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altair 8800 home computer

Altair 8800

This nOde last updated September 5th, 2003 and is permanently morphing...
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Altair (àl-tìr´, -târ´, àl´tìr´, -târ´) noun
A very bright, variable, double star in the constellation Aquila, approximately 15.7 internal linklight-years from Earth.
[Arabic an-nasr at-tâ'ir : an-nasr, the eagle (al, the + nasr, eagle) + at-tâ'ir (al, the + tâ'ir, internal linkflying).]
the first popular home computer kit.

Ed Roberts's company MITS introduces the Altair kit from its internal linkNew Mexico headquarters. Two thousand people send in their money for the $400 kit.

Altair 8800

Altair 8800 (al`târ â`tê-ât-hun'dred) noun
A small computer introduced in 1975 by Micro Instrumentation Telemetry Systems of New Mexico and sold primarily in kit form. The Altair was based on the 8-bit Intel 8080 microprocessor, had 256 bytes of random access internal linkmemory, received input through a bank of switches on the front panel, and displayed output via a row of light-emitting diodes. Although it was short-lived, the Altair is considered the first successful personal computer, which were then called home computers.
altair 8800


What happened to MITS?
In 1977, Roberts sold MITS to Pertec Computer. Pertec made Altairs for the following year, but within two years, all elements of MITS were gone from Pertec.  Harvard undergrads internal linkGates and Allen develop the first programming internal linklanguage for the new computer, a version of the public-domain language Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code (BASIC). They form another company, Micro-Soft, to license the language to Altair's management and set up shop near MITS in Albuquerque.

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Altair 1975

1975 - Altair 8800

The January edition of Popular Electronics featured the Altair 8800 computer kit, based on Intel's 8080 microprocessor, on its cover. Within weeks of the computer's debut, customers inundated the manufacturing company, MITS, with orders. Bill Gates and Paul Allen licensed BASIC as the software language for the Altair. Ed Roberts invented the 8800 -- which sold for $297, or $395 with a case -- and coined the term "personal computer." The machine came with 256 bytes of memory (expandable to 64K) and an open 100-line bus structure that internal linkevolved into the S-100 standard. In 1977, MITS sold out to Pertec, which continued producing Altairs through 1978.

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