Introduced in January 1984, Apple’s Macintosh changed everything – but the world of personal computing was nearly a decade old, and Apple was already successful with its Apple II line. These articles look at Apple before the advent of the Mac, as well as the broader world of personal computing.
Personal computing never would have gotten started if not for the invention of microprocessors, which puts a computer’s CPU (central processing unit) on a single chip – sometimes with companion chips. Intel released the first commercial CPU in 1971, and the first 8-bit “home computers” arrived just a few years later.
The most important development in 1983 was the Personal Computer Price War. Texas Instruments had nearly destroyed Commodore International when TI began selling fully assembled calculators for less than Commodore and other calculator makers paid for components. Jack Tramiel, Commodore’s founder, vowed revenge.
Texas Instruments (TI) had been a pioneer in transistor, integrated circuit, and semiconductor design, and it was a major player in the calculator market. However, it took its time entering the home and business computer markets and fared poorly in both areas.