Chronology of Personal Computers

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Last updated: 2022 April 29.


1984

April 6
  • 74 days after the introduction of the Macintosh, 50,000 units have been sold. [218] (April 6, 73 days [2605.98])
April 11
  • Amstrad releases the CPC 464 personal computer in the UK. It features Z80 processor, 64 kB RAM, green monitor or color, keyboard, and tape drive. Price is 200-300 pounds. [2287.90] [2608.84]
April
  • Microsoft ships Multiplan 1.01 for the Macintosh. [912.44]
  • The Canon Sales Company debuts the Apple Macintosh in Japan. [498.D4]
  • Commodore International launches the Commodore PC at the Hanover Fair in Germany. [365.20]
  • Commodore International launches the Commodore Z8000 at the Hanover Fair in Germany. [365.20]
  • Compaq Computer opens a subsidiary company in Great Britain. [113] [2132.S3.4]
  • Apple Computer announces the LCD flat panel display for the Apple IIc. Size is to be about 11 x 5 x 1.5 inches; weight is 2.5 pounds; resolution 560 x 192 pixels. [1146.86]
  • Microsoft France releases Multiplan for the IBM PC. [346.118]
  • Apple Computer releases the color Apple Scribe printer, using a special waxed ribbon and thermal print head. [218]
  • Microsoft releases Microsoft Word 1.1 for DOS. [346.131] (October 1983 [346.265])
  • AT&T and Olivetti form a strategic relationship to develop and market PCs in the US. [166.58]
April 24
  • At the Moscone Center in San Francisco, Apple Computer unveils the Apple IIc with an intense publicity extravaganza. It features a 1 MHz 65C02A processor, 128 kB RAM, 16 kB ROM, 3.5-inch floppy drive, 63-key keyboard, carrying handle, optional 9-inch monitor. Weight is 7.5 pounds. The operating system supports 40- or 80-column screens, and allows both QWERTY and Dvorak keyboard layouts. Priced at US$1300, 2,000 dealers place orders for more than 52,000 units on the day of its introduction. [46] [75] [120] [199.1] [200.14] [218] [358.76] [593.350] [880.94,127] [930.174] [950.276] [1146.84] [2605.18] (May [9])
  • Steve Jobs announces at the Apple IIc unveiling that 60,000 Macintosh computers have been shipped to date. [930.176]
  • Apple Computer ceases development of the Apple III and Apple III+ [46] [75] [203.58] [930.175] [2605.18]
(month unknown)
  • Gamma Technology introduces the FAXT-96 9600 bps modem for the IBM PC, for US$1995. [951.354]
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  • SoftWord Systems changes its company name to MultiMate International. [951.33]
  • NEC Information Systems introduces the Advanced Personal Computer III microcomputer. It features IBM PC-compatibility, MS-DOS, GW BASIC, 320 kB 5.25-inch disk drive, 8 MHz NEC PD8086 processor, 128 kB RAM, 8 kB CMOS memory, 32 kB ROM, keyboard, 80x25 text and 640x400 graphics in up to 8 colors. Options include 10 MB hard drive, monitor, and UNIX System III. [951.44]
  • Otrona Advanced Systems introduces the Otrona 2001 portable microcomputer. It features IBM PC compatibility, three expansion slots, 360 kB disk drive, 4.77 MHz 8088 processor, 128 kB RAM, 64 kB ROM, 7-inch amber flat-screen display, 84-key keyboard, 80x25 text and 640x200 graphics. Weight is 19 pounds. Price is US$2495. Dimensions are 7 x 15 x 14 inches. [951.46]
  • Rapport introduces the Drive Two Enhancement Package for the IBM PCjr. It includes a 360 kB disk drive, clock/calendar and battery, parallel port, and RAM expansion slot, for US$675. [951.50]
  • In Boston, Massachussettes, the Applefest show is held. [241.109]
  • Texas Instruments introduces the TI Portable, featuring 8088, 64 kB RAM, 80x24 screen, one 5.25-inch 360 kB disk drive, MS-DOS 2.1, and weight of 40 pounds. 10 MB hard drive is optional. [880.126]
May 1
  • Alan Kay joins Apple Computer as an Apple Fellow. [1344.D5] [2605.76]
May 3
  • Apple Computer announces that 70,000 Macintosh computers have been shipped in the first 100 days since its announcement. [480.D4] [930.178] [1344.D4] (72,000 [734.254] [2605.98]) (74,000 [1397.D5])
May
  • Apple Computer names Kay Power as a research fellow of Apple. [343.41]
  • Microsoft ships software developer kits for Windows. [909.229]
  • The BYTE Computer Show is held in Chicago, Illinois. [951.119]
  • Apple Computer introduces the DuoDisk dual 5.25-inch floppy disk drive unit for the Apple II line. [218]
  • Apple Computer releases the AppleMouse II with MousePaint software and a peripheral card for the Apple IIe or Apple II Plus (or directly in the Apple IIc). [218]
May 10
