:The sixties and seventies
"you don't know what you have 'till its gone"!.

: Hypertext : Open Source : Spreadsheets : First Modem : First Mouse : Basic LanguageMoore's Law : Internet : E-Mail : Wireless LAN : Intel : C Language :Pong : The GUI: Ethernet :Home Brew : CP/M : MITS Altair : Imsai 8080 :Microsoft:  Apple : The Floppy : Altair sold : ADM-3 : Computerland : First Laser : Apple II : Z80-A : Commodore Pet : VisiCalc : First Spam : Dbase : Dos 3.2 :

1960 Hypertext

Conventional wisdom has it that the Internet started off as an American defence and educational network, then Tim Berners-Lee came along and invented the World Wide Web and the rest is history.
But there's another, far more obscure figure, who can be credited with originating the idea of 'hypertext' long before it was ever applied to the Internet. As far back as 1960, Theodore H (Ted) Nelson was developing an idea for an interconnected network of documents with embedded links to each other. In 1963 he chose the word 'hypertext' to describe the system, publishing his theories in 1965's groundbreaking paper, "A File Structure for the complex, the changing and the Intermediate" for the Association for Computing Machinery's (ACM's) national conference. By 1967 he'd chosen the name Xanadu for his hypertext project, from Coleridge's poem about Kublai Khan.
While the Xanadu project itself has so far not come to fruition as a real working system, the ideas directly inspired Tim Berners-Lee's World Wide Web, Ray Ozzie's Lotus Notes, and Bill Atkinson's HyperCard (the first multimedia system). By inventing the idea of hypertext, Ted Nelson was the under praised architect of some of the most influential new information structures in the history of computing. More information can be found here>>

1960 Open Source

Throughout the 1960's and 1970's golden age of computing, open source software, largely funded by the US government, was the wellspring of creation for the programming industries.
Through a combination of key funding agencies, administrative oversight of software standards and government purchasing rules, the US helped stimulate open source software and open standards for decades.
Until Microsoft's DOS and Windows, almost the entire software market was based on sharing and open source.

Bill Gates has never liked the concept and in 1976, at the age of 21, asked in an angry letter to open source programmers: 'One thing you do is prevent good software from being written. Who can afford to do professional work for nothing?'
Open Source faded into the background until its re-emergence with Linux at the forefront.

1961 the first electronic spreadsheet

In the realm of accounting jargon a "spread sheet" or spreadsheet was and is a large sheet of paper with columns and rows that lays everything out about transactions for a business person to examine. It spreads or shows all of the costs, income, taxes, etc. on a single sheet of paper for a manager to look at when making a decision.
An electronic spreadsheet organizes information into software defined columns and rows. The data can then be "added up" by a formula to give a total or sum. The spreadsheet program summarizes information from many paper sources in one place and presents the information in a format to help a decision maker see the financial "big picture" for the company.
Beginnings and the "Tale of VisiCalc" In 1961, Professor Richard Mattessich pioneered the development of computerized spreadsheets for use in business accounting. Some historical information on the computerization of accounting spread sheets using mainframe computers is discussed on Mattessich's page "Spreadsheet: Its First Computerization (1961-1964)". Mattessich's work and that of other developers of spreadsheets on mainframe computers probably had no influence on Bricklin and Frankston who later developed VisiCalc.

1962 The first commercial Modem

In 1962, the first commercial modem was manufactured - the Bell 103 by AT&T. The Bell 103 was also the first modem with full-duplex transmission, frequency-shift keying or FSK, and had a speed of 300 bits per second or 300 bauds. See more detail here>> and visit  A History of the Modem here>>.

1963 The first Mouse

Years before personal computers and desktop information processing became commonplace or even practicable, Douglas Engelbart had invented a number of interactive, user-friendly information access systems that we take for granted today: the computer mouse, windows, shared-screen teleconferencing, hypermedia, groupware, and more.
At the Fall Joint Computer Conference in San Francisco in 1968, Engelbart astonished his colleagues by demonstrating the aforementioned systems---using an utterly primitive 192 kilobyte mainframe computer located 25 miles away! Engelbart has earned nearly two dozen patents, the most memorable being perhaps for his "X-Y Position Indicator for a Display System": the prototype of the computer "mouse" whose convenience has revolutionized personal computing.

