Chronology of Personal Computers (1982)



January 1

  • Trip Hawkins resigns as director of product marketing at Apple Computer. [2583.77]
January 8

  • The US Justice Department decides to drop its antitrust suit against IBM, which was launched 13 years ago. One of its aims had been to break IBM up into several companies. [346.98] [930.186] [970.1] [1025.D3] [1041.D1] [1149.166] (June [606.11])

  • The 1982 Winter Consumer Electronics Show is held in Las Vegas, Nevada. [285.64] [395.106]
  • Commodore announces the Commodore 64 microcomputer, showing a prototype at the Winter CES. It features a 6510 processor, 64 kB RAM, 20 kB ROM with Microsoft BASIC, custom SID sound chip, 8 sprites, 16-color graphics, 40-column screen, for US$600) for US$595. It is the first personal computer with an integrated sound synthesizer chip. [9] [190.81] [285.64] [713.235] [812.6] (Summer [804.17]) (June [405.61])
  • Commodore introduces the 16K SuperVIC computer. [285.66]
  • Commodore introduces the VicModem 300 baud modem, for US$109.95. It includes free offers valued at US$200. [285.66] (March [713.223])
  • Texas Instruments introduces a peripheral expansion unit for the TI-99/4, for US$250. [285.66]
  • Sharp introduces the Sharp PC-1500 Hand Held Personal Computer. It comes with 16 kB ROM, and 3.5 kB RAM. Price for computer is US$300. Price for tiny color graphics printer that attaches to the side, US$250. [285.67]
  • Radio Shack introduces the TRS-80 Pocket Computer, Model PC-2, for US$280. It uses a 1.3 MHz 8-bit microprocessor, and has a 26-character display, with upper and lower case characters. It comes with 16 kB ROM, and 2.6 kB RAM, expandable to 16 kB. An optional 4-color printer attaches to the side. [286.216] [393.41]
  • Toshiba America previews its first personal computer, the Model T100. It uses a Z-80A, a flat panel LCD display, and supports up to 32 kB RAM and 32 kB ROM in cartridges. [285.67]
  • Kazuhiko Nishi, Microsoft’s representative in Japan, shows Bill Gates a drawing of a prototype for a portable computer, using a new liquid crystal display developed by Hitachi. Gates and Nishi begin designing the details of the computer, which Kyocera Corporation in Japan had agreed to manufacture. [346.56]
  • Intel releases the Pascal/MT+86 compiler. [1167]
  • Atari begins shipping all Atari 800 units with GTIA graphics chips, allowing three more graphics modes than previously available. [286.200]
  • Radio Shack introduces the TRS-80 Model 16. It uses a 16-bit Motorola MC68000 microprocessor, a Z-80 microprocessor, 8-inch floppy drives, and optional 8 MB hard drive. [286.216] [393.40]
  • Casio introduces the FX-9000P microcomputer. It uses a 2.75 MHz processor, 12 kB ROM, 4 kB RAM (expandable to 32 kB), built-in 32×16 character (256×128 graphics) monochrome monitor, for US$1200. [395.106]
  • The Tabor company is established, for creating disk drives. [444.74]
  • Epson introduces the KX-1 desktop computer in Japan. [395.120]
  • Apple Computer gives Microsoft its first Macintosh prototype, for Microsoft to develop applications on. [686.146] [1149.269] [1299.188] (summer [346.149])
January 22

  • Microsoft signs an agreement with Apple Computer, for Microsoft to develop applications for the Macintosh computer. The applications are spreadsheet, business graphics, and database software. Microsoft is not allowed to release similar software for non-Apple computers until one year after the Macintosh introduction, or January 1, 1983, whichever came first. [477.157] [1149.268] [1299.188] [2605.169]
(month unknown)

  • 3Com begins investigating the application of Ethernet computer networking technology to IBM PC computers. [902.274]
  • Smith-Corona announces the TP-I daisy-wheel computer printer, for US$895. [951.293]
  • Shugart Associates introduces half-size (1.5 inch high) floppy disk drives. [1066.22]
  • Digital Research signs an agreement with Intel, to write an MPM multitasking operating system for Intel’s iAPX 286 processor. [994.20]

