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LabVIEW at 20!

Now that LabVIEW has reached it's 20th anniversary (and NI it's 30th, see here )) it is time to celebrate and reminisce about the good old days from the LabVIEW infancy.
Does anyone have any cool stories from the very early days of LabVIEW? Share them here! 😄

Message Edited by altenbach on 02-02-2006 08:54 AM

Message 1 of 176

I don't have any cool stories from the early days of LV since I was busy doing other things (mostly studying).

I do have one question about that timeline, though - wasn't version 1.2 the first commercial release of LV?

Try to take over the world!
Message 2 of 176

@tst wrote:
I do have one question about that timeline, though - wasn't version 1.2 the first commercial release of LV?

The graphic is straight from and does not show any decimal resolution in the version (only x.0). Maybe this was done intentially to keep it simple ;).
Message 3 of 176
From the Lava forums: A Blast From the Past

Wow a 512K Mac... I used to have one of those.
Message 4 of 176
I didn't start with LV until 5.1, however I heard from a person who has used LV1 who said that it was in black and white, and that if you moved an object that had a wire connected to it, the wire would break.   WOW, LV sure has come a long way.
- tbob

Inventor of the WORM Global
Message 5 of 176

The LV timeline (like the Q&R function) only support intergers! Smiley Wink

Is anyone else interested in putting together a LV user timeline?

If so just post the LV version and year when you first touched LV.

I first touched LabVIEW 4.0 in 1998.

I wrote an application to adjust single mode fiber fixtures for maximum coupling. The diagram was terible, used the max icon connector pattern and suffered from race conditions, so it had to be reloaded to get it start working again.

I'll compile the results if anyone else replies.


Retired Senior Automation Systems Architect with Data Science Automation LabVIEW Champion Knight of NI and Prepper LinkedIn Profile YouTube Channel
Message 6 of 176
I first touched LabVIEW 6.1 in 2004.  I was trying to determine how to re-use some grid-tie tests on a new product.
I am the founder of CnCSoftwareSolutions. When not cleaning up baby drool, I write about test data or work on Vision, a tool for understanding your test data. Visit me at
Message 7 of 176
LabVIEW 1.2 in 1989. First project took about two years. It was a stimulus/response test to evaluate the repsonse of rats to chemical exposure. We had 3 external devices connected to a Mac Plus or SE via SCSI: A function generator, an 8-bit DIO, and an ADC (8 channels, 12-bit, 28 kS/s). These devices, called MacADIOS, were made by GW Instruments. The stimuli were audio tones at several frequencies and amplitudes and a noise burst at maximum amplitude. The response was measured by putting the animal cage on a load platform (strain guage) and monitoring the response. We built our own circuit cards (27 of them) to control attenuation and pulse gating. Since we had only 8 bits of DIO, some of the cards were demultiplexers and latches. Our attenuators had a nominal 120 dB dynamic range, although measured perfomance was between 70-80 dB. The software randomly selected frequency and amplitude for each stimulus, set the attenuators (calibrated separately for each channel and frequency, due to speaker variations), triggered the stimuli, recorded the response, and saved the data to disk in spreadsheet style text files. It was so successful that we built a revised version (LV3) for another researcher at another university and later modified it (LV5) for a different experiment on memory and learning in rabbits with different stimuli and response mechanisms. The latter system is still being used regularly.

The first version had a 25-frame sequence structure. The current version has several state machines operating in parallel. I guess I can claim to have learned something over the years.

Message 8 of 176

I first touched LabVIEW in an undergrad ME Dynamic Systems course at UT Austin, but I don't count that as my first LabVIEW experience since it was a really old version of LV on a really old Mac and I didn't do any programming, just running VIs and hoping they didn't freeze.

My first true interaction with LabVIEW was version 5.0.1 in January 1999 when I started working at NI as an Applications Engineer.


Message 9 of 176
I had a copy of the first LabVIEW for Windows but didn't do a project until LabVIEW 3.0 was released. It was for a product that was eventually shown to be not actually providing anything of what it claimed to do. I sure had fun learning LabVIEW though.
Message 10 of 176