September 9

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Podcast Episode - Day in Technology History

Day in Tech History: September 9th


The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, developed at the instigation of Victor Hugo, is finalized. It governs copyright and establishes the rights of an author.


The first American rocket to break the sound barrier is launched by the American Rocket Society from Marine Park in Staten Island, New York. The rocket, named ARS-4, had a single thrust chamber with four canted nozzles. It will reach a top speed of 700mph, a maximum height of 400ft, and a horizontal range of 1,600ft.


Dennis Ritchie is born. Dennis will go on to develop the C programming language, and have a hand in creating Multics and UNIX Operating System. Dennis died on October 8 2011.


Grace Hopper records the discovery of the first actual computer “bug” at 3:45pm at the Naval Weapons Center in Dahlgren, Virginia by the computer’s operators in her log book with the explanation, “First instance of actual computer bug being found.” The bug was literally just that, a moth which had become stuck betweenin Relay #70 on Panel “F” of the Harvard Mark II Aiken Relay Calculator. When they extracted the culprit with tweezers, they taped it into the logbook along with the official report. Legend has it that Grace Murray Hopper, a naval officer and famous mathematician was the one who found the bug, but she will state categorically that she wasn’t there at the time. The urban legend will crop up that this was the first-ever use of the word ‘bug’ in this context, but that’s not true. It is, however, the first time the term “debug” is used.


Tuesday, September 9, relay number 70 in panel F of the MARK II computer fails. The computer is in use in a World War I temporary building. The day is hot and windows are open. Upon examination of the relay by an assistant, Ms. Grace Murray Hopper discovers a moth that became trapped in the computer and beaten to death by the relay. The moth is removed and taped to her log book with an entry recorded at 3:45PM (later the log book will be kept at the U.S. Naval Surface Weapons Center in Dahlgren, Virginia). Thereafter, fixing computer problems becomes known as “debugging” the computer.


JVC unveils its VHS (Video Home System) half-inch videocassette recorder format at the Hotel Okura, Tokyo.


The first TRS-80 computer is sold.


Datapoint and Tandy announce an agreement to allow Tandy TRS-80 computers to use network technology from Datapoint, to connect up to 255 Tandy computers to central storage or printers, or to Datapoint computers.


Nintendo releases the platform game Mario Bros. for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in Japan. It is a spin-off of the Donkey Kong series, and the first game in which Mario, which was formerly a carpenter, is a plumber.


At the Palladium in Manhattan, New York, Compaq Computer introduces the Compaq Deskpro 386, the first Intel 80386-based personal computer offered by a major computer manufacturer. The Model 40 features a 16 MHz Intel 80386 and 40 MB hard drive. The Model 130 has a 130 MB hard drive. Price: US$6,449 (Model 40) and US$8799 (Model 80)


Sony releases the PlayStation video game system in the US Price: US$299.99

P.S.X. Magazine, a magazine centered around the PlayStation and its games, hits newstands with their premiere issue.


Apple Computer announces it will not spin off its Newton Systems Group as it had announced in May.


IBM unveils the world’s smallest and lightest hard drive with a disk platter about the size of a large coin.

Intel releases the 300MHz Mobile Pentium II processor. Version 0.9.0 of PHPMyAdmin, a tool written in PHP intended to handle the administration of MySQL over the Internet, is first released internally.


The date 9/9/99, which was a cause for concern among many programmers, causes far fewer difficulties than feared among programs designed to acknowledge “9999″ as an End Of File (EOF) marker.

Hasbro, Inc. acquires Wizards of the Coast, Inc., the American game publisher that produces Pokemon trading cards and the Dungeons & Dragons game, for US$325 million. The International Association for Counterterrorism & Security Professionals is hacked by “bowlerz”.

Sega releases the Dreamcast video game system in the US Price is US$199. Within hours of the initial launch of the Sega Dreamcast, the Internet is flooded with stories of problems. Sega also acknowledges difficulties with the Internet browser bundled with system. Users are encouraged to send email to for a free replacement. In response to emails, Sega sends out the following automated reply:

Dreamcast customer,

Thank you for sending us your request for a replacement Dreamcast Network web browser. We want to make sure that you, as one of the hundreds of thousands of gamers who have joined the Sega Dreamcast revolution, have everything you need to experience all that Sega Dreamcast has to offer. As promised,you should receive your new browser within 3 business days.
We greatly appreciate your patience in this matter and apologize for any inconvenience you’ve experienced. If you need additional assistance in the future, please do not hesitate to e-mail us back. Thanks for your support!
Sega of America

A Trojan Horse masquerading as a JPEG file allows hackers to gain access to ICQ passwords circulating across the Internet is reported by Wired News. Only about two hundred incidents have been reported among ICQ’s forty-two million subscribers.


Microsoft releases Service Pack 1 (SP1) for Windows XP. Its most notable new features were USB 2.0 support and a Set Program Access and Defaults utility. For the first time, users could control the default application for activities such as web browsing and instant messaging, as well as hide access to some of Microsoft’s bundled programs.

Version 0.5 of Camino, an open source, GUI-based web browser based on Mozilla’s Gecko layout engine and specifically designed for the Mac OS X operating system is released. It is the fourth release of the browser.


Adrian Lamo, a grey hat hacker infamous performing unsolicited penetration testing on the networks of Fortune 500 companies, surrenders to federal authorities and is charged with hacking The New York Times. In the first week of January, he will plead guilty to a felony count of hacking, for which he will be sentenced to six months’ house arrest, two years probation, and US$65,000 in restitution.


Version 0.6.1 of Desktop Light Linux (DeLi Linux) is released. DeLi is particularly optimized to run on older personal computers. DeLi Linux requires only a 386 processor with 8MB RAM. However, it works best with a 486 and 16MB RAM. A full installation with the full package installed requires nearly 400MB of hard disk space.


A portion of the source code for Black Mesa, a third-party total conversion mod for the first person shooter Half-Life 2, codenamed “Alpha 5,” is leaked in a post on Official Garry’s Mod Forums in a thread entitled “[RELEASE] Black Mesa Source! Woot! (Download Links)” by a user with the handle “curse184″ in the form of links to a torrent file and several rapidshare download pages, which, in turn, lead to a 478.6MB file, BMS.rar.


An investor news wire service - which Google posts – reports of an article about United Airlines filing for bankruptcy. The article caused a lot of commotion and also caused the stock to drop. The problem with this article was that it was 6 years old.

Steve Jobs said in what is hailed as the “Let’s Rock” Event that NBC Universal is back on iTunes and their shows, as well as those from other content providers, will now be available in high definition for $2.99. NBC left Apple the year before due to financial terms disputes. This, btw – is also the event where Steve Jobs says "Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated."

Opera joins the Symbian foundation

NYC upgrades their 911 system to accept photos and video sent by callers. 


Pandora - the online customizable radio station - launches an application for Android devices.

iTunes 9 releases. New UI and redevelopment to the iTunes store. Support for activation and syncing of iPod Touch. No more shopping cart.


A study at Glasgow Cledonian University is putting together MP3 playlists. These lists are being studied to change a person's mood.


Script kiddies hack NBC News and report of a fake attack on ground zero.

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