Creator of the PC, Henry Edward Roberts, dies at 68

by admin April 5, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Henry Edward Roberts is not one of the shining personalities of the computer industry, yet he was the first to have developed a mainstream computing device, the Altair 8800 personal computer. Roberts was also the first employer of Microsoft co-founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen. He died last Thursday from Pneumonia in a hospital in Macon, Georgia. He was 68.

Roberts founded Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS) in 1970 with the intention to sell electronic kits to model rocket builders. In 1971 he had his first rather unexpected breakthrough with a calculator that was featured by Popular Electronics. In 1975, he created the Altair 8800, which made history by becoming the first generally affordable personal computer. Once again, Popular Electronics featured the $397 kit. MITS sold more than 5000 units within 8 months.

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