Saturday, April 6, 2013

Spring Cleaning

Look what I found!

In case this isn't ringing any bells: this qualifies as a "notable historical document." The January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics ... well, hell, I just looked and Wikipedia has a page devoted to this issue, here's a quote:

Popular Electronics, January 1975, Volume 7 Number 1.

Ziff Davis Publishing Company. Publisher: Edgar W. Hopper, Editor: Arthur P. Salsberg, Technical Editor: Leslie Solomon, Associate Editor: Alexander W. Burawa.

This is the most famous issue of Popular Electronics. The feature story is the "Altair 8800 Minicomputer, Part 1" by H. Edward Roberts and William Yates. (Part 2 was in February.) The Altair 8800 computer on the cover is just a mock-up but it launched the home computer revolution. The authors hoped to sell a few hundred machines but sold thousands the first year.

The complete kit included an Intel 8080 microprocessor, 256 bytes of RAM, a front panel with light and switches, a metal case and an 8 amp power supply for $397. Fully assembled it was $498.

Popular Electronics was published a full month before the cover date and subscribers got their issue in the middle of the previous month. According to the copyright records, the January 1975 issue was published on November 29, 1974 ...

And, of course, Wikipedia also has nice article all about the Altair 8800, too.

I have a friend who is working on a media project about the history of computing, so I just dropped him an email in case he can use this somehow. If not ... I guess I'll just put it in a plastic bag (along with my mint-condition original edition of Ricky Jay's Cards As Weapons) and keep it somewhere safe in for my (as yet hypothetical) grand-children.

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