Chronology of Personal Computers (1983)




  • In New York, Apple Computer gives a sneak preview of the Lisa computer for select members of the press, and John Sculley, president of Pepsi-Cola. [745.68] [930.9,77]
  • The Winter Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is held, in Las Vegas, Nevada. 40,000 people attend. [300.18] [977]
  • Mattel Electronics demonstrates the Aquarius computer at the Winter CES. It has 4 kB RAM, and a Z80A microprocessor. It is expected to sell for US$200. [176.145] [300.40] [444.492] [2287.12]
  • At the Winter CES, Commodore International debuts the Commodore SX-100, a portable version of the Commodore 64, with bundled B/W screen, for US$995. Price with color screen and two drives is US$1295. [804.17]
  • At the Winter CES, Spectravideo introduces the SV-318 microcomputer. It features 32 kB RAM (expandable to 256 kB), 32 kB ROM, Microsoft BASIC, word processor, CP/M compatibility. Price is US$300. An optional disk drive costs US$525. An optional adapter allows playing Coleco game cartridges. [444.496] [1212.114] [1213.15]
  • At the Winter CES, Commodore Business Machines demonstrates the HHC-4 (Hand-Held Computer). It features 24-character LCD screen with 4 kB RAM expandable to 16 kB. This was one of Commodore’s pre-PET business products. Price is US$199. [804.17]
  • At the Winter CES, Texas Instruments announces the TI 99/2, using the TI-9995 16-bit microprocessor, 4.2 kB RAM, 24 kB ROM, 16-color graphics. Price is to be about US$100. [300.39] [444.496] [865.8] [885.232] [2287.12]
  • Walt Disney Productions introduces a line of home computer software featuring Mickey Mouse and friends. [977.29]
  • Sony and the Microfloppy Industry Committee reach a compromise on 3 1/2-inch floppy media standards. Sony will change its media to conform to the compromise. [885.168]
  • Sony announces in Tokyo, Japan, that it and twelve other floppy disk drive manufacturers had agreed to support a mutually compatible format for 3 1/2-inch disks. [978.D5]
  • Dynalogic becomes a division of Bytec. [615.179]
  • Bytec begins shipping the Hyperion portable computer, developed by Dynalogic. [615.56,179]
  • Evotek begins shipping thin-film media hard disks in 7.8 MB to 51 MB capacities. [862.270]
  • Apple Computer releases the Apple Letter Quality Printer, for US$2200. It is a modified Qume printer. [218]
  • Visicorp sues Software Arts for US$60 million in damages for late delivery of advances in the VisiCalc. [346.110] [1340.S3.12]
  • Timex introduces the Timex/Sinclair 2000, which is the re-packaged Sinclair Spectrum for the North American market. Price is US$149 for a 16 kB model. [444.496] (Timex 2000) [300.42]
  • Commodore International sells the 1,000,000th VIC-20 computer. [9]
  • Commodore International introduces the SX-64, the first color portable computer. Weight is 10.5 kg. It incorporates a 5-inch color monitor and one or two 5.25-inch floppy drive. Price is US$1600. [190.81] [349.16] [444.496] [713.255]
  • Lotus Development ships Lotus 1-2-3 Release 1.0 for MS-DOS. US$1 million was spent on promoting the release. It requires 256 kB of RAM, more than any microcomputer program at the time. Jonathan Sachs was the programmer, with Mitch Kapor as the software designer. [41] [217] [120] [346.111] [502.49] [548.429] [627.5,73] [618] [618.149] [1298.188]
  • Ziff-Davis begins publishing A+ magazine for Apple Computer products. [218]
January 18

  • The CP/M ’83 Show is held in San Francisco, California. [529.196]
  • Radio Shack unveils the TRS-80 Model 12 at the CP/M ’83 Show. It features a Zilog Z80A processor, 80 kB RAM, 82-key keyboard, 1.25 MB floppy drive, and software compatibility with the TRS-80 Model II. Price is US$3200. [529.196] [1017.D5]
  • Franklin Computer shows an operating Franklin Ace 1200 Apple II compatible at the CP/M ’83 Show. It features an 8-bit processor, 128 kB RAM, color display, upper/lower-case keyboard, 143 kB floppy drive, CP/M card, 80-column text card, for US$2200. [529.196]
  • To date, 750,000 Apple II computers have been sold. [1017.D6]
January 19

