The Department of Defense’s Advanced Research Project Agency funds the creation of ARPANet, to make it possible for their various research facilities to communicate with each other from around the country. It begins with only three host computers, and eventually evolves to become what is now known as the Internet.
ARPA’s Network Working Group designs “telnet”, a protocol that allowed users to logon remotely to any computer on the ARPANet network.
Intel introduces the 8008 microprocessor, which runs at a speed of 200 kHz (or 0.2 MHz), and sells for $360.
First public demonstration of ARPANet at the International Conference on Computer Communication, held in Washington, DC.
The Micral computer is released in France. It is the first computer built around a microprocessor, the Intel 8008. Designed by François Gernelle, and sold by the French company R2E for $1,750, fully assembled, it did not have any impact in the U.S.
Radio Electronics magazine prints a construction article called “TV Typewriter” by Don Lancaster. This project allowed users to create a video terminal that worked with a standard television, and would allow them to connect to a mainframe computer — if they had one available. It could display 16 lines of 32 uppercase characters.
Motorola introduces the 6800 microprocessor.
Intel introduces the 8080 microprocessor, the successor to the 8008.
Steve Jobs begins work at Atari.
Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn publish a paper proposing the use of a transmission-control protocol (TCP) to make it possible to share information between different computer networks.
A group of eight engineers and marketers, including Bill Mensch and Chuck Peddle, leave Motorola to work for MOS Technology, at that time the world’s largest manufacturer of calculator chips. They begin to design a microprocessor for the company to sell.
Creative Computing starts publication.
Bill Gates and Paul Allen begin writing the first dialect of BASIC that would run on a personal computer, the new Altair. Their development was done using an 8080 emulator running on a PDP-10 computer, and was based on DEC’s BASIC-PLUS.
Zilog, founded by former Intel employees, announces the Z-80 microprocessor. This chip functions just like an Intel 8080, but with some additional features.
First meeting of Homebrew Computer Club.
IMSAI Manufacturing of San Leandro, California, begins work on a clone of the Altair 8800.
Scelbi-8B (business) computer introduced.
Gates and Allen change the name of their company from Traf-O-Data to Micro-Soft.
Micro-Soft’s Altair BASIC is announced. It is shipped on paper tape. MITS makes it available in two forms: for $500 when purchased by itself, or $75 when purchased with an Altair, a cassette interface, or 8K of MITS memory. The entire Altair 8800 cost only $400!
Altair BASIC is finally available for sale, in 4K and 8K versions. It is called “version 2.0”, even though it is the first official BASIC that shipped.
Micro-Soft contracts with MITS for software development.
The government entity called the Defense Communications Agency (DCA), which in the 1960’s was uninterested in the concept of a packet-sending distributed network, agrees to take over control of ARPANET from DARPA.
First meeting of the Chicago Area Computer Hobbyist Exchange (CACHE) at at Northwestern University.
BYTE begins publication.
MOS Technology introduces the 6501 and 6502 microprocessors at Wescon, the annual West Coast electronics show. These were created by the group of engineers who had left Motorola and joined MOS Technology in 1974.
MITS announces the Altair 680b, a 6800-based cousin to the Altair 8800. It was not a big success for the company.
The IMSAI 8080 released, the first major competitor to the Altair 8800. It used larger, flat switches for front-panel data input than did the Altair 8800, which made it easier on fingers than the tiny switches on the Altair. With 4K RAM in the base unit, it was sold as a kit for $439, or assembled for $621 (the same price as the Altair).
Paul Terrell, a salesman who was a member of the Homebrew Computer Club, opens the BYTE Shop in Mountain View, California, and begins selling the Altair 8800.
The first World Altair Computer Conference is hosted by MITS in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Zilog’s Z-80 microprocessor, running at 2.5 MHz, is released.
Microsoft begins working on versions of its BASIC for microprocessors other than the Intel 8080. Marc McDonald, Microsoft’s first employee, writes a 6502 BASIC after modifying a Motorola 6800 simulator to work with the 6502 (which was similar). However, there were as yet no customers for a 6502 BASIC.
Processor Technology introduces the Sol, an Altair-compatable 8080 computer.
Interface Age begins publication.
PC’76, a microcomputer conference, is held in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak attend and demonstrate the Apple-1 and its new cassette interface. Wozniak completes his Apple BASIC interpreter (the precursor of Integer BASIC) in the hotel room the night prior to the conference, using the hotel TV as a monitor.
Wozniak is persuaded to leave Hewlett-Packard and work at Apple full-time.
ComputerLand opens its first retail store in Hayward, California, selling IMSAI, Processor Technology, Polymorphic, Southwest Tech, and Cromemco.
Using an Altair 8800, Michael Shrayer creates Electric Pencil, the first word processing software for microcomputers.
Apple moves from the garage owned by Steve Jobs’ parents to a building on Stevens Creek Boulevard in Cupertino, California.
Commodore PET 2001 first demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics Show in Chicago.
Apple II introduced at the First West Coast Computer Faire, with BASIC in ROM, color video, low and high resolution graphics, built-in speaker, game paddle inputs, and seven slots for peripherals. It is expandable to 48K RAM., 
BYTE magazine publishes an article by Steve Wozniak called “The Apple II”. It gives a hardware and firmware description of the computer.
First Apple II systems ship. Standard configuration included 4K of memory, two game paddles, and a demo cassette with programs, costing $1,298. Home televisions are usually used for monitors.
Apple pays the $10,500 to Microsoft for half of the license fee for a floating point BASIC for the 6502. Randy Wigginton begins to work on adapting it to the Apple II.
TRS-80 introduced by Radio Shack, with a Z-80 processor, 4K RAM, 4K ROM, and cassette tape storage.
Wozniak, Espinosa, and Wigginton have to discontinue their attendance at the Homebrew Computer Club; work at Apple is now taking up all of their time.
Micro begins publication.
Commodore PET available for purchase, featuring a 6502 processor, 4K RAM, 14K ROM, and 8K Microsoft BASIC, for $595.