July 28

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Podcast Episode

Day in Tech History: July 28th

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Fingerprints are used as a means of identification for the first time. Sir William James Herschel, Chief Magistrate of the Hooghly district in Jungipoor, India used it more as a signature than anything. However, after collecting several prints, he realized it might be used to prove identity.


IBMannounces its first desktop computer, the System/23 Datamaster, just one month before the IBM PC. Developed by Bill Sydnes and others who are no longer working on the project in the General Systems Division, it is based on Intel’s 8086 16-bit processor and is dedicated to data processing applications. The system features a 16-bit 8086 processor, a viewing screen, up to 4.4MB of diskette storage, and Business Management Accounting and Word Processing programs. At US$9,830, the Datamaster is IBM’s lowest-priced small business system.


Dell Computer Corp. announces its entry into the work station market with the release of the Dell Workstation 400. The move to the more powerful desktop computers, most commonly used for engineering, follows Dell’s entry into the network server industry as it expanded from personal desktop computers and laptops in order to secure a larger part of the market. The Dell Workstation ranges in prices from US$3,000 to US$8,000.

National Semiconductor announces an agreement to acquire Cyrix, for US$550 million in stock.


Electronic Arts acquires ABC Software, Switzerland’s leading game distributor, in a deal that will cost the company about US16.5 million.

Electronics Boutique begins trading on NASDAQ generating US$70 million with shares selling at US$14. The company announces plans to use the funds to finance an expansion of the chain.


Apple Computer, Inc. reveals plans to invest US$100 million in a Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. subsidiary. The unit is responsible for supplying Apple with flat-panel screens for their new notebook computers. In exchange for the investment, Apple will receive convertible debt securities in the form of Samsung bonds.

The Clinton Administration submits a plan enabling the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to monitor the United State government’s nonmilitary computer networks and select industries. Drafted by the White House’s National Security Council as part of an anti-terrorism package, the plan calls for data to be filtered by the National Infrastructure Protection Center beginning no later than in the year 2003. Civil liberties organizations will immediately oppose the plan.

Compaq Computer Corporation declares a US$184 million loss in its second quarter and announces a restructuring plan that will cut eleven percent of their workforce, or approximately eight thousand employees. The financial loss is equivalent to ten cents per share. Cut backs will include unspecified plant closings.


The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals awards Napster, Inc. a last minute stay of a previous judge’s order to close down its online operations by midnight. Napster faces allegations of facilitating wholesale copyright infringement made by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).


Microsoft reports it has sold 100,000 copies of Windows XP Starter Edition to date.

Facebook hires Mozilla’s VP of engineering Mike Schroepfer

Verizon launches the first FIOS TV station in New York 


IBM announces they will Acquire SPSS for $1.2 billion. SPSS is a company specializing in Data Mining and Statistical analysis.

Sprint Acquires Virgin Mobile for $483 million, which also included the Boost Mobile brand


Twitter begins injecting paid tweets into streams

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