March 7, 1876
Alexander Graham Bell receives a patent (US No. 174,465) for an “Improvement in Telegraphy,” which will later come to be known as the variable resistance telephone.
March 6, 1992
The Michelangelo virus, so-named because it activates on March 6, the birthday of Michelangelo, begins infecting computers. The virus will also make news in 1993. It was one of the earliest viruses to receive widespread media attention and also one of the first to prompt widespread hysteria. The irony of the name of the virus was that nothing in the virus’ code referenced Michelangelo. It is possible the virus author, who was never identified, did not know March 6th was Michelangelo’s birthday!
March 5, 1995
The Yahoo! search engine officially launches on the Internet. 13 months later, Yahoo! will hold its IPO at a price of $13 per share. Yahoo!’s stock will peak at $475 in January 2000, and fall to $8.02 in September 2001.
March 5, 1975
The Homebrew Computer Club holds its first meeting. Many people who played an important part in the early years of personal computing attended meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club during its history. Perhaps no meeting was more important than the one that took place almost exactly one year after the first: Steve Wozniak brought his design for what eventually becomes the Apple I computer.
March 4, 1977
The first Cray-1 supercomputer is shipped to the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. This supercomputer, which costs nineteen million dollars, will be used to design sophisticated weapons systems. The system is a cylindrical tower seven feet tall, nine feet in diameter, and weighs about 5.5 tons. The machine produced so much heat that it required a built-in freon-based refrigeration system. It requires its own electrical substation to power it, at a cost of about US$35,000 a month.
March 3, 2004
Michael Dell, founder and CEO of Dell Computers, announces that he will step down from his his CEO role while retaining his position as Chairman of the Board. Dell president and COO, Kevin Rollins will assume his role. On January 31, 2007, (about 1 year after Dell fell behind Apple in market capitalization) Rollins will resign and Dell will resume his role as CEO due to the poor performance of the company.
March 2, 1997
During a hearing on Microsoft’s alleged antitrust activities, Bill Gates admits Microsoft’s contracts bar Internet content providers from promoting Netscape’s browser. Eventually, Internet Explorer dominates the web browser market as it is shipped for free with every copy of Windows.
March 2, 1969
The Concorde supersonic transport (SST) jet makes its maiden flight. The Concode is only the second supersonic passenger airliner to have been commercially operated. The Concorde fleet flew until November 26, 2003.