burst into flames. The poor reception and widely publicized recall are hard blows to the company in the face of Microsoft’s wildly successful Windows 95 release, and many analysts begin speculating as to how long Apple can survive in the face of Microsoft’s market domination.


Apple Computer releases the iMac to expectant mobs in Japan. Price: ¥178,000 (US $1,227)


Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) announces that personal computer manufacturers have begun shipping systems equipped with the 1.1GHz Athalon processor that will be available in stores for around US $2,500.


The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) website is defaced for the third time in five weeks online attack by activists protesting the group’s legal efforts to put an end to filesharing. A message is left on the website reading, “The RIAA wishes to apologise for the heavy-handed manner in which the popular Chinese site Listen4Ever was closed down, and would like to present the following items for free download as a token of its goodwill,” and a number of copyrighted MP3 files are posted. Additionally, the defaced site features faux links such as, “Inside the RIAA with Eric Cartman” and “Piracy can be beneficial to the music industry,” as well as a real link entitled, “Where can I find information on giant monkeys?” which takes browsers to the biography of Hilary Rosen, the chief executive officer of the RIAA. The site’s administrators are forced to shut down the site to diagnose the security hole that keep allowing the site to be hacked


The Apache Software Foundation release version 5.0.28 of the Apache Tomcat cross-platform application server.


TeliaSonera becomes the first to launch a Wi-Fi based Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) service, which they call “Home Free.” UMA is a name for the 3GPP Generic Access Network (GAN) standard, which is primarily used to seamlessly shift between between local area networks and wide area networks.