1964 Basic

Visual Basic is often taught as a first programming language today as it is based on the BASIC language developed in 1964 by John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz. BASIC is a very limited language and was designed for non-computer science people. Statements are chiefly run sequentially, but program control can change based on IF..THEN, and GOSUB statements which execute a certain block of code and then return to the original point in the program's flow. More on Programming languages here>>

1965 Moore's Law

In April 1965, three years before Intel was founded, Dr Gordon Moore noticed that microchip capacity seemed to double every 18 to 24 months. This rate of increase later became known as Moore's Law.
He published a paper in electronics entitled "Cramming more components onto integrated circuits". In this paper, written when an Integrated Circuit contained fewer than one hundred transistors, Moore made the now- famous prediction that ten years later there would be 65,000 components on a single silicon chip, equating to a doubling of transistor density every year.
Remarkably, this prediction held true and the law, now revised to the more popular 'processor clock speeds double every 18 months', has been one of the factors driving development in the industry. Some see it almost as a self-fulfilling prophecy -the law sets the timetable for where manufactures must be if they are to compete. So, if in a year Moore's Law says there should be a 700MHz chip, then in a year's time, that's what you must have.
What is the future of Moore's Law? Andy Groove, former Intel CEO, predicted that Intel will ship a processor with one billion transistors in 2011 which is in line with Moore's Law. Other industry experts see silicon technology reaching its physical limits around 2017. The implications of the continued viability of Moore's Law are profound. In addition to the fact that our increasingly computerized economy will become even more productive, other technologies such as voice recognition, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence begin to appear possible. And speaking of profound, if Moore's Law were to somehow survive on into 2030, the processor would then surpass the computational power of the human brain. Chart here>>

1969 Arpenet and the Internet

heralds the birth of the Internet. The Internet was first conceived in the early '60s. Under the leadership of the Department of Defence's Advanced Research Project Agency (ARPA), it grew from a paper architecture into a small network (ARPANET) intended to promote the sharing of super-computers amongst researchers in the United States. In 1969 ARPANET connected the first universities in the United States. Researchers at four US campuses created the first hosts of the ARPANET, connecting Stanford Research Institute, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, and the University of Utah.
ARPANET was a success from the very beginning. Although originally designed to allow scientists to share data and access remote computers, email quickly became the most popular application. ARPANET became a high-speed digital post office as people used it to collaborate on research projects and discuss topics of various interests. The Inter-Networking Working Group becomes the first of several standards-setting entities to govern the growing network in 1972. Vinton Cerf was elected the first chairman of the INWG, and later became known as a "Father of the Internet." An in-depth history of the internet is here>> courtesy of About the web.com. Another great link for details on how the web was won can be found at "The Lemon" here>>

1971 Wireless Lan

The history of wireless networking stretches farther back than you might think. It was over fifty years ago, during World War II, when the United States Army first used radio signals for data transmission. They developed a radio data transmission technology, which was heavily encrypted. It was used quite extensively throughout the campaign with the US and her allies. This inspired a group of researchers in 1971 at the University of Hawaii to create the first packet based radio communications network. ALOHNET, as it was named, was essentially the very first wireless local area network (WLAN). This first WLAN consisted of 7 computers that communicated in a bi-directional star topology (see http://www.its.bldrdoc.gov/fs-1037/ and http://www.webopedia.com/ -- both are excellent sources of computer and telecommunication terms and definitions) that spanned four of the Hawaiian Islands, with the central computer based on Oahu Island. With this, wireless networking was born.
Thanks to Toms Hardware for the full story

1971 The first e-mail

Sometime in late 1971, a computer engineer named Ray Tomlinson sent the first e-mail message. "I sent a number of test messages to myself from one machine to the other," he recalls now. "The test messages were entirely forgettable. . . . Most likely the first message was QWERTYIOP or something similar."
see full article here>>

1971 Intel is born.

The first Micro -processor, The 4004, is designed by Intel's Marcian Hoff. The breakthrough 4004 "a computer on a chip" marked Intel's first foray into the logic front, triggering the Information Technology revolution.
Invented by Intel, the 4 bit sillicon chip packed as much processing power as the first electronic computer - the 3,000 cubic foot ENIAC, into a space smaller than a thumbnail.
The 4004, which had 2300 MOS transistors, unleashed creativity and innovation by making affordable computing power available to designers of all types of products.
More information can be found on Intel's own history site here>>