  • Apple Computer officially unveils the Lisa computer. It features a 5-MHz Motorola 68000 microprocessor, 1 MB RAM, 2 MB ROM, 12-inch B/W monitor, 720×364 graphics, dual 5.25-inch 860 kB floppy drives, 5 MB Profile hard drive, detachable keyboard, one-button mouse, and seven integrated programs (spreadsheet, drawing, graphing, file manager, project manager, terminal emulator, word processor). It is slow, but innovative. Its initial price is US$9995. The Lisa computer cost Apple Computer US$50 million to develop. It is the first personal computer with a graphical user interface (GUI). The software for it cost Apple Computer US$100 million to develop. “Lisa” stands for Local Integrated Software Architecture. (During its lifetime, 100,000 units are produced.) [9] [41] [46] [75] [80] [140] [176.145] [180.16,102] [202.211] [203.63] [346.149] [443.4] [443.42] [447.457] [477.158] [593.350] [606.141] [862.494] [1017.D5] [1639.105] [1886.65] [1918.75] [2605.77] (“Lisa” was name of original chief engineer’s daughter [930.12]) (1982 January [120])
  • Apple Computer introduces the Apple IIe. It features 64 kB RAM, Applesoft BASIC, upper/lower case keyboard, seven expansion slots, 40×24 and 80×24 text, 1 MHz 6502 processor, up to 560×192 graphics, 140 kB 5.25-inch floppy drive, Apple DOS 3.3, for US$1395. [46] [75] [120] [199.1] [200.1] [443.4] [443.68] [593.350] [862.494] [1017.D6]

  • Apple Computer stops production of the Apple II Plus computer. [1020.C4]
January 20

  • At the CP/M ’83 show, NCR introduces the Decision Mate V computer. It features Zilog Z80 processor, optional Intel 8088 processor, and monochrome or color display, for US$2650-3440. [1019.D3] (May [529.192])

  • Quote by Steve Jobs, of Apple Computer, “We’re prepared to live with Lisa for the next ten years.” (Apple will drop Lisa from its product line in 1985.) [734.47]
  • Compaq Computer begins shipping the Compaq Portable PC. [47] [203.23] [346.95] [1149.233] (February [1326.D1]) (March 1983 [41] [620.113])
January 31

  • Atari announces that Marcian Hoff, inventor of the microprocessor, is joining the company as vice president of research and development. [1665.D2]
  • Texas Instruments introduces the TI Professional Computer. It features an 8088 processor, 64 kB RAM, dual 320 kB floppy drives, 720×300 graphics with optional 8-color mode, and voice recognition, starting at US$2195. [902.233] [910.288] [1665.D4]
(month unknown)

  • Sierra On-Line releases the Lode Runner game for personal computers. (Total sales over its lifetime: 2.5 million copies.) [1475.14]
  • Radio Shack introduces the TRS-80 Pocket Computer, Model PC-4, replacing the PC-1, for US$70. [528.288]
  • Nelma Data Corporation introduces the Persona microcomputer. It features a 4 MHz Z80A, CP/M 2.3, 64 kB RAM, dual single-sided 5.25-inch floppy drives, for US$3000. [371.47]
  • Apple Computer’s Steve Jobs offers IBM’s Don Estridge the position of president of Apple Computer, for US$1 million per year, US$1 million signing bonus, and US$2 million to buy a house. Don Estridge turns it down. [618.121]
February 8

  • Texas Instruments cuts the dealer price on the TI 99/4A, dropping the retail price to under US$150. [713.268] [1667.D4]
February 10

  • Texas Instruments files a lawsuit in Federal District Court in Houston, Texas, against Compaq Computer and ten officers and employees, claiming theft of trade secrets and patent infringement. [1668] (January [1326.D6])
February 11

