First PC ??

From: Doug Yowza <>
Date: Mon Dec 14 02:17:52 1998

On Mon, 14 Dec 1998 wrote:

> In the 386 issue of PC Magazine, May 30, 1989, there is a two page spread
> (p98&99) called "Another Kind of Memory." It is a timeline from 1890 to 1990
> of historical milestones on the path to computerdom. Of special interest to
> this group they list the Kenbak PC, 1971 as the first personal computer.

I believe the Kenbak claim to "first pc" came as the result of a contest
held by TCM in Boston. I don't remember what their criteria was, but I
think it had to be nationally advertised, for one.

Before calling anything the "first pc", you need to first define "pc."

We generally agree here that by no sensible definition can the Altair be
called the "first pc." Maybe the Kenbak was the first transistorized
computer that was nationally advertised for under $1000, I dunno.

Does that mean the 1961 relay-based minivac, for example, isn't a "pc"?
Maybe it isn't a computer. It depends on who you ask. Personally, I'm
more interested in the rich and varied forms of computers than calling one
"the first."

I'm also interested in "personal" in trying to understand how we got to
where we are today. To me, the early attempts to get "normal" people to
*understand and experiment* with computers on their own is just as
important as the role played by cheap microcomputers and the wide variety
of microcomputer software that made machines *useful* to individuals.

-- Doug
Received on Mon Dec 14 1998 - 02:17:52 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Oct 10 2014 - 23:30:49 BST