(Some) Computer History in a Timeline
1960 to 1980

The dawn of IT to 1960   1960 to 1980   1980 to 2000   2000 to 2020  

1960: COBOL

Common Business Oriented Language created by a joint comittee of computer manufacturers.

1960: PDP-1
Kenneth Olsen at DEC (Digital Equiptment Corporation). The precursor to the minicomputer, DEC's PDP-1 sold for $120,000. One of 50 built, the average PDP-1 included with a cathode ray tube graphic display, needed no air conditioning and required only one operator. It's large scope intrigued early hackers at MIT, like Stephen Russell, who wrote the first computerized video game, SpaceWar!, for it. The SpaceWar! creators then used the game as a standard demonstration on all 50 computers. PDP stands for Program, Data, Processor.

1960: Echo
NASA's first communications satellite project, launched on August 12. Echo was a passive satellite that reflected radio waves back to the ground. Earlier in the 1950's, the Navy had used the Moon as a passive reflector.

1961: Integrated Circuit

Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments & Robert Noyce of Fairchild co-invent the integrated circuit.
1961: Packet switching
Leonard Kleinrock publishes the first paper on packet switching theory at MIT. MIT (1961-1967), RAND (1962-1965), and NPL (1964-1967) had all proceeded in parallel without any of the researchers knowing about the other work. The word "packet" was adopted from the work at NPL. Work from this would later create ARPANET which became the INTERNET.

1961: IBM1401
According to Datamation magazine, IBM had an 81.2-percent share of the computer market in 1961, the year in which it introduced the 1400 Series. The 1401 mainframe, the first in the series, replaced the vacuum tube with smaller, more reliable transistors and used a magnetic core memory. Demand called for more than 12,000 of the 1401 computers, and the machine's success made a strong case for using general-purpose computers rather than specialized systems.

1962: LINC-8
Laboratory Instrumentation Computer. Clark with LINC-8 offered the first real time laboratory data processing. Designed by Wesley Clark at Lincoln Laboratories, Digital Equipment Corp. later commercialized it as the LINC-8. Research faculty came to a workshop at MIT to build their own machines, most of which they used in biomedical studies. DEC supplied components.

1962: Modem
In 1962, the first commercial modem was manufactured - the Bell 103 by AT&T. The Bell 103 was also the first modem with full-duplex transmission, frequency-shift keying or FSK, and had a speed of 300 bits per second or 300 bauds.

1963: IEEE
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, IEEE produces 30 percent of the world's literature in the electrical and electronics engineering and computer science fields, and has developed more than 900 active industry standards. It also sponsors or cosponsors more than 300 international technical conferences each year. The IEEE consists of 37 societies, organized around specialized technical fields, with more than 300 local organizations that hold regular meetings. The IEEE publishes an extensive range of peer-reviewed journals, and is a major international standards body (nearly 900 active standards with 700 under development).

1964: IBM360
IBM System/360, a family of six mutually compatible computers and 40 peripherals that could work together. The initial investment of $5 billion was quickly returned as orders for the system climbed to 1,000 per month within two years. At the time IBM released the System/360, the company was making a transition from discrete transistors to integrated circuits, and its major source of revenue moved from punched-card equipment to electronic computer systems.

1964: CDC6600
CDC 6600 supercomputer, designed by Seymour Cray, performed up to 3 million instructions per second. A processing speed three times faster than that of its closest competitor, the IBM Stretch. The 6600 retained the distinction of being the fastest computer in the world until surpassed by its successor, the CDC 7600, in 1968. Part of the speed came from the computer's design, which had 10 small computers, known as peripheral processors, funneling data to a large central processing unit.

1964: SABRE
IBM and American Airlines release the Sabre (semi-automatic research environment) system. A transcontinental network of 2,000 terminals linked to a large central database computer. The first commercial application of computer time sharing. It ran on the ACP (Airline Control Program) operating system, later known as TPF (Transaction Processing Facility) which ended up running the first ATM (Automated Teller Machine) network for the banking industry.

1964 May 1: BASIC

Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code by John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz of Dartmouth College, in Hanover, New Hampshire. It is based on FORTRAN and Algol, and was developed for a General Electric 225 mainframe computer. BASIC becomes the most popular introductory programming language for microcomputers. They came up with the idea of time sharing so that they could teach a hands on classroom in 1959, how they created the language to teach with.

