The Chronology of New Media: The 1960s

By | January 7, 2000


  • Doug Engelbart prototypes an “oNLine System” (NLS) which does browsing among linked documents, editing and email. He invents the mouse for helping perform these tasks.
  • Influenced by Engelbart and Bush, Ted Nelson begins work about a form of non-sequential writing he calls hypertext. Nelson also imagines Xanadu, a global chain of public access “Silver Stands” which enable people to pull information from hypertext documents all over the world.


  • Launch of Telstar, the first orbital communications satellite.
  • MIT programmers use a DEC PDP-1 (the world’s first minicomputer) to create Spacewar, the first video game. Soon similar versions of the game are created on campuses around the nation.


  • Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, predicts the number of transistors that can be built on a piece of silicon will double every 18 months. This axiom becomes known as Moore’s Law.


  • IBM introduces the word processor.


  • On Sept. 8, Star Trek debuts on NBC.
  • Ralph Baer’s Odyssey, produced by Magnavox, becomes the first commercial computer game.


  • Xerox PARC founded.
  • First use of computer-generated graphics in a commercial, an ad for IBM.
  • Alan Kay at Xerox develops the graphical user interface (GUI).
  • Spin-off technologies from NASA’s moon mission include laptop computers, small solid-state lasers, cordless power tools, solar power cells, liquid crystals, and Tang.
  • And now, for something completely different: Monty Python’s Flying Circus debuts on BBC-1.