What Happened Today, July 22nd

 
Apple Announces OS 8
Apple Computer Inc. announces a new operating system for its Macintosh computers, OS 8. An important move at a time when Apple's upper-level management and profits were experiencing significant problems, the new operating system offered new features such as easier integration of the Internet and a three-dimensional look. Immediately after the announcement, the software earned positive reviews from users, although it was not expected to end Apple's financial troubles as it faced growing competition from improvements in the Microsoft Windows operating system used on IBM-compatible PCs.

What Happened This Week

 
Apple Announces OS 8
Apple Computer Inc. announces a new operating system for its Macintosh computers, OS 8. An important move at a time when Apple's upper-level management and profits were experiencing significant problems, the new operating system offered new features such as easier integration of the Internet and a three-dimensional look. Immediately after the announcement, the software earned positive reviews from users, although it was not expected to end Apple's financial troubles as it faced growing competition from improvements in the Microsoft Windows operating system used on IBM-compatible PCs.
 
Computer Educator McCracken Born.
Daniel McCracken, who wrote the first textbook on FORTRAN, was born. A student of mathematics and chemistry, McCracken started working in computers at General Electric in 1951, training workers in using the new technology. Based on this teaching experience, McCracken wrote several important computer programming textbooks, most notably A Guide to FORTRAN Programming in 1961.
Bell Labs researchers
Bell Labs researchers
 
Transistor Inventor Leaves Bell Labs
John Bardeen notified AT&T Bell Laboratories that he would be leaving the company where, along with Walter Brattain and William Shockley, he had developed one of the most essential components of modern computing: the point-contact transistor.

The transistor replaced vacuum tubes, allowing the size of computers to decrease dramatically while their power increased. Despite this triumph, Bardeen was unhappy with Shockley, whom he felt was limiting his and Brattain's involvement with further refinements to the transistor. Bardeen took a position at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

 
Microsoft Revenues Exceed $1 Billion
Microsoft Corp. reported revenues of more than $1 billion for its fiscal year 1990, but its spectacular growth didn't stop there. Founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, Microsoft has continued its dominance of the computer industry since then.
 
AT&T and Microsoft Ally to Promote Internet Explorer
AT&T Corp. and Microsoft Corp. announced an alliance to promote Microsoft's World Wide Web browser, Internet Explorer, in a move designed to allow both giants to gain easier entrance into the burgeoning Internet business sphere. Under the deal, AT&T and Microsoft agreed to promote and distribute jointly Internet Explorer and AT&T's Internet service. The deal represented AT&T's move to expand its long-distance telephone service and another effort by Microsoft to offset its late entry into online computing software, a misstep that allowed Netscape Communications Corp. to dominate browser technology.
 
Computers Could Have Prevented Murder of Fashion Designer
In an article in the Los Angeles Times, former San Jose Police Chief Joseph McNamara argued that computers could have saved fashion designer Gianni Versace, murdered earlier that summer by Andrew Cunanan. "If the Miami Beach Police Department had computer technology as sophisticated as that used in one of the town's trendy restaurants," McNamara wrote, "fashion designer Gianni Versace would probably still be alive." He noted, however, that few police departments have the necessary technology. Police had received information on Cunanan earlier in the week from a pawnbroker, but at the time of Versace's death, it remained in paper format waiting to be entered into the computer system.
 
Dell Workstation 400 Introduced
Dell Computer Corp. announced its entry into the workstation market with the Dell Workstation 400. The move to the more powerful desktop computers, most commonly used for engineering, followed Dell's entry into the network server industry as it expanded from personal desktop computers and laptops in order to grab a larger part of the market. Dell offered its workstations for $3,000 to $8,000.
 
Mpath Interactive Acquires Catapult Entertainment
In an example of the fast-growing Internet software industry, Mpath Interactive acquired Catapult Entertainment Inc. in an effort to establish itself in the online video game business. Neither company had been in business for more than a few years, nor had the online game industry, which has taken off with the availability of software to network computers so users can compete against each other in video games across wide distances.