This Day in Geek History: December 4
The first edition of Britain’s The Observer, the world’s first Sunday newspaper, is published.
The United States performs the last atmospheric nuclear test 69,000 feet over Johnston Island.
Pioneer II makes its closest approach to Jupiter.
The International Business Machines (IBM) Data Processing Division (DPD) division reports the doubling of the information storage capacity of the IBM 3033 processor to sixteen million characters of storage.
According to Twin Galaxies, David Covell scores a record-setting 577,710 points playing the Atari arcade game Space Duel at the Bun ‘n Games arcade in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Visit the official Twin Galaxies website.
According to Twin Galaxies, Raymond Mueller, age 21, scores a record-setting 4,722,200 points on Atari arcade game Gravitar after playing the game for twelve hours and twenty-one minutes at Chuck E. Cheese in Boulder, Colorado. Visit the official Twin Galaxies website.
Tom Jennings, founder of FidoNet, a non-commercial network of Bulletin board Systems using his own Fido BBS software, publishes FidoNews issue number one, an electronic newsletter with information and news about Fido and FidoNet. It will continue to be publish once a week for five and a half years. At its peak, FidoNews has a readship of several thousand. In his first issue, Jennings explains the format of the newsletter, indicates he would like to make some FidoNet bumper stickers and asks that someone else immediately step into his position as editor.
The Cray X-MP/48 supercomputer goes into operation at the San Diego Supercomputer Center, a research unit of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). The X-MP is the first parallel vector processor produced by Cray Research, and it will become popular for generating computer graphics, particularly for creating special effects for big budget films. The processors deliver a maximum of 200 megaflops per processor for a a total of 400 megaflops. Price: US$15 million
FidoNewsFidoNet to the International FidoNet Association (IFNA) has closed. He calls for everyone involved on both sides of the issue to bury the hatchet. The referendum resulted from network-wide rumblings that the IFNA, which was founded at the urging of Ken Kaplan to deal with the day to day drudgery of running the network, was “stealing FidoNet.” Jennings himself refuted the notion, but many Sysops were left with hard feelings over the new policies cropping up. On January 1, 1990 the results of the referendum will be announced. The motion fails, with 480 in favor and 1417 opposed.
At the Personal Computer Outlook conference in California, Apple Computer demonstrates the Pippin multimedia platform. The system features a 66MHz PowerPC 603, a 14.4 kbit/s modem, the System 7.5.2 operating system, a 4× CD-ROM drive, and a video output for a standard television monitor. It was developed primarily as an inexpensive computer capable of playing CD-based games and multimedia titles. Bandai has the license to manufacture and sell the systems, initially in Japan.
Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) holds a marketing meeting to kick off the first PlayStation sports titles. Sony’s own Jim Whims demonstrates the game in an exhibition match against San Francisco 49er player, William Floyd.
The United States Department of Justice launches an investigation of Microsoft. The investigation cites allegations that installation of Microsoft Windows 95 purposely disables and overwrites competing Internet browsers without the user’s consent.
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