- Terrence E. Valeski and a group of investors buy all rights to the
Intellivision from Mattel for US$16.5 million.
- Jack Tramiel, founder and president of Commodore, leaves the company.
- Apple Computer runs its "1984" commercial during the NFL SuperBowl,
introducing the Macintosh computer. Apple Computer runs the ad only once,
but dozens of news and talk shows replay it, making it one of the most
memorable ads in TV history. The ad cost US$1.5 million.
- Apple Computer's Steve Jobs introduces the Apple Macintosh at the Flint
Center of DeAnza College in Cupertino, California. The Macintosh uses
the 8-MHz 32-bit Motorola 68000 CPU, built-in 9-inch B/W screen, 512x342
graphics, 400KB 3.5-inch floppy disk drive, mouse, 128KB RAM, and weighs
20 pounds. Price: US$2500.
- Quote by Macintosh computer, introducing itself: "I'm glad to be out
of that bag".
- Apple Computer introduces its 300-baud modem for US$300, and 1200-baud
modem for US$500.
- Microsoft ships Microsoft BASIC (MacBASIC) and Microsoft Multiplan
for the Macintosh.
- Apple releases a new version of the Lisa computer, the Lisa 2. It uses
all new software, as well as the Macintosh operating system. It comes
with 512KB RAM, and one 3.5-inch 400KB floppy drive. The Lisa 2/5 comes
with a 5MB hard drive, and the Lisa 2/10 comes with a 10MB hard drive.
- Seiko Instruments U.S.A. Inc. displays the first wristwatch computer,
with a 10-character, 4-line LCD.
- Hitachi ad for their 3-inch compact floppy disk drive: "It's clear
that the 3-inch floppy will become the new standard."
- IBM sues Corona Data Systems for copyright violation of the IBM PC's
BIOS, and wins.
- Commodore announces the Commodore 264 at the Winter Consumer Electronics
Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. Code name for the computer was "TED". The 264
uses a 7501 microprocessor, 64KB RAM, 320x200 pixel graphics offering
128 color variations.
- Commodore shows a prototype of the Commodore 364 computer at the Winter
Consumer Electronics Show. The 364 is like the Commodore 264, but with
a separate numeric keypad and built-in voice synthesizer.
- Timex withdraws from the home computer business.
- Microsoft releases Multiplan v1.1 for the PC.
- IBM announces the IBM Portable PC, for US$2900.
- IBM sues Eagle Computer and Corona Data Systems for copyright violation
of the IBM PC's BIOS, and wins.
- 3Com first sells shares to the public.
- Ashton-Tate announces the integrated software package, Framework.
- Microsoft releases MS-DOS 2.1 for the IBM PCjr.
- Microsoft releases MS-DOS 2.11. It includes enhancements to better
allow conversion into different languages and date formats.
- NEC introduces the 8-MHz V30 microprocessor, the first clone of Intel's
8086. It uses 63,000 transistors.
- IBM ships the IBM PCjr. It uses the 8088 CPU, includes 64KB RAM, a
"Freeboard" keyboard, and one 5.25-inch disk drive, no monitor, for US$1300.
- Microsoft decides to temporary shelve work on a new spreadsheet (Excel)
for the PC, and concentrate on a version for the Macintosh.
- 74 days after the introduction of the Macintosh, 50,000 units have
- Project IIx is cancelled at Apple Computer.
- The Canon Sales Company debuts the Apple Macintosh in Japan.
- Commodore International launches the Commodore PC at the Hanover Fair
- Commodore International launches the Commodore Z8000 at the Hanover
Fair in Germany.
- Compaq Computer introduces its PCs to Europe.
- Apple Computer unveils the Apple IIc with an intense publicity extravaganza,
at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Priced at US$1300, 2,000 dealers
place orders for more than 52,000 units on the day of its introduction.