  • The first issue of PC magazine is released. [778.112] [1256] (January [2442.86])
  • Sinclair Research and Timex Corporation reach a licensing agreement for Timex to manufacture and market Sinclair personal computers in North America. [624.170]
  • IBM splits its Personal Computer development team into three groups: one to work on the PC XT, one to develop the PCjr, and one to start work on the PC AT. [41]
  • Gary Stimac, Steve Flanagan, and Rod Canion form the Gateway Technology company. The three are all former senior managers of Texas Instruments. (They soon change the company name to Compaq Computer.) [47] [113] [203.22] [1299.203] (1981 January [307.85]) (Jim Murto, Bill Harris [606.51]) (Jim Harris, Bill Murto [1298.188])
  • Intel introduces the 6 MHz 80286 microprocessor. It uses a 16-bit data bus, 134,000 transistors (1.5 microns), and offers protected mode operation. Initial price is US$360 each, in quantities of 100. It can access 16 MB of memory, or 1 GB of virtual memory. Speed is 0.9 MIPS. (Later versions operate at 8 MHz, 10 MHz (1.5 MIPS), and 12 MHz (2.66 MIPS).) [177.102] [296] [540.64] [690.94] [879.116] [947.102] [1635.52] (130,000 transistors [447.144] [477.124]) (June [405.60]) (July [9] [346.263]) (1984 [108] [120])

  • Apple Computer ships Apple LOGO, supplied by Logo Computer Systems of Canada. [615.120]
  • Microsoft releases FORTRAN for MS-DOS. [346.262]
  • Coprocessors Inc. introduces the 88-Card, a plug-in card for the Apple II, with 64 kB RAM and an Intel 8088 microprocessor. [396.14]
  • Japanese PC market share based on production over the past 12 months: NEC 45%, Sharp 17%, Fujitsu 12%. [885.256]
  • At Microsoft, Tim Paterson completes work on DOS 1.1. [1149.215]
  • Non-Linear Systems introduces the Kaypro II for US$1795. It features 193 kB dual 5.25-inch floppy drives, 2.5 MHz Z80 processor, 64 kB RAM, CP/M 2.2, Perfect Software family, and a 9-inch 80-column green monochrome screen. It measures 18 x 18 x 15 1/2 inches, and weighs 26 pounds. [396.16] [885.212]
  • Xebec introduces a 5 MB hard disk and controller kit for Apple or CP/M computers, for US$1300. [396.16]
  • To date, 98 companies have been licensed to build Ethernet products. Only 18 have announced products. [1063.21]
  • Xedex introduces the Baby Blue card (a Z80B processor on a plug-in card), allowing the IBM PC to run standard CP/M programs. Price: US$600. [346.92] [396.10] (April [9]) (Vendex company[346.93])
  • Tim Paterson quits Microsoft, returning to Seattle Computer Products. [1149.215]
(month unknown)

  • Microsoft files a lawsuit against Advanced Logic Systems claiming copyright infringement of the Z-Card on the BIOS and boot code software of the SoftCard. (The suit is later settled out of court.) [1299.201]
  • At the West Coast Computer Faire, Davong Systems introduces its 5 MB Winchester Disk Drive for the IBM PC, for US$2000. [287.11]
  • Six months after the introduction of the IBM PC, 50,000 units have been sold. [1112.136] (after eight months [218])
  • Franklin Computer unveils the Franklin Ace 1000, the first legal (at the time) Apple II clone. It uses a 1.022 MHz 6502 CPU, and comes with 64 kB RAM. [9] [291.10] [1062.D4]
  • The acronym WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) first appears in print, in the April issue of Byte magazine. The acronym refers to software that displays on-screen close to the same output that will be produced on a printer. [1056.372]
  • Grid Systems announces the Compass portable computer. It features 256 kB RAM, multitasking Unix-like operating system, bit-mapped flat panel 320×240 pixel display (4 3/4 by 3.25 inches), 300/1200 bps modem. Weight is 9.5 pounds. Price is US$8150. [880.132] [999.27] [1047.C2]
April 5

  • The New York Times newspaper reports on page one that the IBM PC’s BASIC contains a basic mathematical flaw. Entering 0.1 divided by 10 will result in a wrong answer. The culprit is a bug in Microsoft’s floating-point math routine in the BASIC ROM chip. [1299.205]

