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March 11, 1997: First MP3 Music Player – MPMan

MP3man

March 11, 1997: MP3man Digital Music Player Released

1997 - Although the MP3 player was technically been around since the 80′s, the first Digital Music Player was first introduced. Eiger Labs shows off the MPMan at CeBit. For $250, you get a 32 MB model to hold 8 of your favorite songs. The 1998 release was only shadowed by the Rio PMP300, which overshadowed Eiger Labs.MPMan was manufactured by the South Korean company SaeHan Information Systems, and was the first mass-produced portable solid state digital audio player. It came with a docking station to connect to your computer. The MPMan also has a rechargable battery and only weighed 65 grams.

Wikazine – Full show notes for March 11

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  • Apple Macintosh discontinues the Mac IIcx
  • HP acquires TrueLogica
  • iTunes 8.1 is released
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January 22, 1984: Apple Macintosh Superbowl Ad Debuts

1984 Apple Superbowl Commercial

1984 Apple Superbowl Commercial

1984Apple created the opportunity of a lifetime with the Macintosh. It was the first mouse-driven computer and Graphical User Interface (GUI) machine. The machine would have a release date of Jan 24, and held a 8 MHz Motorola 68000 microprocessor. It had 128 KB DRAM and came with a 9″ black-and-white CRT with resolution of 512×342. The price of the machine was $2495But what was key to this computer launch was the ad. This ad ran Nationally only once – If you missed the Superbowl, you would have missed the Ad – that is, unless you watched the news the next day. The ad appeared in the 3rd Quarter of the game.

By the way: Superbowl XVIII pitted the LA Raiders vs. the Washington Redskins. Raiders won 38-9. The average cost for ad space: $368,000. Apple’s budget on the commercial – $900,000. Ridley Scott (Blade Runner) directed it. The Board of Directors did not like the Spot, but Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak did. Woz even stated that if the board was to reject the commercial, he would pay for the spot out of his own pocket.

Wikazine – Full show notes for January 22

  • Microsoft releases IE for Mac
  • AOL sues Microsoft on behalf of Netscape for IE
  • Cell Phone Tax rejected
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January 20, 1985: Apple Lemmings Ad Flop

Apple Lemmings Commercial

Apple Lemmings Commercial

1985 - When you hear “Apple Superbowl commercial“, you instantly think a woman running down a hall with a sledgehammer ready to destroy oppression. But there was another commercial. The Yang to the Macintosh Ying.The Lemmings commercial was aired for Super Bowl XIX. It was a commercial for Macintosh Office. Blindfolded businessmen marched off the edge of a cliff to a dark rendition of “Hi Ho”. The last guy in line – realizing his blind mouse wasn’t in front of him anymore, peeked to see what happened – only to find he was one step away from oblivion; Another line of Blind mice coming up behind him.

The big difference in this commercial is that it was a horrific failure. The consumer felt insulted more than enlightened. If that commercial would have aired the year before for Macintosh, Apple would have been done. What a difference a year makes, eh?

Wikazine – Full show notes for January 20

  • Robert and Carleen Thomas (Amature Action BBS) were raided
  • Microsoft market value surpasses IBM for the first time to $26.78 Billion
  • Microsoft sells all shares of Comcast
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December 15, 1983: Apple First Shows Superbowl Ad in Twin Falls, ID

1984 Apple Superbowl Commercial

1984 Apple Superbowl Commercial

1983 – If you were a citizen of Twin Falls, Idaho and up at 1 AM watching KMVT channel 11, then you got a treat. You saw an ad that changed the Superbowl. You saw an ad that changed a computer company.That’s right. You were the first to see the famous 1984 Superbowl Advertisement for Apple Macintosh. The Chiat/Day advertising company pre-ran ads to make sure they would be acceptable for a big release. Therefore, 1 AM on Thursday, December 15th – chances of people catching the ad are slim.

Of course, the ad went on to be one of the most influential ads of the 20th century and turned Superbowl commercials into a hot commodity. Interesting note: Apple didn’t put a commercial in the 2012 Superbowl.

