22 November 1995

Toy Story is released as the full length film created completely using computer generated imagery.

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On this day in tech history, “Toy Story” was released in theaters, becoming the first entirely computer-animated feature-length film. It was the first film produced by Pixar with Steve Jobs serving as an executive producer.

Jobs bought the Computer Graphics Division of Lucasfilms in 1986 and made it an independent company called Pixar. That year it released “Luxo Jr.”, the first 3D computer-animated film to be nominated for the Best Animated Short Film Oscar. It featured the desk lamp often seen in the Pixar logo.

Pixar produced short animated films to promote their computers and software. In 1989 it released the first commercial version of RenderMan, a software for rendering computer graphics in film.

Pixar began working with Disney in 1991 to create a “computer-generated animated movie.” That movie was “Toy Story” and it became the highest grossing film of 1995, making $192 million in the US, and $362 million worldwide. The sequel was released four years later and was the first film to be entirely created, mastered, and exhibited digitally. “Toy Story 2” made more money than the original, and 2010’s “Toy Story 3” was the first animated film to make over $1 billion worldwide.

In 1996 Pixar director John Lasseter received a Special Achievement Oscar from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his “inspired leadership of the Pixar Toy Story Team resulting in the first feature-length computer animated film.” Pixar’s Ed Catmull, Alvy Ray Smith, Thomas Porter, and Tom Duff also received the Sciences Scientific and Engineering Academy Award for their pioneering inventions in digital image compositioning.

Pixar was bought by The Walt Disney Company in 2006, and it has now released 19 feature films, many nominated for Academy Awards.

In 2005 “Toy Story” was inducted into the National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

23 May 1995

The first version of the Java programming language is released.

On 23 May 1995, John Gage, the director of the Science Office of the Sun Microsystems along with Marc Andreesen, co-founder and executive vice president at Netscape announced to an audience of SunWorldTM that Java technology wasn’t a myth and that it was going to be incorporated into Netscape Navigator.

At the time the total number of people working on Java was less than 30. This team would shape the future in the next decade and no one had any idea as to what was in store. From running an unmanned vehicle on Mars to serving as the operating environment of most consumer electronics, e.g. cable set-top boxes, VCRs, toasters and PDAs, Java has come a long way from its inception. Let’s see how it all began.

In December of 1990, a project was initiated behind closed doors with the aim to create a programming tool that could render obsolete the C and C++ programming languages. Engineer Patrick Naughton had become extremely frustrated with the state of Sun’s C++ and C APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) and tools. While he was considering to move towards NeXT, he was offered a chance to work on new technology and the Stealth Project was started, a secret nobody but he knew.

This Stealth Project was later named the Green Project when James Gosling and Mike Sheridan joined Patrick. As the Green Project teethed, the prospects of the project started becoming clearer to the engineers working on it. No longer did it aim to create a new language far superior to the present ones, but it aimed to target devices other than the computer.

Staffed at 13 people, they began work in a small office on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park, California. This team came to be called the Green Team henceforth in time. The project they underwent was chartered by Sun Microsystems to anticipate and plan for the “next wave” in computing. For the team, this meant at least one significant trend, that of the convergence of digitally controlled consumer devices and computers.

13 May 1995

Alison Hargreaves becomes the first woman to conquer Everest without oxygen or the help of sherpas.

In 1995, Hargreaves determined to climb, unaided, the three highest mountains in the world, Mount Everest, K2, and Kangchenjunga. She made her first attempt of Everest in 1994 but abandoned the climb at just 450 metres because of frostbite. She was determined to go again and in one year’s time, she did. On 13 May 1995 Hargreaves made history when she reached the top of Mount Everest, becoming the first woman and only the second person in history to reach the 8,847.7-metre summit without supplemental oxygen, sherpas, or any other companionship. At the top, she immediately radioed her base camp and had a fax sent to her two children, then aged six and four, reading, “I am on the top of the world and I love you dearly.”

Jubilant with success, Hargreaves quickly planned her next expedition and just two weeks after returning home from Everest, left for K2 in Pakistan. At 8,600 metres, the peak in Pakistan is the second-highest mountain in the world, and, due to wild weather and fierce winds, one of the most daunting to climb. After a stormy and challenging climb, Hargreaves reached K2’s summit on 17 July. However, on 13 August 1995, exactly three months after she made history on Everest, Hargreaves made history again when a horrific storm took her life, along with those of her five fellow mountaineers.

21 December 1995

The city of Bethlehem passes from Israeli to Palestinian control.

On December 21, 1995, Israeli troops withdrew from Bethlehem, and three days later the city came under the complete administration and military control of the Palestinian National Authority in conformance with the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 1995.During the Second Palestinian Intifada in 2000–2005, Bethlehem’s infrastructure and tourism industry were damaged. In 2002, it was a primary combat zone in Operation Defensive Shield, a major military counteroffensive by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). During the counteroffensive, the IDF besieged the Church of the Nativity, where dozens of Palestinian militants had sought refuge. The siege lasted for 39 days. Several militants were killed. It ended with an agreement to exile 13 of the wanted militants to various foreign countries.