What Happened Today, June 15th

 
MIT's Forrester Records "Core Memory" Idea

Jay Forrester recorded a proposal for core memory in his notebook. A professor at MIT at the time, Forrester eventually installed magnetic core memory on the Whirlwind computer. Core memory made computers more reliable, faster, and easier to make. Such a system of storage remained popular until the development of semiconductors in the 1970s.

What Happened This Week

Net Neutrality logo
Net Neutrality logo
 
US House of Representatives Vote down Net Neutrality Amendment

The amendment would have formalized Net neutrality policies, a move lobbied for and favored by a number of Silicon Valley tech companies. The vote was split closely down partisan lines, with most dissenting votes coming from the Republican side of the House, while the majority of Democrats were in favor of it. Net neutrality, which calls for an open Internet with no favoritism granted towards certain users, providers, or types of streaming services and data, has been an ongoing debate, especially in the US.

 
Supercomputer Center Supports Precursor to Internet

The Pittsburgh Supercomputer Center opened to support the precursor to the modern Internet, the National Science Foundation's NSFNET, which linked five supercomputer centers at Princeton University, Pittsburgh, University of California at San Diego, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Cornell University. Soon, several regional networks developed. Eventually, the government reassigned pieces of the ARPANET to the NSFNET. The NSF allowed commercial use of the Internet for the first time in 1991, and in 1995, it decommissioned the backbone, leaving the Internet a self-supporting industry.

 
Apple II Shipped Today

Apple Computer Inc. ships its Apple II computer. The first in a long line of related computers, the original model cost $1,298 and came with 4KB of RAM (upgradeable to 48KB), and had sound and color graphics. It also had the BASIC programming language built-in, which made programming easy. Apple II's sold particularly well in schools and, with the arrival of the VisiCalc spreadsheet program, in the small business market as well.

 
TI Announces "Speak & Spell"

Texas Instruments Inc. introduced Speak & Spell, a talking learning aid for ages 7 and up. Its debut marked the first electronic duplication of the human vocal tract on a single chip of silicon. Speak & Spell utilized linear predictive coding to formulate a mathematical model of the human vocal tract and predict a speech sample based on previous input. It transformed digital information processed through a filter into synthetic speech and could store more than 100 seconds of linguistic sounds.

 
3Com and US Robotics Merge

3Com Corp. and US Robotics Corp. completed their merger. In describing the largest business deal thus far in the networking industry, 3Com CEO Eric Benhamou said, "The combination of 3Com and US Robotics creates a networking powerhouse in the continuing development of enterprise and carrier networks, while helping usher in a new era of simple, fast network access for small businesses and consumers." US Robotics' work focused on remote access networking and modems, while 3Com had independently concentrated on network interface cards and network systems.

 
Joint Venture to Combine Computing and Television Announced

Time-Warner Inc., Microsoft Corp., and Tele-Communications Inc. announced a joint venture designed to "combine the worlds of computing and television and perhaps shape how much of popular culture is delivered." The development of interactive television software -- which would allow consumers to shop, bank, and use the World Wide Web via their home television sets -- seemed the next route to take in making technology accessible and useful at home.

 
Mauchly Meets Atanasoff in Historic Meeting.

John Mauchly arrived in Iowa City for a visit with John Atanasoff to see his computer. The two computer pioneers later found themselves in a court battle over who would be deemed the legal inventor of the electronic digital computer. Atanasoff emerged from the long and tangled legal battle as the victor after Honeywell Inc. charged Sperry Rand Corp. with enforcement of a fraudulent patent. During the course of the trial, Atanasoff's work emerged, and a judge determined his work had preceded and contributed to development of the ENIAC.

 
US Census Dedicates UNIVAC I Computer

The US Census Bureau dedicated its first UNIVAC computer -- and experienced its first programming error. Once the bugs were fixed, the UNIVAC I became the first commercial computer to attract widespread public attention. Remington Rand eventually sold 46 machines at more than $1 million each.

 
MIT's Forrester Records "Core Memory" Idea

Jay Forrester recorded a proposal for core memory in his notebook. A professor at MIT at the time, Forrester eventually installed magnetic core memory on the Whirlwind computer. Core memory made computers more reliable, faster, and easier to make. Such a system of storage remained popular until the development of semiconductors in the 1970s.