October 27

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Podcast Episode

Day in Tech History: October 27th

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The first underground New York City Subway line opens.


The ARPANET stops functioning altogether for approximately four hours when the routing processes in all of the Interface Message Processors (IMPs) crashes after one of them corrupts the network’s routing tables with an accidentally-propagated status-message virus. It is the first major network crash.


Richard Stallman posts a message to the newsgroups net.unix-wizards and net.usoft announcing that, “Starting this Thanksgiving I am going to write a complete Unix-compatible software system called GNU (for Gnu’s Not Unix), and give it away free to everyone who can use it. Contributions of time, money, programs and equipment are greatly needed.” Later, Stallman will expand this message into an entire hacker manifesto entitled, “The GNU Manifesto” (1985). The best known creation to result from the GNU project will be Emacs, an editor favored by many hackers, and GNU Compiler Collection (GCC), a C compiler that will be very important to the development of Linux. Read “The GNU Manifesto” online.


Microsoft announces Microsoft Word 3.0 for the Macintosh.


Microsoft ships Microsoft Windows for Workgroups 3.1, which integrates networking and workgroup functionality.


Intel and the Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) settle the lawsuit brought by DEC in May, entering into a ten-year cross-licensing agreement. Intel will purchase the company’s chipmaking plants for about US$700 million. Intel will fabricate Alpha processors for DEC, and will take over development of StrongARM embedded processors. DEC will begin making servers and workstations based on Intel’s IA-64 architecture.

Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 4.0 on CD-ROM for retail distribution. Price: US$49


Reuters News Service reports that Danish scientists have created a computer chip where a single atom can generate binary code by jumping back and forth. Although other scientists have conducted experiments with similar results, Dr. Francois Grey, the team leader, points out that this is the first time it has been accomplished in an environment at room temperature without a frozen material.


The Dell Computer Corporation boasts having taken the number one position in computer sales in the United States educational market from Apple Computer, Inc. According to Dataquest, a market research firm, Dell has maintained a five percent lead over Apple for two consecutive quarters.


Steve Ballmer reports that the hackers who broke into the company’s computer systems had gained access to some of its key programs, but assures programmers and reporters that the hackers did not change them.


Version 6.2.3 of the XBasic programming language is released.


Apple releases iTunes for Windows.


Google released their Android 2.0 SDK, oherwise known as Google Eclair.


A study from Unisys polled users and reported the majority wouldn't mind a "Internet Kill Switch". With the president OK, the switch would only turn off certain key areas in case of a cyberattack.

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