The very first personal computers - How many are left?

From: Vintage Computer Festival <>
Date: Tue Apr 8 15:25:00 2003

On Tue, 8 Apr 2003, Kapteyn, Rob wrote:

> I still have the Altair 8800 that my Dad bought for me when I was in
> high school. It was not very long before we realized how "special" it's
> role in history was. So, I suspect that the survival rate of these was
> relatively high. (Most of the lost ones were probably accidentally
> burned up by incompetent tinkerers :-) Of course the number of early
> 8800 models produced was not that high, and a good number of those were
> upgraded with "B" front panels and power supplies. (those original tiny
> switches are a real pain)

There were thousands of Altairs that were used in process control
applications in all manner of industry, from industrial to medical. Most
of these would have been 8800b's or "turnkey" Altairs (i.e. no front

So when we ask how many Altair's still remain, are we asking how many
8800's, or how many of all the models? If we are talking about 8800's, I
would say that number is probably less than 1,000.

Sellam Ismail                                        Vintage Computer Festival
International Man of Intrigue and Danger      
 * Old computing resources for business and academia at *
Received on Tue Apr 08 2003 - 15:25:00 BST

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