This Day in Computer History: September 22

Written by:  Pipedreamergrey • Edited by: Michele McDonough
Updated Sep 23, 2008
• Related Guides: Microsoft | Computer History | Operating System

Today marks the anniversary of the first OneWebDay and one of the most important legal rulings in history. Read about these events 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


The scientific units ampere, ohm, and volt are officially adopted at the Electrical Conference in Paris, France.


Paul Allen of Microsoft first contacted Rod Black of Seattle Computer Products to explore the possibility of sub-licensing the 86-DOS operating system to customers. When Microsoft later licenses the system to IBM, one of the world's largest computer manufacturers, a legal battle arises.


Ron Austin and Kevin Poulsen, better known by the handle “Dark Dante,” are arrested for hacking into the ARPANET. Because he was a minor, Poulsen wasn't prosecuted, but Austin received three years’ probation for the offense.


The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled in the case of NEC Corp. v. Intel Corp., that microcode embedded in Intel microprocessors constituted copyrightable material, the same as any printed material, that reverse engineering the microcode didn't infringe upon the microcode copyright, and that the independent development of similar microcode was not infringement. The ruling establishes, once and for all, that code can be copyrighted, setting the single most important legal precedent in the history of the computer industry.


Erik Labs released the last official version of Bimodem, one of the last file transfer applications developed specifically for BBS use.


RemoteAccess BBS 2.01 was released.


Compaq introduced the first NetPC, the Deskpro 4000N, featuring a 166 MHz Pentium processor, a 1.6GB hard drive, 32 MB RAM, and one PCI slot running on the Windows NT 4.0 operating system. The NetPC is a standard for diskless computers created by the Oracle Corporation. Price: US$1,149


Bidding on an eBay auction claiming to be selling five hundred pounds of marijuana reaches $10 million before the site's officials closed it down.

U.S. and Australian authorities jointly announced a series of raids on hackers alleged to have been involved in “Page-Jacking” internet users browsing legitimate websites for the purpose of diverting them to pornographic sites. According to the U.S. authorities, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission estimates that upwards of twenty-five million of the one billion sites on the web may be actively affected by Page-Jacking, including several gaming sites for children and the Harvard Law Review.


Twenty-year old Jason Diekman, better known by the handles “Dark Lord” or “Shadow Knight,” was arrested by Federal agents on allegation that he intercepted usernames and passwords from a number of university networks, including those of Harvard University. Diekman later admitted that he hacked into “hundreds, maybe thousands” of computers across the nation, including those of Cornell University, Harvard, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Stanford University, and University of California campuses in Fullerton, Los Angeles and San Diego. In 2002, Diekman received a twenty-one month prison sentence and $87,000 in fines.


Symantec, a developer of security software, announced its intent to acquire WholeSecurity, a developer of anti-phishing technology.


The first OneWebDay is observed. The day is intended to be a celebration of the internet, on which internet users are encouraged to reflect upon and demonstrate the ways in which the internet has affected their lives. It's "anchor celebration" is held in Battery Park in New York City, with addresses made by technology advocates Craig Newmark, Drew Schutte, and Scott Heiferman.

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