  • Shipments of the Sinclair ZX81 to date: about 500,000. [1302.D1]
  • Mitch Kapor and Jonathan Sachs founds Lotus Development Corporation. [217] [346.262] [1298.188]
  • Microsoft establishes a subsidiary company in England. [346.262]
  • Kazuhiko Nishi shows a prototype portable computer to Tandy/Radio Shack. Tandy makes a commitment to market the computer. [346.56]
  • Digital Research releases Pascal/MT+ 8086 for CP/M-86 and MS-DOS. [1167]
  • Digital Research releases CP/M-86, for US$240. [1149.211]
  • IBM first offers Digital Research’s CP/M-86 for the IBM PC. [346.90,262]
April 19

  • Commodore International announces the B (700) and P (500) series of microcomputers. They feature 6509 CPU, 64 kB RAM expandable to 256 kB, 28 kB ROM with OS and BASIC, 80×25 green phosphor monitor, 94-key keyboard, twin 5.25-inch floppy disk drives, several I/O ports, for US$1700-3000. [624.174] [1301.D5]
  • Apple Computer announces it is terminating its central purchasing agreement with Computerland, effective July 15. In its place, Apple will deal directly with individual Computerland outlets. [1301.D13]
April 20

  • IBM opens its first personal computer product center store, in New York City. [1302.D5]
  • Timex Computer and Sinclair Research announce an agreement for Timex to market a 2 kB version of the ZX81 as the Timex/Sinclair 1000 in North America. The computer includes a keyboard, and hooks up to a television set. Timex expects to ship the unit in July for US$99.95, the first personal computer for less than US$100. Size of the computer is 6 x 6.5 x 1.5 inches; weight is 12 ounces. [288.10] [1302.D1] (May [])
April 23

  • Sinclair Research introduces the Sinclair ZX Spectrum at the Earls Court Computer Fair in London, England. It features 3.54 MHz Zilog Z80A processor, 32×24 text, 256×192 8-color graphics, 1 channel 5 octave sound. Price for 16 kB RAM version is 125 pounds, or 48 kB RAM version for 175 pounds. [624.170] [2287.95] [2584.12,15] [2635.29]
(month unknown)

  • Corvus Systems introduces the Corvus Concept microcomputer. It features an 8 MHz Motorola 68000 processor, 256 kB RAM, 120×66 character (560×720 graphics) B/W display, Omninet networking, four Apple II-compatible expansion slots, for US$5000. [396.6] [862] [995.ss4]
  • Phase One Systems releases the Oasis-16 multi-user operating system for the IBM Personal Computer. Three-user support is built-in, with up to 32 users possible with bus expansion hardware. [995.20]
  • Microsoft ships its Multiplan spreadsheet program to IBM for testing and marketing for the IBM PC. [346.109]
  • Commodore International releases the 1540 Single-Drive Floppy for the VIC-20. [804.17]
  • Microsoft releases Microsoft COBOL for MS-DOS. [346.262]

  • Future Computing Inc. quote: “CP/M 2.2 is extremely important, and the Z80 chip will live forever because of it.” [9]
  • Eagle Computer is incorporated. [481.31]
  • Microsoft releases MS-DOS 1.1 to IBM, for the IBM PC. It supports 320 kB double-sided floppy disk drives. Microsoft also releases MS-DOS 1.25, similar to version 1.1 but for IBM-compatible computers. [146] [346.251] (June [346.263])
  • The Microfloppy Standards Committee is formed, to establish a microfloppy media standard. [885.167]
  • Digital Research releases the MP/M II v2.1 operating system. [444.194]
  • Microsoft grants a license for DOS to Digital Equipment for the Rainbow computer, for a flat-fee of US$95,000. [1299.205]
May 27

  • Wang Laboratories introduces the Wang Professional Computer. Models feature Intel 16-bit processors. Prices are expected to be US$2700-9000. [289.157] [1307.D4]
May 28

  • Trip Hawkins founds Amazin’ Games company (later changed to Electronic Arts). [1343.77]
June 6

  • The Summer Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is held. [713.238] [1023.D5]
June 7

  • The National Computer Conference is held in Houston, Texas. [339.22] [405.58] [885.167] [994.15] [995.15] [999.15] [1060.S3.4] [1066.15]

