This Day in Computer History: September 9

Written by:  Pipedreamergrey • Edited by: Christian Cawley
Published Sep 14, 2008
• Related Guides: IBM | Intel | Computer History

Today marks the anniversary of the discovery of the first computer bug. Read about this event and more in "This Day in Computer History", a chronology of notable events in the computer, ecommerce, and software industries on this day in history.

This Day in Computer History


Grace Murray Hopper recorded her assistant's discovery of history's first actual computer “bug,” a moth that had become stuck in Relay #70 on Panel “F” of the Harvard Mark II at the Naval Weapons Center in Dahlgren, Virginia. She recorded the time as 3:45pm beside the notation, “First instance of an actual computer bug being found.” It was not the first use of the term "bug" in this manner; Edison frequently used the word in discussion of electrical circuits as early as the 1870's. It was historically the first use of the term “debug,” though. Later, the log book would be placed on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.


Tandy's first TRS-80 computers are sold. The systems find a following among hobbyists and establish Radio Shack as a leading computer retailer.


Compaq Computer introduced the Compaq Deskpro 386 in New York City. It was the first personal computer offered by a major manufacturer to feature the Intel 80386 processor. The line was offered in two models. Model 40 featured a 16 MHz Intel 80386 with a 40 MB hard drive, while Model 130 featured a 130 MB hard drive. Price: $6,449 and $8,799, respectively


Sneakers (PG-13), directed by Phil Alden Robinson and starring Robert Redford, is released to theaters in the U.S. The film portrays a group of hackers pitting themselves against shadowy forces within the government seeking a secret black box that can crack any encryption. Running Time: 2 hrs 5 min


Apple Computer announced that it won't spin off its Newton Systems Group as previously announced.


IBM introduced the world’s smallest hard drive, about the size of a large coin.

Intel released the Mobile Pentium II processor with a clock speed of 300 MHz.

PhpMyAdmin Version 0.9.0, an application written to manage MySQL through a browser, is released internally.


“9/9/99″ did not disrupt computers as catastrophically as previously feared, though it did not pass by entirely without incident. Fears arose years earlier that the date might be confused by older software with the “9999″ which designated a End Of File (EOF) marker. The date did effect at least one bank, with customers receiving surprise money transfers amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

George W. Bush published details of contributions made to his presidential campaign on his campaign website, marking the increasing roll of the Internet in the nation's political campaigns.


The Unix timestamp is expanded to ten decimal digits from nine at 01:46:40 UTC.


Microsoft released Windows XP Service Pack 1 (SP1). Its most notable features were support for USB 2.0 and an application to control user access to programs, such as web browsers.

Camino 0.5 was released. It was an open source web browser built with Mozilla’s Gecko layout engine for the Mac OS X.


Adrian Lamo, who became notorious for performing penetration tests of Fortune 500 computer networks, surrenders himself to federal authorities to accept charges of hacking The New York Times. He would later plead guilty to a felony count of hacking and be sentenced to six months of house arrest, two years of probation, and $65,000 in restitution.


Desktop Light Linux (DeLi Linux) 0.6.1 is released. Designed for antiquated systems, it only required a 386 processor and 8 MB RAM.


Mozilla Thunderbird 1.5 Beta 1 is released, complete with a new update system.


IBM was commissioned by the United States National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to construct the first supercomputer, implementing Cell Broadband Engine processors the Los Alamos National Laboratory. When completed, the system would be capable of achieving a record-setting speed of 1.026 PFLOPS, over one quadrillion calculations per second.

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