IBM Simon Personal Communicator

IBM_Simon_Personal_CommunicatorThe IBM Simon was the first portable phone that combined modern telephone features with PDA capabilities. It could make cellular calls as well as send/receive faxes, email, and pages. The prototype was unveiled at the 1992 Comdex show and generated a lot of buzz, landing a picture on the front page of USA Today’s Money section. It’s often considered one of the first true smartphones.

It was available for $899 with a two-year contract, and included several apps that are now staples of the modern smart phone. This included a calendar, appointment book, a world clock, and it supported hand written notes on an electronic notepad. It was available with optional accessories such as an RJ11 adapter and a slot for a pager card. The proprietary file system ran under a custom OS dubbed Navigator.

Although it was popular, it was soon eclipsed by other devices beginning to appear on the market and disappeared after only six short months.

Nvidia

NVIDIA_logoIn 1993, NVIDIA was incorporated by Jen-Hsun Huang, Chris Malachowsky, and Curtis Priem. In 1995, the company’s first card, the NV1 was sold as the Diamond Edge. It was a complete 2D/3D PCI card. Microsoft’s DirectX specs caused the card’s sales to plummet, as most began building cards based on this new technology. In 1997, the Riva 128 was their first DirectX compliant card. This launched NVIDIA’s rise to the top with it’s performance and design advantages. In January of 99, the company went public and later acquired it’s one-time competitor 3dfx Interactive.┬áBy February 2002, NVIDIA had shipped 100 million processors. For years it shared the top of the video card market with rival ATI. It was later bought by AMD.

Doom

doomid Software first gained notoriety with the first Wolfenstein 3D game in 1992, widely considered one of the original first person shooters. A few years later, they released Doom, which became an instant classic and helped redefine the entire face of video gaming. One of the hottest games of the year, it sold millions of copies and ushered in the era of mainstream hardcore PC gaming. It put the player in the middle of a space station seemingly overrun by demons from a gateway to hell. The sole mission: survive the nightmare by blasting your way out of the many levels with all manner of different weapons.

In 1994 it won Game of the Year and several other awards. It also introduced multiplayer gaming to the masses, allowing up to 4 to battle it out head to head over the internet or a network. They also freely released the source code so that fans and would-be designers could create their own levels and additions, which became known as “mods”, fostering an endless growing community dedicated to the game. Today the game still lives on in Doom 3, which was released in 2004.

Windows NT

logo_windowsA version of the Windows operating system. Windows NT (New Technology) is a 32-bit operating system that supports preemptive multitasking. There are actually two versions of Windows NT: Windows NT Server, designed to act as a server in networks, and Windows NT Workstation for stand-alone or client workstations.

InterNIC

internicShort for Internet Network Information Center, a registered service mark of the U.S. Department of Commerce and now a defunct entity. InterNIC began as a collaborative project between AT&T and Network Solutions, Inc. (NSI) supported by the National Science Foundation.

When active, the project offered four services:
InterNIC Directory and Database Services — online white pages directory and directory of publicly accessible databases managed by AT&T.
Registration Services — domain name and IP address assignment managed by NSI.
Support Services — outreach, education, and information services for the Internet community managed by NSI.
Net Scout Services — online publications that summarize recent happenings of interest to Internet users (managed by NSI).
The InterNIC is currently an informational Web site established to provide the public with information about domain name registration. ICANN now oversees the domain name registration industry.