Computer history - 1978

Updated: 12/31/2022 by Computer Hope

Major computer events in 1978

Old advertisement for the Tandy Visicalc.

Dan Bricklin creates VisiCalc.

The first LED display prototype was shown to the public at the SEF (Science and Engineering Fair) in Iowa on March 18, 1978.

Other computer events in 1978

The first BBS was put online on February 16, 1978.

TCP is invented in 1978 and driven by Bob Kahn and Vint Cerf. It later splits into TCP/IP driven by Danny Cohen, David Reed, and John Shoch to support real-time traffic. The creation of TCP/IP also helps to create UDP.

Ward Christensen and Randy Seuss have the first major microcomputer bulletin board up and running in Chicago.

Roy Trubshaw and Richard Bartle create the first MUD.

The first spam e-mail was sent by Gary Thuerk on May 1, 1978, an employee at Digital who was advertising the new DECSYSTEM-2020, 2020T, 2060, and 2060T on ARPANET.

Louise Joy Brown born on July 25, 1978, became the first human baby born as a result of using IVF (In Vitro Fertilization).

The 5.25-inch floppy disk becomes an industry standard.

The computer book The C Programming Language by Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie, aka K&R, was first published in 1978.

The x86 Intel CPU architecture was originated in 1978.

New computer products and services introduced in 1978

Intel introduced the 8086 on June 8, 1978,

In June 1978, Apple introduced Apple DOS 3.1, the first operating system for the Apple computers.

Microsoft released its first program, Altair BASIC on July 14, 1978. The BASIC programming language was developed by Bill Gates, Paul Allen, and Monte Davidoff for the Altair computer.

Apple releases the Disk II, a 5 1/4" floppy diskette drive for the Apple II home computer. The Apple II was also capable of using plug-in sound cards. The Apple Music Synthesizer was the first plug-in sound card used by the Apple II, developed by ALF Products Inc. in 1978.

Digital Equipment Corporation begins producing the VT-100.

George Perlegos with Intel develops the Intel 2816, the first EEPROM.

Epson introduces the TX-80, which becomes the first successful dot matrix printer for personal computers.

IBM announced the mid-range IBM System/38, a general purpose computer that incorporates new semiconductor technology. The System/38 is the only commercial computer with a built-in relational database.

IBM announced the 8100 Information System.

IBM released the 3730 Distributed Office Communication System

IBM introduced the 3630 Plant Communications System

IBM released the Electronic Typewriter Models 50 and 60, both using microprocessors to provide electronic control of certain typing tasks.

IBM announced the 5880 electrocardiograph system, as an aid in the physician's diagnostic decisions.

Microsoft introduced a new version of COBOL in 1978.

OSI was developed by ISO in 1978.

The first semiconductor storage SSD was the StorageTek STC 4305 that was released in 1978, capable of storing 45 MB of data and costing $400,000.

Vulcan is related in 1978, it would later become dBase.

John Shoch and Jon Hupp at Xerox PARC develop the first worm.

WordStar was first released in 1978.

Zapf dingbat font developed by Hermann Zapf in 1978.

Computer companies founded in 1978

Dennis Hayes and Dale Heatherington create the Hayes modem company in 1978.

ETA was founded in 1978.

Micron was founded in 1978.

Computer-related movies released in 1978

The 1978 short film, Farewell, Etaoin Shrdlu, documents the final day of Linotype pressing at the New York Times before the newspaper switched to computer typesetting. See our ETAOIN SHRDLU page for further information on this term.

Computer pioneers born in 1978

Nate Silver

Nate Silver was born on January 13, 1978.

Peter Sunde was born on September 13, 1978.

Dries Buytaert was born on November 19, 1978.

Steve Chen was born in 1978.

Justin Frankel was born in 1978.

Computer pioneer deaths in 1978

Kurt Gödel

Kurt Godel passed away on January 14, 1978 (Age: 71).

Stanley Frankel passed away in May 1978 (Age: 59).

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