1965: PDP-8
DEC (Digital Equipment Corp) introduced the PDP-8, the first commercially successful minicomputer. The PDP-8 sold for $18,000, one-fifth the price of a small IBM 360 mainframe. The speed, small size, and reasonable cost enabled the PDP-8 to go into thousands of manufacturing plants, small businesses, and scientific laboratories.

1965: Wide Area Network
Lawrence G. Roberts and Thomas Merrill connected the TX-2 computer in Mass. to the Q-32 in California with a low speed dial-up telephone line creating the first (however small) wide-area computer network ever built.

1965: Multics
Multiplexed Information and Computing Service. J.C.R. Licklider, director of information processing research at ARPA, took the next logical stage in the development of time-sharing to produce a system known as "Multics". Choosing a GE 600 series machine as the basis for the development, MIT was joined by GE and AT&T Bell Laboratories to produce a general-purpose, shared-memory multiprocessing timesharing system.

1966: A.J. Perlis
ACM Turing Award Winner for his influence in the area of advanced programming techniques and compiler construction.

1966: ILLAC IV
The Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency contracted with the University of Illinois to build a large parallel processing computer, the ILLIAC IV, which did not operate until 1972 at NASA's Ames Research Center. The first large-scale array computer, the ILLIAC IV achieved a computation speed of 200 million instructions per second, about 300 million operations per second, and 1 billion bits per second of I/O transfer via a unique combination of parallel architecture and the overlapping or "pipe-lining" structure of its 64 processing elements.

1966: HP-2115
Hewlett-Packard entered the general purpose computer business with its HP-2115 for computation, offering a computational power formerly found only in much larger computers. It supported a wide variety of languages, among them BASIC, ALGOL, and FORTRAN.

1967: Maurice V. Wilkes
ACM Turing Award Winner, Professor Wilkes is best known as the builder and designer of the EDSAC, the first computer with an internally stored program. Built in 1949, the EDSAC used a mercury delay line memory. He is also known as the author, with Wheeler and Gill, of a volume on "Preparation of Programs for Electronic Digital Computers" in 1951, in which program libraries were effectively introduced.

1968: NOVA
Ed deCastro and Data General Corp. started by a group of engineers that had left Digital Equipment Corp., introduced the Nova, with 32 kilobytes of memory, for $8,000. The simple architecture of the Nova instruction set inspired Steve Wozniak's Apple I board eight years later.

1968: APOLLO
The Apollo Guidance Computer made its debut orbiting the Earth on Apollo 7. A year later, it steered Apollo 11 to the lunar surface. Astronauts communicated with the computer by punching two-digit codes and the appropriate syntactic category into the display and keyboard unit.

1968: Intel
Bob Noyce, Gordon Moore leave Fairchild and with Andy Grove form Intel Corporation in Santa Clara, which produced the worlds first commercial microprocessor, and remains a top processor developer to this day.

1968 December: Mouse, teleconferencing, hypermedia
Douglas Carl Engelbart of Stanford Research Institute demonstrates his oNLine System (NLS) at the Joint Computer Conference in San Francisco. This system uses a bizarre pointing device he had devised--he calls it a mouse--along with a keyboard. During his 90-minute presentation, he manages three world debuts: the inaugural voyage of the mouse, the first onscreen video teleconferencing, and hypermedia.

1968: Richard Hamming
ACM Turing Award Winner for his work on numerical methods, automatic coding systems, and error-detecting and error-correcting codes.

1969: H316
Honeywell releases the H316 "Kitchen Computer", the first home computer, priced at $10,600 in the Neiman Marcus catalog.

1969: Pascal

A programming language by Nicklaus Wirth. Pascal was named after the mathematician Blaise Pascal.

1969 May: AMD

Advanced Micro Devices is founded by Jerry Sanders and seven others from Fairchild Semiconductor.

Created by the United States Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA). ARPANET included work on decentralised networks, queueing theory, and packet switching wich would later develop into the Internet. ARPA initially connected four major computers at universities in the southwestern US (UCLA, Stanford Research Institute, UCSB, and the University of Utah). The contract was carried out by BBN of Cambridge, MA under Bob Kahn and went online in December 1969.

1969: Forth
A programming language created by Charles Moore. Named with the idea of Forth being a 4th generation language.

1969: Marvin Minsky
ACM Turing Award Winner for his work in advanced programming techniques and programming language construction.

