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This Day in Computer History: August 22

by: Pipedreamergrey ; edited by: M.S. Smith ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

Today marks the anniversary of the formation of the first computer users group and a record-setting deluge of botnet spam. Read about these events and more in "This Day in Computer History", a chronology of notable events in the computer, ecommerce, and software industries on this day in history.

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    This Day in Computer History


    The first computer users’ group is founded. SHARE is founded by engineers and scientists, most of which are employed in the aerospace industry, who work with the IBM’s Model 704, IBM's newest, most cutting edge technology. Meeting to discuss the system and exchange programs, the group fills a very substantial gap in software development and technical support. As the group's membership grows to include most of IBM’s largest customers, SHARE will have an increasingly large role in the IBM's future system designs and newly emerging customer support services.


    At the National Mall in Washington D.C., the Smithsonian breaks ground for the Museum of History and Technology, which will later be renamed the National Museum of American History. Building will be completed on January 23, 1964.


    IBM’s Project Chess task force meets with representatives of Digital Research, Inc. (DRI) regarding possibly licensing the CP/M-86 operating system for IBM’s upcoming microcomputer, the IBM PC. Gary Kildall of DRI will later claim that he agreed to supply CP/M-86, but IBM will ultimately use MS-DOS from Microsoft, and most sources will later agree that Kildall was never interested in entering into an agreement with IBM. In either case, the meeting marks the beginning of the end of DRI's market dominance.


    IBM and Microsoft announce that they have entered into a joint agreement to develop operating systems and environments. The agreement will later lead to charges of collusion.


    Only nine days after the release of version 3.0 of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer web browser, two Princeton researchers report the discovery of the software's first security flaw, which will come to be known as The Princeton Word Macro Virus Loophole. According the researchers, the loophole might allow a webmaster to trigger malicious downloads without a user’s knowledge or consent, such as viruses, macros, or trojans. The early security issue foreshadows a rocky future for the browser, which is regarded as the Netscape Navigator's first true competition.

    Paratrooper Eric Jenott, who is stationed at Fort Bragg, in North Carolina is accused of hacking Army computer systems. Jenott’s attorney claims that the soldier was only a benign recreational hacker testing the strength of what the military claimed to be an impenetrable computer system and that Jenott did his duty by reporting the weakness to his superiors. He will later be cleared of charges of espionage but found guilty of computer fraud.


    The United States Justice Department publicly announces newly-drafted legislation that will permit law enforcement officials to enter private property for the purpose of disabling computer security software being used for criminally suspicious purposes.

    The United States Department of Defense (DoD) circulates an internal memo commanding all military systems to network via the Non-classified Internet Protocol Router Network (NIPRNET), rather than through the Internet, by a December 15th deadline. NIPRNET is a network of DoD Internet protocol routers previously used to deal with unclassified but sensitive data. The move to a more secure network from the previous MILNET follows a string of high-profile hacking incidents.


    Intel announces that its new line of Itanium processors, which have been under development since 1994, will be released with a maximum clock speed of 733MHz rather than 800MHz, as originally announced.

    Intel announces the details of the new NetBurst micro-architecture which its future Intel Pentium 4 processors will feature. The architecture, which will also be called P68, will first be used in the Willamette core in November 2000.


    Standard & Poor (S&P) reduces the corporate credit rating of computer giant Gateway, Inc. to junk status.


    Netscape releases version 4.8 of the Netscape Communicator web browser suite.


    The botnet created by Trojan horses carried by Storm Worm sets a news-worthy record when it sends out fifty-seven million emails in a single day. The worm, which was first discovered by Symantec on January 17th, effects computers running Windows with a Trojan horse capable of sending as many as eighteen hundred email messages in a five-minute burst. Early messages bore the subject line “230 dead as storm batters Europe,” referring to the Kyrill, a storm that ravage Europe earlier in the year. The storm was making headlines when the worm was originally propagated, and it is the origin of the worm's name.