The First PCs
About a dozen computers claim to be the ﬁrst Personal Computer (PC). Credit for the ﬁrst popular personal computer often goes to Ed Roberts whose company, MITS, designed a computer called the Altair 8800 and marketed a kit for about $400 in 1974. The Altair 8800 used Intel’s 8080 microprocessor, contained 256 bytes of RAM, and was programmed by means of a panel of toggle switches. In 1975, Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded Microsoft®and wrote a BASIC interpreter for the Altair. More than 2,000 systems were sold in 1975.
Figure: An early PC.
In 1975, MOS Technology announced its 6502-based KIM-1 desktop computer, and Sphere Corporation introduced its Sphere 1 kit. Both kits were strictly for computer fanatics.