Chronology of Personal Computers (1983)



April 5

  • Honeywell introduces the MicroSystem 6/10 microcomputer. It is compatible with Honeywell’s DPS 6 mainframe family. It uses LSI 6 and Intel 8086 processors, 128 kB RAM, dual 5.25-inch drives, display, keyboard, and I/O ports for US$4000-10,000. [529.194] [1317.D5
April 8

  • John Sculley is hired at Apple Computer as president and chief executive officer. He is to receive $500,000 salary, $500,000 bonus, $1 million signing bonus, $1 million golden parachute clause, and options on 350,000 Apple shares. [203.63] [266.281] [1886.65] [2605.79,154] (May [346.150])
April 11

  • Commodore International announces a rebate program for new purchasers of the Commodore 64. Those people mailing in a used video game system or computer would receive a US$100 rebate. [713.269] [1189.D1] [1318.D4]
April 13

  • John Sculley holds his first executive staff meeting at Apple Computer. [930.71]

  • Microsoft introduces XENIX 3.0. [346.264]
  • Vector Graphic fires president Frederick Snow, with Lore Harp taking over again. [202.213]
  • Commodore International drops dealer prices on the VIC-20, which allows it to drop below US$100 retail, the first color computer to hit that mark. [713.268]
  • Spring COMDEX is held in Atlanta, Georgia. [1149.238]
  • Microsoft introduces Multi-Tool Word for DOS (later renamed Microsoft Word) word processing program at Spring COMDEX. [346.127] [1149.238] (May [123]) (September [123])
  • Microsoft gives a “smoke-and-mirrors” demonstration of Interface Manager (later called Windows), which consists entirely of overlapping windows, appearing to be running programs simultaneously. [477.160] [1299.220]
  • Lotus Development ships Lotus 1-2-3 Release 1.0A. [217] (September 1985 [502.49])
April 18

  • Osborne Computer introduces The Osborne Executive portable computer. It features 4 MHz Z80A CPU, 128 kB RAM, 7-inch amber monitor, 24×80 text, detachable keyboard, two 204 kB 5.25-inch disk drives, two serial and one parallel ports, CP/M Plus, UCSD p-System, Wordstar, Supercalc, MBASIC, CBASIC, Personal Pearl. Weighing 28 pounds, it is priced at US$2495. [862.40] [1319.D4]
  • Osborne Computer introduces The Osborne Executive II portable computer. It is like the Executive, and adds a coprocessor board with a 4 MHz 8088 running MS-DOS or CP/M-86, and 630×200 graphics. Price is US$3195. [862.40]
April 21

  • Mattel Electronics introduces the Aquarius computer, with 4 kB RAM, 8 kB ROM, Z80A processor, 40×24 text output to a TV, 80×72 block graphics, in 16 colors. Price is US$160. [529.49] [1320.D3] (June 27 [2608.15])
April 26

  • Tandy introduces the TRS-80 Model 4 computer. It features 4 MHz Zilog Z80A processor, 16 kB RAM, cassette interface, keyboard, 80×24 text 12-inch monochrome monitor, for US$1000. A US$2000 system comes with 64 kB RAM and two 180 kB 5.25-inch floppy drives. [368.148] [461.292] [1321.D6]

