• Posted Oct. 1, 2013, 2:40 p.m. - 10 years, 9 months ago

Events in Computing History – October



1st October

Year: 1847

Event: Siemens, the multinational engineering and electronics corporation, was founded in Berlin

Interesting Facts:

  • Werner von Siemens founded Telegraphen-Bauanstalt von Siemens & Halske (Siemens & Halske Telegraph Construction Company) together with Johann Georg Halske, with the Pointer Telegraph being their first offering, an alternative solution to using Morse code.


  • In 1866, Werner von Siemens made a revolutionary discovery with the dynamo-electric principle, recognising the potential power source that electricity could provide.


  • In 1881, electric street lighting appeared for the first time ever, with a watermill together with a Siemens AC alternator providing the power to light the streets of Godalming in the UK.





2nd October

Year: 1981

Event: Logitech, a global leader in the computer accessories market was founded

Interesting Facts:

  • Founded by Pierluigi Zappacosta, Daniel Borel, Jean-Luc Mazzone and Giacomo Marini in Switzerland, Logitech’s original premises were on the site of a farm belonging to Borel’s father-in-law.


  • Logitech would go on to dominate the computer mouse market, and in December 2008 sales reached one billion units.


  • In 2010, as a result of a collaboration between Logitech and Google, Google TV was launched and delivered by Logitech.





4th October

Year: 1903

Event: John Vincent Atanasoff was born, Inventor of the first digital computer

Interesting Facts:

  • Born in New York, Atanasoff’s mother was a maths teacher and his father an electrical engineer, resulting in an early and keen interest in both subjects.


  • Atanasoff produced the Atanasoff-Berry Computer (ABC) in 1939, following a winter’s drive to Rock Island during which he experienced moments of revelation regarding the potential operating principles of the machine.  The name Berry was added as a note of recognition to Clifford Berry, a graduate student who worked with Atanasoff.


  • A high profile court ruling, in a case between Honeywell Inc. and Sperry Rand Corp, would result in Atanasoff being acknowledged as the inventor of the first digital computer.





5th October

Year: 1991

Event: Linux Kernel operating system first released

Interesting Facts:

  • Linus Torvalds was the creator of the Linux Kernel, aged just 21 Torvalds was studying Computer Science at the time.


  • Released under General Public License, the software is the result of the support of thousands of programmers with submissions received from all over the world. This followed Torvalds initial message on Usenet in 1991 asking for feedback and advice on his operating system, which at the time he stated was just a hobby.


  • Tux the penguin is an instantly recognisable icon of Linux.  Tux is said to have been named by James Hughes as an abbreviation for Torvalds UniX, and was created by programmer Larry Ewing.




6th October

Year: 1940

Event: John Warnock, Co-Founder of Adobe Systems was born

Interesting Facts

  • Adobe was founded in December 1982, by John Warnock, together with Charles Geschke, the pair met whilst working for Xerox.  The company takes its name from the creek which runs through Los Altos, where both Warnock and Geschke lived.


  • Graphic Designer Marva Warnock, John’s wife, was responsible for the design of the iconic company logo.


  • 1983 saw Adobe’s first licensing agreement with Apple Computer for PostScript, at which point Apple bought a 20% stake in Adobe – in 1989 Apple sold its stake making $85 million from the sale.





6th October

Year: 2010

Event: Instagram launched

Interesting Facts:

  • Co-founder Kevin Systrom worked for Odeo, which would later become Twitter, as well as Google prior to setting up Instagram with Mike Krieger.


  • Instagram has over 30 million users, and following the launch of Instagram for Android, over 1 million downloads took place in just 1 day.


  • Following its massive success, a deal was struck which resulted in Instagram being bought by Facebook for $1 billion in April 2012.



9th October

Year: 1858

Event: Gerard Leonardo Frederik Philips was born, Co-Founder of Philips

Interesting Facts:

  • Together with his father, Frederik Philips, Gerard founded Philips as a family business in 1891, with their first premises located in Eindhoven, and initial financial support provided by his father.


  • Following expansion to the product range, which evolved from filament lamps to light bulbs, vacuum tubes and electric razors, on 11 March 1927 PCJJ was launched by Philips, Europe’s first shortwave radio station.


  • Frederik Philips’ cousin was the German philosopher and socialist Karl Marx.





11th October

Year: 2012

Event: Microsoft Office 2013 released

Interesting Facts:

  • A product key was issued by Microsoft for this edition of Office, rather than the usual disc format, providing users with a quicker installation via Microsoft’s application streaming system.


