RIP Ed Roberts

Ed Roberts, creator of the first commercial personal computer (the MITS Altair 8800) died last week; he was 68.

When the Altair was introduced in the mid-1970s, personal computers — then called microcomputers — were mainly intriguing electronic gadgets for hobbyists, the sort of people who tinkered with ham radio kits.

Dr. Roberts, it seems, was a classic hobbyist entrepreneur. He left his mark on computing, built a nice little business, sold it and moved on — well before personal computers moved into the mainstream of business and society.

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