Timeline of Computer History
 

1984  
Computers
Apple Macintosh
Apple Computer launched the Macintosh, the first successful mouse-driven computer with a graphic user interface, with a single $1.5 million commercial during the 1984 Super Bowl. Based on the Motorola 68000 microprocessor, the Macintosh included many of the Lisa´s features at a much more affordable price: $2,500.

Apple´s commercial played on the theme of George Orwell´s "1984" and featured the destruction of Big Brother with the power of personal computing found in a Macintosh. Applications that came as part of the package included MacPaint, which made use of the mouse, and MacWrite, which demonstrated WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) word processing.
IBM PC Jr.
IBM released its PC Jr. and PC-AT. The PC Jr. failed, but the PC-AT, several times faster than original PC and based on the Intel 80286 chip, claimed success with its notable increases in performance and storage capacity, all for about $4,000. It also included more RAM and accommodated high-density 1.2-megabyte 5 1/4-inch floppy disks.
People & Pop Culture
Gibson´s Neuromancer
In his novel "Neuromancer," William Gibson coined the term "cyberspace." He also spawned a genre of fiction known as "cyberpunk" in his book, which described a dark, complex future filled with intelligent machines, computer viruses, and paranoia.

Gibson introduced cyberspace as: "A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts... A graphic representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding..." (p. 51).
Storage
IBM 3480 Cartridge Tape System

Magnetic tape allows for inexpensive mass storage of information and so is a key part of the computer revolution.  Announced in March 1984, IBM’s new 3480 cartridge tape system sought to replace the traditional reels of magnetic tape in the computer center with a 4” x 5” cartridge that held more information (200MB) and offered faster access to it. IBM withdrew the system in 1989 but the new format caught on with other computer makers who began making 3480-compatible storage systems for several years after that, offering increased storage capacity in the same physical format.


 


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