20-Year Old Bill Gates Gives Address

Young Bill GatesMarch 27, 1976

Bill Gates gives the opening address at the First Annual World Altair Computer Convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Gates was still a student at Harvard but along with Paul Allen helped develop the version of the BASIC language sold with the Altair computer.

Melissa Unleashes

Melissa VirusMarch 26, 1999

The first e-mail virus to cause widespread damage and one of the fastest spreading viruses in history, Melissa was released into the wild on an early Friday morning and within three days would infect between 100,000 and 250,000 computers around the world. While the virus did not directly cause any damage, the sheer volume of e-mail that it generated crashed many corporate *cough* Microsoft *cough* e-mail servers.

Twister First Movie on DVD

Twister MovieMarch 25, 1996

The movie Twister becomes the first featured film put on DVD. FYI, it sounds really good in surround sound!

 

Mac OS X is Born

Early Mac OS X LogoMarch 24, 2001

Mac OS X 10.0, the first public version of Mac OS X, is released. The code name for this release was Cheetah, although Apple did not start using the code names for marketing purposes until Mac OS X 10.3, Jaguar.

Mir Falls From the Sky

MirMarch 23, 2001

The Russian space station Mir burns up in the Earth’s atmosphere after fifteen years in orbit. The debris that isn’t burned up falls safely into the Pacific ocean between Chile and New Zealand, in a region from which governments had routed planes and ships away. The station, which was launched in 1986, far exceeded its intended lifespan of five years.

 

Frickin’ Laser Beams Patented

LasersMarch 22, 1960

The first patent on a laser is issued to Arthur Leonard Schawlow and Charles Hard Townes, who assign it to Bell Telephone Laboratories. Still, no one has figured out how to attach these “lasers” to the heads of sharks. Throw me a frickin’ bone here!

The World’s First Tweet

The First TweetMarch 21, 2006

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey sends the world’s first (non-automated) tweet:

inviting co-workers

A note to future entrepreneurs: when doing the “first” of anything, it may be for posterity so try to be interesting. Kthnx.

Yahoo Acquires Flickr

FlickrMarch 20, 2005

Yahoo acquires the company Ludicorp along with its popular photo-sharing site Flickr. It is reported that Flickr currently hosts more than 5 billion photos.

IBM.com and sun.com Registered

IBM and SunMarch 19, 1986

The domains ibm.com and sun.com come online. These domains are considered the 11th and 12th oldest domains in history.

Arcade Game of Many Firsts

Gran Trek 10March 18, 1974

Atari Introduces Gran Trak 10. It is the first arcade game to use solid state read-only memory (ROM) to store sprites for each car, the game timer, the race track, and the score. As such, it’s the the first game to have defined characters rather than mathematically manipulated dots. The game’s controls, which include a four-position gear shifter, a steering wheel, and two foot pedals, are also all firsts for arcade games.