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.
Apple introduced the $10,000 Lisa in 1983 and the $2,500 Macintosh in 1984. Both used the 68000 CPU. The Atari ST, based on the same processor, arrived in 1985 at just $799 – or $999 with color, which the Mac didn’t have yet.
The Atari 2600 was once the king of gaming consoles, but Atari was a late entrant to the personal computing field.