Welcome to AltairAge.
In 1975 the personal computer era began in earnest with the introduction of The
Altair 8800 by MITs. It came in kit form and let you enter
programs a byte at a time through front panel switches. The
computer established the s-100 bus standard and was the first computer
to sell in any significant volume.
Based on the Intel 8080 microprocessor, it has become famous for it's
association with Bill
Gates and Paul Allen. They wrote Microsoft's (Micro-soft at the time) first
software: Altair Basic. They then- quit Harvard and became two of richest men in
Meanwhile, the rest of us were left to fight with the fruits of Gates
and Allen's labor - Windows.
It is a return to simplicity operating these old computers. It is not just
a trip back in time,
but a lesson in how computers work. I think playing with one of
these computers, or at least an emulator, is a must for any computer
student or hobbyist.
This site is designed to help others have some fun with these early
computers, without going through all the frustration I endured. I
have tried to make this site practical in nature.
I want to thank Tom
Sanderson and Steve
Shepard for all of their support in getting my machines
working. Steve says I deserved the "Murphy's Law" award
of the year, for all the mishaps I incurred including: vaporizing the
traces on the back of one mother board and frying many
transistors. I think I deserve a reward for fearlessness.