Sunday, March 29, 2020

Mitts Altair 8800 Microcomputer started a wonderful friendship

MITS Altair 8800 Started Friendship

Click on photo to enlarge
L-R John Simkiss, Altair 8800
 SN414 and David Larsen - 2015
This Altair - one of several dozen in my "Bugbook Histroical Microcomputer Collection" has many stories to tell. One is John's visit last Sunday 3/8/20 to fly down from Philadelphia in his private plane and have breakfast with my wife Gaynell and I. one more story is the day he picked up the Altair 8800 in 2015.  Many more however in  this blog I will discuss these two.

John's Aircraft is a
Red "Cirrus"
John told me he would meet at 8:30 AM and he landed at 8:31- great timing into the Blacksburg/Montgomery airport on the Virginia Tech Campus.

That is John and Gaynell in photo to left just after touchdown. We had delightful conversation during breakfast at the Inn at Virginia Tech.

John needed to be back in Philadelphia at 1:00 PM and he sent me a photo showing the Cirrus  tied down at 12:59 P M.

This video really tells the story of John picking up the Altair 8800 in 2015. Interesting "CLICK"

Inside view of Altair 8800
SN 414.

This Altair 8800 SN414 was probably in the first or second production run.  Ed Robert the Founder of the MITS company expected about 500 orders for his computer and was inundated with 5000 orders the first month.  This is a very low serial number and a valuable microcomputer.

The earliest Altair 8800 in my collection was SN 21. I purchased this 8800 from a fellow that was one of the dozens that drove down to Albuquerque, New Mexico and waited in the parking lot of the MITS companty to get there Altair first before shipments began. Altair 8800 SN21 is now located at the "Computer Museum of America"  in Roswell GA along with the other 13,000 items in my historical microcomputer collection.

John looking at
MARK 8 during
2015 visit..

Here is a blog about the Altair 8800 SN414 and John's 1995 visit. 

Video of Altair 8800 SN414 in operation tested by Wen Heagy.

John describes his visit to the  Computer Museum in his own words 1995
Chicago downtown from
John's Cirrus aircraft.

Just received (3/30/20) this photo from John - photo  he made of the Chicago Skyline on flight to pick up one of his family members. Nice to have your own plane at this time with conoronvirus restrictions on  commercial  air travel. Great view.

Collecting historical microcomputers for more than 45 years and teaching about "Computers and Instrumentation " for 33 years at Virginia Tech has been the experience of a lifetime.  Many I have had many great times and met wonderful people during this time. You can see a few of the stories on my Blog Site.

"by David Larsen"  Chantilly Farm ownerComputer Historian, and amateur radio operator -KK4WW   & N4USA .  I work out of one of the Tiny Homes at Chantilly Farm. A great place to work if you like the to be out in nature. I am 81 and ready to sell Chantilly Farm - I have a few more  projects I would like to do - if you have an interest to know more give me a call. 540 392 2392

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