Dr. Roberts died Thursday
The New York Times notes the passing of an important man:
Mr. Gates knew what many had forgotten: that Dr. Roberts had made an early and enduring contribution to modern computing. He created the MITS Altair, the first inexpensive general-purpose microcomputer, a device that could be programmed to do all manner of tasks. For that achievement, some historians say Dr. Roberts deserves to be recognized as the inventor of the personal computer.
For Mr. Gates, the connection to Dr. Roberts was also personal. It was writing software for the MITS Altair that gave Mr. Gates, a student at Harvard at the time, and his Microsoft partner, Paul G. Allen, their start. Later, they moved to Albuquerque, where Dr. Roberts had set up shop.
Dr. Roberts died Thursday at the Medical Center of Middle Georgia, his son Martin said. He was 68.
When the Altair was introduced in the mid-1970s, personal computers — then called microcomputers — were mainly intriguing electronic gadgets for hobbyists, the sort of people who tinkered with ham radio kits.
Dr. Roberts, it seems, was a classic hobbyist entrepreneur. He left his mark on computing, built a nice little business, sold it and moved on — well before personal computers moved into the mainstream of business and society…
(hat tip Movie Guy)
I remember when the PC first came out Steve Jobs, said “This is going to change the world.”
I was screwing around with Visicalc, BASIC, etc. and remember thinking “this is neat but no way is it a world changer.” Well Steve Jobs was right, that is why he is the genius.
Ed Roberts invented the personal computer.
How many readers visiting this web site have any clue to that fact?
I bet not many know it at all. This guys name should be up there with Edison or Ford. But not many people know who invented the steam engine or the toaster for that matter…
Islam will change