  • Changes to Microsoft’s licensing agreement for Office 2013 meant that the transferring of software from one machine to another was no longer permitted, with digitally downloaded software restrictions applied.





17th October

Year: 1990

Event: IMDb website launched

Interesting Facts:

  • The Internet Movie Database (IMDB), was the creation of Col Needham, following an initial posting on Usenet, which detailed lists of those actresses who had beautiful eyes. The posting attracted the interest of others, and an Actors list as well as Directors list would follow.  As a programmer Needham went on to provide a search function, to cope with the growing lists which now run into the millions.


  • In 1998, IMDb was sold to Amazon.com for an undisclosed sum, with Needham remaining as Chief Executive, IMDb continued to operate from Needham’s house is Bristol.


  • IMDb attracts over 160 million visitors the site each month.




20th October

Year: 1994

Event: The official website of the White House launched – whitehouse.gov

Interesting Facts:

  • The White House website provides a wealth of information regarding the Administration, the Government, a full Briefing Room and latest Issues, as well as extensive American historic information.


  • “We The People” was the petition functionality added to the site in September 2011, allowing the public an online platform for petition submission, directly to the Administration.


  • As the current administration are responsible for the design and structure of the site, including URL’s, the site is resigned each time a new president is elected.




22nd October

Year: 2009

Event: Microsoft Windows 7 released worldwide for retail sale

Interesting Facts:

  • Nearly 3 years after the release of Vista, which received negative press for a number of issues including compatibility difficulties, Windows 7 was launched with 6 different editions on offer, Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate.


  • Windows 7 brought us Windows Touch, with Microsoft’s multi-touch technology available to users for the first time.





23rd October

Year: 1911

Event: Allen Coombs was born – a principal Designer of the Mark 2 Colossus computer

Interesting Facts:

  • Allen Coombs, an electronics engineer, is recognised for his design expertise on the Colossus Mark 2 computer, which was used in the cryptanalysis of the Lorenz cipher, and played a vital role in code breaking activities at Bletchley Park during the Second World War.


  • A total of 10 Mark 2 units were produced, decrypting messages from the German High Command to troops across Europe, and provided a unique insight into the enemy’s strategies for war.




23rd October

Year: 1999

Event: Initial release of Mac OS 9

Interesting Facts:

  • The Mac OS 9 was the final major release of Apple’s Classic Mac operating system.


  • Apple’s development work on the OS 9 would cease in 2002, when focus shifted to OS X.  To mark the event Steve Jobs conducted a funeral on stage for the OS 9, during the World Wide Developers Conference that year.





25th October

Year: 2001

Event: Windows XP released

Interesting Facts:

  • Microsoft wanted to offer the user an enhanced eXPerience and improved usability with the introduction of Windows XP.  It was well received with over 400 million copies sold in five years, before the introduction of Windows Vista in 2007.






26th October

Year: 2010

Event: Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 released

Interesting Facts:

  • Since its release, the Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 remains the latest software version for the Mac, and with over 1 billion users of Office, it provides seamless Mac integration.






26th October

Year: 2012

Event: Microsoft released Windows 8

Interesting Facts:

  • Although it received mixed reviews following its release, between October 2012 and January 2013, 60 million licenses for Windows 8 have been sold.


  • Windows 8.1 is set to be released later this month, with a number of issues expected to be addressed through this much anticipated upgrade.





28th October

Year: 1955

Event: Bill Gates born, Seattle, WA – Co-founder and Chairman of Microsoft

Interesting Facts:

  • Recognised as the World’s Richest Person in the Bloomberg Billionaires List, Gates has donated $28 billion from his fortune to The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, whose mission is to reduce global poverty, and improve key areas such as healthcare and education.


  • Gates failed to graduate from Harvard College after dropping out, but while there he met Steve Ballmer.  Gates would later receive an honorary degree from Harvard.


  • Gates has received many honours over the years, including becoming an honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE), awarded by the Queen in 2005.  Gates is also noted as being the fourth most powerful person in the world by Forbes.




29th October

Year: 1969

Event: At10:30pm the first message was sent on the ARPANET

Interesting Facts:

  • ARPANET, The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network, was the first network with TCP/IP implementation, and recognised as one of the pioneering operational packet switching networks, this technology would form the basis for the workings of the internet.


  • A student programmer from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Charley Kline sent the first ARPANET message via the SDS Sigma 7 based at the University. The word login was to be sent to Stanford Research Institute to be received by their SDS 940, however the system crashed and only “lo” was sent, once the system was back up the full message of login was successfully transmitted.



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