Join us in celebrating Great Moments in Technology Innovation.  View the timeline below to learn about both general and 3D Inspection System software advances.

As 3D Inspection Systems celebrates its leadership role in innovating inspection solutions over the past 25 years, we also celebrate notable advances in computing and portability technology, and other industry-shaping events.


From early times, innovators pursued easier to use, more compact technology. Centuries passed before technology reached the portability and affordability of today.


Texas Instruments releases first easily portable electronic calculator.


ATARI founded; Pong released. Microprocessors for computers. ARPANET created, forerunner to Internet.


Microsoft founded by Bill Gates & Paul Allen

American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) established. Carl Fowler later became early 410th member.



Apple Computer, Inc. founded by Steve Wozniak & Steve Jobs. 


Intel introduces new processors. Arcade  game 'Space Invaders' starts video game era. Commodore VIC-20.  MS-DOS/PC-DOS developed.

Carl Fowler begins doing home inspections; tired of spending nights typing, he invests in a KayPro and uses the WordStar word processor.

Florida Association of Building Inspectors, Inc. (FABI). est., with Carl Fowler as one of its founding members.

Carl Fowler serendipitously meets Charles Cubbage, who programs ATARI games, at a party. Charles agrees to write a custom program, which Carl begins using for his inspection reports.



Commodore 64, IBM Compaq Portable, IBM XT, IBM AT released. KayPro II 26-pound "portable" computer released


Microsoft Windows GUI development starts

National Association of Home Inspectors, Inc. (NAHI) established

Society of Accredited Marine Surveyors  (SAMS) established



Developed cooperative by IBM and Micosoft as a successor to DOS, IBM releases OS/2, capable of swapping and multitasking, and running of DOS executables.   IBM and Microsoft later part ways.

3D Inspection Systems (Describe-Disclose-Disclaim) began in 1987, as an effort by early home inspection industry leaders to develop the first professional quality, narrative report writing software for the home and building inspection industry. Carl Fowler is primary founder.



 VGA released for PS/2 by IBM.


IBM PS/2 Model 30 286 released, based on 80286 processor and AT bus


World Wide Web invented by Tim Berners-Lee to benefit physicists, integrating hypertext and the Internet. Widespread popularity and access didn't start until 1993.

GRiD Computing: first pen-based computer.

International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) est.



Windows 3.0 introduced, DOS compatible.




KODAK PROFESSIONAL DCS digital camera debuts. At $20,000-$25,000, fewer then 1000 units sold between 1991-1994.

MS-DOS/PC-DOS 5.0 also released.


Windows 3.1 sells a million copies in its first 2 months. First retail CD-ROM debuts.

3D Inspection Systems bundles and sells portable GRiD computers pre-loaded with 3D software to inspectors.





Commercial providers allowed to sell internet connections to individuals. goes online.  NT begins.

GRiD Convertible Notebooks running Windows 3.11 for mobile use released. Unique design folds screen over keyboard for use as a tablet with special pen.

Apple introduces Newton MessagePad.



Windows 95 launched by Microsoft.

3D explores digital pictures in reports; Real estate agents highly impressed.

3D features include customizable forms, colored text, report scrolling, application tabs, document features.



First digital cameras, like the Kodak DC40, finally available at sub-$1000 pricing.

3D Inspection Systems releases its first version designed specifically for Windows95. 



IBM's Deep Blue beats reigning World Chess Champion, Garry Kasparov, in a full chess match.

Microsoft bails Apple out of serious financial trouble after 18 months of losses, buying 100,000 non-voting shares worth $150 million.

3D Inspection Systems launches first website 



Apple released iMac, back on road to profitability.

Microsoft released Windows 98, with support for USB and disk partitions greater than 2.1 GB, and far better hardware drivers support.

3D creates mobile software for use on hand-held Pocket PCs to collect field data



Windows 2000 launches, Windows ME for the home market, Pocket PC 2000 (based on Windows CE 3.0) released.