1970: Intel 1103
Intel creates the first computer dynamic RAM chip, calling it the 1103.

1970: TENEX
BBN Technologies releases TENEX, the first virtual memory operating system for Digital Equipment Corporation computers.

1970: Relational Database
Edgar (Ted) Codd, created the "relational" model for representing data that led to today's $12 billion database industry, when he worked at IBM's San Jose Research Laboratory, the forerunner to today's Almaden Research Center.

1970 July 1: Xerox Palo Alto Research Center opens

1970: J.H. Wilkinson
ACM Turing Award Winner for his research in numerical analysis to facilitiate the use of the high-speed digital computer, having received special recognition for his work in computations in linear algebra and "backward" error analysis.

1970: Floppy Disk
IBM's David Noble and Alan Shugart create the first working floppy drive, originally called "the memory disk", an 8 inch disk holding an amazing 80k of storage. Pictured here is not the original, but the very popular 8" floppy disk drive from Texas Instruments.

1971: UNIX
Created by Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie of Bell Labs. In 1969 AT&T decided to withdraw Multics and go with GECOS, Ken and Dennis needed to rewrite an operating system that would work on their DEC PDP-7 (rumor has it that they needed this so they could continue to play Spacewars). The result was jokingly referred to as "UNiplexed Information Computing Service" (UNICS) an emasculated Multics. Typical vendor operating systems of the time were extremely large and all written in assembly language. UNIX had a relatively small amount of code written in assembly language (this is called the kernel). The first edition of UNIX was released 11/03/1971, along with the UNIX Programmer's Manual.

1971 November 15: 4004

Intel releases the 4004, worlds first commercial microprocessor.

1971: Kenbak-1
The first commercial personal computer, advertised for $750 in Scientific American. Designed by John V. Blankenbaker using standard medium-scale and small-scale integrated circuits, the Kenbak-1 relied on switches for input and lights for output from its 256-byte memory. In 1973, after selling only 40 machines, Kenbak Corp. closed its doors.

1971: TI
Texas Instruments develops the first microcomputer-on-a-chip, containing over 15,000 transistors.

1971: NRI Kit

The National Radio Institute introduces the first computer kit, for US $503.

1971: Cream Soda
Steve Wozniak and Bill Fernandez build the Cream Soda Computer, the first hobbist computer.

1971: John McCarthy
ACM Turing Award Winner, Dr. McCarthy's lecture "The Present State of Research on Artificial Intellegence" is a topic that covers the area in which he has achieved considerable recognition for his work.

1972: e-mail
The first person-to-person email message using the @ sign sent over ARPANET. E-mail was adapted for ARPANET by Ray Tomlinson of BBN in 1972. He picked the @ symbol from the available symbols on his teletype to link the username and address.

1972: Telnet
The telnet protocol, enabling logging on to a remote computer, was published as a Request for Comments (RFC) in 1972 as an extention to ARPANET services.

1972: HP-35
Hewlett-Packard announced the HP-35 as "a fast, extremely accurate electronic slide rule" with a solid-state memory similar to that of a computer. The HP-35 distinguished itself from its competitors by its ability to perform a broad variety of logarithmic and trigonometric functions, to store more intermediate solutions for later use, and to accept and display entries in a form similar to standard scientific notation.

1972: Digital Mouse
At Xerox PARC, Jack Hawley develops the first digital mouse.

1972: C

Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie develop the C programming language.

1972: Traf-O-Data
Bill Gates got a data processing job with a company that was monitoring traffic. This company had set up a machine on the side of the road to count passing cars, by punching a hole into a paper tape. Bill's job was to count the holes in the tape, which he knew could be done with a computer. He went to Paul Allen (later the two would become the founders of Microsoft) and they purchased an Intel 8008 chip for building an automated paper tape hole counting machine, forming a company that Gates would call Traf-O-Data. Paul Gilbert, a friend of Gates and Allen, designed the hardware while Gates and Allen wrote the software.

1972: Atari

Nolan Bushnell starts Atari, the beginning of the video game industry.
1972: Edsger Wybe Dijkstra
ACM Turing Award Winner, Dijkstra was a principal contributor to the development of the ALGOL programming language. He is one of the principal exponents of the science and art of programming languages in general, and has greatly contributed to our understanding of their structure, representation, and implementation. His fifteen years of publications extend from theoretical articles on graph theory to basic manuals, expository texts, and philosophical contemplations in the field of programming languages. He was famously the leader in the abolition of the GOTO statement from programming.

