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

Liam Proven lproven at
Fri Dec 23 13:56:40 CST 2016

On 23 December 2016 at 16:00, allison <ajp166 at> wrote:
> When the timex/sinclair with membrane keys got her eit was around 99$
> and immensely unpopular the later chicklet keyboard version was  better
> accepted.
> BY then people wanted printer and mass storage and that machine was 2-4
> years
> behind the expectations curve.

I think that is the best example of what I'm talking about in your comment.

I've checked... The Apple ][ was $1298 in 1977. The Apple ][E was
£1390 in 1983. The price didn't drop much, but the spec improved

That was, from the prices in Mike's computer fair report, ITRO £650-£700.

The Sinclair ZX-80, ZX-81 and ZX Spectrum were all ITRO £100 or so
when new, all within the time period between those 2 US models.

And yet, in the occasional US computer magazine I'd see, the Apple
machines were praised as low-cost personal computers compared to
business machines, IIRC and AIUI.

OK, so my £100/$1000 comparison was a bit off, but rather than a delta
of 10× we are looking at one of 6-7×. So I wasn't far off!

These were machines for non-techies to play with, notably, soon, for
kids to play games on.

The pre-Apple-II machines, the era of DIY things with discrete boards,
no graphics, no sound, were both of little interest to non-specialists
(or those who didn't want to be specialists) or kids, AFAICT. I could
be wrong. They weren't of much interest to _me_ at 10YO or so, I can
attest that.

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