This Day in Computer History: September 21

Written by:  Pipedreamergrey • Edited by: Bill Fulks
Published Sep 21, 2008
• Related Guides: Computer History | NASA

Today marks the anniversary of the launch of the first daily newspaper and the first electronic calculators. Read about these events and more in "This Day in Computer History", a chronology of notable events in the computer, e-commerce, and software industries on this day in history.

This Day in Computer History


America's first daily newspaper, The Pennsylvania Packet and Daily Advertiser was first published. The paper will be the continent's first daily news source.


TI 2500 Semiconductor developer Texas Instruments released its first three calculators, the TI-2500, the TI-3000, and the TI-3500. The TI-2500 (the "Datamath"), which is a four-function, full-floating decimal point system with an eight-digit LED display, would become a break-out success. They were the first patented calculators to be released. Price: $119.95 (TI-2500), $85 (TI-3000), $100 (TI-3500)


Microsoft released version 3.5 of its Windows NT operating system in two editions: Server and Workstation. Version 3.5 was specifically optimized for speed, which is why it was codenamed “Daytona,” in reference to the Daytona International Speedway.


The New York Times reveals that the December 1995 crash of American Airlines Flight 965 in Colombia may have been the result of a programming error. Pilots of the plane evidently selected the first beacon option on the plane's autopilot system to guide the plane to its landing site without manually checking that the option given was the correct destination. As a result, the plane ended up one hundred miles off of its intended course, and it subsequently crashed in a disaster that resulted in 159 deaths.


Apple Computer released version 5 of the AppleWorks office suite. Price: $99 / $79 (upgrade)


A 7.6 magnitude earthquake rocks Taiwan, bringing manufacturing facilities in the region to a grinding halt. Due to the high number of computer components manufactured there, electronics manufacturers around the globe are faced with shortages and chip prices rise sharply as a result.

HydraBBS 1.12 was released.


Federal prosecutors announced that Jason Diekman, age 20, was charged with hacking into the NASA systems at Stanford University and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. Diekman was also charged with the theft of over 500 credit card numbers and using them to make more than six thousand dollars of purchases.

The Phage virus was first discovered by security researchers at F-Secure and Phage is one of the first major viruses to target the Palm OS.


Opera Software released version 9.02 of its Opera Internet Suite.


The Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) announced that the day prior, it had filed the first copyright infringement lawsuit in U.S. history to be based on a violation of the GNU General Public License (GPL). The suit, filed on behalf of two principal developers of the BusyBox, Erik Andersen and Rob Landley, alleges that Monsoon Multimedia failed to provide recipients of its firmware with access to its underlying source code as stipulated in the GPL governing BusyBox, which the company implements in its firmware. BusyBox is an application that provides a set of Unix tools popular among Linux distributions.

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