This Day in Geek History: June 28
Austrian Friedrich Schmiedl launches his first experimental rocket. Though his first rocket design isn’t successful, on September 9, 1931, Schmiedl will operate the world’s first official postal rocket-mail service in Austria using a V-7 rocker, until laws prohibiting the civilian use of explosives are passed.
A 450 metric ton meteorite strikes the Earth in an empty field near Chicora, Pennsylvania.
The HMTS Monarch sets out from Clarenville, Newfoundland laying the first submarine transatlantic telephone cable system, TAT-1. On September 26th, the Monarch will reach the Firth of Lorne in Oban, Scotland.
The first atomic reactor built for the purpose of private research goes into operations in Chicago, Illinois.
The first commercial communications satellite, “Early Bird,” goes into commercial service, relaying a commercial telephone conversation over a satellite between America and Europe for the first time. Early Bird has a capacity for 240 voice circuits capacity or one black and white television channel. The satellite will later be renamed Intelsat I.
The Spring COMDEX trade show is held, in Atlantic City, New Jersey. At the event, Microsoft announces a new corporate logo (dubbed the “Blibbet”), new packaging, and a comprehensive new set of retail dealer support materials. The logo design is the name, Microsoft, with a distinctive letter “o” filled with horizontal lines.
Compaq releases the Compaq Deskpro, a 16-bit desktop computer featuring a 7.14MHz Intel 8086 microprocessor. It is markedly faster than the market-dominating IBM PC and is capable of running IBM software.
Motorola introduces the 16MHz 68020 processor, a 32-bit version of the 68000, with CMOS and an on-board cache. The 68020 will be used in the Apple Macintosh II and Macintosh LC computers, as well as in Sun 3 workstations and Hewlett Packard 8711 Series Network Analyzers.
In the case of Lotus Development Corp. v. Paperback Software Int’l, a Boston Federal District Court rules that Paperback Software International, founded by computer pioneer Adam Osborne, is ruled to have infringed on the copyright of Lotus 1-2-3 with the appearance and menu system of its own competing spreadsheet application, despite using a unique programming methods. The Court rules that “[t]his particular expression of a menu structure is not essential to theelectronic spreadsheet idea, nor does it merge with the somewhat less abstract idea of a menu structure for an electronic spreadsheet….the overall structure, the order of commands in each menu line, the choice of letters, words, or ‘symbolic tokens’ to represent each command, the presentation of these symbolic tokens on the screen, the type of menu system used, and the long prompts — could be expressed in a great many if not literally unlimited number of ways.”
The 20th Century Fund reports that United States intelligence agencies spend US$26 billion annually on machines but less than US$3 billion on personnel to analyze the information collected by machines. The study emphasizes the increasing importance of computer systems in government.
Chinese-American Kingman Quon, age, 22, is sentenced to two years in federal prison after pleading guilty in February to randomly e-mailing race-based death threats targeting Latinos to Hispanic-sounding e-mail addresses found on the internet.
Version 1.01 of the popular bulletin board system (BBS) HydraBBS Software is released.
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