Passing of a Giant

Ed Roberts, creator of the Altair 8800, has reached his End of Line. Many PC enthusiasts today will have never heard of him but PC's, Apple and Microsoft would not be where they are today without him. The Altair 8800 is widely regarded as the first accessible home PC and can be labelled as the first Microsoft platform. Bill Gates and Paul Allan sold Roberts on the idea of an operating system for his project and thus began the rise of the software giant. Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs released the Apple I just one year after the Altair made it's debut, narrowly missing the rank and title of first place. Had the Altair not been the success it was, the Apple may have flopped completely or Microsoft gone to work for Steve Jobs.

A docudrama called Pirates of Silicon Valley entails the startup of Microsoft and Apple which includes a small section on Roberts and the Altair. Based on the book Fire in the Valley, it's an excellent watch which while not chronologically correct, is factual and entertaining.

Roberts died at 68 and before his passing was looking forward to getting his hands on the iPad - An enthusiast to the end.
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