This Day in Tech History podcast show notes for December 15

  • ISO C90 is released
  • Fortran 95 is released
  • Twitter rival Pownce closes down after sale to Six Apart
Apple Superbowl ad 1984

Apple Superbowl ad 1984

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July 19: Apple PowerMac G4 Cube

Apple

July 19, 2000: Apple released PowerMac G4 Cube

Apple released a series of new items in 2000, including a new “button less” mouse, iMovie2 and the iMac DV series with the PowerPC G3 processor. But they also introduced the PowerMac G4 Cube – a 450 or 500 MHz computer with Velocity Engine – A Single Instruction Multiple Data (SIMD) which operates concurrently with existing integer and floating-point. Add with it 2 Firewire ports, 10/100BaseT Ethernet, Modem and 20 GB hard drive and you had a serious system at the time. The cube could not take cards because of it’s case sizes and the DVD drive was located on the top of the device. It was designed with a case that made it possible to eliminate the fan.Full Day in Tech History podcast show notes for July 19

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  • Palm introduces the IIIe
  • The iPhone app “cannabis” is released
  • TWA introduces in-flight movies
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July 3: Apple, IBM Create Pact over Power PC Mac

IBM Apple

IBM Apple

1991 – IBM’s Jim Cannavino met with John Sculley of Apple. They worked out a deal and signed a sharing agreement. It would allow Mac to integrate with IBM enterprise systems. It would also allow Apple to use the PowerPC with their RISC based Mac to work together.Power PC stands for Performance Optimization with Enhanced RISC. It is also known as PPC. The RISC architecture processor was first meant for personal computers, yet embedded machines adopted them for use. Computers such as the AmigaOS 4, POSIX, BeOS all used PowerPC. Even Windows machines used PowerPC for their NT 3.51 and NT 4.0 OS.

Power PC came in 32 and 64 bit versions. Sony Playstation, Nintendo Wii and XBox 360 all have PowerPC inside.

Full Day in Tech History podcast show notes for July 3
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  • 1886 - Karl Benz drives the first automobile
  • 2000 -AOL completes Mapquest Acquisition
  • 2009 – McAffee anitvirus wipes out some Windows Machines
  • 2012 – A lost Steve Jobs interview was discovered and posted to iTunes
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May 6: iMac G3 Introduced

iMac G3

iMac G3

1998 – Steve Jobs, just fresh out of his return to Apple, announces one of the many changes in the Mac line. The iMac G3 computer. The iMac was the first computer to offer USB ports as a standard. The “All in one” computer had a front loading CD drive – but no floppy drive, built in speakers and came in 13 different colors. The iMac mouse was a disc shaped device with one button. A standard Mac keyboard was also included.

The G3 came with a Power PC 233 to 333 MHz. The L2 cache could run at 512 or 1MB and came loaded with Mac OS 8.1. The price was given of $1,299 and Jobs expected this computer to be out within 90 days, although it didn’t officially start shipping until August 15th.

The G3 was discontinued on March 18, 2003.

Full Day in Tech History podcast show notes for May 6
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  • The Sierra Network is announced
  • Paint.NET v.1 is released
  • Sprint, Nextel and Clearwire announce WiMAX under the Clearwire name
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May 4: Player vs Player (PvP) Comic Launches

Player vs. Player

Player vs. Player

1998 - My first attempt at a website back then was self publishing comics. I started with a website I called “Toonzed“. Other website were popping up. GPF, College Roomies from Hell, Penny Arcade. One of those website was called Player vs Player (PvP). Still going strong today, they have made some pretty funny comics. There are a lot of great web comics out there, too. I only scratched that surface.

The first PvP Strip

Full Day in Tech History podcast show notes for May 4

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  • “I Love You” virus hits computers
  • AOL repairs glitch so Apple Macs can use the service
  • Microsoft pulls their offer to Yahoo. Jerry Yang sends a memo to employees on what happened.
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