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Re: 25 best pc's of all time

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  • Herb Johnson
    ... They mentioned NO CP/M systems and one S-100 system: namely the Altair 8800, and merely because it was a first . They say it was the first machine to
    Message 1 of 4 , Aug 13, 2006
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      --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, "B. Degnan" <billdeg@...> wrote:
      > http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,126692-page,14-c,systems/article.html
      > I am surprised to not find the Commodore 64 on the list (it was an
      > honorable mention), but nice article to read.
      > Bill D

      They mentioned NO CP/M systems and one S-100 system: namely the
      Altair 8800, and merely because it was a "first". They say it was the
      "first machine to capture geek attention". This is a clumbsy way to
      say it was the first POPULAR personal computer, the first to be
      produced in reasonable quantity, and the first to catch on in a
      commercial sense.

      They mentioned the Osborne 1 as "near great". Sold ready to go, and
      portable (by that day's standards) AND for under $2000. That set the
      price point for many years. The SGI Indy, a system I've mentioned in
      this discussion group, was also in the "near great" list.

      I was going to post at PC World my own opinion about the Altair, but
      they wanted my email address and postal address. I don't need more
      marketing junk. So I'll post my comments here: I've had to answer this
      question before so I've got it pretty well stated:

      "The MITS Altair 8800 started two computer revolutions. Hardware was
      the first: its universal S-100 bus became supported by over ONE
      HUNDRED different computer manufacturers, and became an IEEE standard.
      The second was as a platform for Digital Research's CP/M: the
      "software bus" for the late 1970's and early 1980's which ran all
      major software of the day. In fact, MS-DOS was designed day-one to
      match CP/M 2.2 system calls. The open documentation standard set with
      CP/M and S-100 products obliged IBM to create their first
      openly-documented system: the IBM PC. Like the S-100 "clones" of the
      Altair, the IBM PC "clones" were the next revolution in computing."

      Interestingly enough, I've learned that Digital Research's CP/M may
      have had its first general sales in 1976: in a way this year may be
      the 30th anniversary of CP/M. I"ve not confirmed this yet. Can anyone
      look in BYTE magazines at and before 1976 for Digital Research ads?
      They'd be really tiny.

      HErb Johnson

      Herbert R. Johnson, New Jersey USA
      <a href="http://retrotechnology.com/herbs_stuff/"> web site</a>
      <a href="http://retrotechnology.net/herbs_stuff/"> domain mirror</a>
      my email address: hjohnson AAT retrotechnology DOTT com
      if no reply, try in a few days: herbjohnson ATT comcast DOTT net
      "Herb's Stuff": old Mac, SGI, 8-inch floppy drives
      S-100 IMSAI Altair computers, docs, by "Dr. S-100"
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