The IIc uses a 65C02A microprocessor, 128KB RAM, weighs 7.5 pounds, includes
a 3.5-inch floppy drive, supports 40- or 80-column screens, and allows
both QWERTY and Dvorak keyboard layouts.
- Apple Computer retires the Apple III and Apple III+, with only 65,000
units sold in total. (90,000 made)
- Microsoft France releases Multiplan for the IBM PC.
- Silicon Graphics begins shipping its first 3-D graphics workstations.
- Apple Computer releases the color Apple Scribe printer, using a special
waxed ribbon and thermal print head.
- Microsoft releases Microsoft Word 1.1 for DOS.
- AT&T and Olivetti form a strategic relationship to develop and
market PCs in the US.
- Apple Computer announces that 70,000 Macintosh computers have been
shipped in the first 100 days since its announcement.
- Apple Computer names Kay Power as a research fellow of Apple.
- Apple Computer introduces the DuoDisk dual 5.25-inch floppy disk drive
unit for the Apple II line.
- Apple Computer releases the AppleMouse II with MousePaint and a peripheral
card for the Apple IIe or Apple II Plus (or directly in the Apple IIc).
- Quarterdeck Office Systems officially launches DESQ, a text-based windowing
environment for running DOS programs.
- The Summer Consumer Electronics Show is held, in Chicago, Illinois.
- Ashton-Tate ships dBase III.
- Tom Jennings creates the FidoNet BBS network.
- Motorola adds the 68020 32-bit processor to its line.
- Amiga demonstrates a new computer, code-named "Lorraine".
- Apple Computer releases the Apple Color Plotter, a 4-pen plotter.
- Commodore announces the Commodore 16 at the Consumer Electronics Show.
The machine looks like the VIC-20 and Commodore 64, but has 16KB of RAM,
and is expected to sell for around US$100, and marketed as "The Learning
- Commodore announces the renamed Commodore 264 as the Plus/4. It will
now feature four built-in programs, not just one. Price should be around
- Commodore announces the DSP 1101 letter-quality daisywheel printer,
designed for the Plus/4.
- Commodore announces the MPS 802 dot matrix printer.
- Commodore announces the MCS 801 color dot matrix printer.
- Commodore announces the MPS 803 dot matrix printer, designed for use
with the Commodore 16.
- Okidata introduces the Okimate 10 thermal transfer color dot matrix
printer, for US$240.
- Compaq Computer introduces the Compaq Deskpro.
- AT&T introduces the PC 6300, an 8-MHz 8086-based PC manufactured
- Jack Tramiel, former president of Commodore International, buys a controlling
interest in the Atari home computer and video game divisions from Warner
Communications, for US$240 million in long-term notes. Warner retains
Atari's coin-operated game division and home communications venture Ataritel.
- Six months after its introduction, 100,000 Macintosh computers have
- Digital Vision releases the Computer Eyes video capture system for
the Apple II, selling for US$130 (US$350 with a camera).
- Commodore purchases Amiga Corporation.
- IBM announces the PC AT, a 6MHz 80286 computer using PC-DOS 3.0, a
5.25-inch 1.2MB floppy drive, with 256KB RAM, for US$4000, which doesn't
include hard drive or monitor/card. With a 20MB hard drive, color card
and monitor: US$6700.
- IBM announces its PC Network local area network.
- IBM introduces PC/IX, based on UNIX System III from AT&T, for the
- IBM announces TopView, a DOS multitasking program.
- IBM announces the Enhanced Color Display monitor with 640x350 resolution,
priced at US$850.
- IBM announces the Enhanced Graphics Adapter (EGA), supporting up to
640x350 resolution in 16 colors. With 64K, the card costs US$524. For
640x350x16 mode, a US$200 64KB RAM expander is required.
- IBM announces the Professional Graphics Display monitor, for US$1300.
The 14-inch monitor will display up to 256 colors (from 4096) simultaneously
at 640x480 resolution.
- IBM announces the Professional Graphics Controller card, for US$3000.
