Altair 8800b Working System, made by Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS), United States, 1977-1982.
The Altair was widely acknowledged as the first home computer kit. It was developed by Ed Roberts, an American electronics enthusiast who had founded a company called Model Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS), originally to sell calculator kits. He was able to source Intel 8080 microchips to power the computer kits for just $75, when the standard retail price was $350, meaning that the kit could be sold for less that $400. Roberts expected to sell a few hundred build-it-yourself kits to dedicated hobbyists, but thousands of kits were bought in the first month. The front switch Altair system was never sold in the UK - this computer was imported from the US by the Head of Technology at a Secondary school in Kent in the late 1970s.
- Science Museum, Information Age Gallery: Web
- Computing & Data Processing
- Object Number:
- personal computer
- furnishing and equipment
- tools & equipment
- Donated by Leigh Academy Trust
- Permanent collection
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