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Bilde promptThe First Home Microcomputers

From Micro to Macro: Unraveling the History of the First Home Microcomputers

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The advent of microcomputers revolutionized the way we live, work, and connect. In this blog post, we embark on a fascinating journey through the history of the first microcomputers designed for home usage. From the pioneering days of the Altair 8800 to the rise of the Apple II and Commodore PET, we explore the birth of a technological revolution that laid the foundation for the digital age we know today.

The Altair 8800: The Birth of Home Computing

In 1975, the Altair 8800 burst onto the scene, captivating computer enthusiasts and marking the dawn of the personal computing era. Created by MITS (Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems), the Altair 8800 was a build-it-yourself computer kit that required assembly and programming knowledge. Although lacking a keyboard and monitor, it unleashed the power of microprocessors and opened up new possibilities for hobbyists, sparking a wave of excitement and innovation.

The Apple II: Bringing Computing to the Masses

While the Altair 8800 laid the groundwork, it was the introduction of the Apple II in 1977 that propelled microcomputers into the mainstream. Developed by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, the Apple II offered a complete system with a built-in keyboard, color graphics, and support for external peripherals. With its user-friendly interface and accessible design, the Apple II became a game-changer, captivating a broader audience and setting the stage for the home computing revolution.

The Commodore PET: Bridging the Gap

In the same year as the Apple II, Commodore International introduced the PET (Personal Electronic Transactor) computer. The PET stood out with its integrated keyboard and monitor, offering a compact and all-in-one solution for home computing. It found popularity in homes, schools, and businesses, bridging the gap between hobbyist kits and consumer-friendly computers.

The TRS-80 and IBM PC: Shaping the Industry

In 1977, RadioShack released the TRS-80, offering another accessible option for home users. It boasted a full keyboard, a built-in BASIC programming language, and an affordable price point, making it a significant player in the home microcomputer market.

By the early 1980s, the rise of the IBM PC, introduced in 1981, brought personal computing to a new level of sophistication. With its open architecture and compatibility with industry-standard software, the IBM PC set the standard for future computer systems and became a catalyst for the widespread adoption of microcomputers in homes and offices worldwide.

Legacy and Impact

The first microcomputers for home usage laid the foundation for a technological revolution that forever changed our lives. They democratized computing, empowering individuals to explore programming, unleash their creativity, and leverage the power of digital tools. The legacy of these early microcomputers can still be seen today in the widespread use of personal computers, the evolution of software and hardware, and the continuous advancements that shape our digital world.


The history of the first microcomputers designed for home usage is a testament to human ingenuity, perseverance, and the desire to bring technology into the hands of everyday people. From the Altair 8800's DIY spirit to the Apple II's user-friendly design, these early microcomputers paved the way for the digital revolution we experience today. As we reflect on their humble beginnings, we can appreciate the transformative impact they had on society and how they set the stage for the interconnected, tech-driven world we now inhabit.