January 1

International Telecommunications Union (ITU) is founded to standardize and regulate international telecommunications.

“Dave and Lucile Packard move into a rented home located at 367 Addison Avenue in Palo Alto, California. William R. Hewlett rents a cottage located behind the house. David and William, ex-fellow Stanford classmates, establish the HPin the house’s garage, which will later be designated as California registered historical landmark #976, the birthplace of “Silicon Valley”. A coin toss decides the order in which their names appear in the corporate name. The US$538 investment used to start the business is borrowed from Fred Terman, a renowned radio engineering professor at Stanford. Terman will later come to be considered Hewlett and Packards’ mentor. By 1982, Hewlett-Packard will become the world’s largest manufacturer of electronic measuring and testing devices. In the meantime, their first successful product is an audio oscillator (model 200A, US$55) for testing sound equipment. Walt Disney will buy eight of the second model (200B) for use in the production of the animated feature film Fantasia.”

“EDVACJohn Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert sign a contract to build the first general-purpose electronic digitally-stored program computer ever designed, the EDVAC (Electronic Discrete Variable Computer.) Even before the ENIAC is unveiled in 1946, Eckert and Mauchly will already be designing their next machine. The EDVAC won’t be completed until 1952, long after Eckert and Mauchly will have left the University of Pennsylvania.”

“EDVACENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer), the first purely electronic computer is completed by John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert. It was built at the Moore School of Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and it’s design is based on ideas developed by John Atanasoff of Iowa State College. Though it isn’t the first computer ever built, the ENIAC is regarded as the first successful, general digital computer. It weighs over 27,000 kg (60,000 lb) and contains more than eighteen thousand vacuum tubes. A staff of six technicians replace about two thousand of the tubes each month. Many of the computer’s early uses will be for military purposes, such as calculating ballistic firing tables and designing atomic weapons. Since ENIAC isn’t originally built with the ability to store programs, it will have to be reprogrammed for each new task.”

IBM transfers all foreign assets to IBM United Kingdom, Ltd.”

“The first US electric power plant to use hyperbolic-shaped cooling towers goes into service in Ashland, Kentucky under the management of the Kentucky Power Company. It’s designed to cool one hundred twenty thousand gallons of water a minute.”

IBM begins unbundling its software, effectively ending the expectation of its customers that they will always be able to get all the software they need included with their system.”

Unix time begins.

“Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), a high-precision atomic time standard, is adopted globally. UTC is determined from six primary atomic clocks that are coordinated by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures, located in France.”

“Bill Gates signs a document formalizing the existence of the Traf-O-Data company. The company is a partnership between Bill Gates, who holds 43% of the company, Paul Allen, who holds 36% of the company, and Paul Gilbert, who holds 21% of the company. The agreement allows Gates and Allen to use Traf-O-Data’s 8008 simulator to develop BASIC for the Altair.”

“Microsoft moves its offices to Bellevue, Washington, from Albuquerque. Visit the Microsoft’s official website.”

“The Kermit Project, a program to develop a transparent and flexible file transfer protocol, begins at Columbia University. Kermit is a cross-platform protocol for transferring and managing files. It is named after Kermit the Frog from the Muppets.”

“The entire ARPANET is required to have switched from the Network Control Protocol (NCP) to Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocols (TCP/IP) by this date, officially creating the Internet. The switch is the result of a military directive issued by Richard DeLauer, the United State Under Secretary of Defense. The transition is said to have went smoothly, although buttons reading “I survived the TCP/IP transition” are distributed. Jon Postel documented the plan in RFC 801, Dan Lynch of USC ISI handled much of the logistics, and UCLA student David Smallberg documented the transition in fifteen RFC documents, between RFC 842 – RFC 876.”

“AT&T is divested into seven regional telephone companies, ending the Bell System. AT&T retains assets worth US$34 billion, including long distance telephone, manufacturing, as well as the research and development department along with 373,000 employees, down from one million.”

“Coleco Industries, Inc. announces that they will sell off their entire inventory of Adam home computer systems to an unnamed United States retail chain at prices below cost. Barbara Wruck, a company official, states that the company will continue to manufacture Adam computers throughout 1985 to fulfill contractual commitments.” The Internet’s Domain Name System (DNS) is created.

NORDUNet registered the first domain name Nordu.net

“Wayne Bell releases version 3.0 if the WWIV Bulletin Board System. WWIV is one of the most popular dial-up computer bulletin board software of the eighties. Among the software’s most notable features is the ability to link tens of thousands of bulletin boards together, to form a global network, in the same way as FidoNet.”

“Steve Bonine, Chair of the International Fidonet Association (IFNA) Elections and Nominations Committee announces that the results of the referendum on the passage of control of FidoNet to the International FidoNet Association (IFNA). The referendum was the result of network-wide rumblings that the IFNA, which was founded at the urging of Ken Kaplan to deal with the day to day operation of running the network, was “stealing FidoNet.” The results of the referendum are that the motion fails, 480 (Yes) to 1417 (No). The IFNA begins proceedings to dissolve.”

“Atari officially discontinues support of the company’s 8-bit computer line, the Atari XE and the Atari 7800 video game console.”

“Network Solutions, Inc. (NSI) and National Science Foundation (NSF) sign a cooperative agreement granting NSI the authority to manage the Domain Name system (DNS) and database.”

“Bill Gates, age 38, marries Melinda French, age 29.”

The Data Processing Management Association (DPMA) officially becomes the Association of Information Technology Professionals.

The rights to WWIV Bulletin Board System (BBS) software are purchased by WWIV Software Services from its creator Wayne Bell. WWIV has been among the most popular dial-up computer bulletin board software of the eighties and nineties. Bell wrote the first version of the software in BASIC as a high school programming project in 1984. Three hundred domains are hacked by “Ashtray Lumberjacks”.

“The much publicized Y2K computer bug passes with only the most minor of complications following years of preparation and billions of dollars of preparation. The largest technology firms, however, still took measures to meet an difficulties that might arise. Hewlett-Packard, Intel, and Microsoft, among others, field large staffs to handle any customer service issues.” “The United States Naval Observatory (USNO), the official US timekeeper, is one of several national time services around the world that returns “19100? as the current year.”

Microsoft announces that Windows 95 has been discontinued and will henceforth be legacy software which will no longer be sold.

“Palm Source becomes a subsidiary of Palm, Inc.”

Public Interest Registry (PIR) assumes responsibility as the registry operator for the .org top level domain (TLD) from VeriSign. The transition will be completed by January 27. Verisign relinquishes control of the domain in order to retain control over the more significant .com domains. Visit the official PIR website.

Version 5.8.3 of the Perl programming language is released.

Effective today all United States Department of Defense and Wal-Mart store suppliers are required to implement RFID tags. “Microsoft has files notice in Pima County Arizona Superior Court that is has won a US$7.4 million civil judgment in King County, Washington, against Glenn Hannifin. Microsoft alleges that Hannifin has sent millions of spam emails. The lawsuit claims that Hannifin violated both federal and Washington state anti-spam laws.”

Zune users come to find that the new year meant no Zune player. The 30GB model suffered a issue dealing with the fact that 2008 was a Leap Year.

FBI seize a server in Texas claiming the box was behind a pro-Wikileaks denial of service attck against PayPal and other sites.

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