The top silver geekiversaries of 2010

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Silver Geekiversary #4: The Intel 386

Image credit: Doug Letterman

Forget those fancy-schmancy Core i7 processors: Twenty-five years ago, the Intel 386 was the cool new kid in town.

Intel's 32-bit 386 processor -- officially known as the Intel 80386 -- launched in October of 1985. It wasn't just its speed that made the Intel 386 a significant step in computing history, though: It was also the marketing effort that went behind it. The Computer History Museum describes Intel's 386 introduction as the "first big budget, sophisticated marketing launch" in the realm of semiconductors.

"In some ways, the 386 laid the path for what eventually turned into branding of chips," Claude Leglise, Intel's former 386 marketing manager, explained during a documented discussion at the Computer History Museum. "What that did was push into the computer buyer's consciousness the notion that inside that box is this chip called the 386."

Unfortunately, the 386 never got the greatest sign of success: its own Weird Al song. Stupid Pentium, stealing all the glory.

Silver Geekiversary #5: The First Dot-Com

"Internet" may not have been an everyday word back in the 80s -- heck, the phrase "Interwebs" had probably never even been uttered at that point -- but in 1985, the foundation for the World Wide Web we now know was starting to take shape.

In March of '85, a computer manufacturer called Symbolics registered the Internet's first dot-com domain, Symbolics sold computers known as Lisp machines (gee, wonder why those never took off). Its domain was the only dot-com in existence for a full month.

Symbolics eventually declared bankruptcy; the name is now owned by domain trading company The Web site isn't really around anymore, but you can take a glimpse at the old home page via the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine. The earliest version captured is from 1998, but don't worry -- you'll still feel like you're looking at a design straight out of the 80s.

Next page: Mario is partying like it's 1985

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