Founded in 1976 by three University of Texas grads, National Instruments began by producing GPIB cards -- cards that plugged into the PC and MacIntosh platforms for connecting electronic scientific instruments to the computer. Since that time, NI has expanded to over 900 hardware products and a spate of software. The company is most famous for the programming language of LabVIEW which it released in 1982. As of this write up (2001), the company is alive and well as a 0.5 billion dollar enterprise, still in Austin, Tx.

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