This week in tech history

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  • A look back at the biggest things that have happened in the history of tech this week.

    Microsoft introduces BASIC for 8086

    June 18, 1979

    In use at the time by over 200,000 computers with the Z80 and 8080 processors, Microsoft BASIC is introduced for the 8086 16-bit microprocessor. By being one of the first to offer a version of the BASIC programming language for a 16-bit processor and making it compatible with their 8-bit versions of BASIC, Microsoft helped move forward 16-bit computing. But perhaps more importantly, by developing for the 8086 processor, they soon formed a relationship with Seattle Computer Products, one of the first companies building computers with an 8086 processor.

    As fate would have it, in 1980 Seattle Computer Products was forced to develop an operating system for their computers because a version of the very popular CP/M operating system was delayed for the 8086. It was this 8086 operating system, which SCP called QDOS (for Quick and Dirty Operating System), that Microsoft soon bought the rights for and licensed to IBM for their new PC. And Microsoft thus began their transformation from a simple software development company in the early history of personal computing to one of the most dominant technology companies in history.


    First stored program run

    June 21, 1948

    The first program on the world’s first stored-program computer, the Manchester Small-Scale Experimental Machine (SSEM) is run. This first program was designed to test the computer’s reliability and ran for 52 minutes performing 3.5 million operations.

     

    SpaceShipOne - First private space flight
    June 21, 2004

    Financed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, SpaceShipOne becomes the first spacecraft developed by the free market to enter spaceflight. Launched from a mothership named White Knight, SpaceShipOne flew just beyond the atmosphere into the threshold of space then glided back to Earth. SpaceShipOne would later win the $10 million Ansari X Prize for the first non-government organization to launch a reusable manned spacecraft.


    QWERTY typewriter patented

    June 23, 1868

    The Sholes and Glidden typewriter, the first practical and commercially successful typewriter, is patented. Perhaps most notable in the design of the Sholes and Glidden (which would later become the Remington No. 1 typewriter) is the use of the QWERTY keyboard, which is still the most popular keyboard layout in the world.


    iPhone 4 goes on sale

    June 24, 2010

    After a wild lead-up involving a prototype being lost at a bar, Apple’s iPhone 4 officially went on sale. Later the iPhone 4 would then become the subject of the Antennagate controversy. With so much attention given to the phone, it was no wonder it went on to set sales records.

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