‘Father of Computing’ Passes Away At 68
April 2, 2010
Dr. Henry Edward Roberts invented the Altair 8800, the first machine designed for real home use, and the spark that started off the computer PC.
After seeing an article on Roberts and the Altair in a magazine, Microsoft founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen contacted him, asking to be allowed to write software to test on it.
They were successful, and it was the beginning of a new time.
“Ed was willing to take a chance on us – two young guys interested in computers long before they were commonplace – and we have always been grateful to him,” Gates and Allen said in a released statement.
“The day our first untested software worked on his Altair was the start of a lot of great things.”
Roberts was the founder of the company Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS), which was a business dedicated to creating items of interest to hobbyists, such as for model rockets, and later for children’s calculators.
When they ran into financial problems, he began to develop a computer kit, which led to the Altair 8800.
He passed away from complication due to pneumonia.