This Day in Geek History: February 10
Queen Victoria marries her cousin Prince Albert of Saxe Coburg-Gotha. Victoria is a known carrier of the hemophilia gene. When she passes the disease to a number of her descendants, the family becomes fated to be the most famous case study in the genetics field.
Thomas Watson Sr. issues a directive to International Business Machines (IBM) headquarters ordering the planning of “a machine of the same type as the Harvard Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator (ASCC) to meet the requirements of the ordinary businesses we serve.” The Selective Sequence Controlled Calculator (SSEC), which will be completed on January 27, 1948, will be the result of the development. Visit the official IBM website.
Allied Artists releases the sci-fi film Not of This Earth, directed by Roger Corman and starring Paul Birch, Beverly Garland, and Morgan Jones, to U.S. theaters. In it, an alien agent from the planet Davana comes to Earth via a high-tech matter transporter in order to acquire blood for his dying race, which is dying as the result of a devastating nuclear war. IMDB listing Running Time: 1 hr 7 mins
The Niagara Falls hydroelectric project begins producing power. It is the largest hydropower facility in the Western world.
The International Business Machines (IBM) Data Processing Division (DPD) introduces the IBM 2880 block multiplexer channel and the IBM 2305 fixed head storage facility for IBM System/360 Models 85 and 195. Visit the official IBM website.
Apple Computer“>Apple Computer announces that the Apple III will no longer feature built-in calender and clock features, as National Semiconductor has failed to meet its specifications with the processors it supplied for the line. The chips which provided the system with a built-in real time clock would fail with any sort of of prolonged use. As a result, Apple removes the chips from its specifications altogether, reduces the price of the Apple III to US$4,190 and offers a fifty dollar rebate to customers who have previously purchased a system.
According to Twin Galaxies, Bob Henry scores a record-setting 4,313,565 points playing the Bally Midway arcade game Tron at the Aladdin’s Castle arcade in Orange Park, Florida. Visit the official Twin Galaxies website.
Texas Instruments (TI) files a lawsuit in a Houston Federal District Court against Compaq Computer and ten employees in particular, alleging patent infringement and theft of trade secrets. Visit the official Texas Instruments website.
Adobe releases version 1.0 of Photoshop exclusively for the Macintosh System 6 operating system. The application was first licensed under its working title “ImagePro” for distribution in September 1988 as a part of a bundle with a Barneyscan scanner that sold just two hundred units. Photoshop was developed by Thomas Knowll, a PhD student at the University of Michigan, whose brother, an employee at Industrial Light & Magic, urged him to develop the application into a full-featured image editor. By 2000, the Adobe will sell over three million copies. Read more about the history of Photoshop at Silicon User. Read more about the history of Photoshop at Silicon User.
Robert and Carleen Thomas launch the Amateur Action bulletin board system (BBS), which features a downloadable collection of amateur pornographic photographs in the .gif format. The BBS will soon have thousands of members and will require a subscription fee. It will become the center of a national battle over obscenity laws and first amendment rights on the internet after the Thomases are arrested in California on charges filed in Tennessee.
Bill Mitchell closes the infamous “LINUX is obsolete” thread on the comp.os.minix at 4:31pm after seventy-three posts. The thread is a heated debate between Minix creator Andy Tanenbaum and Linux creator Linus Torvalds regarding kernel architecture. Mitchell argues that microkernels are superior to monolithic kernels and that, by extension, Linux is obsolete. Read an archive of the original thread at Google.
The Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “The Masterpiece Society” first airs. (No. 513) In it, the crew comes to the aide of a utopian colony that has perfected itself through eugenics, but the Enterprise’s intervention in its affairs precipitates problems. Memory Alpha entry