What Happened Today, June 24th

 
HP Announces New ATM Capabilities

Hewlett-Packard Co. announced new advanced ATM test capabilities, which it showcased at the Supercomm '96 convention in Dallas from June 25 to June 27. The new asynchronous transfer mode test options allowed users to test equipment according to their specific "class of service."

What Happened This Week

 
Computer Pioneer Alan Turing Born

Turing, a British mathematician, logician and cryptanalyst, played key roles in the conception and theoretical underpinnings of electronic computers. As a codebreaker at Bletchley Park in the UK during World War II, Turing led the team that cracked the "unbreakable" Enigma code used by the German high command for battlefield communications. This has led some observers to speculate that Turing's work alone shortened the war by two years, savings many lives. Turing is best-known today for his work on the idea of a "universal computer," one that could run any program. This has since become known as a "Turing Machine." Turing died under mysterious circumstances from cyanide poisoning in 1954, though it was officially declared suicide. He was 41.

 
HP Announces New ATM Capabilities

Hewlett-Packard Co. announced new advanced ATM test capabilities, which it showcased at the Supercomm '96 convention in Dallas from June 25 to June 27. The new asynchronous transfer mode test options allowed users to test equipment according to their specific "class of service."

 
Microsoft Incorporated

Microsoft is incorporated. Founded six years earlier by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, Microsoft grew out of the friends' development of BASIC for the MITS Altair home computer kit. With later successes in its Windows operating system and software such as Word and Excel, Microsoft has grown to dominance in the personal computer software industry and billions of dollars of revenue.

 
Communications Decency Act Declared Unconstitutional

The US Supreme Court ruled the Communications Decency Act unconstitutional on a 7-2 vote. The act, passed by both houses of Congress, sought to control the content of the Internet in an effort to keep pornography from minors. In an opinion written by Justice John Paul Stevens, the Supreme Court ruled the act a violation of free speech as guaranteed by the US Constitution.

 
Spyglass Goes Public

World Wide Web software producer Spyglass Inc. went public, the year after it had begun distributing its Spyglass Mosaic software, an early browser for navigating the Web. With previous year's earnings at $7 million, Spyglass was founded by students at the Illinois Supercomputing Center, which also inspired Netscape Communications Corp.

 
Vannevar Bush Dies

Mathematician, scientist and computer pioneer Vannevar Bush died. Bush was born in Everett, Massachusetts, on March 11, 1890. Also deeply involved with wartime computer projects, Bush invented an electromechanical differential analyzer before the war.

 
Silicon Graphics and MIPS Merge

Silicon Graphics Inc. (SGI) and MIPS Computer Systems merged in a stock swap valued at $333 million. SGI experienced a number of financial difficulties, leading to industry speculation about the future of the computer graphics software and hardware company that pioneered a number of techniques in widespread use. MIPS, founded by Stanford University Engineering School Dean John Hennessy, developed high-speed computer chips making use of reduced instruction set computing technology, which seeks to improve speed by simplifying the transmission of information within a computer. On April 1, 2009, SGI filed for bankruptcy and was acquired by Rackable Systems a few weeks later.