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What was the first computer with a basic language?

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I would question its availability. Could you buy it in a local store? Could you order it from a magazine? How hard would it be to get your hands on one?

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Again, it's up to the individual what they want to qualify and why. There's no wrong answer. With that said, I think having a reasonable number (say a few thousand) in circulation in homes is probably a reasonable qualifier. By that definition, it doesn't qualify.

Ok, but how many of any of these went to businesses and how many went to homes?

I'd like to see ANY numbers on any of these machines for that.

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Again, it's up to the individual what they want to qualify and why. There's no wrong answer. With that said, I think having a reasonable number (say a few thousand) in circulation in homes is probably a reasonable qualifier. By that definition, it doesn't qualify.

Ok, but how many of any of these went to businesses and how many went to homes?

I'd like to see ANY numbers on any of these machines for that.

 

I don't believe we'd see any sales figures for home, because these weren't sold to individuals, only businesses. The only way any of these systems released prior to 1975 would have seen use in a home is on the off chance that a business person was allowed to take one home, and I don't see that as a realistic scenario. The only time any person would have a computer at home prior to 1975 would have been a terminal to access a remote mainframe, and even that was an ultra rare scenario. Again, we're talking extremely prohibitive costs for all of this stuff until at least 1975, and even then prices were not that cheap. Even the Altair 8800 KIT - not the assembled version - had a base price of $440 upon its availability in mid-1975. That's AT LEAST $1440 in today's dollars, and by some calculators quite a bit more. The Altair 8800 was considered such a revolution in part because of the LOW price. That tells you something about the possibility of anyone having prior systems in their home, which again, weren't even sold to home users if they wanted them.

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Again, it's up to the individual what they want to qualify and why. There's no wrong answer. With that said, I think having a reasonable number (say a few thousand) in circulation in homes is probably a reasonable qualifier. By that definition, it doesn't qualify.

Ok, but how many of any of these went to businesses and how many went to homes?

I'd like to see ANY numbers on any of these machines for that.

 

I don't believe we'd see any sales figures for home, because these weren't sold to individuals, only businesses. The only way any of these systems released prior to 1975 would have seen use in a home is on the off chance that a business person was allowed to take one home, and I don't see that as a realistic scenario. The only time any person would have a computer at home prior to 1975 would have been a terminal to access a remote mainframe, and even that was an ultra rare scenario. Again, we're talking extremely prohibitive costs for all of this stuff until at least 1975, and even then prices were not that cheap. Even the Altair 8800 KIT - not the assembled version - had a base price of $440 upon its availability in mid-1975. That's AT LEAST $1440 in today's dollars, and by some calculators quite a bit more. The Altair 8800 was considered such a revolution in part because of the LOW price. That tells you something about the possibility of anyone having prior systems in their home, which again, weren't even sold to home users if they wanted them.

By "any of these" I meant any of these computers including the SOL, Apple II, etc...

There are no such sales figures so it would be impossible to tell what numbers went into the home.

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Reasonably sound research has been done, James. You can start here: http://arstechnica.com/old/content/2005/12/total-share.ars . That data confirms contemporary reports that the TRS-80 was the best selling computer into the start of the 1980s, thanks in no small part to the reach of the Radio Shack chain.

 

The other figures bandied about here from contemporary sources, including "as many as 20,000 SOL-20's" produced in a single year also seems reasonable. Those are by no means large figures we're talking about, but relative to the time, I think it's fair to say that any computer system mass produced into the thousands, widely available and expressly sold to home users would qualify. Most systems mentioned on here post 1975 and in my follow-up blog posts and elsewhere would qualify.

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Reasonably sound research has been done, James. You can start here: http://arstechnica.com/old/content/2005/12/total-share.ars . That data confirms contemporary reports that the TRS-80 was the best selling computer into the start of the 1980s, thanks in no small part to the reach of the Radio Shack chain.

 

The other figures bandied about here from contemporary sources, including "as many as 20,000 SOL-20's" produced in a single year also seems reasonable. Those are by no means large figures we're talking about, but relative to the time, I think it's fair to say that any computer system mass produced into the thousands, widely available and expressly sold to home users would qualify. Most systems mentioned on here post 1975 and in my follow-up blog posts and elsewhere would qualify.

 

Fine, how many went into homes? Give us a number.

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The article doesn't say how many went in homes. Nobody collected info on what use the computers were being purchased for, just total sales.

I just brought it up because you keep beating the "home" thing to death on pre-Altair machines and there are no numbers to support or disprove it.

BTW, the article doesn't have a single reference listing where the info came from, you can find that here:

http://jeremyreimer.com/postman/node/329

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Is there any point in discussing any of this with you anymore, James? I'm saying "home" because that's what the discussion has been about this whole time. We're not talking about business systems. If you don't think the majority of the systems sold post 1975 we've been discussing were both targeted to and sold MOSTLY to home users, you can go run with that crazy idea. You can run with the even crazier idea that somehow pre-1975 systems were found in homes. Again, feel free to change any of the parameters or discussion points you want, I'm not interested in participating anymore. I've gotten what I needed out of the thread and found what I needed. It was a fun journey, but the rest of this stuff is getting silly. You're trying to make some bizarre, unnecessary and illogical point seemingly just to be contrarian in the face of logic and evidence, and I'm not interested in playing.

Edited by Bill_Loguidice

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OK So we all agree it was the Sphere right??

 

 

JUST KIDDING!

 

BTW: I really enjoyed the last blog on the armchair arcade that was linked a few posts back.

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The BYTE Magazine thread has a Nov 1975 issue.

The adds and articles pretty much tell you what was going on at that time.

Ads for MITS Altair, SWTPC, Sphere, etc...

 

The Sphere ad is very interesting. It has "You'll get more than a core." With the picture of an Apple core. But the Apple 1 wasn't released until the next year. Do you suppose on some level this is where Apple got the idea for the name of their company? Hmmmm...

 

The magazine has an article on what is state of the art. Under which CPU it lists 8008, 8080, 6800, or 6501 for 8 bit CPUs.

It's amazing how fast things changed in the next two years.

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