Timeline of Computer History
 

1977  
Computers
Commodore PET
The Commodore PET (Personal Electronic Transactor) — the first of several personal computers released in 1977 — came fully assembled and was straightforward to operate, with either 4 or 8 kilobytes of memory, two built-in cassette drives, and a membrane "chiclet" keyboard.
Apple II
The Apple II became an instant success when released in 1977 with its printed circuit motherboard, switching power supply, keyboard, case assembly, manual, game paddles, A/C powercord, and cassette tape with the computer game "Breakout." When hooked up to a color television set, the Apple II produced brilliant color graphics.
TRS-80
In the first month after its release, Tandy Radio Shack´s first desktop computer — the TRS-80 — sold 10,000 units, well more than the company´s projected sales of 3,000 units for one year. Priced at $599.95, the machine included a Z80 based microprocessor, a video display, 4 kilobytes of memory, BASIC, cassette storage, and easy-to-understand manuals that assumed no prior knowledge on the part of the consumer.
Graphics & Games
Atari VCS Prototype
Atari launches the Video Computer System game console. Atari released the Atari Video Computer System (VCS) later renamed the Atari 2600. The VCS was the first widely successful video game system, selling more than twenty million units throughout the 1980s. The VCS used the 8-bit MOS 6507 microprocessor and was designed to be connected to a home television set. When the last of Atari’s 8-bit game consoles were made in 1990, more than 900 video game titles had been released.
Software & Languages
   The U.S. government adopted IBM´s data encryption standard, the key to unlocking coded messages, to protect confidentiality within its agencies. Available to the general public as well, the standard required an eight-number key for scrambling and unscrambling data. The 70 quadrillion possible combinations made breaking the code by trial and error unlikely.

 


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