1973: FTP
FTP (file transfer protocol), enabling file transfers between Internet sites, was published as an RFC in 1973, and from then on RFC's were available electronically to anyone who had use of the ftp protocol. RFC's (request for comments) are a means of sharing and documenting developmental work throughout the electronic world wide community.

1973: TV Type
Designed by Don Lancaster, provided the first display of alphanumeric information on an ordinary television set. It used $120 worth of electronics components, as outlined in the September 1973 issue of Radio Electronics. The original design included two memory boards and could generate and store 512 characters as 16 lines of 32 characters. A 90-minute cassette tape provided supplementary storage for about 100 pages of text.

1973: HP3000
The HP 3000 series is a family of minicomputers released by Hewlett-Packard in 1973. It was intended to be the first minicomputer delivered with a full featured operating system with timesharing. It ultimately became known as a reliable and powerful business system. Early models had large cabinets with front panels, while later models were made that fit into desks using only terminal consoles for diagnostics, with bootstrap routines in ROM.

It was one of the last proprietary minicomputer systems to be retired, outlasting the PDP-11-descended Digital Equipment Corporation VAX, which was acquired by Compaq and then ultimately by Hewlett Packard. After 30 years, a five year phase-out period for the now-named e3000 series servers was announced in November 2001. No more new e3000s are being sold. Support from the vendor to customers for the HP 3000 continues through Dec. 31, 2010. Many third party firms are supporting the system for customers through the year 2013 and beyond.

1973: Micral
The earliest commercial, non-kit personal computer based on a micro-processor, the Intel 8008. Thi Truong developed the computer and Philippe Kahn the software. Truong, founder and president of the French company R2E, created the Micral as a replacement for minicomputers in situations that didn't require high performance. Selling for $1,750, the Micral never penetrated the U.S. market. In 1979, Truong sold Micral to Bull.

1973: PL/M & CP/M
Gary Kildall creates the PL/M programming language for the Intel 8008, based on PL/I. Later that year, Gary Kildall writes a simple operating system in his PL/M language. He calls it CP/M (Control Program/Monitor). Adapted from Unix, CP/M becomes the model for Seattle Computer Products' 86-QDOS (Quick and Dirty Operating System, which will later become MS-DOS).

1973: Local Area Network (Ethernet)
Created by Bob Metcalfe, an MIT graduate, working at Xerox Corp.'s Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). Ethernet defines the hardware and software aspects of how data is transmitted. A key concept is its system of collusion-detection and recovery, called CSMA/CD, or Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detect. The name Ethernet is an oblique reference to the luminiferous ether through which 19th century physicists believed light traveled.

1973 September: MCM-70

In Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Mers Kutt of Micro Computer Machines officially introduces the MCM-70 personal computer. It features Intel 8008 processor, plasma screen, cassette drives, keyboard, 2KB to 8KB RAM, 14KB ROM. Weight is 20 pounds; price is Canadian $4500.

1973 December: 8080
Intel, the first fabrication run of the 8080 processor is made.

1973: Internet(TCP/IP)
Bob Kahn and Vint Cerf develop the basic ideas of the Internet. The Internet matured in the 70's as a result of the TCP/IP architecture first proposed by Bob Kahn at BBN in 1973, and further developed by Kahn and Vint Cerf at Stanford and others throughout the 70's. It was adopted by the Defense Department in 1980 replacing the earlier Network Control Protocol (NCP) and universally adopted by 1983.

1973: UNIX 4th Edition
This time it was rewritten in C, which made it portable and changed the history of Operating Systems.

1973: Charles W. Bachman
ACM Turing Award Winner for his outstanding contributions to database technology.

1974: Alto
Xerox PARC designed the Alto, the first work station with a built-in mouse for input. The Alto stored several files simultaneously in windows, offered menus and icons, and could link to a local area network. Although Xerox never sold the Alto commercially, it gave a number of them to universities. Engineers later incorporated its features into work stations and personal computers. Its first screen display is a bitmapped image of the Sesame Street character Cookie Monster.

