Altair 8800

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  • Description
Date Introduced
1976
Photographer
Richards, Mark
Dimensions
7 x 16 3/4 x 17 3/4 in.
Manufacturer
Micro Instrumentation Telemetry Systems (MITS)
Credit Line
Gift of Louis Wheeler
Copyright Owner
© Mark Richards
Location
United States
Keywords
Allen, Paul; Gates, Bill; BASIC (Computer program language); Switch; Personal; Microcomputers; Input
Object ID
102626725
Speed
0.5 MIPS
Memory Type
Static and dynamic semiconductor RAM options
Memory Size
256 - 64KB
Memory Width
2x8 bit busses
Cost
$439 (kit) without memory

The basic Altair 8800 had only toggle switches and binary lights for input/output. Yet it was the first microcomputer to sell in large numbers: more than 5,000 in the first year. Most customers were hobbyists, who tolerated a primitive interface.