The Homebrew Computer Club first meets in a garage in Menlo Park, California. Founders Fred Moore and Gordon French play host to about thirty microcomputer hobbyists, who spend the first meeting discussing the MITS Altair 8800, a computer that can be assembled at home from a kit. Several very high-profile hackers and IT entrepreneurs will later emerge from the ranks of the Homebrew Computer Club members, including the founders of Apple Computer. The club and others like it will contribute to the popularity of the personal computer. Read more about the Homebrew Computer Club at The Startup Gallery.
Sinclair Research launched the Sinclair ZX81 – Britain’s first home computer. With 1 KB of RAM and 8 KB ROM, the machine couldn’t do much and didn’t even have color graphics. But the machine sold over 1.5 million units. Price: £69.95 or £49.95 as a kit.
In an early demonstration of the impact computers can have on people’s lives, the Los Angeles Times reports that a blind student is taking advantage of a talking laptop computer to help him complete the courses necessary to graduate from UCLA. After fifteen years of going to college on and off, the computer provides Robert Antunez with the independence he needed to complete a bachelor’s degree in political science.
Arizona lawyers Laurence Canter and Martha Siegel spam six thousand usenet groups with postings advertising green card lottery services. Many Internet users subsequently fight back.
The Free Internet Chess Server is brought online and remains operational today. Play chess on the web for free at the official Free Internet Chess Server.
Yahoo! is introduced to the Internet as a superior search engine. A search engine is a service whereby Internet visitors can type one or more key words and a report is returned with appropriate World Wide Web and Usenet locations that match that criteria. Yahoo!Is the creation of two Stanford University graduate students.
WMS Industries, Inc., makers of Bally, Midway, and Williams coin-op games, announces an agreement to acquire Atari Games From Time Warner, Inc. Currently doing business as Time Warner Interactive, Atari Games is the coin-op arcade half of Atari which split as an independent operation when the Tramiel family acquired the home systems division in 1986. Although WMS refutes it, the rumored price for the acquisition is $25 million. In a report published three days prior in the San Jose Mercury News, WMS won the bid to acquire Atari Games over Nolan Bushnell who was the original founder of Atari.
Acclaim Entertainment, Inc. announces completion of their restructuring of domestic bank credit as well as full repayment of a loan from Midland Bank.
Apple Computer promises their employees and the public that a formal restructuring plan will be revealed Friday, March 14. Industry experts predict the new plans will include between two and five thousand jobs cuts from Apple’s eleven thousand person worldwide workforce.
JTS announces record shipments of their own branded disk drives, revenue increases of 560% to $119.5 million, and a US$150 million loss for the second two quarters of their 1997 fiscal year. About $110 million of that figure is attributed to in-process research and development resulting from their merger with Atari Corporation.
Masanori Uekihara is arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at the San Francisco International Airport after arriving from Japan. Masanori is accused of obtaining product secrets, including documents and computer chips, from Maxim Integrated Products in the Silicon Valley by posing as a potential customer, while actually working for the company’s competitor, Linear Technology.
The home page of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is hacked and the content is changed. The site is totally unresponsive to new users for about a day, making it difficult to even get to the real home page. The message left on the site by the hackers reads, in part, Gr33t1ngs fr0m th3 m3mb3rs 0f H4G1S. Our mission is to continue where our colleagues the ILF left off. During the next month, we the members of H4G1S, will be launching an attack on corporate America. All who profit from the misuse of the internet will fall victim to our upcoming reign of digital terrorism. Our privileged and highly skilled members will stop at nothing until our presence is felt nationwide. Even your most sophisticated firewalls are useless. We will demonstrate this in the upcoming weeks. The message remains on the site for half an hour. It is the first time hackers have ever broken into the NASA server, which is located at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. NASA officials say they would move the public Web page, at www.nasa.gov, to a new server in an announcement on March 6. To see the defaced website, visit the website of 2600 magazine.
NASA announces that the Clementine probe orbiting the Moon has found enough water to support a human colony.
The website Nambla.org is hacked by 74074″.
A-ONE Online (Atari Online News, Etc.) Magazine, featuring Atari news, issues their premiere edition. www.ICWhen.com is designated as an official distribution point for Dana Jacobson’s new publication. Read A-ONE Magazine at its current location.
The announcement finally comes on the Robot Wars Forum that the end of the court case (Profile v Thorpe) regarding the sale of the Robot Wars trademark. Profile has won the rights to Robot Wars. Gary Pini’s letter mentions that Marc Thorpe will still be involved in Robot Wars in some ways, but doesn’t elaborate.
Bernie Stolar of Sega of America reads a formal statement in response to Sony’s recent PlayStation 2 announcements. The statement is plyed in a live phone-based conference to people calling (800) 475-0457 and using SONIC as a password. Stolar suggests that Sony will have a challenge to live up to their own declared specifications. He states that Sega’s Dreamcast will evolve and is a product that is alive. He says that Dreamcast will adapt to the user. Additionally, he suggests that Sony is targeting an older demographic.
Don LaVigne, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Free-PC, Inc. issues an e-mail to everyone who has registered on their site for a free Personal Computer (PC). LaVigne claims that almost one million applications have been submitted within the first week of their offer to provide up to ten thousand computers in exchange for the users having to see advertisements provided by Free-PC, Inc. while surfing the Internet. The message thanks users for their patience as they take the time to eliminate duplicates and determine which applicants will qualify for the free PC offer.
Handspring resumes selling the Visor Platinum handheld computer. Price: US$169
Yahoo!appoints Christine Castro Chief Communications Officer.
AOL announces they will make the AIM 2.0 Developer Program.
Web and Print publisher Ziff Davis files for Bankruptcy protection.
President Barak Obama names Vivek Kundra as the new CTO
U.S. Circuit Court Judge Richard A. Posner ordered Motorola Mobility and parent company Google to hand over development information about Android to Apple. This is to see if Motorola violated six patents.
Roku launches the Roku 3 with updated processor, headphone jack within the remote and updated UI for better navigation.
YouTube announced they will launch music subscriptions later this year.
Facebook announced they will be launching content-specific news feeds, and increase photo sizes for profiles.
RadioShack announced they will be closing 1,100 stores in the US to counter financial issues in the previous quarter
FreedomPop launched the “Snowden Phone” – a fully encrypted device to allow for private communication. Price $189 without contract
Yahoo removes Facebook and Google login options from their website login.