01 JUN 2018

On this day in technology: the history of technology in June

If you follow us on social networks, we have, in recent weeks, looked back at the release of Microsoft Excel, the Apple Imac and the Windows 3.0 operating system posts. We thought it would be interesting to, very briefly trace the history of technology, examining important events that happened on certain days, using social media, with a monthly article here on our blog. So, let’s see what happened on this day in technology in June.

8 June 1995: PHP 1.0 was born

PHP is the recursive acronym of Hypertext Preprocessor, although originally, it meant Personal Home Page. It is an interpreted scripting language that Rasmus Lerdorf, a Danish developer, invented in 1994. At the beginning, PHP was a collection of CGI scripts to easily manage personal pages, then it was used to program dynamic web pages.

Since 1995 there have been many versions, the latest – 7.2.5 – was released at the end of April. Lerdorf, its creator is still part of the programming team. Today PHP is mainly used to develop server-side web applications. Every day you see content created in PHP: Wikipedia, in fact, is a project created with MediaWiki, a free wiki software for the web, created in PHP.

Logo di PHP

8 June 2001: Google, Yahoo and Facebook switch to the IPv6 protocol

IPv6 is the version of the Internet Protocol which came after IPv4. The Internet Protocol is a numerical label that uniquely identifies a device, called the host, connected to a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol as a network protocol.

The IPv4 is formed by 32 bits (4 bytes) divided into 4 groups of 8 bits (1 byte). Each group is separated by a dot. The 4 bytes are converted into decimal format.

The IPv6, instead, is formed by 128 bits (16 bytes), divided into 8 groups of 4 hexadecimal digits of 2 bytes each one. The “colon” is used to separate the various groups.

The shift from IPv4 to IPv6 was necessitated by the fact that, especially in highly populated countries such as Asia, India and China, the space for assigning addresses to devices on the network was running out. Thanks to IPv6, there is much more space and the work of the routers has been made easier, improving routing and throughput (the number of packets routed per second).

10 June 1977: the first Apple II computer appears in stores

The Apple II can be considered the first personal and user-friendly computer. It followed the Apple I which was developed the previous year, but which was destined more for an audience of electronics enthusiasts. In fact, buying the Apple I, people bought only the motherboard and they had to connect this to a keyboard, a TV to display images, a power supply and a tape recorder if they wanted to save data. The thinking behind ​​the Apple II, however, was that the computer could be used as soon as it was pulled out from the box. Compared to the previous version, images and sounds were added and all the electronic parts were enclosed in a single plastic container, abandoning the metal that had been used until then.

Another very interesting feature of the Apple II was its silence. This computer did not disturb the user while working. The power supply was compact and silent and did not need cooling fans, a power system so innovative and efficient which was to be used by all computers that followed the Apple II.

The Apple II had 8 ports that permitted the installation of a series of expansion cards which added more features to the machines, a feature that the competing computers of the time did not have. Expansion cards were produced to connect printers, modems or to increase the memory of the computer.

The language integrated into the Apple II was the Integer BASIC, which only worked with integers and had few functions to handle strings. In launching the Apple II on the market, Apple made public all the information about the software functions of the machine, in this way, developers could develop software for the computer, allowing the machine and the user more and more possibilities.

The Apple II was a huge commercial success, it is estimated that 5 million were sold. The Apple II was followed by many other versions and models; the latest, the Apple IIe model, was sold until 1993.

La Apple lancia sul mercato il 10 giugno 1997 il computer Apple II che forma parte della storia dell'informatica

25 June 1998: Microsoft markets Windows 98

Microsoft started working on Windows 98, codename “Memphis”, immediately after the final update of Windows 95. Many system builds were created and distributed to developers to be tested.

Compared to Windows 95, and despite the similarity from an aesthetic point of view, Windows 98 had a much more user-friendly interface and greater stability. People could use digital cameras and easily find files and folders, even specifying the properties of the object being a format or creation date, thanks to the “Find” function from the context menu of each directory. Managing device drivers was easier thanks to a web utility that automatically looked for and installed updates.

Windows 98 had more stability and speed: the operating system and programs started faster. Besides, important files on the computer were protected by an automatic registry backup.

When Windows 98 was released, these were the years when Internet was very, very slowly entering Italian homes and needed an operating system perfectly integrated with the network. The new product of Microsoft perfectly met this need: from any position of the desktop it was possible to access the Internet, in Internet Explorer the “back” and “forward” buttons appeared and, in this way,, people could navigate more easily. In addition, the “Active Internet” feature allowed people to view web pages in any window and to set their own favorite web page as the desktop background. Finally, thanks to a ‘Wizard’, it was possible to publish images and documents online.

Thanks to Windows 98 it was possible to reproduce high quality audios and videos and to watch television directly from the computer (by installing a specific card). Windows 98 also addressed fans of video games, thanks to DirectX 5.0 they could benefit from more realistic and engaging gaming experiences and also, once the CD of the operating system was installed, there were demos of games such as Monster Truck Madness and Age of Empires.

Windows 98 allowed the user to customize the graphical interface by choosing icons, sounds, wallpapers, screensavers, fonts and mouse pointers; furthermore, on the Windows CD there was “Tweak UI”, a tool to further customize the interface and other functions of the system. In the Start menu and in the task-bar, people could create links to the most used programs. Windows 98, finally, integrated better with the USB standard: people could use multiple devices at the same time and after installing them, there was no need to reboot the system to use them.

Microsoft lancia Windows 98

29 June 2007: Apple launches the first iPhone

The first iPhone this summer will blow out 11 candles and since its launch, Apple has not stopped for a moment with the news in its iPhones. In January 2007, Steve Jobs, during the Macworld Convention, presented the smartphone that in a few months would revolutionize the world of telephony and change our lives, because now we are always connected. The presentation was very interesting because Steve Jobs started presenting three products: an iPod touchscreen, a revolutionary phone and a device to connect to the internet and then he revealed that in reality he was speaking about a single product that could do all these things, an unexpected product for those years mainly because it had a touchscreen and it didn’t have a keyboard.

After just a few months, one million iPhones were sold. In the United States the iPhone was a real revolution: the queues in front of the Apple Store began before the iPhone was released, most stores sold out their smartphones in a short time and since then all the producers of phones started to develop their smartphones to compete with Apple.

The iPhone has evolved a lot over the years: from a 3.5-inch screen, we have arrived at a 5.8-inch Super Retina HD display with the latest model, the iPhone X released in September of last year. With a Ram from 128 MB to one of 3 gigabytes, from an internal memory of 4 GB (the first iPhone also offered an 8 GB version) we now have one of 256GB, and from an iPhone which connected with the 2G network, today we have one with a 4G LTE network. Even the price of iPhones has grown a lot over the years: the first model cost 499 dollars (for the 4 GB version) while today the iPhone X is around $1100. Things have changed in these 11 years!

La Apple lancia il primo smartphone, l'iPhone

On this day technology in June ends here. On social networks, from time to time, we will revisit important steps forward from the past, so be sure to follow us!

Elaborated by Lucia D’Adamo, supervised by Marco Pirrone