The card takes up two adjacent slots of a PC, and includes an 8-MHz 8088
chip and 384KB of memory.
- Microsoft releases MS-DOS 3.0 for PCs. It adds support for 1.2 MB floppy
disks, and bigger (than 10 MB) hard disks.
- Visicorp sells Visi-On to Control Data.
- Apple Computer introduces the Macintosh 512K for US$3200. It uses an
8-MHz 68000 processor, and comes with 512 KB RAM, and a 400 KB 3.5-inch
- Digital Research announces its Graphics Environment Manager (GEM) icon/desktop
user interface for 8086- and DOS-based computers.
- Apple Computer gives LaserWriter printer prototypes to Lotus Development,
Microsoft, and Aldus, in hopes of their developing application support
- Microsoft releases Microsoft Word 1.15 for DOS.
- Microsoft gives a demonstration of the final version of Windows to
IBM. For the third time, IBM is not interested.
- The number of hosts on the Internet reaches 1000.
- The Tandy 1200 debuts.
- Apple Computer launches the "Test Drive a Macintosh" promotion. About
200,000 take a Macintosh home for a free 24-hour trial.
- Lotus Development officially announces Jazz for the Macintosh, an all-in-one
program incorporating a spreadsheet, database, graphics, word processing,
- Satellite Software International ships WordPerfect 4.0 for US$500.
- The 2 millionth Apple II computer is sold.
- Jim Manzi is named president and chief operating officer of Lotus Development.
- Microsoft releases MS-DOS 3.1. It adds support for Microsoft networks.
- Several companies introduce 2400 baud modems at COMDEX, priced at US$800-900.
- Apple sells the 250,000th Macintosh system.
- Tandy introduces the Tandy 1000, for US$1300.
- Atari officially discontinues the Atari 5200.
- Commodore stops manufacturing the VIC-20.
- Sierra On-Line releases the game King's Quest.
- Jim Button decides to leave his US$50,000/year job at IBM to work full-time
at his US$500,000/year Buttonware shareware hobby-turned-business.
- IBM introduces a new keyboard for the IBM PCjr, offering a free upgrade
to all who want it.
- Software Arts wins its lawsuit against VisiCorp over the rights to
the VisiCalc program. VisiCorp is ordered to pay US$500,000 to Software
- Atari introduces the Atari 7800 ProSystem.
- Milton Bradley discontinues manufacturing of the Vectrex.
- Motorola unveils its 68010 CPU chip.
- Sinclair announces the 16/32-bit QL microcomputer, using the Motorola
68008 microprocessor, 128KB RAM, two built-in tape drives, and multitasking
ROM-based operating system. Weight is 3 pounds. Price is expected to be
- Apple Computer releases ProDOS.
- Apple Computer releases AppleWorks, one of the first integrated software
packages, with modules for word processing, database management, and spreadsheet
calculations. It was written by Rupert Lissner.
- Mattel sells marketing rights for the Aquarius home computer to Radofin
- Apple Computer buys 15% of Adobe for US$2.5 million.
- Hewlett-Packard introduces the LaserJet laser printer, featuring 300dpi
resolution, for US$3,600.
- Intel introduces the 80186, 80188, and 80286 processors.
- Foxbase releases Foxbase for MS-DOS.
- Sirius Software files for Chapter 11 backruptcy proceedings.
- Mindset debuts the Mindset PC.
- MIPS Computer Systems is founded, and begins developing its RISC architecture.
- Commodore introduces the Plus/4, with integrated software in ROM.
- Olivetti buys 60% of Acorn Computers' public shares.
- Philips announces CD-ROM players for personal computers, for under
- The Odyssey Division of North American Philips ceases production of
hardware for its Odyssey programmable videogame system.
- Microsoft and Lotus Development reach an agreement in principle to
merge companies, but Jim Manzi convinces Mitch Kapor to back out of it.