Like many 30-somethings, the Commodore 64 provided me with my first glimpse into the world of PC gaming. I remember giggling when enemies would kill themselves out of shame if I managed to hop past them in The Last Ninja, and being delightfully frustrated with the puzzles in Maniac Mansion. Karnov, WWF WrestleMania, and Jordon vs Bird: One on One were three other titles that were frequently loaded. As primitive as each of those games are compared to today, it's still hard to believe that the Commodore 64 platform is 30 years old. What's even more mind boggling is that it's still the greatest selling single PC model ever.
Long before there was Battlefield 3, there was Call of Duty, and before that, there was Quake and Doom. All those games can trace their lineage back even further, to Wolfenstein 3D, iD's awesomely innovative Nazi-hunting FPS adventure. Today marks a milestone for the classic franchise: B.J. Blazkowicz has been blasting SS guards and chaingun-wielding robo-Hitlers for a whopping 20 years. Even better, rather than just tooting its own horn, iD's showering gamers with freebie gifts to celebrate the anniversary.
A barely belated 'Happy birthday' goes out to Sony's PlayStation 3 game console, which turned 5 years old yesterday (or a week ago today if you prefer to celebrate its Japan launch rather than its release in the U.S.). The PS3 has been through a few changes since it debuted half a decade ago and shed much of its baby fat, but is mostly the same console overall.
You probably didn't realize it, but as you were catching waves at the beach over the weekend, virtual surfers celebrated the 20th anniversary of the World Wide Web. Put the pitchfork down, Peter, and tell Timmy to stop waving that torch around. We're not claiming the Internet is but 20 years old. What took place on August 6, 1991 would forever change not just the world of computers, but the world, period.
A belated birthday wish goes out to the Mozilla Foundation, the not-for-profit organization which turned 8 years old on Friday. Mozilla's roots actually date back to early 1998 when Netscape created the Mozilla Organization to oversee the development of the Mozilla Application Suite. On July 15, 2003, AOL (Netscape's parent company) helped launch the Mozilla Foundation, and gave the three-person team a set of wings in the form of hardware, intellectual property, and a $2 million donation before pushing it out of the nest to fly on its own.
It was on this day in 1911 that a handful of technologies and companies merged to form the Computing-Tabulating-Recording-Company (C-T-R), which would be renamed International Business Machines (IBM) in 1924. That makes IBM older than Apple, Intel, and Google combined. Big Blue has earned the right to celebrate living longer than most tech companies and humans alike, but you'll never guess what IBM has planned.
Believe it or not, email turns 40 years old today, though you'd never know it by looking. Unlike MySpace, BBSing, and Val Kilmer, email is still contributing to society and is arguably the most important form of communication, if not the most used. That wasn't always the case and email is quite a bit different than it was when the first electronic mail was sent back in 1971.
Ah, Youtube. Thanks to you, we can't imagine an Internet without Old Greg, "All Your Base are Belong to Us" or Leeroy Jenkins. Youtube celebrated its sixth birthday today, and while the event was low key compared to the site's five-year anniversary mega-blowout-fiesta-extravaganza, the company tossed up a blog post with some numbers that show just how big our baby has grown. Unfortunately, the post doesn't list how many otherwise productive work hours have been lost to Rickrolls, but we estimate the number to be in the millions.
There's a bit of debate on what exactly qualifies as the world's first computer virus, especially since the term, as it applies to computer code, didn't exist in the early days of computing. Many, however, credit the Creeper virus as being the first, which spawned this day 40 years ago (1971). Anyone feel like celebrating?
Holy smokes, we can hardly believe it's already been 25 years since Super Mario Bros. first launched. The only plumber in the world more famous than Joe the Plumber, Super Mario was released in Japan on September 13, 1985.
Super Mario really needs no introduction. Even if you weren't born when Super Mario Bros. first shipped on the NES, you've probably either played a ROM version of the original (it runs 500 Wii points) or at least watched a speed run on YouTube. Since then, Super Mario has appeared in 473 million other titles, or so it seems.