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basis.
There were no reserved parking places, no offices, only cubicles.
It's still true today. Here's the chairman's cubicle.
Knock, knock I knocked at the door but there's no door.
Gordon Moore is one of the Intel founders worth $3 billion.
With money like that, I'd have a door.
In a business like this the people with the power are the ones
that have the understanding of what's going on,
not necessarily the ones on top.
And it's very important that those people that have the knowledge
are the ones that make the decisions.
So we set up something where everyone who had the knowledge
had an equal say in what was going on.
Intel's microprocessors kept getting more powerful.
They soon had enough horsepower to run a whole computer.
Only Intel didn't appreciate the brilliance of their own product,
seeing it as useful mainly for powering calculators
or traffic lights.
Intel had all the elements necessary to invent the PC business,
but they just didn't get it.
Lucky for us, someone did.
This is the chip that launched the personal computer revolution.
This is the magazine that announced it.
In January 1975 featured on the cover was the world's first
personal computer the Altair 8800.
It was the crazy idea of an ex-airforce officer from Georgia:
Ed Roberts.
If you look at it you know it was kind of grandiose
almost megalomaniac kind of scheme you know
and right now I couldn't do it because I could see right off
there's no way you could do this.
But at that time you know we just lacked the eh the benefits
of age and experience.
We didn't know we couldn't do it.
20 years after Ed Roberts' flash of brilliance, this exhibit is being
held to celebrate the anniversary of the Altair.
Like every other PC pioneer, Ed built his computer just because
he wanted one to play with.
There were some of us that lusted after computers
really at that time.
All the computers in the world tended to be in big centres
and you had to get permission to get close to them, and you know,
nobody had access to computers.
And the idea that you could have your own computer and do
whatever you wanted to with it,
whenever you wanted to, was fantastic.
And where was this all happening? It was far from Silicon Valley,
Intel, or IBM.
Out in the desert near the airport in Albuquerque, New Mexico,
Ed Roberts ran a calculator company called MITS.
Having an ugly building wasn't it's only problem:
MITS was going bankrupt.
Nobody was buying calculators and Ed needed $65,000
just to stay afloat.
And we went to the bank, we had a late night meeting,
and the issue was whether we closed MITS down or they loaned us
an additional sixty-five thousand
and I was asked how many machines that I think we would sell
in the next year after it was introduced,
and I said eight hundred, which was considered
a wild-eyed optimist at that.
Within a month after it was introduced we were getting
two hundred and fifty orders a day.
The Altair wasn't even a computer, it was a computer KIT.
- Wow this is a pretty well equipped machine.
You had to build it yourself and even then it usually didn't work.
Still, the demand was amazing.
There were actually people that came to MITS, a couple of people
with camper trailers
and camped out inthe parking lot waiting for their machines.
I mean, they were so eager.
I mean I think everybody had sort of daydream,
Ed Walter Mitteyed about owning a computer.
The surprise was that it would be possible for the
average college student, for example,
who was living on bare subsistence, to actually buy a computer.
This is what really amazed me was that people were so,
there was a sort of pent up demand
for having your own computer.
And if it could be that cheap what a wonderful thing.
This is an Altair computer - the first personal computer.
And not just any Altair - this is Altair serial number 2,
the second one made.
The first Altair made was sent off to be photographed
at a magazine and was

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