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Compusaur Archiving the big and slow, machines of yesterday.
Altair 8800


Welcome to Compusaur.  This site celebrates the history of computers, focusing on the short period from the late 1960's to the mid 1970's.  This era marked the shift toward the "Personal Computer" when computers moved from "institutional" monsters toward machines that could fit on a desktop.

This site is meant to be primarily a historical archive for technical information to prevent loss.  An example is the Kenbak-1, which many consider to be the "First Personal Computer" yet few have ever touched one, and even fewer have ever used one.  This site strives to document technical details, to better understand the events and technology important for to develope personal computers.

This site also archives some biographical information on the creators and users of the early computers.  The aim is to explain how life was in the early days of computers, when nobody was quite sure what a computer should be, and how to make this concept useful.  The layperson of the time had a concept of a room sized machine, with spinning tape drives, blinking lights, where you would type in a question, and after some "whirling" of tape drives, a teletype would "tap" out an answer.  Interestingly, 30 years later, this is finally realized in such resources as "Google."

Why Focus on These Machines?

The machines documented in these pages form a loose "continuum" starting primarily with the PDP-8.  The PDP-8 was the transition machine as the minicomputer was suddenly getting so small it could fit on a desk, and found its way to small laboratories and even small offices.  It's well documented that the PDP-8 inspired Jon Titus to design and build the Mark-8, and it was the point of inspiration for Steven Gray to found the Amateur Computer Society and Publish the ACS Newsletter. According to one historian, "this was the first spark of the hobbyist movement predicted by Edmund C. Berkeley almost 20 years earlier."

These pages are just the start of some archiving which will never be fully done, but will hopefully grow as time permits.




Last Modified : 07/05/07 01:50 PM