February 16

The Data Processing Division (DPD) announces the Hypertape Automatic Cartridge Loader, the first device to permit automatic loading and unloading of magnetic tape for electronic computers.

The first telephone system in the United States to use 911 as the official number emergency services is inaugurated in Haleyville, Alabama.

The Computerized Bulletin Board System (CBBS), the first computer bulletin board system is created in Chicago, Illinois by Ward Christensen and Randy Suess. The system is conceived, designed, built, programmed, tested and installed in the thirty day period between January 16th and February 16th 1978. Some sources claim that this is only the first observed day of operation of CBBS, and the actual operation date was weeks earlier. According to these sources, Ward and Randy stretched out the development time to one month because two weeks sounded like an empty boast.

IBM introduces the IBM Portable Computer, featuring a 4.77MHz Intel 8088 processor, 256KB RAM, a 9 inch amber monitor, a 360KB 5.25 inch drive, and the DOS 2.1 operating system. Price: US$2795 Weight: 30 pounds Visit the official IBM website.

Version 1.00 of RemoteAccess BBS is released. Written in Turbo Pascal with some Assembly Language routines, RemoteAccess, began as a clone of QuickBBS, but will quickly develop features that make it one of the most popular bulletin board system (BBS) programs in the US. Visit an archived version of the official RemoteAccess website.

In Japan, Fujitsu introduces the Marty model of FM Towns personal computer featuring an Intel 386 processor. It runs software from a CD-ROM drive. Marty has no keyboard and requires a connection to a television. It is the first line of computers to include a CD-ROM drive standard in every model. Price: US$800

Atari is among the most actively traded stocks on the American Stock Exchange, following Atari’s announcement that it will merge with Jugi Tandon Storage (JTS).

The International Solid-State Circuits Conference is held in San Francisco, California. Sony Computer Entertainment announces specifications for a new 128-bit 250MHz processor presumably for the upcoming PlayStation 2 video game system featuring two integer pipelines, two vector math units, a dedicated MPEG-2 decoding subsystem, and a 125MHz memory bus. It is capable of handling fifty-five million polygons per second, and it will be manufactured by Toshiba.

Sega releases the Dreameye digital camera for the Dreamcast video game system.

Dell announces plans to lay off seventeen hundred jobs or about four percent of its work force. The company simultaneously announces continued price cuts for consumers. Visit the official Dell website.

The subscription-based webmail service Oddpost is launched. Oddpost pioneered the look and feel of all later webmail services. It offered significantly faster up response times than rival services such as Hotmail and Yahoo!Mail. It introduced drag and drop functionality, mirroring the look and feel of a desktop mail client. These and many other features and techniques will later be adopted by popular free service, and they will eventually become industry standards.

The discovery of the first malware specifically designed for Mac OS X, a low-threat trojan-horse known as OSX/Leap-A or OSX/Oompa-A, is announced.

The first Skynet Conference on Computers and Information Technology (IT), SkyCon, is held February 16-18, 2007, by the Skynet Computer Society at the University of Limerick in Ireland. Visit the official Skynet (University of Limerick Computer Society) website.

Toshiba finally ends the HD DVD war by withdrawing from production of the format.

Lance Armstrong’s Bike was stolen. He instantly sends information out via Twitter to find his bike – and offers a reward. The bike was recovered 4 days later.

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