  • At the National Computer Conference, Sony introduces the SMC-70 microcomputer. It features a Zilog Z80A microprocessor, two 3.5-inch drives, CP/M, and optional Intel 8086 microprocessor add-on unit. [447.120]
  • At the National Computer Conference, Evotek demonstrates prototype 50 MB 5.25-inch hard disks, offering up to 8.2 Mbps transfer rates. [862.270] [995.ss3]
  • Sony Electronics demonstrates its 3.5-inch microfloppy disk system. Storage capacity is 438 kB. [189.174] [1084.398]
  • Toshiba America introduces its Toshiba T100 personal computer. [289.164]
  • Epson shows a working prototype computer called the “Rising Star”. It is later introduced as the QX-10. [339.22]
  • Columbia Data Products releases the Columbia MPC microcomputer. (This is the first IBM PC clone.) [9] [346.263] [1298.188]
  • Sinclair Research begins full-scale production of the ZX Spectrum. [2635.33]]
  • Olivetti introduces the M20 microcomputer in the US, with Z8001 processor. [405.60] [624.187]
  • Epson America announces the HX-20 (HC-20 in Japan), the first notebook-sized computer. It weighs 3 pounds, and runs on internal batteries for up to 50 hours. It includes 16 kB RAM, 32 kB ROM, a full-size keyboard, built-in printer, and 20×4 character LCD screen. [289.156] [447.124] [1299.208] (1981 November [9])
  • Cromemco announces the C-10 personal computer. It uses a 4 MHz Z-80A, 64 kB RAM, and 80×25 screen, for US$1000. [289.156]
  • Commodore International introduces the BX256 16-bit multiprocessor professional microcomputer. It includes 256 kB RAM, Intel 8088 for CP/M-86, 6509 CPU, 80-column B/W monitor, built-in dual disk drives, and 3-voice sound for US$3000. [289.162] [405.60] [1042.C3]
  • Commodore International introduces the B128 microcomputer. It features 128 kB RAM, 40 kB ROM, 6509 CPU, 5.25-inch floppy drive, 3-voice sound chip, cartridge slot, and an 80-column green screen, for US$1700. [289.162] [405.543]
  • Commodore International announces the P128 microcomputer. It is to be an enhanced Commodore 64 with 128 kB RAM expandable to 896 kB. Price US$995. [289.162] [804.17]
  • Lobo Drives International introduces the Lobo MAX-80 personal computer. It features a 5 MHz Z80 processor, 64 kB RAM, serial/parallel ports, interfaces for 5.25-inch and 8-inch floppy drives, hard drive interface, TRS-80 bus slot, CP/M, optional LDOS for TRS-80 emulation, monochrome graphics, and keyboard, for US$800-1000. [289.164] [446.390]
  • Altos Computer Systems announces the ACS8600. [289.164]
  • Intel announces the 80186 microprocessor. [405.60] [1074] [1146.51] (July [9]) (1984 [108] [120])
  • Digital Equipment announces the dual-processor Rainbow 100. It incorporates both Zilog Z80 and Intel 8088 microprocessors, allowing it to run CP/M as well as CP/M-86 or MS-DOS. It includes 64 kB RAM, expandable to 832 kB, monochrome or color monitor, 80×24 or 132×24 text, optional graphics (800×240 monochrome or 400×24 16-color), dual 5.25-inch disk drives holding 400 kB each. Prices start at US$3000. [266.279] [290] [880.100] (8085 and 8088 [289.272]) (March [396.20]) (1983 [949.170])
June 22

  • Bill Gates hires James Towne, a manager from Tektronix, as first president of Microsoft, effective July 6. [346.100] [1043.D2] [1299.198]
  • Xerox introduces the 820-II computer, an update of the 820. Price is US$3295. [1043.D4]
June 24

  • Commodore International announces that James Finke will leave the company as president on expiration of his contract on June 30. [1044.D2]
June 28

  • The Spring COMDEX trade show is held, in Atlantic City, New Jersey. [615.174] [995.15]

  • At the COMDEX show, Dynalogic introduces the Hyperion microcomputer. The Hyperion is the first IBM-compatible portable microcomputer. [615.174]
(month unknown)

