This Month in Tech History: June – Geek Review

    Alekcey-Elena /

    Tech history in June sees the birth of corporate giants, iconic products and gaming legends. From Sonic the Hedgehog and Tetris to Atari and IBM, it all starts in June. Read below for details.

    June 1, 1999: Launch of Napster

    A man looking at a computer from the mid 90s with Napster on the screen
    Northfoto /

    The service that changed the way we buy and consume music invented and released by then-teenagers Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker. They intended Napster to be a peer-to-peer file sharing service that would make it easy for anyone to share MP3 tracks. it was an instant success. As more people rip their CD collections onto their computers to share, more and more users flock to the service. It’s a free music free for everyone.

    Less than a year after its launch, Napster has faced lawsuits from recording artists such as Metallica and Dr. Dre, alleging that the service facilitated the infringement of their copyrighted music. surname. The Recording Industry Association of America has also filed a lawsuit against the company on behalf of several major US record labels. Napster settled or lost all of the lawsuits and shut down operations in 2001 after failing to comply with a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals order to stop sharing copyrighted music.

    But that’s not the end for Napster. Its name and brand were sold in a bankruptcy auction and have gone through several iterations in the decades since. Napster is currently a paid audio streaming service owned by MelodyVR.

    June 6, 1984: Tetris Born

    'Tetris' loading screen on old consoles.
    tomeqs /

    There are few better examples of games that have stood the test of time Tetris. Created in 1984 by programmers at the USSR Academy of Sciences, Tetris sweep over Moscow. Every computer in the city has a copy of the game.

    During the 1980s, Tetris circulated on floppy disks throughout the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. However, the lack of copyright in the Soviet Bloc and Western skepticism about a Soviet product made the game difficult to reach a worldwide audience.

    It was not until 1987 that Western and Japanese game companies began to obtain licenses to convert Tetris for their consoles and computers. Versions of the game have appeared on platforms produced by Nintendo, Sega, Atari, Commodore, etc. But the game’s Soviet origins led to a copyright dispute between distributors. It was not until Pjintov and others founded the Tetris Company in 1996 that the copyright and licensing issues were resolved.

    Since then, Tetris remains a mainstay in the video game industry, available on the widest range of devices and platforms possible. Now, Tetris has sold an estimated 495 million copies worldwide. Making it the most successful video game franchise not owned by Nintendo.

    June 10, 1977: Apple II goes on sale

    Apple II computer on desktop
    Ivan Arkhipov /

    Almost all the oldest Apple devices consider the Apple II as their first product. Its predecessor, the Apple I, was released a year earlier and was a mere circuit board with only 200 ever produced. The Apple II was the company’s first of many world-changing products. It introduced the all-in-one computer model that has featured Apple’s lineup ever since.

    Apple founders Steve Job and Steve Wozniak’s decision to include a keyboard, video monitor, and plastic case makes the personal computing experience much more accessible to those interested in computers but can’t build their machine. In addition, eight expansion slots on the motherboard allow users to add a variety of cards to increase and personalize the machine’s usefulness.

    The Apple II sold 4.8 million units in two years as the company discontinued production to make room for its successor, the Apple II Plus. The Apple II family continued to grow and sell throughout the 1980s and early 1990s. Apple sold six million Apple II computers during 16 years of production. And all of that despite competition from Apple’s flagship computer line: the Macintosh.

    June 16, 1911: IBM is founded

    An IBM building displaying the company's logo
    Workers /

    IBM, one of the most accomplished and successful technology companies in history, started more than a century ago as the Computer-Taping-Recording Company. But it didn’t start in a garage in the heart of Silicon Valley like many tech giants do today. Instead, it was an amalgamation of four companies acquired by financier Charles R. Flint: Bundy Manufacturing Company, American Computing Scale Company, International Time Recording Company, and The Company. Tablet. Flint named the combined businesses the “Computer-Taping-Recording Company”, changing the name to the “International Business Machine Company” in 1924.

    Initially, each company holds its own employees, brand and operations. Initial products include clocks, punch cards, data processors, weighing scales, and meat slicers. However, IBM dropped the brand and legacy operations when it combined all of its activities under a single banner in 1933. Since then, the company has pioneered many inventions and breakthroughs. break technology.

    Notable IBM inventions include the hard drive, floppy disk, magnetic stripe card, electronic key, automatic teller machine (ATM), Universal Product Code (UPC barcode), and random access memory dynamic memory (DRAM). In addition, the company invests in the acquisition of technology and patent businesses to innovate and improve existing products. There are very few technologies or services we use today that have not been impacted by the innovative work done at IBM.

    June 23, 1991: Sonic The Hedgehog Release

    Sega Mega Drive system with 'Sonic the Hedgehog' cartridge loaded.
    Ben Gingell /

    Few video games evoke as much nostalgia for older players as Sonic the Hedgehog. The game was born from a competition between Sega programmers to create the company’s flagship video game franchise that would compete with Nintendo’s. Super Mario Bros row. Yuji Naka and Naoto Ohshima won with a fast-moving platform game prototype. Naka and Ohshima went on to make Sonic the game’s star, Sega’s mascot, and a direct rival to the king of video games: Mario.

    The game was an integral part of Sega’s efforts to produce a 16-bit console that could challenge Nintendo’s dominance of the US video game market. The company has packed Sonic the Hedgehog and games Changed Beast with their new console offering: Sega Genesis. The quality of Sonic, the freshness of the Genesis, and the strong marketing campaign in North America gave Sega the success they were looking for. Both Sonic and Sega became icons of American video games like Nintendo and Mario.

    To date, the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise has sold more than 145 copies worldwide, making it into the top 20 best-selling franchises of all time. Beat favorite titles like The Legend of Zelda and Resident Evilbut never usurped Mario’s top spot in the video game hierarchy.

    June 27, 1972: Atari was founded

    A set of Atari games around the company logo

    On the heels of creation Computer space, the world’s first commercial video game, engineers Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney founded Atari to develop a new game and marbles machine. Their first creation was the classic game, Pong.

    After the video game makers refused to license the game, the couple built a prototype arcade cabinet for a test sale at Andy’s Kapp, a local pub in Sunnyvale, California. Pong was a hit with patrons. Bushnell and Dabney have produced dozens more Pong cabinets to place at other bars in the area. And soon, they could not keep up with the demand for Pong machines.

    The success of Pong put Atari at the heart of the nascent video game industry. Its 1973 follow-up game, Space race, was a failure, selling only 1,500 units. However, the major version of Pong was wildly successful in 1975 and proved influential in the budding home console market.

    Atari’s early success didn’t last as tensions grew between the two founders. In March 1973, Dabney left the company and sold his stock for $250,000. And under Bushnell’s leadership, the company nearly went bankrupt. To generate the capital needed to keep Atari’s business afloat, Bushnell sold the company to Warner Communications for $28 million in 1976.

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