1972 C programming language.

C was developed in 1972 by Dennis Ritchie while working at Bell Labs in New Jersey. The transition in usage from the first major languages to the major languages of today occurred with the transition between Pascal and C. Its direct ancestors are B and BCPL, but its similarities to Pascal are quite obvious. All of the features of Pascal, including the new ones such as the CASE statement are available in C. C uses pointers extensively and was built to be fast and powerful at the expense of being hard to read. But because it fixed most of the mistakes Pascal had, it won over former-Pascal users quite rapidly. More on Programming languages here>>

1972 Pong

Pong is widely regarded as the first commercially available computer game and while that's not strictly true, it was the game that launched a thousand misspent youths.The game -two-dimensional tennis -is generally accredited to Atari, which first marketed the low-spec two-player game in 1972, but an even earlier version of the game was programmed by Willie Higinbotham.
The designer created an interactive tennis game on an oscilloscope back in 1967, five years before Atari came into being.
In 1971, Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney invented Computer Space, a basic shoot-em-up, and it flopped. Undaunted, the pair -along with Al Alcorn -formed a company called Syzygy, and designed Pong. They renamed the company Atari and put Pong on sale in November 1972 -the rest is gaming history. With 100,000 units Pong turned out to be the biggest- selling video game ever, only rivalled by the next milestone: PacMan.

1972 Xerox begin work on GUI interface

Xerox begin development of the GUI (Graphics User Interface) based system, known as the Alto, and later The Xerox Star. This GUI designed by Xerox was the cornerstone of Windows and Apple.

1972 Ethernet Networking

The first experimental Ethernet system, the Alto Aloha Network, was developed by Dr Robert M Metcalfe at Xerox PARC. He came up with three rules to allow computers to share data across a single line:
1)wait for a break in traffic before sending;
2)give each computer equal rights;
3)when two try to send at the same time, each should pause and retry at random intervals.

It was designed to interconnect a selection of Xerox Altos, personal workstations with a graphical user interface. It also linked them to servers and laser printers. The data transmission rate was 2.94 Mbits/sec. Metcalfe then wrote his dissertation on a reworked model of Aloha net, which he called Ethernet. Xerox (as with the GUI) did not patent the idea so it became an open standard.
In 1973, this became Ethernet. He'd changed the name from Aloha net to indicate that the system was capable of supporting any computer (not just Altos), and had evolved beyond the original Aloha system. He chose to base the name on the word 'ether', the mysterious fifth element that Greek philosophers thought filled the heavens. Later, in the 19th century, 'ether' was used as a name for the medium which was thought to carry electromagnetic and gravitational waves. In a similar way, the Ethernet medium (for example, a cable) carries bits to all stations.
Ethernet was patented #4063220 on 13 December 1977 by Metcalfe, who went on to found 3Com in June 1979 and made a fortune not from Ethernet itself but more from the adaptors implementing it. Since then, Ethernet has become the de facto business networking standard.

1973 The Home Brew Club

Posted on a bulletin board in the Palo Alto High School terminal room, (in the Palo Alto High School math-science office) was a notice that a computer group meeting would be held at the home of Gordon French, in his garage. This was to be the first meeting of the famous "home brew club"
As the club grew People like Bill Gates (Microsoft) and Steve Jobbs (Apple) attended and spawned the now famous computer corporations. This has been well documented in the book "Accidental Empires" by Robert X Cringely, and on the television series shown in 1996 called the "Triumph of the Nerds".
A great site jotting down the memories of a "Home Brew Club" member can be found here>>.

1973 CP/M

Gary Kildall writes a simple operating system in his PL/M language. He calls it CP/M (Control Program/Monitor).  
(Control Program for Microcomputer)

1975 MITS Altair

MITS (Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems) was was founded in 1968 by Ed Roberts and two friends. MITS first made radio control devices, then calculators. The MITS Altair was the first 8080 based kit microcomputer. It was first introduced in the January, 1975 issue of Popular Electronics magazine as a construction project. The reaction to the Altair was un-expected by either the magazine or by MITS who designed it. Although not the first available microcomputer , it was the start of the industry. More here>> and here>>. The Altair 8800 was also the first computer using a built-in Basic interpreter written by two people working at MITS and called Bill Gates and Paul Allen. (see below)
The key to the whole computer project was the microprocessor chip itself, the 8080 from Intel. The Altair was offered as a complete kit, not just a list of parts to buy in order to make a computer. In those days it was almost impossible for anyone outside Silicon Valley, California, where the chips and other parts were made, to find the components necessary to build a computer. After its picture appeared on the cover of "Popular Electronics", it was assured its success.

