This week in tech history

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  • A look back on the biggest things that happened this week throughout the history of tech.

    Goner Worm Hits Internet
    December 4, 2001

    Estimated to cause about $80million (£59million) in damage, the Goner worm spread through the Internet on this date in 2001. The Goner worm was disguised as a screen saver which then spread through an infected user’s Microsoft Outlook email software. At the time ‘ABC News’ reported the virus, noting that it was not ‘as technically sophisticated as previous worms Nimda and Badtran, but that it was slowing down the Internet and causing minor damage to thousands of users' computers.

    Initial ARPANet Completed

    December 5, 1969

    The first computer-to-computer link was established on ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) on 29th October 1969. The first message was also sent on this date, with the message intending to be 'login' but only the 'L' and 'O' were transmitted, resulting in the system crashing.

    On 21st November the first permanent ARPANET link was established. This completed the planned original nodes on the experimental network that would eventually evolve into what we now know as the Internet.

    Apple vs San Francisco Co.

    December 6th, 1994

    On this date, Apple sued software development company San Francisco Canyon Company on the grounds of them helping Intel and Microsoft steal code under the QuickTime contract for Windows.

    Quicktime was first released in 1991 by Apple for the Macintosh, in which San Francisco Canyon Company was then contracted to port QuickTime to Windows in 1991.

    Despite Microsoft's own Video for Windows technology coming out a year later, it was not as advanced as Apple's QuickTime player. As a result, Intel hired the San Francisco Canyon Company to help improve Video for Microsoft. 

    Later that year, Intel and Microsoft joined forces to improve Video for Microsoft, with the finished version roughly matching Apple's QuickTime. 

    Discovering that the code developed by the San Francisco Canyon Company was also used in the new version of Video, Apple sued the San Francisco Canyon Company in 1994. 

    RIAA sues Napster

    December 7th, 1999

    On this date The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) sued the peer-to-peer file sharing service Napster, alleging the service of copyright infringement for allowing users to download copyrighted music for free.

    The RIAA sued Napster and all of its financial backers in San Francisco federal court in a case that lasted almost eight years, with the RIAA and its members settling with Napster's financial backers for hundreds of millions of dollars. 

    The Byte Shop opens its doors

    December 8th, 1975

    One of the first retail computer stores in the world, The Byte Shop opened on this date by Paul Terrell. What Terrell and The Byte Shop are perhaps best known for is having ordered the first 50 computers from Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak's Apple Computer Company in 1976.

    Jobs and Wozniak initially intended for the Apple I to be sold as a kit. Instead, Terrell requested that they deliver fully-assembled computers as he was having difficulty selling other kits to people who couldn't put them together themselves. As a result, Terrell helped shape the future of Apple and the personal computer industy.

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