The ICT Lounge
 
Timeline of ICT and Technology
(1970's)
 
1971
- First email sent
 

The first e-mail is sent. Ray Tomlinson of the research firm Bolt, Beranek and Newman sent the first e-mail when he was supposed to be working on a different project.

Tomlinson, who is credited with being the one to decide on the "@" sign for use in e-mail, sent his message over a military network called ARPANET.

When asked to describe the contents of the first email, Tomlinson said it was “something like "QWERTYUIOP"

 

 


1972
- First modern video game
 

Pong is released.

Nolan Bushnell hired young engineer Al Alcorn to design a car driving game, but when it became apparent that this was too ambitious for the time, he had Alcorn to design a version of ping-pong instead.

The game was tested in bars in Grass Valley and Sunnyvale, California where it proved very popular. Pong would revolutionize the arcade industry and launch the modern video game era.

 


1975
- Microsoft are born
 

In 1975, Bill Gates and Paul Allen form a partnership called Microsoft.

Like most start-ups, Microsoft begins small, but has a massive vision - a computer on every desktop and in every home.

During the coming years, Microsoft begins to change the ways we work.

Microsoft is now one of the biggest companies in the world.


1975
- Betamax video standard introduced
Betamax was a analogue videocassette which allowed the recording and playback of video. Betamax was developed by Sony and released in Japan on May 10th 1975.

The name 'Beta' comes from the fact that when the tape ran through the transport, it looked like the Greek letter beta (β). 'Max' was to suggest that the videocassette performed at maximum capability.

Later versions of Betamax could record and play video at two different speeds - normal and half-speed (termed 'long play'). Normal speed recording allowed for 1 hour of content and half-speed allowed for over two hours.
A Betamax cassette
The Betamax initially retailed for just over $1,000.

1976
- VHS video standard introduced
Video Home System (VHS) was developed in 1976 by the JVC company as a rival to Sony's Betamax. VHS cassettes could record and play video in two speeds (normal and long play) which provided two or four hours of recording time respectively.

In the late 1970's to the early 1980's, Betamax and VHS competed in what is now remembered as the 'videotape format war' where both products fought for dominance in the market.

Even though Betamax offered better video quality, VHS won the format war and Betamax became largely obsolete.
A VHS cassette
Cheaper prices and longer recording times are considered the reasons as to why VHS outlived Betamax.

1976
- Apple are born
 

Steve Wozniak designed the Apple I, a single-board computer. With specifications in hand and an order for 100 machines at $500 each from the Byte Shop, he and Steve Jobs got their start in business.

About 200 of the machines sold before the company announced the Apple II as a complete computer.


1977
- Home gaming is born
 

Atari released the Atari Video Computer System (VCS) - later renamed the Atari 2600.

The VCS was the first widely successful video game system, selling more than twenty million units throughout the 1980s.

The VCS used the 8-bit MOS 6507 microprocessor and was designed to be connected to a home television set. When the last of Atari’s game consoles were made in 1990, more than 900 game titles had been released.