1975 Bill Gates forms Microsoft

in April 1975, Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft (which was to achieve a certain notoriety over the coming years). In July of that year, MITS announced the availability of BASIC 2.0 on the Altair 8800.
This BASIC interpreter, which was written by Gates and Allen, was the first reasonably high-level computer language program to be made available on a home computer. MITS sold 2,000 systems that year, which certainly made Ed Roberts of Altair fame, very happy.

1975 Imsai 8080

The Imsai 8080 developed by IMS Associates, was designed to use the same bus structure as the Altair 8800 with interchangeable circuit boards. The Imsai 8080 however was much better built, had a more powerful power supply, and front panel. It supplanted the Altair A model as the standard S-100 Bus computer. The Imsai was the first for a complete line of micros built by this company.


1976 Apple is formed

Steven Wozniak and Steven Jobs had been friends in high school. They had both been interested in electronics, and both had been perceived as outsiders. They kept in touch after graduation, and both ended up dropping out of school and getting jobs working for companies in Silicon Valley. (Wozniak for Hewlett-Packard, Jobs for Atari)
Wozniak had been dabbling in computer-design for some time when, in 1976, he designed what would become the Apple I.
The Apple I was Steven Wozniak's first contribution to the personal computer field. It was designed over a period of years, and was only built in printed circuit-board form when Steve Jobs insisted it could be sold. Jobs, who had an eye for the future, insisted that he and Wozniak try to sell the machine, and on April 1, 1976, Apple Computer was born. It debuted in April 1976 at the Homebrew Computer Club in Palo Alto, but few took it seriously. The Apple I was based on the MOStek 6502 chip, whereas most other "kit" computers were built from the Intel 8080. The Apple I was sold through several small retailers, and included only the circuit board. A tape-interface was sold separately, but you had to build the case. The Apple I's initial cost was $666.66 see the advert here>> also visit Apple-History and also Apple II History for all the information you could want on the Apple computer.

1976 The Floppy Disk

In 1976 floppy drives were introduced in the 5.25 inch size by Shugart Associates. In a cooperative effort, Dysan Corporation manufactured the matching 5.25 inch diskettes. Originally these drives were available in only a single-sided low density format, and like the first 8 inch models, stored less than 100 kilobytes. Later they received many of the same enhancements made to the 8 inch models, and eventually 5.25 inch floppy drives settled at a double-sided, "double density" formatted capacity of about 1.2 megabytes. This drive was used in the IBM 'AT' personal computer. It is also the popular 5.25 inch model still with us today. A history of the floppy disk can be found here>>

1977 MITS Altair sold

Though Altair maintained its lead as the primary computer seller, in 1976 MITS was in trouble. The company had grown too big too fast and had too many projects going on at the same time. Computers hardware quality was not good, products were failing, and customers were complaining. Communication within the company began to deteriorate.
Paul Allen and Bill Gates both left MITS to develop their own company, Micro-Soft. Many manufacturers copied the Altair concept and one's heard about modern easy-to-use computers called Apple or Commodore.

In May 1977, Ed Roberts decided to sell MITS to Pertec for $6 million, a larger company that manufactured disks and tape drives for minicomputers and mainframe computers. Sadly, the sale of the company did not solve problems. The Pertec management team came in with new ideas and a new way of working and MITS people began to leave the company. Even Roberts became fed up with Pertec and left too. Pertec continued making Altairs small business System for about a year after the acquisition, moving away from the "Hobbyist Computer" image of the 8800. Computer production ceased definitively in July 1978.
Thanks to oldcomputers.com for this article.

1977 ADM-3 Dumb Terminal

 The ADM-3A was one of the first affordable serial display terminals manufactured by Lear-Siegler Inc. of Anaheim California. (Anaheim Division, Manufacturing) The ADM-3A superseded the ADM-3 which only displayed upper-case letters. The 3A version did not display upper-case letters, but an optional chip set allows them to be displayed.
A kit version was released which could be ordered with a white, green, or amber tube background colour.
The ADM-3A was very successful due to its reliability and low price.
The setup of this 'Dumb machine' (as Lear Siegler advertised) was done using... 32 dip switches (!) located at the left of the keyboard. Among them, 11 was used for the communication rate (from 75 to 19200 bauds), others for parity, display configuration, character set, etc.
Thanks to oldcomputers.com for this article.