  • A Taipei, Taiwan, district criminal court dismisses Apple Computer’s charges against Sunrise Computer Service and Golden Formosa Microcomputer of making and selling pirated copies of patented Apple software products. [1314.D4]

  • Oric International announces it will sell the Oric 1 computer in stores in the UK, mainly W.H. Smith. [2287.12]
  • Sinclair Research announces it has sold 200,000 Spectrum computers to date. [2287.12]
  • Microsoft establishes a subsidiary company in West Germany. [346.264]
  • Acorn Computers in the UK announces it will soon release the Electron computer, with 32 kB RAM. Price to be 199 pounds. [2287.12]
February 22

  • Seventeen American and Japanese companies form a group to support a 3-inch floppy disk and drive, with a capacity of 500,000 bytes. [1669.D5]
March 8

  • IBM announces the IBM Personal Computer XT in New York City. It features a Intel 8088 processor, 10 MB hard drive, eight expansion slots, serial port, 128 kB RAM, 40 kB ROM, keyboard, one double-sided 360 kB floppy drive. Price is US$4995. “XT” stands for eXtended Technology. [35] [41] [75] [116] [120] [205.31] [346.264] [902.256,298] [1149.216] [1256.141] [1313.D4 (February [9])
March 15

  • IBM Japan announces the IBM 5550 Multistation in Japan. It features an 8 MHz Intel 8086 microprocessor, 256 kB RAM (expandable to 512 kB), up to three 640 kB capacity floppy drives, display with 1024×768 graphics monochrome or 360×512 in four colors, for US$4200-10000 with screen, printer, and keyboard. [902.144] [1314.D4
  • A Taipei, Taiwan, high court upholds Apple Computer’s charges against Sunrise Computer Service and Golden Formosa Microcomputer of making and selling pirated copies of patented Apple software products. [1314.D4]

  • Supersoft withdraws its C compilers for CP/M-86 and MS-DOS, to further develop them prior to re-release. [901.20]
  • Microsoft announces MS-DOS 2.0 for PCs. It features support for 10 MB hard drives and 360 kB floppy disks, and a hierarchical file system. The source code, completely re-written, is five times longer than DOS 1.0, at 20,000 lines. [117] [130] [146] [346.264] [748.29] [1149.216] [1298.188] [1639.105]
  • IBM releases IBM Personal Computer Disk Operating System v2.00 (PC-DOS), with BASIC v2.00. Price is US$60. [902.298]
  • Microsoft creates a publishing division, Microsoft Press. [346.264]
  • Eagle ships the Eagle 1600 computer, the first 8086-based PC on the market. [108]
March 29

  • Tandy announces its TRS-80 Model 100 portable computer. It features Intel 80C85 processor, 8 lines of 40-column text, 240×64 graphics, built-in modem, serial and parallel ports, 32 kB ROM with text editor, telecommunications package, schedule book, address book, and Microsoft BASIC. Weight is four pounds. It runs on four AA alkaline batteries, powering it for about 20 hours. Price is US$799 for 8 kB RAM version, to US$1134 for the 32 kB RAM version. The system is based on the NEC PC-8201 portable computer, which is built by Kyoto Ceramics (Kyocera). [9] [139.66] [346.264] [529.14] [862.14] [885.139] [909.232] [1299.209] [1315.31] (introduced in 1984 [202.199])
(month unknown)

  • Hewlett-Packard introduces the HP Series 200 Model 16 microcomputer, also known as the HP 9816. It features a 16-bit 8 MHz Motorola 68000 microprocessor, 128 kB RAM, 9-inch black and white monitor supporting 80×25 text and 400×300 graphics, keyboard, various optional floppy and hard drives, starting at US$3985. [902.328]
  • Microsoft shows IBM a raw version of Windows. IBM is not interested as they are already developing what would be called TopView. [45]
  • Personal computer word processor market share: WordStar 50%. [1149.239]


End of 1983 January-March. Next: 1983 April.

1947-1968 1969-1971 1972-1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981
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