3D Inspection Systems expands website



Windows XP released, becoming one of the most popular operating systems in history, and Microsoft's longest flagship operating system.

Windows XP finally merged the NT/2000 and 95/98/ME families together, becoming mainstream for business and consumers alike.

Although Microsoft produced its final service pack for XP in 2008, and officially ended mainstream support in 2009, it is still in use on many computers today.


3D’s version 5 single-click “Actions” pane revolutionizes access to favorite documents, forms, summaries, images, standard paragraphs, text, etc.



Windows "Tablet PC" debuts, with touch screen and handwriting recognition,  nearly eliminating need for a keyboard and mouse.

Mac OS X released

Pocket3D software for Windows Mobile has new interface & form editing capabilities. Version 6 of 3D introduces Client Server option for use with SQL, & 3D website is redesigned 



Windows Mobile 2003 released by Microsoft, starting a new "Windows Mobile" line of PDAs to replace older CE and Pocket PC lineup.

Microsoft also launches Windows Server 2003, a more friendly and performance improving update to Windows Server 2000, descendant of NT.

Apple opens iTunes store.
Skype VoIP goes public.


3D Version 7 adds major on-the-fly master form editing capabilities, and images can be inserted from memory directly into Pocket3D.



 Google introduces Gmail

3D Inspection Systems develops a mobile app for Palm OS, which doesn't succeed due to device fragmentation and Windows Mobile surpassing Palm abilities. Pocket3D now includes bookmarks, inspector notes, etc. 

3D Version 9 brings Office Management abilities to all editions, one-click data Backup, report upload delivery, new program panes, and more. Less expensive Focus solutions introduced for new inspectors and specialized industries.



Windows Mobile 5.0 released by Microsoft, and is later updated again in 2007 to Windows Mobile 6.  Expanded variety of new PDAs become available.


3D Inspection Systems redesigns website




Apple announces Boot Camp, which will allow their users to run the popular Windows XP operating system on their computers. opens Amazon Web Services (AWS) to provide cloud server space and traffic scalable to businesses with changing needs.

Microsoft releases it's portable media player Zune.

New 3D feature allows printing inspection data in a different order than collected.



Windows Vista released.

First iPhone unveiled by Apple, exclusive to AT&T in the US, and with private app store.

Version 11 series provides a turning point in new print, PDF indexing, image, and export options, automated sentence completion and observation grouping, and expanded on-the-fly form editing abilities on PDAs.



Android OS phones introduced, later gaining in popularity 2010 onward with release of version 2.2+


3D website undergoes major renovation consistent with its current design and expands content.



Windows 7 released. Windows Mobile 6.5.1 brings finger-friendly user interface.

3D Inspection Systems releases new Phone3D mobile app for the clean and easy Windows Phone 7.

New Cloud3D Services allow simple over the air report transfer between devices.



iPad first released, popularizing limited-function multimedia tablets.

Windows Phone 7 family released.

First Android tablets also appear.

3D Inspection Systems releases new mobile app for Android phones and tablets.

An untold variety of lightweight tablets are available for easy mobile inspecting, including popular 7" and 10" sized models.  Photos can be taken directly with Android tablets or phones or Windows Phones right into reports.



Android devices capture #1 spot in global marketshare of all "mobile" OS platforms.

500 million+ licenses Microsoft sold to date is more than all of the Macs, iPhones, iPads, and Android-based devices that have been sold, combined.  Microsoft prepares for Windows 8.

3D Inspection Systems celebrates its Silver Anniversary! After 25 years of leading the inspection reporting software industry, we are proud to continue working hard to implement modern technology to save inspectors time and effort.

Thanks for taking this journey with us down memory lane.



We look forward to see what new technologies will bring to the table as the decade progresses.


With no other inspection software company as experienced as 3D, our innovations are often imitated, but never quite duplicated!




  Happy Anniversary 3D!