January 6

The first atomic clock, based on earlier theoretical work by Isidor Rabi, is constructed.

IBM Data Processing Division introduces Virtual Storage Personal Computing, a new program that will allow inexperienced users to easily use a computer terminal for day-to-day problem solving. The Surveyor 1 spacecraft is reactivated after almost six months of lying dormant on the Moon’s surface.

00:00:00 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) or 00:00:19 International Atomic Time (TAI) marks the beginning of the first Global Positioning System (GPS) week zero. In the GPS system, dates are expressed as a number representing the week of the year and a number representing the day of the week. As a ten-bit field, the week re-zeros every 1,024 weeks, or 19.6 years.

Jack Tramiel steps down as president of Commodore International, but will remain active as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). James Finke steps into his role as president and Chief Operating Officer (COO). Microsoft and Seattle Computer Products sign an agreement giving Microsoft the non-exclusive right to market 86-DOS operating system for US$10,000 and an additional US$10,000 per sub-license, and another US$5,000 if the source code is sold with the sub-license.

At the Consumer Electronics Show CES, Apple Computer introduces the Apple IIe, featuring 64KB RAM and the ProDOS operating system. Price: US$1,395 At the Consumer Electronics Show CES, Apple Computer introduces the Lisa computer, which will ultimately prove to be a commercial flop. Of the fifty thousand units Apple hoped to sell in the first year, only about fifteen thousand will actually be sold. The system is based on the Xerox Star and was developed at a cost of approximately US$50 million. Price: US$9,995 At the Consumer Electronics Show CES, Mattel introduces the Intellivision II video game system. The system features a 12K ROM, 10K RAM, a built-in voice synthesizer, stereo output, keypad controllers, an optional keyboard, optional joysticks, a redesigned Intellivoice and 2600 game adapter. The system is backwards compatible for use with existing Intellivision games. Mattel also introduces a 49-key music keyboard which converts the Intellivision to a music synthesizer. At the Consumer Electronics Show CES, Texas Instruments (TI) introduces the Compact Computer 40 and the TI-99/2 Basic Computer.

Hitachi announces that it has developed the world’s first memory chip with a 1 Megabit capacity.

At the Winter Consumer Electronics Show CES, Atari demonstrates the handheld Atari Lynx video game system. The system was developed by R.J. Mical and Dave Needle, who were the engineers behind the Commodore Amiga home computer. Price: US$149

British retailer W H Smith announces that it will stop selling vinyl LP albums in March.

CES Nintendo reveals the technical specifications for the pending Ultra 64 game system, and Silicon Graphics, Inc. (SGI) reports they have finished developing the system, leaving it ready for production. Bill Gates unveils Microsoft Bob, a “social interface” for desktop computing.

Canon, Inc. formally announces its intentions to discontinue manufacturing personal computers and to sell off its twenty percent ownership in NeXT Software, Inc. to Apple Computer.

Hayes Microcomputer closes down. Its assets will be acquired by Zoom Telephonics on April 7, 1999. Founded in 1978, Hayes was the first manufacturer of modems for personal computer .

AMD releases the 800MHz Athlon processor, featuring a 512KB Level-2 cache and a 200MHz Front-Side Bus. At the Winter Consumer Electronics Show CES, AMD, Compaq Computer, and KryoTech demonstrate a 1GHz Athlon processor running in a Compaq computer with a specially designed cooling system. Thousands of travelers experience departure delays due to a significant three-hour government computer failure. All three New York City airports, all three Washington area airports, Boston’s Logan International Airport, New Jersey’s Teterboro airport, the Philadelphia airport, and the Raleigh-Durham Airport are all directly affected.

At the Winter Consumer Electronics Show CES, Microsoft unveils the Xbox video game system. It features a 733MHz processor, a large hard drive, and a 250MHz graphics processor.

AMD releases the 2200 MHz Athlon 64 3400+ processor, featuring a 1024KB Level-2 Cache and a 800MHz Hyper Transport. Intel releases the 1200 MHz Celeron M 310 and the 1300 MHz Celeron M 320 processors, featuring 512KB Level-2 Caches and 400MHz Front-Side Buses. A study released by TruSecure, a firm specializing in risk management, states that around fourty-five percent of files downloaded from the KaZaA peer-to-peer network contain malware which could compromises a computer’s security, making KaZaA one of the most significant threats to corporate security in the coming year. Senior analyst Bruce Hughes urges companies to warn their employees about the dangers posed by such filesharing application to both business and private computers.

Microsoft releases a beta 1 of Microsoft AntiSpyware for Windows. The application is a repackaged version of GIANT AntiSpyware, which was acquired by Microsoft on December 16, 2004.

Hewlett-Packard HP stops pre-installing Apple Computer’s iTunes on its computers and announces a new partnership with RealNetworks to install Rhapsody on its Compaq and HP brand computers.

China tells Google to tighten down their website to disallow pornography

Skype launches v. 2.8 for Mac

TechSmith launches Jing Pro

VMWare announces Borland CEO Todd Nielson will become their COO

Model Liskula Cohen sues Google because of offensive remarks made on the Blogger publishing service

Pandora releases v2.0 for iPhones

Google teamed up with GM, Audi, Honda, Hyundai, and Nvidia to for mthe Open Automotive Alliance (OAA). This group will work on innovations to future driving needs.