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May 25: Star Wars – Episode IV Released

Star Wars

Star Wars

1977 - in a theater not too far away…

Star Wars (Episode IV: A New Hope) was first released to theaters. Opening weekend sees $6 million of the $11 million budget in return, however, the longevity of the movie has grossed over $797 million (for Ep. IV only). This surpassed Jaws as the nominal highest-grossing film and remained that way until being surpassed by E.T. the Extra Terrestrial in 1983. Add to that, George Lucas was the first movie maker to keep the rights of the toy creation – netting billi0ns in revenue. The film starred Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Cushing, and Alec Guinness, among others.

Star Wars: A New Hope was followed by Empire Strikes Back, then in 1983, the Third (technically 6th) movie in the series – Return of the Jedi – was released. That had a budget of $32 million and netted $23 million opening weekend and $656 million worldwide.

Of course, George Lucas also released Episode I: the Phantom Menace (1999), Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002) and Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith (2005)

Happy 35th anniversary to a historic franchise!

Full Day in Tech History podcast show notes for May 25

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  • Phillips electronics released the Laservision
  • CERN holds the first World Wide Web conference
  • Google Street view is launched in the US
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May 24: Windows NT Unveiled, Quantum Computer Services (AOL) is Founded

AOL

May 24, 1985: Quantum Computer Services was founded (AOL)

1993 - Microsoft unveils at COMDEX a new line of Operating System. Dubbed Windows NT (New Technology) this software would be geared toward businesses. With a NT Server and NT Workstation, Windows could deliver a secure environment while also allowing connections using the Windows 3.11 and later Windows 95 Operating systems. NT would become available on July 27, 1993.

1985- Quantum Computer Services was founded. Technically, it was a reorganization of Control Video Corporation, a company that started in 1983. The company was selling online service “Gameline” to Atari 2600 users. You would pay $49.95 for the modem and also a one-time $15 setup fee. With the reorganization, Jim Kimsey became Chief Executive Officer and Marc Seriff took the CTO role. Ninety employees quit, ten remained. The company changed to sell Quantum Link for Commodore 64 and 128 consoles. Eventually, they would get into AppleLink and PC Link. Quantum Computer Services eventually (October 1989) changed their name to America Online (AOL).

Jim Kimsey left AOL in 1995, where he stayed under the limelight. He was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts by President George W. Bush.

Full Day in Tech History podcast show notes for May 24

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  • MIDAS II
  • Sega introduces a rating system for games
  • Microsoft launches Windows NT 3.1
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May 20: Craigslist vs. South Carolina

Craigslist

Craigslist

2009 - Craigslist was under fire for their erotic services. Reports of prostitution and other illegal activities were being conducted in the category. Craigslist revamped their site to remove the erotic services and add an “Adult” section – with more moderation. However, South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster was given an injunction for threatening executives of Craigslist with criminal prosecution for aiding prostitution in the state.

Full Day in Tech History podcast show notes for May 20

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  • AppleLink is created
  • Microsoft and Intuit discontinue their merger due to Antitrust issues
  • Intel makes the Pentium processor available
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