  • The National Computer Conference (NCC) is held in Anaheim, California. [529.188] [902.144] [1299.235]
  • At the National Computer Conference, Jerry Pournelle (popular writer for Byte magazine) gives his predictions about computer technology in the year 1988: RAM would be 30 cents/kB, all microcomputers would have at least 1 MB RAM, 10 MB hard drives would be common, operating systems would be in ROM chips, hard drive space would cost under 5 cents/kB, letter quality printers would cost US$1000-1500, combination laser printer/ copy machines would be US$2000, full business-quality computers would cost US$1000, and all televisions would include computers. [885.233]
  • Fujitsu shows off first production of 256 kbit memory chips. [529.189]
  • Sony Electronics announces the 3.5-inch floppy disk and drive, double-sided, double-density, holding up to 1 MB. [529.190]
  • Microsoft France opens its first office, in Paris, France. [346.117]
  • Sord introduces the M5 Fun Computer, and the M5 MultiComputer. Both feature a Zilog Z80 microprocessor, 8 kB ROM, 4 kB RAM, keyboard, serial/parallel/cassette ports, and two game controllers, for US$200. [529.190]
  • Sinclair Research cuts the price of the ZX Spectrum with 16kB RAM to under 100 pounds in the UK, first color microcomputer at that price level. [2635.33]
  • Timex drops the suggested retail price of the ZX81 to US$49. [713.269]
  • Atari offers a US$100 rebate on the Atari 800, bringing its retail price to below US$400. [713.269]
  • Sord announces the M23 computer, featuring a Z80 processor, 128 kB RAM, two disk drives, 640×256 8-color graphics, for US$2200. [529.190]
  • Toshiba announces a portable version of the T100 computer, with 64 kB RAM, 40×8 LCD screen, modem, and briefcase, for US$1100. [529.190]
  • Toshiba announces the T300 computer, featuring a 16-bit processor, 650×500 8-color graphics, 192 kB RAM, 640 kB floppy disk drives, seven expansion slots, and IBM PC software compatibility, for US$2500. [529.190]
  • Sharp introduces the PC-5000 computer, featuring a 16-bit Intel 8088 processor, 128 kB RAM, 80×8 LCD, 640×80 graphics, and weighing 11 pounds. [529.190]
  • Anderson Jacobson introduces the AJ Passport portable computer, with 256 kB RAM, one or two floppy drives, serial/parallel ports, 300-baud modem, 640×250 graphics, and 7-inch amber display. [529.192]
  • Computer Devices shows the Dot computer, with 16-bit Intel 8088 processor, 128 kB RAM, Sony 3.5-inch floppy drive, integrated 9-inch green or amber monitor, 1056×254 graphics, and two serial ports, for US$3000. [529.192]
  • Microsoft introduces its first mouse, “The Microsoft Mouse”, including card and software, for US$200. [3] [123] [389.28] (April [346.264]) (June [1299.222])
  • Gavilan introduces the Gavilan Mobile Computer, a full-function portable computer. It features a 16-bit Intel 8088, 80 kB RAM, 3-inch microfloppy drive, 66×8 LCD screen, touch pad, keyboard, 300-baud modem, and I/O ports. [336.24] [529.194]
  • Commodore International ships the Commodore Executive 64. It features 64 KB RAM, detachable keyboard, 5-inch color monitor, 170 KB floppy drive, for US$1000. [529.192]
  • Apple Computer is listed at position 411 in the Fortune 500 list, up from 598 in 1982, the fastest ascent in business history. [2605.64]
May 23

  • The Japan Microcomputer Show is held at Ryutsu Center in Tokyo. [885.251]

  • At the Japan Microcomputer Show, Logitec introduces the AT-1000 portable computer. It features a 6301 processor, 32 kB ROM, and 32 kB RAM. It acts as a multitasking multiprocessor host, with plug-in slots for AT-100 units. [885.253]
  • At the Japan Microcomputer Show, Seiko shows Seikomap, with MAP-1010 processor (Z80A compatible), 24 kB ROM, 32 kB RAM, television interface, color graphics, built-in cassette drive, and keyboard, for about US$417. [885.253]
  • At the Japan Microcomputer Show, Casio shows the Casio FP 200 handheld microcomputer. It features 8-line x 20 character display, 8 kB RAM, 32 kB ROM, for about US$300. [885.251]
  • At the Japan Microcomputer Show, Canon shows the Canon X-07 Handy Personal Computer. It features an NSC 800 microprocessor (Z80 compatible), 20 kB ROM with BASIC, 4-line by 20-character display, just over one pound weight, for about US$445. [885.251]
  • At the Japan Microcomputer Show, National shows the National JR-800, featuring 63A01V processor (compatible with Motorola 6801), 8-line by 32-character LCD, 16 kB RAM, 20 kB ROM with BASIC, 1551 bytes of video RAM, five-octave music, 1 5/8 pounds weight, 10 1/4 x 5 5/8 x 1 3/8 inches, and runs for 25 hours on batteries. [885.252]
May 30

  • The first Babbage’s electronics store opens in Dallas, Texas. The store is named after Charles Babbage, 19th century British mathematician. [2597.49]
(month unknown)

  • Texas Instruments drops plans to market the TI 99/2. [528.14] [865.8]
June 1

  • Atari announces a consolidation of its home computer and video game divisions into one division. [1322.D4]
June 3

  • MGM/UA Entertainment releases the film WarGames to theaters in the USA. The main character uses his IMSAI 8080 computer at his house to connect to a mainframe computer by using his phone. [2293]
June 5

