kottke.org posts about Ed Roberts

RIP Ed Roberts

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 05, 2010

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 โ€” then called microcomputers โ€” 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 โ€” well before personal computers moved into the mainstream of business and society.