1977 Xerox introduces the Laser

Xerox started work on laser printers back in 1969. By 1977 Xerox was selling the 9700 (a 120 page-per-minute, full-duplex monster) for about $350,000. Canon brought out the first desktop laser printer, called the LBP-10 in or around 1982. In 1983 Canon started giving private showings of the LBP-CX to key companies in California such as Apple, Diablo and HP. Canon was looking for strong marketing partners who were in the computer business. Canon U.S.A. was very strong in cameras and office products, copiers for example, but didn't have the connections needed to sell effectively into the data processing world. Evidently, one of Canon's first stops was the Diablo Systems subsidiary of Xerox Corporation. Diablo was the logical partner because it had the largest market share for letter-quality daisywheel printers and the marketing managers had recently shown their willingness to put the Diablo name on products from other manufacturers. Diablo had just done several OEM deals with Honeywell for dot matrix printers and with Sharp for color ink jet printers. Canon really wanted Xerox as a partner, and Xerox was the first company offered the opportunity to market the CX engine with Canon's controller. A great site developing the history of the laser can be found here>>

1977 Computerland launch stores

William Millard is president of the IMSAI company in 1976 and sells ready to order computer kits based on the Intel 8080 microprocessor by mail. Sales are good and Millard wants to move beyond kits and sell a pre-assembled computer for better profits.
To help sales, he decides to create chain stores specialized in computer sales and mostly IMSAI 8080's.

In February of 1977, the first Computer Shack store opens in Morristown, New Jersey and in March the first advert appears.

After litigation from Radio Shack, the chain is renamed ComputerLand. In August 1977, 14 stores are opened, 23 in November and several hundreds eventually open worldwide in the following years.

Unfortunately, Millard then makes the big mistake of announcing a new version of the IMSAI computer before it is ready at all. Large numbers of customers return their IMSAI computers, sales collapse and ComputerLand is almost bankrupt.

Fortunately, at the same time Apple is seeking distributors to increase sales of its Apple II. Success follows and profits rise each year and reach one billion dollars in 1984.

After that extraordinary year, trouble comes, resellers rebel and create an association to defend their interests, and several employees sue Millard for broken promises. The spirit of the company gone, Millard sells ComputerLand for 200 million dollars and leaves for good to an island in the Pacific Ocean. ComputerLand still exists as a company, and nowadays has about 200 resellers in the US.
Thanks to oldcomputers.com for this article.

1977 Apple II Launched

After a successful showing of the sleek new Apple II at the 1977 West Coast Computer Fair it went on sale later that year. Steve Jobbs wanted this machine to be more than just an enthusiasts toy but rather a computer you would want to work with. Also to enhance the new machine a new logo was designed for the company (left) and the image was so well received that the Apple II launch sold over 300 machines (over 100 more than the total Apple 1 sales). See this site for a full history.

1977 Z80-A chip is produced

At its new manufacturing facilities in Cupertino, Zilog announced the manufacture of the Z80-A in February 24 1977. The Z80-A has a standard clock rate of 4 Mhz. which is made possible by a new technology developped by Zilog. There was a ceramic package and a plastic version.
According to Zilog, the Z80-A is considered to be the fastest standard microprocessor. Its instructions cycle is 1 s, and its throughput is 60% above the one of the Z80.
From now, it becomes available in production quantities for computer manufacturers. The standard Z80 at a clock rate of 2.5 Mhz. was still continued at a reduced price.
Thanks to oldcomputers.com for this article.

1977 Commodore Pet launched

The PET 2001 (Personal Electronic Transactor) was the first computer unit ready to plug in to a mains supply and use. This concept, added to a futuristic design, caused an enormous sensation at The 1977 Summer Consumer Electronics Show in Chicago. In fact, a first PET model was presented during the January CES, but it never worked properly.
The PET was the first computer sold by Jack Tramiel. A legend says that, one day, Chuck Peddle, the designer of the 6502 microprocessor, accosted him in a corridor and asked him to forget hand held calculators and think about a desktop computer. Tramiel said, "Build it" and Chuck built the PET computer based on the 6502 microprocessor!
The PET name was only until the 4000 series as Philips, the owner of the registered PET name, instructed Commodore to use a different name. Commodore chose to use the CBM logo for the later systems.
The PET system was the father of a large family of PET/CBM computers including the 2000, 4000, 8000 series, then the 500, 600 and 700 series in 1983
Thanks to oldcomputers.com for this article and picture.

