October 28

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Podcast Episode

Day in Tech History: October 28th

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A five-man commission of civilians is appointed by President Harry S. Truman to become The Atomic Energy Commission, which was established by the August 1, 1946 US Atomic Energy Act. The commission’s mission is to develop and utilize atomic energy for the public welfare, increasing the standard of living, strengthening free competition in private enterprise, and promoting world peace. It will first convene on November 13, 1946.


Bill Gates was born.


The IBM Data Processing Division (DPD) announces two new products: the IBM System/3 Model 6 and IBM System/7, two low-cost computers for the factory, laboratory, and office.


Battered by loses of US$223 million during the first nine months of 1983, Texas Instruments, Inc. (TI) publicly announces its intention to exit the personal home computer market and to discontinue support for the TI-99/4a computer. The Home Computer Division was more than US$500 million in the red by the end of September, largely due to the series of price reductions and rebates passed in the course of the last year as a part of the company’s strategy to bolster sagging sales that finally ended up costing the TI US$50 for every computer sold.


Bill Gates decides to proceed with an initial public offering of Microsoft stock.


Apple Computer, Inc. unveils the MessagePad 2000, a new handheld computer based on the Apple Newton Operating System (OS).

Microsoft and Intel announce plans to develop the NetPC specification.


Microsoft announces that it has signed a US$90 million Internet advertising agreement with First USA Inc., a unit of the Bank One Corporation. Microsoft describes the arrangement as the “biggest cyberspace advertising agreement ever signed”.

President William Jefferson “Bill” Clinton signs the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) into law. The bill criminalizes reverse-engineering any product with the intention of circumventing Copyright protection.

A statement by an American Online, Inc. AOL official is offered as testimony in a suit against Microsoft stating that AOL would be inclined to offer Netscape as their default browser but that they fear retaliation from Microsoft if the switch support away from Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.

United States Vice President, Al Gore, unveils Pacific Blue, a computer that is capable of making 3.9 trillion calculations per second, the fastest to date. The computer is to be used by the Department of Energy at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California. It is developed by IBM under a US$96 million research contract. The system consists of 5,800 processors, 25 trillion transistors, and more than five miles of cables and wires.


Palm introduces the Palm Tungsten T handheld computer, featuring a 175 MHz Texas Instruments OMAP1510 chip (ARM 925 processor), 16 MB RAM, a voice recorder, Bluetooth wireless support, a 320×320 pixel 65,536 color TFT display, a Secure Digital slot, and Palm OS 5.0. Price: US$499

Palm introduces the Palm Tungsten W handheld computer, featuring a 33 MHz Dragonball VZ processor, a built-in keyboard, the General Packet Radio Service network, the Palm OS 4.1.1, and a 320×320 screen. Price: US$549


Palm shareholders vote to merge with Handspring, to form a new company called palmOne Worldwide, and to spin off PalmSource as a separate company.


Sun Microsystems releases OpenSolaris Desktop 01 for Linux and Solaris. The system is based on GNOME 2.10.


Verizon and Motorola unveil the Droid, the first Android phone on Verizon's network.

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