November 4

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Podcast Episode

Day in Tech History: Nov 4th

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Radio Corporation of America (RCA) demonstrates all-electronic color television using three picture tubes.


On election night, CBS News uses a UNIVersal Automatic Computer (UNIVAC I) computer to make a prediction of the outcome of the 1952 presidential election, in which Dwight D. Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson were running. The computer’s statistical analysis of the first five percent of the tallied votes returns a projected victory for Eisenhower, but journalists Charles Collingwood and Walter Cronkite find the result dubious, since opinion polls have predicted a landslide victory for Stevenson. Subsequently, they postpone announcing the UNIVAC prediction until it’s clear that Eisenhower will win.

The United States government establishes the cryptologic organization National Security Agency to collect and analyze foreign communications.


Compaq announces the suitcase-sized, IBM-compatible Compaq Portable, featuring a 4.77 MHz Intel 8088, 128 - 640KB RAM, a nine-inch monochrome monitor, a 320KB 5.25-inch disk drive, and either the CP/M-86 or MS-DOS operating system. It is one of the earliest progenitors of the later laptop, and it is about the size of a portable sewing machine, which earns it the nickname the sewing machine. It will be the first successful IBM PC clone, largely due to a black-box clone of the IBM BIOS (Basic Input Output System) that makes the Compaq Portable completely compatible with IBM computers, but it cost Compaq US$1 million to create a ROM BIOS that didn’t violate any IBM copyrights. In order to replicate IBM’s BIOS with infringing on any IBM copyrights, Compaq set up two teams of programmers. The first group made a list of everything the BIOS did for a specific set of inputs, but carefully avoided any mention of the original code. The second group then took the notes from the first team and wrote a version of BIOS that performed exactly the same as the original, written from scratch without any contamination from the IBM source code. The computer, which will be shipped in January 1983, marks the end of IBM’s hardware monopoly and the birth of a multi-billion industry. Price: US$2,995 - $3,590 (two floppy system) Weight: 28lb (12.5kg)


Dell Inc. is founded in Austin, Texas by University of Texas student Michael Dell as PC’s Limited with just US$1,000 in start-up capital. The business is at first operated out of Dell’s off-campus dorm room at the Dobie Center. The startup’s mission was to sell IBM-compatible computers, with the philosophy that a company that sold directly to customers could better tailor systems to meet their buyer’s needs. Dell will later drop out of school in order to work full-time.


Corel releases version 7 of the CorelDraw vector graphics editor for Windows. Price: US$695 or US$249 (Upgrade)


Version 1.2.1 of the Sather programming language is released.


The IBM Blue Gene/L becomes the fastest supercomputer when it perfroms 70.7 trillion calculations per second (70.7 teraflops).

Yahoo acquires game platform provider Stadeon.


IBM and Sun Microsystems convenes the OpenDocument Summit in Armonk, New York, to discuss how to promote the adoption of the OpenDocument format (ODF). The summit brings together representatives from several industry groups and corporations, including: Adobe, Computer Associates, Corel, Google, Intel, Linux, Nokia, Novell, Oracle, Red Hat, and Scalix. The providers committed resources to technically improve OpenDocument through existing standards bodies and to promote its usage in the marketplace.

xG Technology demonstrates a wireless technology, called xMax, which the company reports is one thousand times more efficient than WiMax, providing coverage to the same area as ninty WiMax base stations.


Firefox Makes 20% of marketshare for internet browsing

The FCC approves the Verizon - Altell merger

The FCC unanimously approved a rule that will open unused broacast spectrum (called whitespace) for unlicensed use

AT&T begins testing limitations on bandwidth to throttle those people who use lots of bandwidth per month.


Apple announces they have hit 100,000 applications, 2 billion downloads.

Microsoft cuts 800 jobs that they announced earlier in the year.


Arizona Governer Jan Brewer announced that Apple will be building a new manufacturing facility in Mesa, AZ. Apple will be developing Sapphire technology at this facility

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