March 29, 1983
Radio Shack introduces the TRS-80 Model 100, one of the first portable computers in a notebook-style form factor. The portability, simplicity, and built-in modem of the Model 100 made it very popular with journalists who could write stories in the field and transmit them back to their offices. Incidentally, in the early 90’s I acquired a Model 100 that had been used by a newspaper. I was able to use it to code simple programs, write papers, and use the modem to connect to bulletin board systems of the time. I recently found that I have 2 of these models among my tech junk – still in good working order! Good times, good times.
March 28, 1995
Kodak releases the DC40 camera, which is only the second digital camera for the consumer market. While introduced over a year after Apple’s QuickTake 100 camera, Kodak’s marketing was largely responsible for popularizing digital photography.
March 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.
March 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.
March 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.
March 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.
March 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!
March 21, 2006
Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey sends the world’s first (non-automated) tweet:
A note to future entrepreneurs: when doing the “first” of anything, it may be for posterity so try to be interesting. Kthnx.
March 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.