American gaming company Midway partners with the Japanese company
Namco and unleashes Pac-Man onto the arcade world. Midway changes
the game's name from "Puck-Man," citing concerns that vandals
would alter the console with a more offensive title.
With 16 kilobytes of memory and an Intel processing chip, the first IBM personal computer goes on sale Aug. 11.
Shigeru Miyamoto, a game designer with Nintendo, introduces Donkey Kong and his arch-nemesis Mario to the gaming world.
Instead of naming a "Man of the Year" for its year-end issue,
Time magazine honors the personal computer as the "Machine of
CDs are first made available in the United States. Music lovers purchase 30,000 CD players and 800,000 CDs -- produced in a 74-minute format because Sony President believes that Beethoven's 9th Symphony should fit on one disc.
Commodore International sells the Commodore 64 for $595. With 64 kilobytes of RAM, the Commodore 64 becomes the fastest selling personal computer at the time.
Apple introduces the Macintosh with the tagline, "You'll see why
1984 won't be like '1984,'" in reference to the George Orwell
novel, in a highly touted Super Bowl commercial. Two days later,
the first Mac goes on sale for $2,495.
American science-fiction novelist William Ford Gibson coins the term "cyberspace" in his novel "Necromancer."
Alexey Pazhitnov creates puzzle computer-game Tetris while working for the Academy of Sciences in the Soviet Union.
Nintendo unveils the first Nintendo Entertainment System to American audiences after the device's initial success in Japan. Super Mario Brothers would become the best selling video game of all-time.
Microsoft Corp. on March 13 goes public on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock price jumps 33 percent in one day.
The U.S. Department of Energy issues a report encouraging Congress to fund the Human Genome Project. The report states, "Knowledge of the human genome is as necessary to the continuing progress of medicine and other health sciences as knowledge of human anatomy has been for the present state of medicine."
USA Today reports on "the worst computer virus outbreak in history," with over 6,000 computers infected.
Sega produces the first successful 16-bit gaming system with Genesis.
In 1991, Sega increases in popularity when it releases the game,
Sonic the Hedgehog.
The game John Madden Football for the PC is the first incarnation of the best-selling video game series "Madden NFL."
After 12 years of construction and billions of dollars spent, NASA launches the Hubble Space Telescope and later receives the first images from the telescope in 1994.
Tim Berners-Lee invents the World Wide Web, combining his work
on hypertext language with the Internet.
James Cameron spends over $100 million during the filming of "Terminator 2" and introduces revolutionary computer graphics to the silver screen.
The first-person shooter genre is born as "Wolfenstein-3D" and
becomes popular among computer gamers. Gamers wander the hallways
of a German castle, killing Nazis and attack dogs.
Computer users anxiously await the activation of the Michelangelo virus, on the 527th anniversary of the artist's birth. While the actual number of infected computers did not reflect the panic, the Michelangelo virus was the first of its kind to penetrate the public conscious.
After the video game Mortal Kombat raises the blood and gore level of video games to a new level, the U.S. Senate opens investigation into video game violence.
About two-and-a-half years after America Online begins trading on the NASDAQ index, the Internet provider reaches 1 million subscribers.
The Entertainment Software Ratings Board establishes a rating system based on a video game's violent or sexual content.
Microsoft solidifies its hold on personal computer operating systems
with the release of Windows 95, which sells more than 1 million
copies in its first week in stores.
Pierre Omidyar sells his broken laser pointer in an online auction.
Two years later, this auction site is renamed eBay.
Craig Newmark creates a list-serve among friends to spread the word about events in San Francisco. This eventually becomes Craigslist.org, a site with more than 3 billion page views per month.
Nintendo unleashes its latest console, Nintendo 64, but is unable to unseat Sony's Playstation (released in 1995) as the most popular gaming console.
DeepBlue, a chess-playing computer, checkmates world champion Garry Kasparov in the first of six games. Kasparov would go on to win the match four games to two.
Video company Lumivision releases the first DVDs for sale in the United States, the IMAX films "Africa the Serengeti," "Antarctica" and "Tropical Rainforest."
OMG! America Online launches the first version of AOL Instant Messenger, creating a whole new language in the process.
Google.com opens shop in the garage of a friend. The search engine
begins handling around 10,000 search queries each day.
Dec. 31 - Fear of the "Y2K Bug" reaches its peak. Computer engineers and government officials express concern over a major infrastructural shutdown when the clock strikes midnight on Jan. 1, 2000.
Time magazine names Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon.com, as its Man of the Year.
Shawn Fanning designs and releases the first edition of Napster, an online file-sharing service shut down by court order in 2001. The service relaunches in 2006 as a pay site.
Sony releases video game console cum DVD player: PlayStation 2. The following year, Grand Theft Auto III capitalizes on the system's graphic capabilities and reignites the controversy over violence in video games.
Will Wright's "The Sims" is released and becomes the highest-selling PC game ever in 2002 by selling more than 6.3 million copies worldwide.
Within two months of each other, Nintendo GameCube and Microsoft
Xbox enter the video game market. Both offer improved graphics,
but neither can catch the Playstation 2 in popularity and sales.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveils the first generation of the iPod with 5 gigabytes of memory so that people can listen to "1,000 songs in their pocket."
After cutting a deal with record labels EMI, Sony BMG, Universal and Warner Brothers, iTunes Music Store opens for business, allowing users to purchase songs for 99 cents per song.
Cell phone companies report a record year, with over 520 million units sold worldwide.
DVD sales surpass VHS sales for the first time.
Howard Dean capitalizes on the Internet's reach to raise funds
for his presidential campaign, breaking Democratic primary fund-raising
records in the process.
The U.S. Supreme Court rules that the file-sharing service Grokster can be sued for copyright infringement. The service later shuts down.