Posted By: David Faust
Still going strong at 30!
Computing in 1979
- Space Invaders, Asteroids and Pacman dominated video game arcades.
- WordStar is Released. (And indeed… much of FairCom’s early documentation was thus born.)
- Ethernet is introduced by Xerox, DEC and Intel.
- The first commercial modem, the Hayes Micromodem 100.
- The ADA programming language had just been released for the US Department of Defense. Still in use today.
- Introduction of the Intel 8088 microprocessor for the IBM PC. Compatible with the 8086 with an 8-bit data bus! Notice the continued designation of 32-bit x86 in FairCom’s V9.
- Commodore PET released in the United Kingdom. (1MHz 6502 processor, monochrome, 8KB of RAM set you back 569 pounds.)
- The Sinclair ZX80 introduced. (Editor’s personal note — he owned one.)
- The Compact Disc (CD) was invented.
- The Motorola 68000 microprocessor was launched.
- Usenet was created.
- The Atari 400 and 800 microcomputers hit the market.
- Activision was formed from prior Atari programmers.
- IBM began work on the IBM PC to compete against the Apple II and the Commodore PET.
- The Texas Instruments TI-99/4 microcomputer was released. Audio cassettes stored your information!
- Compuserve became the first service to offer email and technical support to personal computer users.
- VisiCalc becomes the first commercial spreadsheet program.
- The emoticon?! -) Texting will never be the same.
- FairCom introduces c‑tree, the world’s fastest and reliable database solution!
Other World Events in 1979
- The world waited to find out “Who Shot JR”.
- Mr. Ed, the “talking horse” featured in the television show of the same name, dies.
- Kate Hudson, Norah Jones and Jennifer Love Hewitt were all born.
- The Bee Gees, Donna Summer and Rod Stewart were all Hot on the charts.
- Star Trek: The Motion Picture Released.
- Mash, Alice and Three’s Company were top ranked in our living rooms.
- U.S. Voyager I spaceprobe photos reveal Jupiter’s rings. Voyager I makes its closest approach to Jupiter at 172,000 miles.
- First fully functional Space Shuttle Orbiter, Columbia, is delivered to the John F. Kennedy Space Center, to be prepared for its first launch.
- Susan B. Anthony dollar is introduced in the U.S.
- NASA’s first orbiting space station Skylab begins its return to Earth, after being in orbit for 6 years and 2 months.
- Michael Jackson releases his first breakthrough album Off The Wall with 7 million copies in the United States alone, making it a 7x platinum album.
- U.S. Pioneer 11 becomes the first spacecraft to visit Saturn, when it passes the planet at a distance of 21,000 km.
- Chrysler Corporation asks the United States government for $1 billion to avoid bankruptcy. (Sound familiar?)
- The long-running comic strip For Better or For Worse begins its run.
- Entertainment Sports Programming Network, known as ESPN, debuts.
- Morning Edition premieres on National Public Radio. (A noted FairCom customer!)
- Eradication of the smallpox virus is certified, making smallpox the first and to date only human disease driven to extinction.
- Mother Teresa receives the Nobel Peace Prize.