March 29

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Federal Court Judge Albert Bryan issues a temporary restraining order barring Atari from requiring its distributors to deal exclusively in Atari merchandise.

Radio Shack introduces the TRS-80 Model 100, the industry’s first portable computer. The system features a 2.4MHz Intel 80C85 Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) microprocessor, 8 – 24KB RAM, a full-sized 56-key keyboard, an 8 line, 40 column Liquid Crystal Display (LCD), a built-in 300 baud modem, a parallel and serial interface, and a cassette tape interface to load and save programs at 1500 baud. The system also comes equipped with five built-in applications with 32K of ROM, including an address book, Microsoft BASIC, a schedule book, a telecommunications package, and a text editor. The system is based on the same platform as the NEC PC-8201 and the Olivetti M-10 portable computers, all three being manufactured by Kyoto Ceramics (Kyocera). The TRS-80 be highly successful, especially among businessmen and journalists, due to the unrivaled convenience of its light weight and bundled software package. Visit the offiicial RadioShack website. Price: US$799 (8K RAM) – US$1134 (24K RAM) Weight: 3.9 pounds

The Pixar Animation Group wins an Academy Award in the best animated short film category for the film Tin Toy. It is the first completely computer generated film to win an Oscar. Pixar will go on to produced the first feature length computer animated film, Toy Story. Read more at Pixar’s official website.

Sega Enterprises and Softbank establish Sega Entertainment in the United States for the purpose of preparing Sega products to run on personal computers. The division’s first title is expected to be released in June. Read more about Sega’s history at the official Sega website.

WMS Industries completes its acquisition of Time Warner Interactives, which it announced on March 5. The full price of the transaction will be between US$9.8 and $23.8 million, depending on the division’s gross profit over the coming four years. Upon the sale, Time Warner Interactive adopts the Atari Games name and logo, and Atari Games is made a division of Midway Games. Visit the official WMS Gaming website.

The Melissa macro virus, which was first reported on March 26th, is officially estimated to have affected 100,000 email users worldwide. The worm continues to crash servers around the globe as it propagates.

The Microsoft Corporation announces plans to reorganize into five major divisions. Brad Chase and Jon DeVaan are assigned to head a new consumer and commerce group. Jim Allchin is assigned to head the business enterprise and the consumer Windows divisions. Bob Muglia is assigned to head the new business productivity group. Paul Maritz is assigned to head the developer group. A new home and retail products division is also created. Visit the official Microsoft website.

IBM announces the Netfinity A-100 appliance server, a low-cost computer specifically designed to managing websites using Windows 2000. The system will be marketed to large corporations that operate their own websites. Visit the official IBM Netfinity website. Price: US$5,999 – US$16,000

Intel introduces the 566 and 600MHz Celeron processors, featuring multimedia instructions, a 66MHz bus, and a 128KB integrated Level-2 cache. Price: US$167 and US$181 respectively

Seagate Technology announces that the company will be acquired for US$20 billion and taken private by an investment group and merged with Veritas Software to focuse on manufacturing hard drives. Visit the official Seagate website.

Pfizer announces plans to jointly establish an independent company named Amicore in partnership with IBM and Microsoft for the purpose of developing office management software for the medical industry in the United States. Specifically, the Amicore’s goal will be to automate administrative paperwork for physicians. Visit the official Amicore website.

Skype finally gets approved for iPhone

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