  • Hewlett-Packard introduces the HP 110 laptop computer. It features 5.33 MHz 8086, 272 kB RAM, 384 kB ROM, flip-up LCD display displaying 80x16 text or 480x120 graphics, MS-DOS 2.11, and 300-bps modem. The ROM chip contains Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet, MemoMaker word processor, Infocom's Zork game, and a communications package. Weight is under 8.5 pounds; price is US$2995. [880.134] [912.111] [1344.D3] [1346.C3]
May 14
  • Ashton-Tate introduces the dBase III relational database program for 16-bit IBM PC-compatible computers. [951.50] [1345.D4]
May 15
  • In Beijing, China, William Millard of Computerland and officials of the government sign a letter of intent to create a network for microcomputer systems in China. [1702.200]
May
  • Quarterdeck Office Systems officially launches DESQ, a text-based windowing environment for running DOS programs. [346.181] (January [477.159])
  • Phoenix Software Associates begins licensing its IBM PC compatible ROM BIOS to computer manufacturers. [912.10] [1299.265]
May 22
  • In Atlanta, Georgia, the Comdex/Spring '84 trade show is held, over four days. About 50,000 people attend. [1347.33]
  • At the Comdex trade show, Lotus Development introduces the Framework application for the IBM PC. [1347.33]
  • At the Comdex trade show, Hewlett-Packard shows the LaserJet laser printer. It is based on the Canon 300 dpi LBP-CX laser printer. Price is US$3500. [16] [117] [218] [222.9] [314.173] [582.90] [618.220] [912.50] [951.9]
(month unknown)
  • Franklin Computer introduces the CX-1 transportable computer. It features a 6502 CPU, 64 kB RAM, serial and parallel ports, 7-inch display, one disk drive, 12 kB write-once memory for the operating system, and Apple II compatibility. Price is US$1425. [912.9]
  • Franklin Computer introduces the CX-2 transportable computer. It features a 6502 CPU, 64 kB RAM, serial and parallel ports, 7-inch display, two disk drives, 12 kB write-once memory for the operating system, and Apple II compatibility. Price is US$1730. [912.9]
  • Franklin Computer introduces the CX-3 transportable computer. It features a 6502 CPU, Z80 CPU, 128 kB RAM, serial and parallel ports, 7-inch display, two disk drives, 12 kB write-once memory for the operating system, and Apple II compatibility. Price is US$2049. [912.9]
  • Franklin Computer introduces the CX-4 transportable computer. It features a 6502 CPU, 8086 CPU, 256 kB RAM, serial and parallel ports, 7-inch display, two disk drives, 12 kB write-once memory for the operating system, and Apple II compatibility. Price is US$2395. [912.9]
  • Fujitsu announces a 671 MB 14-inch hard drive for US$7045 in 100-unit quantities. [912.10]
June
  • At Microsoft, Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer write an internal applications strategy memo on the company's commitment to the graphical user interface, on the Macintosh and for Windows. [686.148] [1299.256]
June 3
  • The Summer Consumer Electronics Show is held, in Chicago, Illinois. [366.16]
  • Commodore International announces the Commodore Plus/4, formerly called the Commodore 264. It will now feature four built-in programs, not just one. Release price should be around US$300. [356.7] [366.16] [804.18] [190.81] [1216.24] [1348.D5]
  • Commodore International announces the Commodore 16 at the Consumer Electronics Show. Former name was TED-16. The machine looks like the VIC-20 and Commodore 64, but has 16 kB of RAM, and is expected to sell for around US$100, and marketed as "The Learning Machine". [366.7] [366.16] [804.18] [1348.D5]
  • At the Summer CES, Commodore International announces the MPS 803 dot matrix printer, designed for use with the Commodore 16. [366.22] [804.18]
  • At the Summer CES, Commodore announces the DSP 1101 letter-quality daisywheel printer, designed for the Plus/4. [366.22] [804.18]
  • At the Summer CES, Commodore announces the MPS 802 dot matrix printer. [366.22] [804.18]
  • At the Summer CES, Commodore shows the 1531 Cassette Unit. [804.18]
  • At the Summer CES, Amiga demonstrates a new computer, code-named "Lorraine". [341.6] [804.18] [241.112] [1352.D1] (January [2634.139])
June
  • Commodore International announces the MCS 801 color dot matrix printer. [366.22]
  • Ashton-Tate ships dBase III. [346.266]
  • Tom Jennings creates the FidoNet BBS network. [6] [9] [164.47]
  • Okidata introduces the Okimate 10 thermal transfer color dot matrix printer, for US$239. [366.36] [1209.14]
  • Compaq Computer introduces the Compaq Deskpro Model 1. It features a 7.14 MHz 8086 processor, 128 kB RAM, one floppy drive, eight expansion slots, 720x350 monochrome or 320x200 color graphics, for US$2495. MS-DOS 2.11 and MS-BASIC cost US$60. [108] [113] [497.20] [934.44] (July [487.67] [620.114])
