:: 1980 ::
- Microsoft’s first hardware, the Z80 SoftCard is announced.
- Apple releases one of it’s greatest failures, the Apple III.
- The Motorola 68000 chip is released.
- The first optical storage disk appears. Capable of holding five times the data of a 5 1/4″ floppy
- IBM creates OS/2.
- The Commodore VIC-20 is released.
- SuperCalc is invented.
- CompuServe releases CB Simulator, the first online chat service.
- The legendary video game Pac-Man is released.
- Asteroids and Lunar Lander became the first video games registered for copyright.
- The BITNET university computer network is founded, linking colleges and other institutions.
:: 1981 ::
- Texas Instruments releases the TI-99/4A computer.
- MS-DOS debuts, created by then-startup Microsoft.
- IBM releases the IBM PC, which was powered by the Intel 8088 processor.
- The Osborne-1, the first portable computer, is introduced.
- Apollo Computers introduces the first workstation, the DN100. It featured more power than conventional PCs.
- WordPerfect is first developed.
- Creative Labs is founded in Singapore.
- The Xerox Star is introduced by the Xerox Corporation.
- The video game Donkey Kong is released, propelling Nintendo’s success.
- Online newspapers begin to appear.
- The Monochrome Display Adapter is introduced by IBM.
:: 1982 ::
- Non-Linear Systems releases the Kaypro II.
- Time names the computer the Machine of the Year in a twist of their popular “Man of the Year”.
- Disney debuts Tron to audiences.
- The Cray XMP is built using two Cray systems.
- The Elk Cloner (aka Apple II virus) is written. It is believed to be the first known virus in the wild.
- The Commodore 64 is released.
- DEC releases the Rainbow 100.
- The BBC Micro is introduced by Acorn Computer. It’s quickly adopted by most British schools.
- Sun Microsystems is founded.
- Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) is standardized for the use of email.
:: 1983 ::
- The hacker film Wargames is released.
- Compaq produces the first clone of the IBM PC, running the same software.
- Microsoft announces Word and Windows, although Windows doesn’t actually appear for another two years. The original version of Word was included in the Nov. issue of PC World magazine.
- The MIDI [ Musical Instrument Digital Interface ] is introduced. It became an industry standard interface for music synthesizers.
- The Apple Lisa is introduced.
- Lotus Software releases Lotus 123 and it becomes the hottest spreadsheet of it’s day.
- The first version of Novell Netware is released. Bundled with it is Snipes, one of the first network games.
- Gavilan Computer releases the Gavilan SC, one of the earliest computers marketed as a laptop.
- Borland Software Corporation is formed. The company created widely popular software development tools such as Turbo Pascal and many others.
- The IBM XT is released. It’s essentially the IBM PC with a hard drive and sells for $5000 with accessories.
- The Domain Name System (DNS) is introduced to the internet, made up of around 1000 computers at the time.
- MILNET is spun off from the ARPANET to separate civilian and military networks.
- The Epson HX-20, regarded as the first notebook, begins selling.
- Shortly after the HX-20, Tandy releases the first TRS-80 notebook, the Model 100.
:: 1984 ::
- HP intros it’s first laptop, the 9 pound HP 110.
- Sony introduces the 3 1/2 inch floppy disk.
- The Apple Macintosh is released, featuring a graphical user interface.
- IBM introduces the PC-AT, based on the Intel 80286 chip. It sold for about $4000 and included more RAM and 5 1/4 inch floppy drive.
- The novel Neuromancer is published, which coins the term “cyberspace”.
- Cisco Systems is founded.
- X Windows is developed at MIT.
- Dell Computer is created as PCs Limited.
- Borland releases Turbo Pascal.
- The first consumer cell phone, the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X, becomes available.
- Music Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) is introduced.
- The first multitouch screen is developed at Bell Labs
:: 1985 ::
:: 1986 ::
- Acorn Computer introduces the ARM2 processor.
- The invention of the Connection Machine was a step forward in A.I. It used multiple processors to work faster than any other of it’s time.
- Compaq releases the Deskpro 386, the first machine based on the Intel 80386 chip.
- IBM releases the PC Convertible.
- Apple releases the Macintosh Plus.
- The Nintendo NES is released.
- The Computer Fraud & Abuse Act (CFAA) is enacted by U.S. Congress.
:: 1987 ::
- Pixar Studios‘ “Tin Toy” becomes the first computer animated film to win an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. The company created groundbreaking software, Renderman, for the creation of 3-D scenes.
- The first public worm is released on the internet by 23 year old Robert Morris.
- The Brain virus surfaces.
- The NeXT is released.
- The online service Prodigy is launched.
:: 1989 ::