January 13

C.G. Spalding receives a patent for the Spalding Adding Machine. (US No. 29.3,809) The machine is the precursor of later calculators and computers.

With 500 watts of power, the first public radio broadcast took place in New York City.[1]

Mickey Mouse cartoon first appeared in newspapers.

Viewdata, later renamed Prestel, is first publicly demonstrated. Viewdata is a Videotex information retrieval service which subscriber can use to remotely access a database to request data on one channel and receive requested data over a separate channel. The system uses a modem running at CCITT V.23 speeds of 1200bps down and 75bps up. The service will be popular in the travel industry through the ninties.

The Kurzweil Reading Machine – a text to speech machine – was demonstrated using Walter Cronkite’s sign-off “And that’s the way it was, January 13, 1976”

At a meeting of the board of directors, Jack Tramiel publicly resigns as president, CEO, and director from Commodore International. Just two days prior, Tramiel announced the Commodore 264 and 364 home computers at the Winter Consumer Electronics Show CES. His departure is precipitated by management disputes with Irving Gould, a Candian venture capitalist who had purchased seventeen percent of Commodore with a US$400,000 investment. Gould wanted Marshall Smith, a veteran of the steel industry, to be named president, while Tramiel wanted to bring in his sons. Another disputer arose when Tramiel wanted to based the company’s new computer line on Zilog Corporation processors and the board of directors want to use IBM-compatible computers instead. Tramiel will later found a second computer company, Tramel Technology (not Tramiel), where he will be joined by his three sons, Garry, Leonard, and Sam and several ex-Commodore employees, including John Faegans, Commodore software director, Don Richards, former Commodore president, Gary Sommers, head of Commodore Technology Group, and Joe Spitari, chief of Commodore manufacturing.

Ashton-Tate and Microsoft announce the Microsoft SQL Server, relational database management system (RDBMS) for Local Area Networks (LANs). The software is based on a RDBMS licensed from Sybase.

The Friday the 13th effects computers running MS-DOS across the United Kingdom. The virus erases data and fills screens with at one large staff training center near Brussels. All in all, it fails to cause the widespread damage that users have feared as rumors of the virus have circulated for the past six weeks in an unprecedented spate of publicity.

AMD introduces the low-power K6-2 processors for notebooks, featuring 3DNow technology and a 100MHz processor bus. Price: US$106 (266MHz), US$187 (300MHz), and US$299 (333MHz) each in quantities of 1,000

SyQuest announces that Iomega will acquire its intellectual property and its assets in the United States for US$9.5 million dollars.

Microsoft announces that Steve Ballmer will replace Bill Gates as CEO of the company while remaining president. Gates will remain chairman and becomes new chief software architect.

Apple Computer’s market capitalization surpasses that of Dell, whose CEO, Michael Dell, was quoted on October 6, 1997, in an interview as saying, I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders, when asked what he would do if he owned Apple. Jobs had started a war of words with Dell back then when he criticized Dell for making un-innovative beige boxes.

Yahoo offers Carol Bartz the spot as CEO of the failing company. Bartz accepts.

Twitter hires Kevin Thau as director of mobile business development.

IBM announced that Watson will be taking on game show contestants on the popular show “Jeopardy”

The US Court of Appeals ruled the FCC cannot impose Net Neutrality rules on companies, although they can regulate how web traffic is managed.

YouTube adds comment management tools to help creators reply to comments on videos.

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