Thomas Edison receives a patent for “Quadruplex-Telegraph Repeaters.” (US No. 209,241) The patent describes circuits that operate each other, so that messages are repeated automatically into one circuit by the receiving instrument of the other circuit, rather than instead of the finger key being operated by hand.
In Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, the Wright Brothers make their first untethered glider flight. Their flight lasts only fifteen seconds but covers somewhere between three and four hundred feet.
J. Gordon Whitehead, a McGill University student, sucker punches the famous magician Harry Houdini in the stomach. Houdini will die eight days later on October 31. Popular myth will later hold that the punch is what killed Houdini, but, in fact, the magician will die of appendicitis. Many experts will later agree, however, that Houdini failed to seek treatment for the appendicitis until its late stages because he believed that the pain was the lingering after effect of the punch. Though there are many witnesses to the incident, Whitehead will never be arrested. Don Bell will document the event in the 2004 book The Man Who Killed Houdini.
Former Bell Telephone physicist Chester F. Carlson makes the first xerox copy using a sulphur coating on a zinc plate, vigorously rubbed with a handkerchief to apply an electrostatic charge. A glass slide is prepared using India ink to write “10-22-38 ASTORIA,” then laid on the sulphur surface in a darkened room. After illuminating them with a bright incandescent lamp for a few seconds, the slide is removed and lycopodium powder is sprinkled on the sulphur surface and blown off, leaving a near-perfect image of the message. Permanent copies are then made by transferring the powder images to wax paper and heating the sheets to melt the wax. Carlson call this new science “xerography” which means “dry writing.” Xerography in the form of the Xerox machine won’t be commercially available for another twenty-one years.
The black-and-white British science fiction serial Quatermass II premieres on the BBC. In it, Professor Bernard Quatermass of the British Experimental Rocket Group being asked to examine strange meteorite showers. His investigations lead to his uncovering a conspiracy involving alien infiltration at the highest levels of the British Government. As even Quatermass’s closest colleagues fall victim to the alien influence, he is forced to use his own dangerously unstable rocket prototype, which recently caused a nuclear disaster at an Australian testing range, to prevent the aliens from taking over mankind. The series will run for only six episodes TV.com summary
International Business Machines (IBM) releases the IBM 1620 data processing system, a small, transistorized inexpensive scientific computer that can perform more than 100,000 calculations a minute. Approximately two thousand units will be sold before the system will be withdrawn from the market on November 19, 1970.
Texas Instruments (TI) announces that it will sell a new line of four small business desktop computers, with 64KB RAM. Price: US$6,200 – US$9,900
Two top BankAmerica Corp. executives leave the company after being asked to resign following data processing problems that cost the company an estimated twenty-five million dollars. The two men were held responsible for problems in converting the bank’s trust department to a new computerized accounting system the previous March. A bank spokesman said the conversion to a new system, called MasterNet, disrupted data processing records to the extent that BankAmerica was unable to produce or deliver customer statements on a timely basis. However, no customer information was irreparably lost.
The Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Remember Me” first airs. (No. 405) In it, people begin to disappear from the Enterprise after an apparent failure of a warp-field experiment until only Dr. Crusher remains. Memory Alpha entry
The Internet International Ad Hoc Committee (IAHC), a coalition of participants including the Internet Architecture Board (IAB), Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), International Trademark Association (INTA), Internet Society (ISOC), International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), forms to decide upon and recommend policy and procedure changes for administering generic top-level domain (gTLDs), including .aero, .biz, .com, .edu, .gov, .info, .net, .org, and .travel. The group will ultimately issue the “Memorandum of Understanding,” which details the administration of top-level domains (TLDs), and recommend the creation of seven new domains: .arts, .firm, .info, .nom, .rec, .store, and .web. The organization will be dissolved on May 1, 1997.
Microsoft releases BackOffice Small Business Server 4.0. The software includes Windows NT Server 4.0 SP3, Exchange Server 5.0 SP1, IIS 3.0, SQL Server 6.5 SP3, Proxy Server 1.0, Internet Explorer 3.02 or 4.01, and Outlook 97. Visit the software’s official website.
