This Day in Geek History: March 15
Christopher Columbus returns to Spain from his first voyage to the new world, which began on August 3, 1492. The return comes after spending a week in Portugal, where his ship had been blown by a storm during the return trip.
The English Divisional Court of Appeal rules in the case of Ellis v North Metropolitan Theatres Ltd. that local authorities do not have the right to ban cinema exhibitions on Sundays.
At Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York, the first US atomic reactor built specifically for medical research, the Brookhaven Medical Research Reactor (BMRR), reaches criticality. The reactor will be decommissioned in December 2000.
The National Observatory at Kitt Peak, Arizona is dedicated. Housing twenty-three telescopes, it is the largest and most diverse gathering of astronomical instruments in the world. Visit the official Kitt Peak National Observatory website.
The International Business Machines (IBM) Data Processing Division (DPD) introduces the IBM 1050 Data Communications System. Visit the official IBM website.
The International Business Machines (IBM) Data Processing Division (DPD) introduces the IBM 1450 bank data processing system specifically designed for small banks. Visit the official IBM website.
NASA selects a three-part configuration for the design of the Space Shuttle: an expendable external tank for the first stage, partially reusable Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs), and the reusable orbiter. Visit the official NASA Shuttle website.
A Taipei, Taiwan, high court upholds charges brought by Apple Computer charge against Golden Formosa Microcomputer and Sunrise Computer Service of manufacturing and selling pirated copies of patented Apple software products.
International Business Machines (IBM) Japan announces the IBM 5550 Multistation in Japan, featuring an 8MHz Intel 8086 microprocessor, 256KB RAM (expandable to 512KB), up to three 640KB capacity floppy drives, and a 1024×768 graphics monochrome display. Price: US$4,200 – $10,000
Symbolic.com becomes the very first registered internet domain.
Antic Software publishes the first issue of Amiga Plus magazine.
Henk Rogers makes an offer to acquire the rights to develop a console version of Tetris on behalf of Nintendo. While the details of the offer will remain undisclosed, it is high enough that Mirrorsoft will not attempt to match it. Read more about the history of Tetris.
In Seattle, Washington, the GameWorks video arcade opens. The arcade is a joint venture between DreamWorks, Sega Enterprises of Japan, and Universal Studios. The arcade’s main attraction is the Vertical Reality interactive game, which was designed by Steven Spielberg. Up to twelve players are seated around columns of three video screens, and, as opponents are shot, players are elevated. The object of the game is to reach the top.
Apple Computer opens “stores within stores” in all one hundred forty-nine CompUSA chain stores across the country, addressing the long-standing complaints of Mac users over the lack of selection at most local retailers.
The Stockton Community Wide Web is hacked. Hackers use a Unix command to remove the root files, as well as the core operating system files, but the damage will be partially repaired. Internet Ventures, the company that operates the Stockton Community Wide Web, will later confirm that the ISP’s system was crashed, but it will decline to give further details.
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