computing history

before 1960
1961-1965 1966-1970 1971-1975 1976-1980 1981-1984 1985-1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000

1976 - 1980

1976

Michael Schrayer writes Electric Pencil, the first word processor software for microcomputers.

1976

Digital ships WPS-8 a word-processor program.

1976

Z80 microprocessor from Zilog became available in February.

1976

On 1 April Apple Computers founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wazniak using the family garage.
Apple 1- incorporated the use of a motherboard into which expansion cards could be plugged and a programming language could be used on a ROM chip.

1976

Cry 1 the first supercomputer produced by Cry Research introduced the modern era of supercomputers.

1976

RCA introduced the 1802 microprocessor. It is later used in RCA COSMAC VIP system developed by Joseph Weisbecker. It includes 2 Kb RAM, 512 bytes of ROM, and an interface for Video, Cassette and Audio.

1976

Shugart announces its 51/4" mini floppy disk drive priced at 390 U$.

1976

Texas Inst. announces the TMS 9000, the first 16-bit microprocessor.

1976

Zilog's first microprocessor Z80 on the market. The first computer to use it will be Z-1 from Cramenco in the same year.

1976

Atari released Atari2600 home video game console, a 4-bit system.

1977

Microsoft licensed Microsoft BASIC to Apple.

1977

Gary Kildall of Digital Research develops the CP/M operating system.

1977

Interactive System Corp. began selling Unix in the commercial market; Unix is introduced to IBM 360 System.
By this year Unix could be run only on a DEC PDP microcomputers.

1977

University of California at Berkeley releases a version of Unix called version 4xBSD. Includes a Pascal interpreter, a Pascal shell and a selection of hardware drivers.

1977

In April Apple II, the first microcomputer with a colour graphic capability had sold millions over 15 years. Based on Motorola 6502 processor could hold up 64 Kb RAM.

1977 The first implementation of a TCP system. TCP is a tool that allows distinct networks to communicate with each other.
In 1978 Xeros Corporation causes a TCP enhancement: Internet Protocol (IP), a separate program that handles the routing of individual messages.
Together, the protocols become known as TCP/IP and represent the standard system used in most large networks.

1977

100 hosts on Arpanet.

1977

Commodore founded by Jack Tramiel released the first microcomputer called PET in April. It offers 4 Kb RAM, 4 Kb ROM (including Basic), a Keyboard, Display and Cassette interface.

1977

Radio Shack introduced the TSR-80 model 1, the first complete pre-assembled small computer system. It included 4 Kb RAM, 4 Kb ROM (including Microsoft's BASIC), a Keyboard, Display and Cassette interface.

1977

Digital introduces VAX-11/780 the first member of the VAX series of computers.

1978

Micro Pro Int. announced Word Master a word processor precursor to Word Star

1978

Dan Bricklin and Bob Frankston develop Visi Calc, the first spreadsheet program for microcomputers, which will be distributed on the market in 1979 by Software Ants. Initially available only on Apple II, the program was an instant success.

1978

Computer Headware announces WHATSIT the first database manager.

1978

First version of Oracle that will became the standard database for mainframe and Client/Server networking.

1978

Niklaus Wirth develops Modula -2 from Pascal with few improvements. It will implement one year later on the PDP-11 using Medos -2 operating system.

1978

Epson America introduced the MX-80 dot matrix printer.

1978

Houston Inst. announced Hi Plot plotter.

1978

Summagraphics announces Bit Pad the first digitizer.

1978

Radio Shak sold ~100,000 TSR-80s which represent 50% of the personal computer market of the year.
Commodore was the second selling 25,000 PETs, followed by Apple with 20,000 systems.

1978

Intel 8086 microprocessor hits the market.

1979

Magic Wand, a wordprocessor program became a competitor for Word Star.

1979

Wayne Ratliff develops the Vulcan database program that will later become dBASE II. It allows up to 65,000 records, and up to 32 fields of 1Kb each.

1979

Ada language developed by US Department of Defense; It's a highly structured, modular language based on Pascal. Easy to learn, very readable but not efficient.

1979

AT&T develops Unix version 7 extended with same 143 additional commands including full K & R compiler and Bourne shell.

1979

Microsoft developed a Unix version called XENIX. Originally parted to Intel's 8086 microprocessor and later adapted to Motorola 6800 and Intel 286.

1979

Microsoft BASIC version 3.0 appears followed soon by version 4.

1979

Micro Pro Int. founded by Rob Barnaby and Seymon Rubenstain, introduced Word Star

1979

The first Atari microcomputers: Atari 400 and 800. They offer 8 Kb RAM (expandable to 48 Kb), a full Keyboard and a Sound and Graphics chips designed by Joy Miner.

1979

Hayes Microcomputers Products announces the Micromodem 100 the first commercial modem. It could transmit at 110 to 300 bps.

1979

Xerox, DEC and Intel announced the Ethernet.

1979

Texas Inst. released the first 16-bit processor on the market: 9900

1979 The first Computerized Bulletin Board System (CBBS) is open to the public in Chicago.
1979 Usenet, a multidisciplinary computer network of news and discussion groups, is formed.
By 1991 Usenet hosts more than 35,000 nodes.

1979

There were 16 companies in microprocessor industry; The total worldwide shipments of microprocessors in this year were 18 mil. units, with 10 mil. microcontroller used into automobiles.

1979

CompuServe and The Source on-line services open.

1980

Matra Datavision is created as part of Lagardere Group and starts to produce CAD/CAM software.

1980

Satellite Software (later Word Perfect Corp.) announced the first version of Word Perfect. By 1987 was the dominant DOS word processor program.

1980

Philips and Sony announced the first CD-DA (Digital Audio) device. The original specification is called Red Book.

1980

Digital Equipment topped 2 billion revenues, second place behind IBM.

1980

Commodore VIC-20 becomes the first million-seller model in the history of computer industry. It has 5 Kb RAM, BASIC in ROM, Colour Display, Modem interface, etc. for 300 U$.

1980

Shugart released 5 1/4" Winchester driver that holds 80 times as much data as a standard floppy and transfer data 20 times faster.

1980

Apple became a public company with 4.6 million shares. Jobs and Wozniak are instant multimillionaires.

1980

IBM chooses the new Intel 8088 microprocessor for their first microcomputer.

1980

The number of companies in computer industry reaches 3000. IBM shipped 25 % of the market.

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©; 2000-2003, Marian Bozdoc, Auckland, NZ