Applesoft I is released on cassette (the manual is dated November 1977, but the software was not ready to release until January).
Ward Christensen, a member of the Chicago Area Computer Hobbyist Exchange (CACHE) starts the Computer Bulletin Board System (CBBS) in order to allow members to communicate and exchange information. It runs on an S-100 computer system, and connects callers at 110 and 300 baud.
Contact, Apple’s first user newsletter, begins publication.
Apple sells 7600 computers in fiscal 1978.
Softside begins publication.
Orange Computer, one of the first Apple II clones, appears at the Third West Coast Computer Faire.
Programmer’s Aid #1 announced.
Apple President Mike Scott tells Apple employees not to use typewriters any longer; only computers are to be used for all office functions.
Jef Raskin proposes the original Macintosh project to Mike Markkula.
CompuServe makes its computer network available for non-peak (evening and weekend) use as a commercial online service called MicroNET, offering bulletin boards, databases,and games for users of personal computers equipped with modems.
MAUG (MicroNET Apple User Group) is one of the early forums on CompuServe.
Apple sells 35,100 computers in fiscal 1979.
Macintosh project formally begins, although some preliminary work was done as early as late 1978. It is given the code name “Macintosh”, since project leader Jef Raskin’s favorite apple was the Mcintosh. The name misspelling was done on purpose to avoid conflict with an audio manufacturer, McIntosh Labs.
International Apple Core formed in San Francisco.
Contact, Apple’s first user newsletter, ceases publication.
Compute! begins publication.
Programmers for Apple’s Lisa project writing their Pascal code on Apple II computers are running out of space, having filled up the available 64K space on a Language card-equipped Apple II. Burrell Smith designs a Language Card with an additional 16K of RAM, creating one of the earliest bank-switched memory cards for the Apple II to allow it to exceed the 64K barrier.
Atari 400 and 800, with a 6502 processor, finally ship (they were announced in late 1978). The Atari 400 had a membrane keyboard, and the 800 came with 8K expandable to 48K, and both could take ROM cartridges.
TI-99/4 computer by Texas Instruments is introduced ($1150), including a 16-bit TMS9900 processor, a color monitor, and a poorly designed keyboard. It was slow, and the company kept a tight reign on peripheral and software cartridge support, which made it difficult for third parties to support it.
Nibble begins publication.
Apple Orchard begins publication.
Osborne 1 Portable computer introduced at the Fifth West Coast Computer Faire, with Z-80 processor, 64K RAM, two serial interfaces, two 5.25 disk drives, 5-inch monitor built-in, and $2000 worth of software bundled with it ($1795)., 
The Microsoft Z-80 SoftCard (later called just “Microsoft SoftCard”) first demonstrated at the Fourth West Coast Computer Faire. This card provided a Z-80 processor that was used parallel to the 6502 on the motherboard, allowing the Apple II to run CP/M software. It sold 5,000 in just three months, and continued to be a popular product for several years., 
Sirius Software begins business.
Broderbund Software begins business.
Peelings II begins publication.
IBM meets with Microsoft regarding Project Chess, their planned personal computer. Microsoft is asked to supply computer languages for this computer, and in order to help provide IBM an operating system appropriate for a small computer they purchase the rights to SCP-DOS from Seattle Computer Products. This forms the basis for PC-DOS (MS-DOS) that was provided with the IBM PC when it was released.
Apple sells 78,100 computers in fiscal 1980.
Apple’s initial public stock offering; 4.6 million shares were purchased.
Commodore introduces the VIC-20, with a 6502A processor, 5K RAM, BASIC in ROM, serial, cassette, and modem interfaces, and color. It could take program cartridges, and sold for $299.
Steve Wozniak and his fiance, Candy Clark, are injured in plane crash; he begins a leave of absence.
Apple announces that it will no longer offer a built-in clock/calendar in the Apple III, due to unavailability of reliable parts. The price is dropped $50 in compensation for this missing component.
Shipments of the Apple III resume after correction of reliability problems.
Apple’s first million dollar shipping day.
Steve Jobs becomes chairman of Apple Computer, Inc.
Central Point Software releases Copy II Plus v1.0.
Apple begins airing commercials featuring Dick Cavett as a spokesman for their products.
The Boston Computer Society holds Applefest ’81, the first Apple-only trade show at the Boston Plaza Castle, on June 6-7.
Mike Scott leaves Apple.
Hardcore Computist begins publication.
Elk Cloner virus first appeared.
IBM PC introduced.
Apple sells nearly 180,000 computers in fiscal 1981.
Apple introduces the Profile 5 MB hard disk for the Apple III, for $3499.
Softdisk begins publication as one of the first disk-based magazines (calls itself a “Magazette”, for magazine on diskette.)
Apple introduces the Family System for home use. It includes an Apple II Plus computer, Disk II drive, RF modulator, tutorial, software, manuals, and software directory, all for $2495.
Apple announces that it will no longer allow its products to be sold to consumers via mail or telephone orders. As a result, six retailers file suit against Apple.
Virus 3 (Dellinger Virus) written.