  • The Summer Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is held, in Chicago, Illinois, over several days. [530.200] [885.230] [1190.D1] [1213.75] [1322.D4]
  • At the CES, Coleco Industries announces the Coleco Adam computer. It features Zilog Z80A processor, 80 kB RAM (64 kB user RAM, 16 kB video RAM), 3 sound channels, 16-color graphics, ColecoVision game cartridge slot, 4 MC6801 microprocessors controlling operation of peripherals, SmartWriter word processor in ROM, full size 75-key keyboard, CP/M compatibility, BASIC compatible with Applesoft BASIC, three expansion slots, Adam net jack, two joysticks with keypads, 256×192 graphics and 36×24 text on TV display, 256-512 kB tape-cartridge device, Buck Rogers – The Planet of Zoom game, and 10-15 cps 80-column daisy wheel printer. Price is US$599. [9] [336.4] [364.43] [202.210] [363.54] [364.43] [530.200] [885.230] [990.D1] [1190.D1] [1213.75] (US$750 [949.208]) (1984 [176.146])
  • At the Consumer Electronics Show, Atari introduces the Atari 600 XL. It features 1.79 MHz 6502-C processor, 16 kB RAM, 24 kB ROM, 320×192 graphics and 40×24 text on TV screen. Price is US$199. An optional CP/M module is available. Optional package bundle called The Writing System for US$600 includes AtariWriter word processor on a cartridge, and 20-cps letter-quality printer. [885.230] [989.F29] [1190.D5] [1213.76]
  • At the Consumer Electronics Show, Atari introduces the Atari 800 XL, with 64 kB RAM. [885.230] [989.F29] [1190.D5]
  • At the Consumer Electronics Show, Atari introduces the Atari 1450 XL, with built-in 300 bps modem. [885.231] [1190.D5]
  • At the Consumer Electronics Show, Atari introduces the Atari 1450 XLD, with built-in 300 bps modem and disk drive. [885.231] [1190.D5]

  • At the Consumer Electronics Show, Atari introduces the 30 cps Atari 1027 letter-quality daisy-wheel printer for US$350. [885.230]
  • Coleco Industries introduces the Family Computer Module for the ColecoVision video game system, turning it into an Adam computer. Price is US$400. [1213.77]
  • Tomy shows the Tomy Tutor microcomputer at the Summer CES. It features 16-color 256×192 graphics, 32×24 text, 16 kB RAM, 32 kB ROM, three sound channels, for US$150. It uses a TMS 9905 processor. [530.202] (US$130 [885.231])
June 6

  • At the Consumer Electronics Show, Texas Instruments introduces the TI 99/8 home computer. It features 80 kB RAM; price is expected to be under US$500. [1190.D1]
June 7

  • At the Summer CES, Commodore International shows the Executive 64, formerly the Commodore SX-100. It has a 6-inch color monitor and is priced at US$995. [529.192] [804.17] [885.232] [1325.D4]

  • Spectra Video shows the SV-328 at the Summer CES. It is like the SV-318, but with a full-stroke keyboard, cursor keys, and 32 kB RAM. [530.202] (Spectravideo, 80 kB RAM [885.231])
  • Atari shows The Graduate at the Summer CES. It is an add-on computer for the Atari 2600 VCS game unit. It features 8 kB RAM, keyboard, 16 kB ROM with BASIC, and various I/O interfaces. [530.202]
  • At the CES, Video Technology introduces the Laser 3000, an Apple II workalike microcomputer. It features 2 MHz 6502 processor, 24 kB ROM, 64 kB RAM, 81-key keyboard, optional Z80A cartridge for CP/M, 80-column text display, 560×192 graphics, four sound channels, and I/O interfaces. [530.202] [885.231]
  • Rabbit Computer shows the Rabbit RX83 at the Summer CES. It features a Z80A processor, 2 kB RAM, keyboard, and 256×192 resolution 8-color graphics. [530.202]
  • At the Summer CES, Commodore shows the B128/256-80, formerly called P128. It has a monochrome monitor with 80-column display. [804.17]
June 10

  • Texas Instruments announces that poor sales of TI 99/4A computers, software, and peripherals would result in a second quarter loss of US$100 million. (The news drives the company’s stock price down almost US$50.) [1191.D4] [1988.126]
June 15

  • Microsoft, Spectravideo, and 14 Japanese computer companies announce the MSX (MicroSoft eXtended BASIC) specifications for low-end, 8-bit home computers systems. The standard consists of: Zilog Z80, TI TMS9918A video processor, General Instruments AY-8910 sound processor, NEC cassette interface chip, Atari joystick interface, 64 kB RAM, Microsoft’s 32 kB ROM-based extended BASIC. [530.24] [865.7] [1299.228] [1326.D1] [1794.110]
June 16

  • Microsoft president James Towne leaves the company. [1149.245] [1299.236]

