Microsoft founders lead tributes to 'father of the PC'
Posted in: Internet Use/New Technologies at 03/04/2010 22:48
The "father of the personal computer" who kick-started the careers of Microsoft founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen has died at the age of 68.
Dr Henry Edward Roberts was the inventor of the Altair 8800, a machine that sparked the home computer era.
Gates and Allen contacted Dr Roberts after seeing the machine on the front cover of a magazine and offered to write software for it.
PC Pioneer Inspired Microsoft Founders
The January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics featured on its cover a box with switches and blinking lights called the Altair 8800, considered by many to be the first personal computer.
"Ed Roberts was in the Air Force and ended up at the base in Albuquerque. In his spare time he started a company to sell kits for things you would put on rockets-something to take the temperature when it gets to the top or take a photo. He called the company Micro Instrumentation Telemetry Systems and it did a small amount of business. Then he came up with a kit calculator and that sold in significant volume and made money. Read more.
Then he walked away and became a country doctor.