October 1, 2001, through June 29, 2007
iPod Packs Pockets With Tunes
October 1, 2001 Apple's sleek gadget, with enough disk space to hold 100 albums, went on sale on this date, transforming the portable music player from a tech trinket into a lifestyle icon and ushering in a new era of digital music.
Firefox Starts Browser War II
November 9, 2004 Internet Explorer's monopoly fell victim not to a ruling in the Microsoft antitrust case but to a series of viruses, malware, and bugs that made PC users ready for a replacement. But by mid-2004, the Mozilla open-source browser that would otherwise have been an obvious candidate had been six years in development without a 1.0 release. So a pair of rebel Mozillans spun off a lightweight version that surfed the Web quickly and safely. Firefox was released to the public on this date, and the rest is history.
YouTube Turns PCs Into TVs
April 6, 2006 On this date, unknown comic Judson Laipply posted a stage-performance video, "Evolution of Dance," in which he mimicked dance fads from Chubby Checker's "The Twist" to Outkast's "Hey Ya." The clip has since been watched more than 70 million times, demonstrating both YouTube's easy access and its unprecedented ability to create a video network you can watch from almost any place that has an Internet hookup.
D-Day for iPhone Insanity
June 29, 2007 Advance hype for the iPhone was ridiculous, but shoppers who stood in line didn't complain. The iPhone's impact has spread far beyond the 2 million or so people who've bought one: Thanks to its success, we can expect all future phones to sport high-res touch screens, fewer buttons, and more PC-like applications.