1974: Scelbi 8H
Scelbi advertised its 8H computer, the first commercially advertised U.S. computer based on a microprocessor, Intel's 8008. Scelbi aimed the 8H, available both in kit form and fully assembled, at scientific, electronic, and biological applications. It had 4 kilobytes of internal memory and a cassette tape, with both teletype and oscilloscope interfaces. In 1975, Scelbi introduced the 8B version with 16 kilobytes of memory for the business market. The company sold about 200 machines, losing $500 per unit.

1974 September: Bravo & Gypsy
Developed for use on the Xerox Alto computer, they are the first WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) or graphics based programs. Bravo is a word processor and Gypsy an image editor. If you are not sure about what I mean, think of the difference between Vi and MS WORD.

1974: Motorola 6800
Motorola introduces its 6800 chip, an early 8-bit microprocessor used in microcomputers and industrial and automotive control devices. The 6800 was designed by Chuck Peddle and Charlie Melear.

1974: Telenet
BBN Technologies opens the first public packet-switched network, Telenet (not to be confused with telnet), which would later become part of Sprint.

SIGGRAPH (Special Interest Group in Graphics) is the name of the annual conference on computer graphics convened by the ACM SIGGRAPH organization.
1974 Donald E. Knuth
ACM Turing Award Winner for his major contributions to the analysis of algorithms and the design of programming languages, and in particular for his contributions to the "art of computer programming" through his well-known books in a continuous series by this title.

1975 January: Altair 8080
The January edition of Popular Electronics featured Ed Robert's MITS Altair 8800 computer kit, based on Intels 8080 microprocessor, on its cover. The original name for the computer is "PE-8", in honor of the magazine. Lauren Solomon, 12 year old daughter of Les Solomon, publisher of the magazine suggests the name "Altair". Altair was the name of where Star Trek's Enterprise was going that night on TV. MITS delivers the first generally available, prebuilt Altair 8800 by April 1975, which sold for $375, and coined the term "personal computer." The machine came with 256 bytes of memory (expandable to 64K) and an open 100-line bus structure that evolved into the S-100 standard.

1975: Imsai 8080
Imsai 8080 by IMS Associates: 8080 based microprocessor, S-100 bus.

1975: M6800
M6800 by South West Technical Products (SWTP): Motorola 6800 processor, SS-50 bus.

1975: VDM
Felsenstein's VDM The visual display module (VDM) prototype, designed in 1975 by Lee Felsenstein, marked the first implementation of a memory-mapped alphanumeric video display for personal computers. Introduced at the Altair Convention in Albuquerque in March 1976, the visual display module allowed use of personal computers for interactive games.

1975: Tandem-16
Tandem computers tailored its Tandem-16, the first fault-tolerant computer, for online transaction processing. The banking industry rushed to adopt the machine, built to run during repair or expansion.

1975 February: Microsoft
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. Allen spearheaded a deal for Microsoft to buy an operating system called QDOS for $50,000. Microsoft won a contract to supply it for use as the operating system of IBM's new PC. This became a foundation of Microsoft's remarkable growth.

1975 March: Homebrew Computer Club
Fred Moore and Gordon French hold the first meeting of "Homebrew Computer Club". 32 people meet, including Bob Albrect, Lee Felsenstein, Steve Dompier, Bob Marsh, Tom Pittman, Marty Spergel, Alan Baum, and Steven Wozniak.

1975: LSI-11
DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation) introduces the LSI-11 microcomputer (board with microprocessor), with 8 KB RAM. It is the first American microcomputer using a 16-bit architecture.

1975 September: IBM5100
The IBM 5100 Portable Computer. It is a briefcase-size minicomputer with BASIC, 16 KB RAM expandable to 64 KB, tape storage drive holding 204 KB per tape, keyboard, and built-in 5-inch screen. Price: $8975-19975. Weight: 55 pounds. Code name during development was Project Mercury. Arguably the first portable computer.

1975: VMS
VMS operating system by Digital released. Code name Starlet. Dave Cutler, designed and delivered several successful operating systems, including VAX/VMS, RSX-11M and VAXELN while at DEC. In recognition of his significant contributions to the field, he was awarded membership in the National Academy of Engineering in 1993. In 1998 he was hired away by Microsoft to launch the Windows NT group and has since then led the development of three major releases of the product, now known as Windows 2000. In addition to leading the Windows 2000 team, Cutler contributed to the architecture of all parts of the system, and even wrote the kernel himself. He is currently responsible for the design of the 64-bit release of Windows.

