Gadgets and More
Gadgets and More

Altair 8800

Computers didn’t come from space, did they? Come from the future? No, of course, they didn’t.  So where did they come from? In 1974, Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry systems invented something called a microcomputer called the Altair 8800.  Became so popular that it was published on the cover of Popular Electronics in January of 1975.


A little history on this and that is a calculator to start with.  The kit sold for $175, unassembled, and $275 assembled. Which was six large scale integrated circuit chips that made the calculator? Over time this evolves to something great.

Intel 8080

This little microchip wasn’t that powerful but he decided to use the Intel 8080, and Intel was focused on selling memory chips by the thousands and Intel wanted$360 dollars for them. But Ed Roberts negotiated it down to $75, not to bad.

He, Ed Roberts, told a banker that he could sell up to 800 units, but in January MITS was flooded with questions and orders That Roberts was just focused on selling the computer.

Altair 8800

The computer came with the following:

  • 1024 word (1024 byte) memory board populated with 256 bytes.

You could upgrade to the following:

  • 4k Basic language, 4096 words of memory for $60
  • 8K basic language, word of memory for $75

The boards used something called dynamic Ram.

Here is what it looked like.

A little Video


So this little Gadget was the start of something great.

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