1978 VisiCalc Spreadsheet is born

Dan Bricklin was preparing a spread sheet analysis for a Harvard Business School "case study" report and had two alternatives:
1) do it by hand or
2) use a time-sharing mainframe program.

Bricklin thought there must be a better way. He wanted a program where people could visualize the spreadsheet as they created it.
By the fall of 1978, Bricklin had programmed the first working prototype of his concept in integer basic. The program helped users input and manipulate a matrix of five columns and 20 rows.
The first version was not very "powerful" so Bricklin recruited an MIT acquaintance Bob Frankston to improve and expand the program. Bricklin calls Frankston the "co-creator" of the electronic spreadsheet.
Frankston created the production code with faster speed, better arithmetic, and scrolling. He also expanded the program and "packed the code into a mere 20k of machine memory, making it both powerful and practical enough to be run on a microcomputer".

During the fall of 1978, Daniel Fylstra, founding Associate Editor of Byte Magazine, joined Bricklin and Frankston in developing VisiCalc. Fylstra was "marketing-oriented" and suggested that the product would be viable if it could run on an Apple micro-computer. Bricklin and Frankston formed Software Arts Corporation on January 2, 1979.
In May 1979, Fylstra and his firm Personal Software (later renamed VisiCorp) began marketing "VisiCalc" with a teaser ad in Byte Magazine. The name "VisiCalc" is a compressed form of the phrase "visible calculator" (see email from Frankston, 4/15/1999b).
VisiCalc became an almost instant success and provided many business people with an incentive to purchase a personal computer or an H-P 85 or 87 calculator from Hewlett-Packard.
About 1 million copies of the spreadsheet program were sold during VisiCalc's product lifetime. Dan Bricklin has his version of the history of Software Arts and VisiCalc on the web at www.bricklin.com/history/sai.htm. Bricklin includes early ads and reviews and pictures of the VisiCalc packaging and screenshots.

What came after VisiCalc? The market for electronic spreadsheet software was growing rapidly in the early 1980s and VisiCalc stakeholders were slow to respond to the introduction of the IBM PC that used an Intel computer chip. Beginning in September 1983, legal conflicts between VisiCorp and Software Arts distracted the VisiCalc developers, Bricklin and Frankston. During this period, Mitch Kapor developed Lotus and his spreadsheet program quickly became the new industry spreadsheet standard.
Thank you to the DSS Resources history pages for this excellent article.

1978 The first spam message

The very first spam message was sent in 1978 when the internet was known as Arpanet.
By 1978 Arpanet had been operating for about nine years and was letting lots of people at universities and government bodies swap e-mail. On 3 May a marketing executive at Digital Equipment Corporation, a leading maker of minicomputers, decided to send all West Coast Arpanet users a message about an open day that would show off its new range of machines. The message generated huge controversy within the Arpanet community, partly because it was so poorly written and because it clearly broke the nascent network's acceptable use policy. This turned out to be the first unsolicited e-mail later termed SPAM.

1979 Ashton Tate releases Dbase

DBASE may be traced back to the mid 1960's in the form of a system called RETRIEVE, which was marketed by Tymshare Corporation. RETRIEVE was used by Jet Propulsion Laboratory of Pasadena,Calif. In the late 60s Jeb Long, a new programmer at JPL, was assigned the task of writing a program which would perform the same functions as RETRIEVE. The new system developed was JPLDIS. This system is still used today on many UNIVAC 1100 class computers.
In the late 1970s Wayne Ratliff, who worked at JPL and was a friend of Jeb Long, began to develop a micro database system which for the user was very much like JPLDIS. It has been reported that the original micro database system was developed to aid in winning football pools. The new system was named VULCAN. VULCAN had its ups and downs and by 1980 was in what seemed to be a permanent down state. Then an entrepreneur name George Tate found the product worth while, renamed it dBASE II and formed a new company, Ashton-Tate to market the new product. dBASE went through many upgrades and versions and was subsequently purchased by Borland. Currently there are many versions available the newest being DBASE 5.5 for Windows.

1979 Apple Computer releases DOS 3.2.

Apple DOS 3 and 3.1 had a few problems. When the Apple II Plus (with the Auto start ROM built into the machine) was released, DOS needed to be updated to handle the changes. DOS 3.2, released in February 1979, contained several modifications, but retained 90 percent of the basic structure of DOS 3.1. One interesting change made to plan for the future was a doubling of the number of possible file types. See this excellent article and the history of DOS