1975: Newell & Simon
ACM Turing Award Winner, in joint scientific efforts extending over twenty years, initially in collaboration with J. C. Shaw at the RAND Corporation, and subsequentially with numerous faculty and student collegues at Carnegie-Mellon University, they have made basic contributions to artificial intelligence, the psychology of human cognition, and list processing.

1976: Apple Computers
Apple I by Steve Wozniak, a single-board computer. Wozniak offers his new computer to Hewlett-Packard, and Jobs offers it to Atari, who both reject it as a non-viable product. With specifications in hand and an order for 100 machines at $500 each from the Byte Shop, Woz and Jobs got their start in business, they incorporate the Apple Computer Company, on April Fool's Day. By July that year, the Apple I computer board is sold in kit form, and delivered to stores for $666.66.

1976: Cray I
The Cray I made its name as the first commercially successful vector processor. The fastest machine of its day, its speed came partly from its shape, a C, which reduced the length of wires and thus the time signals needed to travel across them. Speed: 166 million floating-point operations per second, Size: 58 cubic feet, Weight: 5,300 lbs. Technology: Integrated circuit, Clock rate: 83 million cycles per second, Word length: 64-bit words, Instruction set: 128 instructions.

1976 May: Digital Research
Gary Kindall forms Digital Research to copyright the CP/M operating system.

1976: Matrox
Founded in 1976, Matrox is a well known manufacturer of computer video cards, video accelerators and network solutions.

1976 June: Dr. Dobbs
The first issue of Dr. Dobbs magazine is published.

1976 June: Poly88
Polymorphic Systems introduces the Polymorphic 8080. It is the first microcomputer with an interface for a video monitor, a connection for a cassette tape recorder, and its basic operating system in ROM.

1976 December: Electric Pencil
Michael Shrayer completes writing Electric Pencil, the worlds first word-processing program for microcomputers.

1976: Scott & Rabin
ACM Turing Award Winner for their joint paper "Finite Automata and Their Decision Problem," which introduced the idea of nondeterministic machines, which has proved to be an enormously valuable concept. Their (Scott & Rabin) classic paper has been a continuous source of inspiration for subsequent work in this field.

1977: Pet & Vic-20
Created by Chuck Peddle of Commodore. Personal Electronic Transactor is the first of several personal computers. It came fully assembled and was straightforward to operate, with either 4 or 8 kilobytes of memory, two built-in cassette drives, and a membrane "chiclet" keyboard. Later a lower priced version, with TV output (instead of a built-in monitor) and optinal external cassette drive, was released as the Vic-20. VIC for the Video Interface Chip, which also processed its sound.

1977: SOL

Processor Technology: S-100 bus, built-in video terminal.

1977: Apple II
Apple II became an instant success when released in 1977 with it's printed circuit motherboard, switching power supply, keyboard, case assembly, manual, game paddles, A/C powercord, and cassette tape with the computer game "Breakout." When hooked up to a color television set, the Apple II produced brilliant color graphics.

1977: TRS-80
In the first month after its release, Tandy Radio Shack's first desktop computer the TRS-80 sold 10,000 units, well more than the company's projected sales of 3,000 units for one year. Priced at $599.95, the machine included a Z80 based microprocessor, a video display, 4 kilobytes of memory, BASIC, cassette storage, and easy-to-understand manuals that assumed no prior knowledge on the part of the consumer.

1977: BSD
Ken Thompson begins teaching at UC Berkeley. Together with Bill Joy and the Computer Science Department at US Berkeley, they release the Berkeley Systems Division Operating System, which became a foundation of the Internet.

1977: RSA
Leonard Adleman inventor of the RSA (Rivest-Shamir-Adleman) cryptosystem, published in SciAm July 1977, in an article entitled "New Directions in Cryptography". RSA is in widespread use in security applications, including digital signatures. For his contribution to the invention of the RSA cryptosystem, Adleman was a recipient along with Ron Rivest and Adi Shamir of the 2002 ACM Turing Award, often called the Nobel Prize of Computer Science. The RSA public key crypto algorithm is used in PGP.

1977: Oracle
Lawrence Joseph Ellison, founder and CEO of Oracle, started the project at Ampex was a database for the CIA, which he named "Oracle". He was inspired by the paper written by Edgar F. Codd on relational database systems. He founded Oracle under the name Software Development Laboratories. In 1979 the company was renamed Relational Software Inc., later to be renamed Oracle after the flagship product Oracle database. As with DbaseII, The initial release of Oracle was Oracle 2, even though there was no Oracle 1. The release number was intended to imply that all of the bugs had been worked out of an earlier version.

