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Re: New member - Former MITS dealer

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  • forbin376
    Hi Russell, I m a former employee of the Altair Computer Center in Beaverton, Oregon which was owned by Richard & Sue Landon. I remember seeing the Beginning
    Message 1 of 6 , Apr 14 11:58 PM
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      Hi Russell,
      I'm a former employee of the Altair Computer Center in Beaverton,
      Oregon which was owned by Richard & Sue Landon. I remember seeing
      the "Beginning of the End", when Eddie Currie in has salmon colored
      suit told me he had just canceled the WACC II convention a week
      before it was to open. He stated that the money was in business and
      not selling to hobbyists who had no money and always wanted it
      cheaper. I remember telling him you just shot yourself (and the
      company) in the foot, and alienated all those hobbyists who created
      the innovations that were driving the whole market. It is a real
      shame that because of some bad business decisions the company that
      started it all was one of the first to fail. I watched MITS become
      Pertec that bought ICOM and all failed. The floor scrapings became
      REXON and that went away too. Think how the world might have been if
      Digital Equipment Corp. HAD listened to David Alh (sp?) who had
      proposed the idea of a "personal" computer in 1974…

      We also received equipment that did not work. I remember an 88-DD
      that we had hooked up, turned on, to warm up before checking
      alignment and fifteen minutes later it blew up – covering the entire
      work room in electrolytic confetti. The capacitor had been installed
      backwards of course. MITS assured us that ALL equipment was being
      burned in for at least 24-hours before shipping to dealers, to
      address "quality" issues. We sent it back with a note: "How the h…
      did you test this one?" We did manage to get them to take
      the "chisel" away from the tech. who was using it to "align" the FD
      stepper motors on the FD-400's and actually cutting a slot into the
      back of the motor housings!

      But my all time favorite was that you could take all the memory chips
      OFF of the MITS 16K Dynamic RAM card and it would still PASS the
      official company memory test program – the data never got further
      than the latches on the card and was then read back immediately so no
      error was ever detected! I sent them a memory test program that was
      a definite improvement. We actually had the MITS "hardware"
      director, a young gentlemen whose name escapes me, come up and see a
      demonstration of their program versus mine. It was an interesting
      experience for him and he was very nice. He did try to make some
      changes at the company but I think his efforts we being drowned from
      above.

      You might find this of interest:
      http://frankbarberis.tech.officelive.com/default.aspx

      I have many good memories and "tall" tales from those times.

      Good to hear from you.
      Frank Barberis
    • sonicpt
      Hello Frank, Great to hear from you. I guess we were having the same Pertec experiences on opposite sides of the county. Maybe we will get to meet some day and
      Message 2 of 6 , Apr 16 8:03 PM
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        Hello Frank,

        Great to hear from you. I guess we were having the same Pertec
        experiences on opposite sides of the county. Maybe we will get to meet
        some day and exchange Pertec war stories. I was very disappointed to
        find out after the fact about the MITS 1995 "reunion". I don't know if
        there was anything like that since.

        Thanks for the link. That's very interesting.

        Take care,

        Russell




        --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, "forbin376" <forbin376@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > Hi Russell,
        > I'm a former employee of the Altair Computer Center in Beaverton,
        > Oregon which was owned by Richard & Sue Landon. I remember seeing
        > the "Beginning of the End", when Eddie Currie in has salmon colored
        > suit told me he had just canceled the WACC II convention a week
        > before it was to open. He stated that the money was in business and
        > not selling to hobbyists who had no money and always wanted it
        > cheaper. I remember telling him you just shot yourself (and the
        > company) in the foot, and alienated all those hobbyists who created
        > the innovations that were driving the whole market. It is a real
        > shame that because of some bad business decisions the company that
        > started it all was one of the first to fail. I watched MITS become
        > Pertec that bought ICOM and all failed. The floor scrapings became
        > REXON and that went away too. Think how the world might have been if
        > Digital Equipment Corp. HAD listened to David Alh (sp?) who had
        > proposed the idea of a "personal" computer in 1974…
        >
        > We also received equipment that did not work. I remember an 88-DD
        > that we had hooked up, turned on, to warm up before checking
        > alignment and fifteen minutes later it blew up – covering the
        entire
        > work room in electrolytic confetti. The capacitor had been installed
        > backwards of course. MITS assured us that ALL equipment was being
        > burned in for at least 24-hours before shipping to dealers, to
        > address "quality" issues. We sent it back with a note: "How the h…
        > did you test this one?" We did manage to get them to take
        > the "chisel" away from the tech. who was using it to "align" the FD
        > stepper motors on the FD-400's and actually cutting a slot into the
        > back of the motor housings!
        >
        > But my all time favorite was that you could take all the memory chips
        > OFF of the MITS 16K Dynamic RAM card and it would still PASS the
        > official company memory test program – the data never got further
        > than the latches on the card and was then read back immediately so no
        > error was ever detected! I sent them a memory test program that was
        > a definite improvement. We actually had the MITS "hardware"
        > director, a young gentlemen whose name escapes me, come up and see a
        > demonstration of their program versus mine. It was an interesting
        > experience for him and he was very nice. He did try to make some
        > changes at the company but I think his efforts we being drowned from
        > above.
        >
        > You might find this of interest:
        > http://frankbarberis.tech.officelive.com/default.aspx
        >
        > I have many good memories and "tall" tales from those times.
        >
        > Good to hear from you.
        > Frank Barberis
        >
      • Steve
        There have been no reunions since the one in 1995. There s a fair chance that there will be another one in the next year or two. If you guys will send me
        Message 3 of 6 , Apr 17 12:45 AM
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          There have been no reunions since the one in 1995. There's a fair
          chance that there will be another one in the next year or two. If you
          guys will send me your contact info (to alltare -at- yahoo.com), I'll
          put your names on the list and keep you informed if/when plans
          develop. This goes for any other former MITS employees who may be
          reading this.

          In '95, Ed Roberts, Paul Allen, Eddie Currie, and David Bunnell gave
          some pretty good speeches.

          Steve
          ===========================

          --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, "sonicpt" <sonicpt@...>
          wrote:
          >
          >... I was very disappointed to
          > find out after the fact about the MITS 1995 "reunion". I don't know if
          > there was anything like that since.
          >...
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