  • Seequa Computer announces the Chameleon IBM PC-compatible microcomputer. It features 128 kB RAM, single-sided floppy drives, and is priced at US$1995. [912.327]
  • IBM releases the IBM CS-9000 Lab Computer. It features 8 MHz MC68000 microprocessor, 128 kB RAM expandable to 5 MB, 128 kB ROM, SYSBUS bus architecture, five expansion slots, 80×30 text green monochrome monitor, optional 5.25-inch, 8-inch, and 5-10 MB hard drives, starting at US$5700. [901.280]
  • Supersoft releases its first C compilers for CP/M-86 and MS-DOS. [901.20]
  • Symantec is founded. [656.33] [837.104]
  • At the National Association of Music Manufacturers convention, a group of electronic music companies agree to establish a set of digital transmission standards for electronic music. (A year later, MIDI is born.) [629.25]
  • An insurance company contracts with programmer Wilton Jones to create a PC word processing program that mimics Wang word processing. That program becomes MultiMate. [33]
  • MicroPro releases WordStar for PC-DOS. [1298.188]
  • Altos Computer Systems introduces Altos Net for connecting Altos computers via a network. [862.74]
  • Non-Linear Systems shows the prototype Kaypro 5, with 5 MB hard drive. [885.216]
  • Vector Graphic introduces the Vector 4 system, leaving them with US$3 million in stock of the Vector 3 system. [202.213]
  • Grid Systems ships the GridCase microcomputer. [1058.131]
  • Andrew Fluegelman begins distributing his PC-Talk communications software, the first copyrighted program distributed as shareware. [315.32]
  • Robert Lissner begins work on Apple Pie, which would be marketed by Apple Computer as AppleWorks for the Apple II. [218]
  • The Businessland computer retail store chain is founded. [34] [734.202]
  • Jack Tramiel resigns from Commodore International, but later takes his position back. [349.30]
  • John Warnock and Charles Geschke founds Adobe Systems. [346.146] [1299.385]
  • Altos Computer Systems introduces the Altos 586-20 multi-user computer. It features an Intel 8086, 512 kB RAM, 14-inch green monitor with 80×24 text and graphics, 1 MB 5.25-inch disk drive, 19 MB hard drive, six serial ports, and runs XENIX, MP/M-86 or Pick operating system. [880.112]
  • Personal Software changes its name to Visi Corporation. [346.280]
  • Hitachi introduces a 3-inch floppy disk drive. Disk storage capacity is 250 kB. [1084.398]
  • Tabor introduces a 3.5-inch version of the 5.25-inch floppy disk drive. [1084.398]
  • IBM introduces a 4-inch floppy disk drive. [1084.398]
  • Mouse Systems is founded. [627.204]
  • Mouse Systems introduces the first commercial mouse for the IBM PC. [176.112]
  • Apple Computer announces the Lisa computer to the press. [266.xv]
  • Digital Microsystems introducees the Fox portable computer. It features 64 kB RAM, 9-inch video screen, weight of 50 pounds, for US$3995. [1047.C2]
  • Lexicon introduces the LEX-31 computer. It features 16 kB RAM, weighs under 2 pounds, for US$995. [1047.C2]
  • Charles Schwab & Company introduces the Schwab Poketerm computer, weighing 13 ounces, for US$399. [1047.C2]
  • Otrona Advanced Systems introduces the dual-processor Attach 8:16 with Z80A and 8086 processors, 64 kB RAM, dual floppy drives, display, CP/M 2.2, MS-DOS, weight of 18.5 pounds, for US$3995. [885.7] [1047.C2]
  • Micro Source introduces the M6000P portable computer. It features 60 kB RAM, weighs 39 pounds, for US$3900. [1047.C2]
  • Context MBA is the first integrated software package, with spreadsheet, graphics, word processing, data management, and communications. [880.174]
  • Larry Kaplan and Jay Miner form the Hi-Toro company in Santa Clara, California, to create a new video games console. (The company with release three Atari 2600 games under the US trade name Amiga, then switch to building personal computers.) [2634.137]
  • Drexel University in Philadelphia announces it will require all students to own a personal computer. This is the first university to make such a proclamation. [734.60]
  • Al Charpentier, Bruce Crockett, and Bob Yannes leave Commodore International to start a competing company. However, the home computer industry collapses within a month of leaving. They decide to focus on electronic keyboards, and form Ensoniq. [732.99]
  • Hayes Microcomputer Products releases the Hayes Smartmodem 1200 modem. [1298.188]
  • Muse Software releases the Castle Wolfenstein game for personal computers in the USA. [1473.94]
  • Automated Simulations changes its name to Epyx. [1532.10]
  • Microsoft releases the Flight Simulator game for the IBM PC. [1732.90]
  • Jim Knopf, as “Jim Button”, releases the PC-File software as freely-distributable shareware. [2506.92]


End of 1982 January-June. Next: 1982 July.

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1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991
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2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008-end


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