- Radio Shack ceases production of the TRS-80 Model I, and recalls units
from the US market, due to failure to meet new FCC radio-frequency interference
- Osborne Computer Corporation is incorporated.
- The International Winter Consumer Electronics Show is held in Las Vegas,
- Murray Bell and Paul Barsley present their microcomputer proposal to
Dynalogic's owner, Bytec. Bytec executives give approval for the project.
- Casio demonstrates the FX-9000P, with a 5 inch CRT, keyboard, keypad,
removable memory modules, and 256x128 graphics.
- Commodore announces the VIC-20, with full-size 61-key plus four function
key keyboard, 5KB RAM expandable to 32KB, 6502A CPU, 22 character by 23
line text display, and color graphics, for US$300. During its life, production
peaks at 9,000 units per day.
- Steve Wozniak's private plane crashes, leaving him with a temporary
loss of short-term memory, lasting for over a month.
- Intel introduces the iAPX432 at the International Solid State Circuits
- MS-DOS runs for the first time on IBM's prototype microcomputer.
- Intel begins shipping evaluation sets of the iAPX432 microprocessor.
Performance is claimed as 2 MIPS.
- Curt and Kathy Preston open the Byte Shop in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
- Mattel test-markets the keyboard component of the Intellivision in
- The director of Canada' Radiation Protection Bureau declares that video
display terminals carry no radiation hazard.
- Sinclair unveils the ZX81 in the UK, based on the Z80A microprocessor,
for under US$200.
- Mike Markkula takes over as president and chief executive officer at
Apple Computer. Steve Jobs remains as chairman of the board.
- Tim Patterson quits Seattle Computer Products, and joins Microsoft.
- The sixth West Coast Computer Faire is held, in San Francisco, California.
- Adam Osborne, of Osborne Computer Corporation, introduces the Osborne
1 Personal Business Computer at the West Coast Computer Faire. It features
a Z80A CPU, 5-inch display, 64KB RAM, keyboard, keypad, modem, and two
5.25-inch 100KB disk drives for US$1795. Weight: 24 pounds. It also includes
US$1500 worth of software, including CP/M, BASIC, WordStar, and SuperCalc.
Osborne anticipated selling 10,000 in total, but sales quickly reached
10,000 in a single month.
- Mike Scott is forced out as Apple Computer president.
- The National Computer Conference is held in Chicago, with attendance
- Xerox unveils the Star 8010, at the National Computer Conference. Many
features that were developed on the Alto are incorported. At a starting
price of US$16-17,000, the computer is not a commercial success. During
its lifetime, 100,000 units are produced.
- Atari announces the 8KB Atari 400 is being discontinued.
- Microsoft reorganizes into Microsoft Incorporated, with Bill Gates
as President and Chairman, and Paul Allen as Executive Vice President.
- Microsoft persuades IBM to introduce its microcompute with a minimum
of 64KB RAM. IBM had planned to only include 16KB.
- Xerox announces the Xerox 820. During its development, it was code-named
The Worm. It uses the Z80 CPU, CP/M, and BASIC. The price with a dual
disk drive and display is US$3000.
- Microsoft buys all rights to DOS from Seattle Computer Products, and
the name MS-DOS is adopted.
- IBM introduces its first desktop computer, the Datamaster. It uses
a 16-bit 8086, and is a dedicated data processing machine.
- The first IBM PCs roll off the assembly lines.
- Mike Scott resigns from Apple Computer.
- IBM announces the IBM 5150 PC Personal Computer, in New York. The PC
features a 4.77-MHz Intel 8088 CPU, 64KB RAM, 40KB ROM, one 5.25-inch
floppy drive (160KB capacity), and PC-DOS 1.0 (Microsoft's MS-DOS), for
about US$3000. A fully loaded version with color graphics costs US$6000.
- IBM announces the CGA graphics card for the PC, giving 640x200 resolution
with 16 colors.
- Quote from Tandy president John Roach, regarding IBM's entry into the
microcomputer field: "I don't think it's that significant".
- Apple Computer runs a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal with
a headline that reads "Welcome IBM. Seriously.".
- Vector Graphic makes its first public stock offering of US$13 million.