Amazon.com announces that they have filed a suit against BarnesandNoble.com alleging that they have infringed on a patent for “1-Click” express checkout technology. One-click buying, refers to the technique of allowing customers to make online purchases with a single click, with the payment information needed to complete the purchase already entered by the user previously.
Apple Computer releases the Mac OS 9 operating system. The system, which emphasize internet usability, introduced a number of key features that would become a staple of the Mac OS, including AppleScript, encryption, a network browser, and Voiceprint passwords. It’s the last major release of the “Classic” Mac OS. Code-name: Sonata
Sony Electronics introduces the Sony Clié PEG-T415 handheld computer in the US, featuring the Palm OS 4.1, 8MB RAM, a Memory Stick slot, a 2.8-inch diagonal 320×320 pixel backlit monochrome display, an infrared port, and a USB HotSync cradle. Price: US$300
Version 7.2 of the Red Hat Linux operating system, Enigma, is released.
Version 8.3 of the Tcl/Tk programming language is released. Visit the official TK/TCL website.
The first version of the BLAG Linux distribution is released. BLAG is a single-CD distribution with the applications desktop users “expect” from an operating system, including graphics, internet, and multimedia applications. Visit the system’s official website.
Version 8.4.1 of the Tcl/Tk programming language is released. Visit the official TK/TCL website.
Apple Computer discontinues the iBook G3, which had featured the PowerPC G3 processor, and releases three models of the iBook G4. The G4 features a PowerPC G4 processor and a slot-loading optical drive rather than its predecessor’s disc tray. It also features 12- or 14-inch active-matrix TFT display, a range of hard drive capacities, 256MB RAM, USB 2.0, FireWire 400, Ethernet 10/100, and the Mac OS X v10.3 operating system.
Version 2 (v1.4.2_02) of the Java programming language is released.
Madcatz releases the three-dimensional input device Gametrak for PlayStation 2 in Europe. The device is a mechanical system for tracking position of physical elements in three-dimensional space in real time.
Sony releases the horror film The Grudge, directed by Takashi Shimizu and starring Sarah Michelle Gellar,
Jason Behr, KaDee Strickland, Clea DuVall, and Bill Pullman, to 3,245 theaters. It is a remake of the 2003 Japanese film Ju-on: The Grudge. In it, the normal facade of a modest house in Tokyo belies the hidden terror within. It is possessed by a violent plague that destroys the lives of everyone who enters. Known as The Grudge, the curse causes its victims to die in the grip of a powerful rage. Those who are fatally afflicted by the curse die and a new curse is born, passed like a virus to all those who enter the house in an endless, growing chain of horror. Produced on a budget of US$10 Million, it will gross US$39,128,715 domestically in its opening weekend. Visit the film’s official website. IMDB listing (MPAA Rating: PG-13) Running Time: 1 hr 36 min
The Star Trek: Enterprise episode “Home” first airs. (No. 403) In it, Enterprise is welcomed home after saving Earth, and the crew takes a much needed vacation. Tucker & T’Pol visit Vulcan where T’Pol must consider marriage. Memory Alpha entry
Tiger Telematics releases the Gizmondo handheld video game system in the US, featuring a ARM 9 400MHz processor, a GeForce 3D 4500 Nvidia graphics accelerator, the Microsoft Windows CE operating system, a USB port, Global Positioning Sensor, a digital camera, Bluetooth wireless, a SecureDigital card slot, a 2.8-inch TFT color screen. The device supports MP3 audio and MPEG-4 video, email, and instant messaging. Price: US$399 or US$229 (with daily downloaded advertisements)
The first original web series from MySpace, Roommates, is released.
India launches its first unmanned lunar probe, the Chandrayaan-1, on a mission to compile a 3D map of the surface of the Moon and to search for minerals, sub-surface water, and the Helium-3 that could be used to generate power through nuclear fusion. The Indian Space Research Organisation launches the one and-a half ton robotic probe from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre on Sriharikota, an island off Andhra Pradesh, at 12:50AM GMT. Read more at the BBC.