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- Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) opens. George Pake was appointed to set up and manage it,
and hires Bob Taylor, who was at ARPA, to set up the Computer Science Laboratory (CSL) there.
Taylor's organisation is the model for many future technology-based start-ups. The other two parts of
the centre are the General Science Laboratory (GSL) and Systems Science Laboratory (SSL).
- Ted Hoff, at Intel, invents the first microprocessor.
- Texas Instruments introduce the first pocket calculators, for US$150 each.
- Pong, the first commercial video arcade game, produced by Nolan Bushnell, appeared in Andy Capp's tavern,
Sunnyvale, California. It involves bouncing a dot back and forth between two paddles on a black and white TV screen
mounted in a wooden cabinet. It is a huge success, taking US$300 each week.
- The Xerox Alto computer is completed at PARC, using Alan Kay's Smalltalk operating system. It has
built in networking, a black-on-white bit-mapped screen, mouse and hard disk. The materials cost
US$10,000. Among others those working on it were: Butler Lampson, Chuck Thacker, Ed McCreight and
- A team at Xerox PARC, led by Robert Metcalfe at the CSL, and David Biggs at the SSL, invent
Ethernet networking, allowing many computers to talk to each other simply. It has a transfer rate of 2.67
- CLIP-4, the first computer with a parallel architecture, introduced.
- Ted Nelson writes Computer Lib/Dream Machines.
- A team led by John Ellenby produce hundreds of Alto II computers for Xerox staff.
- Bill Gates and Paul Allen write MITS BASIC for the Altair 8800 on a PDP-10 minicomputer.
- Bill Gates says Microsoft will exist for all eternity.
- Gary Kildall at Intel develops the CP/M operating system on a DEC PDP-10 minicomputer.
- The first commercially available personal computer announced in Popular Electronics:
the Altair 8800, a US$350 kit, using an Intel 8080 microprocessor.
- Imsai launch the first CP/M computer, an 8080-based microcomputer. Over 500,000 CP/M machines will be
sold by various companies in the next six years.
- Xerox management reject John Ellenby's proposal for an Alto III personal computer, in favour of a
dedicated word processor, the 850.
- Gary Kildall invents BIOS for CP/M.
- Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Chris Espinosa and Randy Wigginton begin work on the Apple II.
- The Atari 2600 is launched, and Warner invest US$28 million in the company.
- Apple II launched with 48K RAM, costing US$3,000 for a fully configured machine.
- Dan Bricklin shows a demo of VisiCalc, the first spreadsheet program.
- Bill Atkinson starts work at Apple.
- Nolan Bushnell leaves Atari, under the condition that he cannot compete with the company for seven years.
- Usenet started at Duke University, USA.
- The first TV commercial for a personal computer is aired by Xerox.
- Andy Hertzfeld joins Apple.
- Dan Bricklin's and Bob Frankston's VisiCalc is launched for the Apple II at US$100.
- A team from Apple, including Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Bill Atkinson, Mike Scott and Jef Raskin, visits Xerox
PARC in return for letting Xerox Development Corporation purchase 100,000 Apple shares for US$1 million. They
are amazed by the Alto, and many of its features appear in the Apple Lisa.
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