May 1

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At approximately 4:00am, John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz run the first program written in BASIC (Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code), launching the Darthmouth Timesharing System (DTSS) at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire on a General Electric 225 mainframe computer. The first program is a simple compiler. Kemeny and Kurtz created the simple language, which is based on Algol and FORTRAN, to teach their students how to programing, using on the timesharing system, which allows multiple users to run programs simultaneously on one processor. The development of the system was made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

The integrated circuit manufacturer AMD is founded by Jerry Sanders and seven former employees of Fairchild Semiconductor.

Tim Paterson leaves Seattle Computer and goes to work for with Bob O’Rear at Microsoft on the highly secret “Project Chess”, which will later be revealed to be IBM’s MS-DOS operating system.

Steve Jackson, and other alleged computer hackers file suit against members of The Electronic Frontier Foundation, Chicago Task Force which conducted a series of raids against the alleged hackers. Read more about the incident in Bruce Sterling’s The Hacker Crackdown.

Following a ten week trial, a San Francisco district court jury finds that Nintendo’s licensing program has not financially harmed Atari after less than four days of deliberation. The Atari Corporation alleged that Nintendo illegally attempted to monopolize the United States video game market in the in the late eighties. The jury determines that Nintendo has in fact obtained monopolistic powers, however, they deadlocked on the issue of whether or not Nintendo obtained those powers through the illegal restraint of trade.

Version 2.50 of the RemoteAccess bulletin board system (BBS) is released.

Bandai releases the Tamagotchi in the US for the first time. The Tomagotchi is a keychain size virtual pet that requires feeding and attention to evolve and survive. The device is available in six color combinations, including Apple green accented with yellow, yellow accented with orange, pink accented with yellow, white accented with blue, purple accented with pink, and transparent turquoise with yellow buttons. By mid-June, nine additional color combinations will be released.

IBM announces the ThinkPad T20 portable computer, featuring a 650 – 700MHz Pentium III processor, a 12 – 20GB hard drive, 128 – 512MB RAM, a 13.3-14.1 inch display, a drive bay, an Ethernet card, a modem, and a TV out port. The ThinkPad T20 is intended to supplant the 600 series. Price: US$3,099-3,999 Weight: 5 pounds

Apple Computer unveils a new iBook G3 Dual USB laptop computer, featuring a 500MHz PowerPC G3 processor, 64-128MB RAM, a 10-20GB hard drive, a 1024×768 resolution 12-inch screen, FireWire, USB ports, and a CD/DVD drive. Prices: US$1,299 to US$2,099 Weight: 4.9 pounds

Corel releases the WordPerfect Office 2002 suite. The Standard Edition includes the WordPerfect word processor, Quattro spreadsheet, and Corel presentation software. The Professional Edition also includes Paradox database and Dragon NaturallySpeaking voice-recognition software. Full price: US$259 Upgrade: US$159

Sony Electronics introduces the Song Clié PEG-N710C handheld computer, featuring a 33MHz Dragonball VZ processor, 8MB RAM, 4MB Flashable ROM, an 8MB Memory Stick, the Palm OS v3.5.2S, a 320×320 resolution 256-color reflective TFT display, and a USB synchronization cradle. The rechargeable lithium ion battery powers the unit for about fifteen days. Price: US$499 Weight: 6.4 ounces

Version 6 of the Delphi programming language is released.

David L. Smith, age 34, is sentenced to twenty months in federal prison, three further years of supervised release, and a US$5,000 fine for releasing the Melissa virus which damaged computers around the globe in 1999.

Sun Microsystems releases 1.0, a free office suite of applications. It is the second release of OpenOffice, following Build 638c.

Chinese computer manufacturer Lenovo acquires the personal computer division of IBM for US$655 million in cash and US$600 million in stock, or approximately 19.9% of Lenovo. Visit the official Lenovo website.

Yahoo! launches Yahoo! Tech.

Dell publicly announces that it will ship the Ubuntu Linux operating system pre-loaded on select systems. Visit the official Ubuntu website.

MessageLabs reported a marked decrease in the number of malware links connected to the Storm botnet. This is the first time this has happened. 

Twitter breaks the news that Osama Bin Laden was killed.

IBM scientists release A Boy and His Atom. This is the smallest stop-motion animation ever created – made by manipulating individual carbon monoxide molecules with a scanning tunneling microscope

President Obama announced Tom Wheeler is nominated to replace Julius Genachowski when he leaves in mid-may

A multi-lens digital camera is created that mimics an insect’s compound eye, providing immense depth of field without distorting the image

T-Mobile debuts on the New York Stock Exchange as TMUS

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