This Day in Computer History: September 29

Written by:  Pipedreamergrey • Edited by: Michele McDonough
Updated Oct 1, 2008
• Related Guides: Microsoft | Computer History | Operating System

Today marks the anniversary of the founding of CERN, the birthplace of the World Wide Web. Read about it 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


Émile Berliner is granted a patent for the gramophone, which was the first device to use a media format in the shape of a flat disk, the first records. It would a little over a century before disk medias became the dominant format for both computer data and music.


Preassembled wireless receivers are sold to consumers for the first time by the Joseph Home Company department store in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. The radios were the first electronic devices to become common place in American homes. Price: US $10


The Centre Européenne de Recherche Nucléaire (CERN) is established by the twelve founding member states, and Robert Aymar is appointed director general. The organization's mission was to “to provide first class facilities, to coordinate fundamental research in particle physics, and to help reunite the countries of Europe after two world wars.” The official ground-breaking ceremony for the new CERN Laboratory took place in Geneva, Switzerland on May 17, 1954, and in 1990, a project code-named ENQUIRE, under the direction of Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau, would give birth to the World Wide Web.


The first hearing on the Microsoft consent decree, in which the company settled charges that it was engaging in predatory business practices, was held.

Programmers demonstrate the prototype HotJava web browser to executives at Sun Microsystems for the first time. HotJava was an attempt to implement Sun’s new cross-platform Java programming language on the web.


The first movies to be released on DVD discs became available in Australia days before the release of the earliest DVD players in October. The movies were released by Roadshow Entertainment.

Microsoft introduced the Windows CE 2.0 operating system. The embedded OS featured support for ethernet connectivity, thirty-two bit color and gray-scale displays, TrueType fonts, and a wider range of processors. Code-name: Jupiter

Umax Computer introduced the J700 Macintosh-compatible system, featuring a 233 MHz PowerPC 604e processor, 24 MB RAM, a 2 GB hard drive, a 24x CD-ROM drive, a 10 Base-T Ethernet networking card, and the Mac OS 8 operating system. Price: $2,000


Intel revealed the discovery of a glitch in two of its Pentium III Xeon processors that caused the “blue screen of death” when the chips are pushed to their upper operating limits. The announcement forced manufacturers to postpone shipments of servers and workstations based on the chips.

Internet traffic in the United States was interrupted when an Ohio gas company accidentally severed a key cable with a backhoe. Due to the disruption, data transmissions were twenty to fifty times slower than normal.

Microsoft introduced the Broadband Jumpstart Internet media host.


Apple Computer released the Mac OS X 10.1 operating system, featuring DVD movie playback and quicker application launch times. Most Mac users would view the system, nicknamed "Puma," as superfluous and a disappointment, fundamentally unchanged from OS 9. Price: $129 or $19.99 (upgrade)


Version 3.07 of the O’Caml programming language was released.


IBM announced that, with a top speed of 36.01 TFLOPS, its Blue Gene/L supercomputer prototype had overtaken NEC's Earth Simulator as the world's fastest computer. The Earth Simulator's previous record was 35.86 TFLOPS. The Blue Gene/L was composed of eight cabinets, each of which held 1,024 compute nodes. In November, IBM will double the number of the system's cabinet's to reach a speed of 70.72 TFLOPS.

The processing capacity of the Google server farm is officially estimated at three times that of the world's fastest supercomputer, the Earth Simulator.


Lenovo recalled 526,000 Sony laptop batteries that were at risk of exploding.

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