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Popular Electronics January 1975 Issue
Cover featuring Altair

The cover of this issue of Popular Electronics (also known affectionately as "Poptronics") screamed "World's First Minicomputer Kit to Rival Commercial Models... ALTAIR 8800". This image helped to give birth to the personal computing revolution but it wasn't short of hyperbole! The Altair 8800 couldnt properly be described as a minicomputer at all (no terminal, no keyboard, no hard disk, no operating system) but came to be known as a Microcomputer. The "SAVE OVER $1000" was a bit misleading too as the whole kit (assembled or unassembled) cost under $1000. To read the whole article see the First Computer Museum of Nova Scotia's page on the Jan 1975 Poptronics Altair article.

This fine scan of the magazine cover was provided to the DigiBarn by Stan Veit (see his comments below) . The DigiBarn would love to have an original copy of this magazine, please let us know if you can spare one!

Click here for larger image of cover

Comments by Stan Veit, the first Computer Editor of Popular Electronics (October 2005):

The Altair on the cover is a fake. Ed Roberts sent the protoype to New York and it was lost when Railway Express went on strike. If you ever get to see that issue, you will see the in the photos of the circuit boards that they were connected by ribbon cable. When the first unit was lost, Ed Roberts invented the S-100 bus for the Second Unit. I had serial no 25 which I used in my store to sell IMSAI's People would look at the Altair and buy an IMSAI,!

See the DigiBarn's Altair 8800

See Stan Veit's site on PC History

Our collection of BYTE Magazines and their covers

Our huge collection of Homebrew Computer Club Newsletters (from 1975)

The First Computer Museum of Nova Scotia's page on the Jan 1975 Poptronics Altair article

Know anything more about this artifact or willing to donate this issue to us? Contact us!

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