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Altair 8800

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Company:
MITS
Year:
1975

In the January and February 1975 issues of Popular Electronics (on display in the museum), Ed Roberts of MITS (Micro Instrumentation Telemetry Systems) wrote about a kit computer he would ship later that year.

The Altair 8800 is one of the earliest commercially available personal computers. In 1975, Paul Allen and Bill Gates (then a student at Harvard) decided to write a programming language to run on the Altair. They wrote a scaled down version of BASIC and thus began Microsoft. MITS was much less fortunate. It never recovered from its cash flow troubles. By 1977, Ed Roberts sold his company and followed his true passion by returning to medicine.