  • Olivetti introduces the M20 microcomputer in Canada, the first desktop personal computer introduced in the country. [1565]
  • Video Technology shows a prototype Laser 2001 computer, compatible with ColecoVision and Atari VCS cartridges. It features 16 kB ROM, 64 kB RAM, 256×192 graphics, four channel sound, and I/O interfaces. [530.202]
  • Unitronics shows the Sonic, an Apple II workalike microcomputer. It uses a TI video display processor chip, 48 kB RAM, and built-in wafertape drive. [530.204]
  • Taiwan Happy Home Computer Company shows the Multi-System microcomputer, compatible with both the Apple II and the IBM PC. [530.204]
  • NEC shows the PC-8201 portable computer for the first time in the US. [530.204]
  • Casio shows the FP-200 portable, with 20×8 LCD display, 8 kB RAM, and I/O interfaces. [530.204]
  • Spectravideo begins shipping the SV-318 and SV-328 microcomputers. [865.7] [1213.15]
  • Microsoft quote: “We have a long-term relationship with IBM and have solid plans involving PC-DOS.” [2]
  • The one millionth Apple II is made. [46] [75] [346.264] [9] [885.8]
  • Apple Computer begins shipping the Lisa computer. [477.159] [930.114] [1299.220] [2605.79]
  • Intel quote: “Accessing memory using a segmented architecture holds many advantages over the earlier linear-addressing method.” [2]
June 17

  • Logical International files a trademark infringement suit against Coleco Industries, claiming prior use of the name “Adam” for a computer. [1327.D5]
June 30

  • Texas Instruments terminates 750 jobs in TI 99/4A manufacturing plants. [1191.D4]
(month unknown)

