Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

Farewell to the inventor of the PC.

  Ed Roberts, one of many people who could reasonably claim to have invented the PC, died at the start of the month, but news has only just reached Screenwriter Towers. Thirty-five years ago he marketed a kit for a …

Tue, Apr 27, 2010, 16:15

   

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Ed Roberts, one of many people who could reasonably claim to have invented the PC, died at the start of the month, but news has only just reached Screenwriter Towers. Thirty-five years ago he marketed a kit for a crude machine called the Altair 8800. It didn’t really do anything worth doing, but it turned out to be the first commercially successful PC and, as well as offering Bill Gates his launchpad, ultimately allowed you (dear reader) to enjoy the phenomenon that is Screenwriter. If you want to more know about this unheralded hero, have a glance at Bob Cringley’s excellent (if inevitably dated) 1996 series on the rise of the personal computer, Triumph of the Nerds. There is terrifying stuff here about the accidental nature of Microsoft’s ultimate triumph.

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