1977: John Backus
ACM Turing Award Winner for profound, influential, and lasting contributions to the design of practical high-level programming systems, notably through his work on FORTRAN, and for seminal publication of formal procedures for the specification of programming languages.

1978: Floppy Disk
Apple unveils the floppy disk for the Apple][.

1978: RAID disk array
W. Daniel Hillis, creator of RAID disk arrays, co-creator of parallel computing, Co-founder Thinking Machines. He pioneered the concept of parallel computers that is now the basis for most supercomputers, as well as the RAID disk array technology used to store large databases. Former Vice President, Research and Development at Walt Disney Imagineering, he's now Chairman and Chief Technology Officer of Applied Minds, Inc., a research and development company creating a range of new products and services in software, entertainment, electronics, biotechnology and mechanical design.

1978: BBS
CBBS "Chicago Bulletin Board System", the first dial-up BBS, went online on February 16, 1978 in Chicago, Illinois. Ward Christensen and Randy Suess created a little project they threw together with a 300 baud Hayes modem, a Z-80 based S-100 computer, and a phone line. From this beginning, BBSes grew into the many thousands and became an entire industry, and when the Internet started to mature with the World Wide Web, the users who had cut their teeth on BBSes moved over to it.

1978: VAX
VAX 11/780 from Digital Equipment Corp. featured the ability to address up to 4.3 gigabytes of virtual memory, providing hundreds of times the capacity of most minicomputers.

1978: Dot Matrix
Epson introduces the TX-80, which becomes the first successful dot matrix printer for personal computers.

1978: Worm
First developed by two researchers at Xerox PARC in 1978, a worm is a destructive software program containing code capable of gaining access to computers or networks and once within the computer or network causing that computer or network harm by deleting, modifying, distributing, or otherwise manipulating the data.

1978: Robert W. Floyd
ACM Turing Award Winner for having a clear influence on methodologies for the creation of efficient and reliable software, and for helping to found the following important subfields of computer science: the theory of parsing, the semantics of programming languages, automatic program verification, automatic program synthesis, and analysis of algorithms.

1979: TI 99/4A
TI 99/4A by Texas Instruments: TI TMS 9900, 16bit processor, built-in BASIC, built-in solid state cartridge drive.

1979: VisiCalc
Daniel Bricklin and Robert Frankston release VisiCalc, the worlds first electronic spreadsheet. Advertised as "A visible calculator for the Apple II".

1979: H89

H89 Heathkit, later released as the Z89 by Zenith. Zilog Z80 processor, built-in monitor, floppy and keyboard.

1979: Atari 400 & 800
Atari 400 and 800. $549.95, color grapics, floppy disk drive, many pre-programmed games.

1979: AppleWriter
Paul Lutus and Apple release the popular Apple Writer word processor.

1979: 3Com
Bob Metcalf (who invented Ethernet at Xerox in 1971) got Xerox, Digital, and Intel to agree on making Ethernet a 10M bit/sec. commercial standard. He then formed 3Com Corp, which introduced the first PC Ethernet network interface card, in 1982. Ethernet continues to be the most widely installed technology for creating LANs. Today there's Fast Ethernet, which runs at 100M bit/sec., and Gigabit Ethernet, running at 1G bit/sec. rates.

1979: Novell
Novell Data Systems Inc. began as a computer and operating system manufacturer. In January 1983, they reincorporated NDSI as Novell, Inc. and introduced NetWare, the first LAN software based on file-server technology.

1979: Hayes modem
Hayes markets its first modem which becomes the industry standard for modems.

1979: Seagate
Seagate is one of the main manufactures of Computer hard disk drives, tape drives, and other computer hardware.

1979: Phoenix
Phoenix is a global leader in system-level software, well known for their computer BIOS ROMs.

1979: USENET
A UUCP link between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University establishes USENET in 1979. The first MUD is also developed in 1979, at the University of Essex.

1979: Kenneth E. Iverson
ACM Turing Award Winner for his pioneering effort in programming languages and mathematical notation resulting in what the computing field now knows as APL, for his contributions to the implementation of interactive systems, to educational uses of APL, and to programming language theory and practice.

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