August 23, 2002
Apple releases Mac OS X 10.2, code-named Jaguar. For the first time, the “Happy Mac” icon is not part of a Mac operating system’s startup process, replaced instead by the gray Apple logo that is still in use today. Jaguar was also the first Mac operating system where Apple publicly used the code name to reference the operating system and for marketing purposes. All Mac OS releases since Jaguar have been referred to by its big cat-themed code name.
From my perspective, Mac OS X 10.2 was the first Mac OS X release that was truly usable. The previous releases (10.0 and 10.1) felt more like transitional stages from Mac OS 9. But Jaguar tied up a lot of loose ends from a usability standpoint and introduced many of the underlying technologies that are now standard parts of modern Mac operating systems.
August 22, 1987
The Legend of Zelda is released for the NES in North America. Considered one of the most influential games of all time, it was the forerunner of the role-playing video game genre and spawned one of the most successful series in video games history.
August 21, 1993
NASA loses contact with the Mars Observer spacecraft, three days before it was to enter into orbit around Mars. The reason for the loss of contact was never definitively determined, but the most probable cause was a rupture of a fuel tank.
August 20, 1911
The New York Times sends a telegram message to test how fast a commercial message could be sent around the world. Reading simply, “This message sent around the world”, it left at 7 PM, traveled over 28,000 miles and was relayed by 16 different operators. It arrived back at The Times only 16.5 minutes later. The building where the message originated is now called One Times Square and is best known for where the ball drops on New Year’s Eve.
August 19, 2004
Google holds its Initial Public Offering (IPO) selling over 22 millions shares at a starting price of $85. Google shares closed that day at $100.34 and the IPO created many instant millionaires and a few billionaires.
August 18, 1947
Hewlett-Packard is incorporated by William Hewlett and David Packard, nine years after they sold their first products from their garage in Palo Alto. Hewlett and Packard got their start in 1938 by producing oscillators used to test audio equipment. Since selling eight of their first oscillators to Disney for use in preparing movie theaters for the movie Fantasia, HP has grown to one of the largest technology companies in the world.
August 17, 1982
“The Visitors” by ABBA becomes the world’s first commercial music compact disc (CD) manufactured, pressed in Langenhagen, Germany by Polygram Records, a subsidiary of Royal Phillips Electronics. Phillips and Sony co-developed the CD standard, which was designed to be the successor to the phonograph record. By the time the CD went on sale in November of that year, about 150 titles had been produced.
August 16, 1995
Microsoft introduces Internet Explorer, which at the time was a modified version of Spyglass Mosaic, which Microsoft had licensed. Later when Microsoft began including Internet Explorer for free with Windows, Spyglass sued Microsoft for not paying what they felt were the proper royalties. Microsoft settled for $8 million.
August 15, 1998
After three months of anticipation, the original iMac G3 goes on sale. The “Bondi Blue” iMac became well-known for its colorful case, which bucked the industry norm beige. However, it is also known for being the first commercially successful computer to eliminate the use of legacy ports and the floppy drive. Widely criticized at the time for not including the older technologies, by only featuring USB ports for peripheral connectivity, the iMac helped popularize the emerging standard, even on Windows PCs. And when was the last time anyone saw a beige PC?
I recall helping my uncle purchase one of the first iMacs at a CompUSA store on that first day. There were only 15 available and we were there early enough to grab one before they quickly sold out. Yes, I was totally jealous, but at least I got to help set it up 🙂
August 14, 2006
Dell and Sony admit that flaws in Sony-manufactured batteries used in certain Dell laptops could result in the batteries overheating, catching fire, or exploding. They recall over 4.1 million batteries, the largest computer-related recall in history. This came after several widely publicized reports in the preceding months where Dell laptops did catch fire. Still to this day, Dell’s reputation has never fully recovered from the incident.