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32154Re: The Demo setup for MARCH's Altair- current status

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  • s100doctor
    Aug 20, 2013
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      --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, corey986 <no_reply@...> wrote:

      > I find the best demo of my personal Altair is to use the MBL rom and load 8k basic and the load Star Trek, both off paper tape. ... I'm even thinking of pulling my ADM out of the mix and using my early TI silent terminal, but playing a game of Star Trek could cost you almost $10 in thermal paper LOL.
      > The point of the MARCH demo is to show how primative/useless the Altair was when introduced and people were still gaga over it. It feeds into the introduction of the home brew computer club into the tour.


      I object to the narrative above. I'm from the era and can speak from experience. But I've posted before what microcomputing was like in the mid-1970's. Frankly, my views are not well received, they run counter to popular narrative.

      Let's try this. If the exhibit goal is to show what people did with their early Altair's and IMSAI's - go to a collection of BYTE, Kiloboaud, People's Computer Company, 73 magazine, and other publications of the era. See what people PUBLISHED! At the time! and exhibit THAT stuff! If you can find someone to make those items from parts and wires, not a handy kit and imported PC boards. One can't deny what was published at the time. It was more than playing tunes or running Star Trek. People MADE stuff, it's a fact of the era, and it was greatly respected.

      You can use those same magazines, to show how such work was COMMON, even popular, and economically valuable. Popular Electronics and other magazines were full of such projects, going back DECADES. Kits made sales economically possible for most people. the MITS Altair, like the Ford Model T, was a breakthrough product, and for comparable reasons.

      "Primitive and useless". So is a baby!

      Herb Johnson
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