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.
March 19, 1986
The domains ibm.com and sun.com come online. These domains are considered the 11th and 12th oldest domains in history.
March 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.
March 17, 1988
Apple Computer famously sues Microsoft Corporation for copyright infringement in its Windows operating system. Apple eventually lost the lawsuit in 1995.
March 16, 1995
The worlds first Wiki, WikiWikiWeb was created as Ward Cunningham invites people to add and edit content. A Wiki is a database that can be a community collaboration. Cunningham has said the inspiration for the name Wiki came from the Wiki Wiki Shuttle bus he learned of during a trip to Hawaii. Six years later, Wikipedia is launched, although Cunningham has no official involvement.
March 15, 1985
The first Internet domain symbolics.com is registered by Symbolics, a Massachusetts computer company.
March 15, 1975
Issue number one of the Homebrew Computer Club’s newsletter is published. Only 21 issues are published through December 1977, but the newsletter is considered influential in the early culture of the personal computer industry.