  • Digital Research introduces enhanced CP/M-86 for the IBM PC. It includes a printer spooler, and improved graphics. It can use up to 16 64 kB banks of memory, files can be time and date stamped, passwords can be assigned to a whole disk or individual files. Price is US$350. [529.198] [1213.142]
  • Radio Shack introduces the PC-3 pocket computer. It features 24-character LCD, 1.4 kB RAM, 4 ounce weight, for US$99.95. [885.7]
  • Sharp introduces the PC-1250 pocket computer, for US$110. It measures 5 5/16 x 2 1/2 x 3/8 inches. [885.7]
  • Texas Instruments introduces the Compact Computer 40 (CC-40). It uses the 8-bit TMS 70C20 processor, 6 kB RAM, 34 kB ROM with BASIC, and 31×1 LCD display. It runs on four AA batteries, lasting up to 200 hours. [529.37]
  • Data General announces the Desktop Generation Model 10 multi-user microcomputer. It features Intel 8086 and Data General Microeclipse processors, and runs CP/M-86, MS-DOS, or Data General’s RDOS or AOS. [885.7]
  • Access Matrix releases the Access Portable Computer. It measures 16.125 x 10 x 10 13/16 inches, and weighs 33 pounds. It has a 7-inch amber monitor displying 80×25 text. Other features include dual 5.25-inch 184 kB disk drives, dot-matrix printer, 64 kB RAM, detachable keyboard, 4 MHz Z80A processor, CP/M 2.2, and lots of software. Price is US$2495. [885.188]
  • Zilog announces the Z80000, a 32-bit microprocessor, with 256 byte on-chip cache, instruction pipelining, memory management, 10-25 MHz speed, for US$150 in 1000 unit quantities. [885.8]
  • Olympia USA introduces the People computer, with CP/M-86, MS-DOS, and two disk drives, for US$3595. [885.8]
  • Semi-Tech Micro (STM) Electronics introduces the Pied Piper Communicator 1 portable computer. It features a Zilog Z80 processor, CP/M 2.2, 64 kB RAM, 5.25-inch 784 kB disk drive, six software packages, and 80×24 text on monitor or TV, for US$1299. It measures 20.2 x 10.8 x 4 inches, and weighs 12 pounds. [530.30] [885.208]
  • Convergent Technologies introduces the Convergent Workslate portable computer. It features a Hitachi 1.228 MHz 6303 processor (a CMOS version of the Motorola 6800), 16 kB RAM, 64 kB ROM, 8 1/2 x 11 x 1 inch size, 60 key button keyboard, 3 pound weight, microcassette drive, 300 bps modem, 16-line by 46-character LCD display, for about US$895. It is powered by four AA size batteries. [885.7] [902.52]
  • Non-Linear Systems introduces the Kaypro 4, like the Kaypro II but with 380 kB double-sided disk drives. Price is US$1995. [885.216]
  • Non-Linear Systems introduces the Kaypro 10 computer. It features a 4 MHz Z80 processor, 64 kB RAM, built-in 9-inch green monitor, 80×25 text, 160×100 pixels, 10 MB hard disk, 390 kB floppy drive, parallel, serial, and light pen ports, CP/M 2.2, Wordstar 3.3, Perfect writer 1.2, PerfectCalc 1.1, Perfect Filer, Microplan, MBASIC, CBASIC, S-BASIC. Price is US$2795. Weight is 31 pounds. [885.216] [950.208]
  • Atari cancels production of the Atari 1200XL, due to compatibility and other problems. [529.220]
  • Hewlett-Packard begins design work on Precision Architecture. [160]
  • Seymour Rubenstein resigns from MicroPro International. [548.433]
  • Wayne Green, founder of many early microcomputer magazines, sells his magazines and business interests for US$60 million. [713.95]
  • IBM and Microsoft begin co-developing OS/2. [38]
  • The Ada programming language becomes an ANSI standard. [912.131]
  • Software Systems introduces the MultiMate word processing software. [1298.188]
  • Corona Data Systems introduces The Corona Portable PC. It features 8088 processor, 128 kB RAM, 9-inch green 80×25 text 640×325 graphics monitor, 320 kB floppy drive, MS-DOS, BASIC, MultiMate, for US$2545. It measures 19.8 x 18.8 x 9.6 inches and weighs 28 pounds. [885.228]
  • Corona Data Systems introduces The Corona PC. It features 5 MHz 8088 processor, 128 kB RAM, 12-inch green 80×25 text 640×325 graphics monitor, keyboard, one 320 kB floppy drive, MS-DOS v1.25, Microsoft GW-BASIC, Multimate, PC-Tutor, for US$2595. [885.228] [902]
  • LNW Research introduces the LNW-80 Model II computer. It features Z80 processor, 96 kB RAM, 16 kB ROM, color display, 480×192 pixel monochrome or 160×192 8-color graphics, supports most software for TRS-80 Model 1, III, and 4, and CP/M. It includes DOS PLUS, CP/M 2.2, LNW BASIC, Microsoft BASIC, Electric Pencil, and more. Price is US$1195. [950]
  • George Tate, of Ashton-Tate, buys all rights to dBase II from Wayne Ratliff, and hires him as head of development for dBase III. [618.262]
  • Iomega introduces the Bernoulli Box storage device. [656.37]
  • Digital Communications Associates introduces the Crosstalk XVI communications program for PCs. [688.234]
  • Bob Wallace leaves Microsoft to found Quicksoft. [1229.R10]
  • Syquest introduces its SyQuest storage cartridge system to the PC market. [612.209]
  • Microcom introduces the Era 2 modem, with Microcom Networking Protocol (MNP) to help eliminate data transmission errors. [712.184] [1089.234]
  • Novell introduces the NetWare network operating system for the IBM PC. [620.123] [682.154]
  • Virus researcher Fred Cohen coins the term “computer virus”. [1260.193]
  • Philips and Sony develop the CD-ROM, as an extension of audio CD technology. [489.67] [814.40] [1299.335] (1985 [610.166])
  • Digital Research releases its first version of the GEM graphical windowing operating system. [618.220]
  • Borland International is founded by Philippe Kahn. [102]
  • Microsoft marketer Rowland Hanson convinces Bill Gates to change the name of Interface Manager to Windows. [477.164] [1149.252]
  • Non-Linear Systems changes its company name to Kaypro Corporation. [885.224]
  • In Cambridge, England, Advanced RISC Machines begins designing a 16 bit processor. [1058.134]
  • Western Design Center introduces the 65C816 processor, a 16-bit extension of the 6502 architecture. [824]
  • Sierra On-Line releases the King’s Quest game for the IBM PC. [1474.77] (1984 [351.27])
  • Electronic Arts releases the Seven Cities of Gold software for personal computers in the USA. [2229.119]
  • Oric Products International releases the ORIC-1 personal computer in the UK. [2287.92]
  • The MSX 1 personal computer is released in the UK. [2287.93]
  • Bandai releases the Gundam RX-78 personal computer in Japan. [2287.91]
  • Sega releases the SC-3000 personal computer. [2287.94]
  • Sinclair Research launches the Sinclair Interface 1 for the ZX81. It features two 100-baud network ports, RS 232C serial port, and Sinclair Microdrive port. [2584.10]
  • Sinclair Research launches the Sinclair Interface 2 for the ZX81. It features two joystick ports and ROM cartridge slot. Price is 19.95 pounds. [2584.10]


End of 1983 April-June. Next: 1983 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


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