  • Compaq Computer introduces the Compaq Deskpro Model 2, like the Model 1 but with two floppy drives, 256 kB RAM, and 12-inch monochrome monitor, for US$2995. [934.44]
  • Compaq Computer introduces the Compaq Deskpro Model 3, like the Model 1 but with 256 kB RAM, 10 MB hard drive, and 12-inch monochrome monitor, for US$4995. [934.44]
  • Compaq Computer introduces the Compaq Deskpro Model 4, like the Model 1 but with 640 kB RAM, 10 MB hard drive, 10 MB tape drive, and 12-inch monochrome monitor, for US$7195. [934.44]
  • AT&T Information Systems introduces the AT&T PC 6300 microcomputer. It features an 8 MHz 8086 processor, 640x400 color graphics, 128 kB RAM, serial and parallel ports, two 360 kB disk drives, MS-DOS 2.11, seven expansion slots. Price is about US$2800. Price with 10 MB hard drive is US$4985. The system is manufactured by Olivetti. [166.58] [487.67] [934.9] [1146.32] [1209.16] (March [880.114])
  • Amiga returns money it received from Atari to develop graphics chips, claiming they would not work. [1352.D16]
June 28
  • Motorola introduces the 16 MHz 68020 processor, a 32-bit version of the 68000, in CMOS, with on-board cache. Estimated performance is 2-3 MIPS. Price is US$487 each. [9] [934] [1349.D1] (1986 [120])
  • Epson America introduces the Geneva PX-8 laptop computer. It features Z80 processor, 64 kB RAM, 32 kB ROM, flip-up LCD screen with 80x8 text screen, 480x64 graphics, built-in microcassette tape drive, CP/M 2.2, MicroPro's ROM-based WordStar/Calc/Scheduler, and Microsoft BASIC. Price is US$995; weight is 4-5 pounds. [880.130] [934.9] [1349.D3]
(month unknown)
  • Atari offers to buy 1 million Amiga shares at $3 each, then lends Amiga $500,000, then changes offer to 98 cents per share. [2634.139]
  • Harris Semiconductor announces the 80C88 processor, a CMOS version of Intel's 8088 processor. [951.10]
  • Advanced Storage Technology announces a 103 MB half-height 5.25-inch hard drive for US$1950 in large quantities. [934.10]
  • The COMDEX trade show is held in Atlanta, Georgia. [951.9]
  • At the COMDEX trade show, Morrow introduces the Pivot portable microcomputer. It features IBM PC compatibility, one-third height 5.25-inch disk drive, 16-line LCD, 128 kB RAM, and 300 bps modem. Weight is 9 pounds. [951.9]
  • Commodore International stops manufacturing the VIC-20. [366.16] [804.18]
  • Motorola unveils its 68010 CPU chip. [120]
  • Apple Computer releases ProDOS. [218]
  • Foxbase releases Foxbase software for MS-DOS. [494.6]
  • Microsoft introduces the MS-NET operating system. [1186.25]
  • Intel introduces the 80188 processor. [108] [120]
  • Olivetti buys 60 percent of Acorn Computers' public shares. [347.59]
  • Philips announces CD-ROM players for personal computers, for under US$1000. [582.90]
  • Microsoft and Lotus Development reach an agreement in principle to merge companies, but Jim Manzi convinces Mitch Kapor to back out of it. [618.158]
  • The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) begins developing the X Window System. [707.207]
  • At an IBM strategy conference in Boca Raton, IBM decides its future PC operating system course to be co-developing OS/2 with Microsoft. Three choices turned down are promoting IBM's own CP/X86 (portable code, virtual memory, multitasking, "Mermaid" GUI), licensing CP/X86 to Microsoft, and adopting Unix. [606.74]
  • Number Nine releases the Revolution 512x8 graphics controller card, the first 256-color video card. [1280.45]
  • Hewlett-Packard introduces The Portable computer, with flat panel liquid crystal display, and built-in software. [1280.45]
  • Muse Software releases the Beyond Castle Wolfenstein game for personal computers in the USA. [1473.94]
  • Activision releases Pitfall II: Lost Caverns for various systems. [1540.49]
  • Infocom releases the Planetfall software for personal computers in the USA. [2229.119]

End of 1984 April-June. Next: 1984 July.

1947-1968 1969-1971 1972-1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981
1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991
1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008-end


A list of references to all source material is available.

Other web pages of interest:

  • Chronology of Microprocessors
  • Personal Computer References in Pop Culture
  • This Day in Personal Computer and Video Game History

  • Last updated: 2022 April 29.
    Copyright © 1995-2022 (email: ).
    URL: https://pctimeline.info/
    Link to Ken P's home page.