This year's 25 Geekiest 25th anniversaries

Five years makes an official franchise, no? Either way, what follows is a truncated-for-print version of our fifth annual collection of the year's "25 Geekiest 25th anniversaries." (Slideshow with more detail and all the pictures can be found here.)

'Hacker's Manifesto' published: Also known as "The Conscience of a Hacker," this essay about early hacker culture was penned by Loyd (The Mentor) Blankenship and first appeared Jan. 8, 1986 in the ezine Phrack.

"Bueller ... Bueller ... Bueller": Ferris Bueller doesn't get his day off from school in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" without knowing his way around a computer. In fact, he may have read Mentor's manifesto.

First PC virus spreads: The handiwork of a couple of Pakistani computer store operators, Brain was the first virus to target MS-DOS and the IBM PC.

Challenger disaster kills seven on Jan. 28, 1986: NASA officials didn't heed the warnings of their engineers.

Pixar Animation Studios opens: Steve Jobs buys and renames the computer graphics division of Lucasfilm.

Catastrophe engulfs Chernobyl: The explosions that began April 26 killed about 50 people, but that was the least of this nuclear power plant disaster.

'Captain Midnight' pwns HBO: Just after midnight on April 27, John MacDougall, a satellite TV dealer, hijacked HBO's satellite signal in order to broadcast a protest over rates.

LISTSERV debuts: The work of a young engineering student named Eric Thomas.

'Star Trek IV' released: No list of geeky anniversaries is complete without …

Rutan Voyager takes flight: The Rutan Model 76 Voyager required nine days and three minutes to become the first aircraft to fly around the world without stopping or taking on fuel.

Spy magazine debuts: Spy magazine lasted only 12 years, but left an enormous legacy.

IMAP delivers: The Internet Message Access Protocol was developed by Mark Crispin at Stanford.

First disposable camera tossed: Developed by Fujifilm, it was called Utsurun-Desu ("It takes pictures").

IBM ships its first laptop: Called the IBM PC Convertible, Big Blue's first laptop weighed 13 pounds.

Microsoft goes public: Shares go for $21 and Bill Gates becomes one of the world's youngest billionaires.

IETF established: The Internet Engineering Task Force was formed on Jan. 16, 1986, with Mike Corrigan, head of the Defense Data Network program, as its first chair.

Gone in a flash: That's what Eastman Kodak's instant camera business was after the company lost an appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States on a patent dispute with rival Polaroid.

Seeds of the Super Soaker: Aerospace engineer Lonnie Johnson named his first prototype the Pneumatic Water Gun, and he patented it in 1986.

E-filing begins: The IRS first allowed E-Filing as a cost-cutting measure; last year three-quarters of returns were filed electronically.

Soviets launch Mir: First launched Feb. 19, 1986, completed in 1996 and relegated to history on March 21, 2001.

'The Wizard' ruled: Starring 3-foot-11 David Rappaport as Simon McKay, "The Wizard" TV show lasted but one season.

Apple intros Macintosh Plus: An 8 MHz processor, 1 MB of RAM, and an 800k disk drive fetched $2,600.

Unisys is born: Forming the world's second largest computer company, Burroughs Corp. acquires Sperry for $4.8 billion.

'Captain EO' to the rescue: Billed as the first "4D" movie for its melding of 3D cinema and in-theater special effects.

Network World publishes first issue: What? It's our list; you expect us to leave this one out?

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2009's 25 geekiest 25th anniversaries

2008's 25 geekiest 25th anniversaries

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