- Harry Garland and Roger Melen receive Altair number 0002. They had
proposed in December to attach their Cyclops camera to the Altair, for
use as a security camera.
- Paul Allen meets with Ed Roberts to demonstrate the newly written BASIC
interpreter for the Altair. Despite never having touched an Altair before,
the BASIC works flawlessly.
- Bill Gates and Paul Allen license their newly written BASIC to MITS,
their first customer. This is the first computer language program written
for a personal computer.
- Fred Moore and Gordon French hold the first meeting of a new microcomputer
hobbyist's club in French's garage, in Menlo Park, California. 32 people
meet, including Bob Albrect, Steve Dompier, Lee Felsenstein, Bob Marsh,
Tom Pittman, Marty Spergel, Alan Baum, and Steven Wozniak. Bob Albrect
shows off an Altair, and Steve Dompier reports on MITS, and how they had
4000 orders for the Altair.
- Stephen Dorsey, founder of Automatic Electronic Systems, sells his
25% of the company for $135,000.
- Stephen Dorsey and Louis Miller found Micom Data Systems, in Canada.
- Ed Roberts hires Paul Allen as director of software at MITS.
- The 3rd meeting of the Homebrew Computer Club is held.
- Bill Gates and Paul Allen found Micro-Soft (the hyphen is later dropped).
- MITS delivers the first generally-available Altair 8800, sold for US$375
with 1KB memory.
- Bob Marsh and Gary Ingram found Processor Technology.
- The Amateur Computer Group of New Jersey is formed.
- MOS Technology announces the MC6501 at US$20 and the MC6502 at US$25.
At this point, the Intel 8080 costs about US$150.
- Bob Marsh delivers the first Processor Technology 4KB memory boards
for the Altair.
- The Southern California Computer Society is formed.
- The National Computer Conference is held in Anaheim, California.
- Paul Terrell signs a deal with MITS in which Terrell would receive
a 5% commission on every Altair sold in Northern California, for promoting
and selling the Altair.
- Bill Gates and Paul Allen sign a licensing agreement with MITS, for
their implementation of the BASIC language.
- Bill Gates and Paul Allen ship 4K and 8K version of BASIC v2.0.
- Dick Heiser opens Arrow Head Computer Company, subtitled "The Computer
Store", in Los Angeles, selling assembled Altairs, boards, peripherals,
- Micom Data Systems ships its first product, the Micom 2000 word processing
- IBM's Entry Level Systems unit unveils "Project Mercury", the IBM 5100
Portable Computer. It is a briefcase-size minicomputer with BASIC, 16KB
RAM, tape storage, and built-in 5-inch screen. Price: US$9000. Weight:
- The first issue of Byte magazine is published.
- MITS releases a version of MicroSoft BASIC 2.0 for its Altair 8800,
in 4K and 8K editions.
- Paul Terrell opens the Byte Shop, in Mountain View, California, one
of the first computer stores in the US.
- IMSAI hires Ed Faber as Director of Sales.
- Lee Felsenstein and Bob Marsh begin work on a complete computer, 8080-based
with a keyboard and color video display capabilities built-in.
- (summer) IMSAI announces the IMSAI 8080 microcomputer.
- The second meeting of Fred Moore/Gordon French's computer hobbyists
group is held at the Stanford AI lab. 40 attend. The name for the group
is chosen: Bay Area Amateur Computer Users Group - Homebrew Computer Club.
- The 4th meeting of the Homebrew Computer Club is held at the Peninsula
School in Menlo Park. Steve Dompier plays the music "Fool on the Hill"
and "Daisy" using the Altair and a radio.
- Wavemate releases the Jupiter II computer kit.
- Southwest Technical Products releases the M6800 computer kit.
- Microcomputer Associates releases the JOLT computer kit.
- Canadian microchip maker Microsystems International shuts down, after
accumulating losses of over $50 million.
- Gates and Allen's Traf-O-Data company is renamed Micro-Soft.
- IBM's John Cocke begins work on project "801", to develop a scalable
chip design that could be used in small computers as well as large.
- IMSAI begins working on the IMSAI 8080.
- MITS begins work on a Motorola 6800-based Altair.
- Sphere Corporation introduces its Sphere I computer kit, featuring
a Motorola 6800 CPU, 4KB RAM, ROM monitor, keyboard, and video interface,
- Cromemco is founded, by Harry Garland and Roger Melen. The company
is named after the Crowthers Memorial dorm at Stanford.