Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Tech world hits 10

Filed under
Sci/Tech

In 1995, it was still OK to use the phrase "information superhighway." Netscape's initial public offering fueled the beginnings of the Internet bubble. The U.S. Department of Justice was casting a wary eye on Windows 95. And Amazon.com sold its first book.

The online retailer was born during a time of incredible innovation in the technology world. Video-game players, computer operating systems and even movies were breaking through technical barriers, pushing the limits of what was previously thought possible. Here are 10 ways technology made history in 1995:

1) Startup central. Amazon wasn't the only tech giant born in 1995. David Filo and Jerry Yang incorporated Yahoo! — an acronym for "Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle" — that year and received nearly $2 million in funding from venture-capital firm Sequoia Capital.

Software engineer Pierre Omidyar founded eBay in September, reportedly as a favor for his then-girlfriend, who wanted a place to trade her collection of 400 Pez candy dispensers.

2) Microsoft's big year. Redmond released a flurry of new products, most notably Windows 95. The operating system got so much attention from consumers — and antitrust officials in the U.S. Justice Department — that Microsoft actually toned down the hype at one point.

"It's just software," executive Brad Silverberg said in Business Week. "It doesn't cure cancer. It doesn't grow hair. It's not a floor wax."

Microsoft also released Internet Explorer — the first and, later, the slightly less clunky second version — that year and launched the Microsoft Network (MSN). It also founded a small travel-software division called Expedia.

And then there was Microsoft Bob, a cutesy, cartoony program that included a household and checkbook manager and appointment calendar. The company launched it in late March, but it was lambasted by critics and would sell only 30,000 units over the next six months.

3) A beginning. Sergey Brin and Larry Page met at a gathering of new doctoral students at Stanford University. Within months, the two would create the seeds of what would eventually become the Google search engine.

4) Java unleashed. Who knew a programming language could generate so much fuss? Sun Microsystems debuted Java, software that, among other things, made it easier to add interactivity and other features to Web sites. Sun promised that Java would be nothing short of revolutionary. Soon, Java was the belle of technology's ball.

5) Online population grows. The number of U.S. Internet users might have doubled in 1995 to nearly 10 million. New York City-based research group FIND/SVP said at the time that 9.5 million Americans used the Internet, and that half of those only began doing so in 1995. O'Reilly & Associates counted 9.7 million, including those who used online services such as CompuServe.

A survey from Nielsen/CommerceNet drew immediate fire when it concluded that 24 million adults in the U.S. and Canada used the Internet. Later, one of the survey's advisers identified some flawed methodology and pegged the total at fewer than 10 million.

Now, 68 percent of U.S. adults use the Internet, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Add to that the 19 or so million teenagers who are also online, and the total number of Internet users 12 and older is nearly 160 million, according to Pew.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Games and CrossOver

Red Hat and Fedora

Android Leftovers

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

  • CoreOS Tectonic Now Installs Kubernetes on OpenStack
    CoreOS and OpenStack have a somewhat intertwined history, which is why it's somewhat surprising it took until today for CoreOS's Tectonic Kubernetes distribution to provide an installer that targets OpenStack cloud deployments.
  • Docker and Core OS plan to donate their container technologies to CNCF
    Containers have become a critical component of modern cloud, and Docker Inc. controls the heart of containers, the container runtime. There has been a growing demand that this critical piece of technology should be under control of a neutral, third party so that the community can invest in it freely.
  • How Blockchain Is Helping China Go Greener
    Blockchain has near-universal applicability as a distributed transaction platform for securely authenticating exchanges of data, goods, and services. IBM and the Beijing-based Energy-Blockchain Labs are even using it to help reduce carbon emissions in air-polluted China.
  • An efficient approach to continuous documentation
  • The peril in counting source lines on an OSS project
    There seems to be a phase that OSS projects go through where as they mature and gain traction. As they do it becomes increasingly important for vendors to point to their contributions to credibly say they are the ‘xyz’ company. Heptio is one such vendor operating in the OSS space, and this isn’t lost on us. :) It helps during a sales cycle to be able to say “we are the a big contributor to this project, look at the percentage of code and PRs we submitted”. While transparency is important as is recognizing the contributions that key vendors, focus on a single metric in isolation (and LoC in particular) creates a perverse incentive structure. Taken to its extreme it becomes detrimental to project health.
  • An Open Source Unicycle Motor
    And something to ponder. The company that sells this electric unicycle could choose to use a motor with open firmware or one with closed firmware. To many consumers, that difference might not be so significant. To this consumer, though, that’s a vital difference. To me, I fully own the product I bought when the firmware is open. I explain to others that they ought to choose that level of full ownership whenever they get a chance. And if they join a local makerspace, they will likely meet others with similar values. If you don’t yet have a makerspace in your community, inquire around to see if anyone is in the process of forming one. Then find ways to offer them support. That’s how we do things in the FOSS community.
  • The A/V guy’s take on PyCon Pune
    “This is crazy!”, that was my reaction at some point in PyCon Pune. This is one of my first conference where I participated in a lot of things starting from the website to audio/video and of course being the speaker. I saw a lot of aspects of how a conference works and where what can go wrong. I met some amazing people, people who impacted my life , people who I will never forget. I received so much of love and affection that I can never express in words. So before writing anything else I want to thank each and everyone of you , “Thank you!”.
  • Azure Service Fabric takes first tentative steps toward open source [Ed: Microsoft Peter is openwashing a patent trap with back doors]
  • Simulate the Internet with Flashback, a New WebDev Test Tool from LinkedIn
  • Mashape Raises $18M for API Gateway Tech
    Casado sees Mashape's Kong API gateway in particular as being a particularly well positioned technology. Kong is an open-source API gateway and microservice management technology.
  • PrismTech to Demonstrate Open Source FACE 2.1 Transport Services Segment (TSS) Reference Implementation at Air Force FACE Technical Interchange Meeting
    PrismTech’s TSS reference implementation is being made available under GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) v3 open source license terms.
  • How Open-Source Robotics Hardware Is Accelerating Research and Innovation

    The latest issue of the IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine features a special report on open-source robotics hardware and its impact in the field.