Altair 8800 name Was: Re: Altair 680 Expansion Boards?

Michael Holley swtpc6800 at
Fri Dec 23 13:34:46 CST 2016

-----Original Message-----
From: cctalk [mailto:cctalk-bounces at] On Behalf Of Peter
Sent: Friday, December 23, 2016 2:59 AM
To: General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts
Subject: Re: Altair 8800 name Was: Re: Altair 680 Expansion Boards?

>The "at least in the US" caveat is important :)
>Sinclair's Z80-based ZX Spectrum was outrageously successful in the UK.
Every teenage bedroom seemed to have one by the late 1980s. The various
6502-based machines from Acorn and >Commodore were relatively uncommon, and
I've seen exactly one Apple II.
>People who know Uncle Clive's unwillingness to spend a penny more than he
has to on bulding computers may wonder why they selected the relatively
>Z80 over the 6502, but it was because they managed to trick the Z80's
address-fetcting and instruction decoding cycle into generating video on the
>ZX80 and ZX81, and thus saved more money elsewhere. It wasn't until the
Spectrum that they bothered with DMA like proper computers, and then didn't
>*need* to stick with the Z80, but chose to keep it anyway.

I was in London in 1981 and happened upon a computer faire. Here is a
write-up published in Seattle's Northwest Computer Society newsletter. It is
an American's view of the English computer scene.


Michael Holley

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