Artifact Details

Title

First BASIC interpreter written for the MITS Altair

Catalog Number

X507.84

Type

Software

Date

1975-03-02

Publisher

Gates, Bill Jr.

Place of Publication

U.S.

Identifying Numbers

Model number BASIC

Format

Paper Tape

Description

The Altair 8800 kit was introduced as the cover story on the January 1975 edition of Popular Electronics. Though 'home-brew' experimental systems existed well before the Altair, none had the Altair's wide- reaching popularity. Word length: 8 bits. CPU Circuitry: Intel 8080. Prymary Memory: 256 Bytes. Price: $ 397. The Altair inspired Bill Gates, then at Harvard University, to write a BASIC interpreter so that users could easily program the machine. This was the start of Microsoft. MITS was sold to Pertec and the Altair line did not last long. Paper tape was signed by Bill Gates during his appearance at the museum on Oct. 1, 2004 (acid free pen used for signature). The insrciption reads "Bill Gates Paul Allen MITS Altair 2 Mar 75."

Credit

Gift of Bill Gates Jr.

Lot Number

X507.84