- Novell Data Systems hires SuperSet to create software to link computers
together to share a hard drive.
- Microsoft begins work on a graphical user interface for MS-DOS, initially
called Interface Manager, because it would effectively hide the interface
between programs and devices like printers and video cards.
- Osborne Computer Company has its first US$1 million sales month.
- Apple Computer introduces its first hard drive, the 5MB ProFile, for
- IBM begins shipping the IBM PC, ahead of schedule, something unheard
of in the microcomputer industry.
- The Fourth Personal Computer World Show is held, in London England.
- Sinclair Research and W H Smith sign an agreement for W H Smith to
sell the ZX-81 in its retail stores in England, for a trial 1-year period.
- Acorn Computer Ltd. introduces the BBC Microcomputer System. It features
a 6502A CPU, up to 48 KB RAM, 73-key keyboard, and 16 color graphics.
- Logo Computer Systems completes a contract with Apple Computer, for
Apple to distribute their version of the LOGO language. This is the first
time Apple agrees to co-label a product with an outside supplier, and
the first time Apple signs a contract with a supplier outside of the US.
- The ZX81 is introduced to the American market, as the Timex TS1000,
- A senior scientist at Bell Telephone Laboratories declares that video
monitors pose no health hazard due to radiation exposure.
- Novell Data Systems ships the Novell Data Management Computer, with
the ability to share its hard drive space with other computers through
software comtrol and network cards.
- Ashton-Tate ships dBase II, the early industry-standard database program.
- At COMDEX, Tecmar introduces 20 add-on peripherals for the IBM PC,
the first such third-party developer.
- Microsoft, Incorporated becomes Microsoft Corporation.
- Murray Bell and Paul Barsley of Dynalogic create specifications for
a microcomputer, which will become the Hyperion.
- Intel ships the 8087 math coprocessor.
- Sinclair Research reports that it has shipped 250,000 ZX81 personal
- National Semiconductor announces the 32000 chip, the first commercial
32-bit microprocessor. The 32000 family includes CPUs and peripheral chips.
- David Bunnell starts PC Magazine, in San Francisco.
- Apple Computer officially reintroduces the Apple III, with improved
software and a hard disk.
- Micro/Vest files a lawsuit against Bill Millard, claiming 20% of ComputerLand
- Bally licenses Commodore to manufacture its arcade games into cartridges
for the VIC-20.
- Toshiba demonstrates its T200 and T250 systems.
- Rockwell International ceases production of bubble-memory products
for the microcomputer market.
- W.H. Sim founds Creative Technology in Singapore.
- Hayes Microcomputer Products advertises the Smartmodem 300, which becomes
the industry standard.
- Astrovision releases the Bally Computer System.
- Seagate Technologies begins shipping its 5 MB 5.25-inch hard drives,
- College professor James Clark found Silicon Graphics, Incorporated.
- Hayes Microcomputers Products' employee, Dale Heatherington, develops
the +++ escape sequence for modems.
- APF introduces the Imagination Machine II at the 1981 Winter Consumer
Electronics Show. It features a 6800 CPU, 27KB RAM, two 5.25 inch disk
drives, built-in cassette drive, 53-key keyboard, and 32x16 character
display caability for US$1600.
- Vector Graphic Inc. unveils the first personal computer with a built-in
hard disk drive, for US$7950.
- Tandy Corporation sues Personal Microcomputers Inc. for copyright infringement
on the design of the TRS-80.
- Texas Instruments announces that it is getting out of the magnetic
bubble memory market.
- Apple Computer signs a secret agreement with Apple Corps Limited (the
record company started by the Beatles), allowing Apple Computer to use
the "Apple" name for its business. Apple Computer agrees not to market
audio/video products with recording or playback capabilities.
- Apple Computer prohibits mail-order sales of Apple computers, claiming
there is no provision for customer education or services.
- NCR and Shugart Associates develop the Shugart Associates system interface
(SASI). (developed by Shugart, 1979-81)
- The ANSI X3T9 standards committee adopts SASI as a working document
for an ANSI interface standard. It is finalized in 1986, and named SCSI.
(NCR and Shugart request committee be formed; committee X3T9.2 formed