What Is An Altair 8800?

What is an Altair 8800?

DEFINITIONS: Altair 8800

Have you ever wondered what an Altair 8800 is? Look no further, as we dive into the world of this iconic computer in this Definitions blog post! The Altair 8800 was a pioneering microcomputer kit released in 1975 by MITS (Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems). It is widely regarded as one of the first personal computers and played a crucial role in shaping the future of computing. So, let’s explore the key aspects of this historic device and understand why it holds such significance for computer enthusiasts and technology enthusiasts alike.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Altair 8800 was a groundbreaking microcomputer kit released in 1975 by MITS.
  • It was one of the first personal computers and played a pivotal role in the development of the computer industry.

A Revolutionary Microcomputer Kit

The Altair 8800 was a revolutionary microcomputer kit that captured the imagination of technology enthusiasts during a time when computers were large, expensive, and inaccessible to the masses. It featured an Intel 8080 microprocessor and came as a bare-bones kit, requiring users to assemble and solder the components together. The innovative design of the Altair 8800 made it affordable and easily accessible to hobbyists, sparking a wave of innovation and experimentation in the world of computing.

The Birth of Personal Computing

With its release, the Altair 8800 marked a significant shift in the computing landscape. It helped pave the way for the birth of personal computing, empowering individuals to explore and harness the potential of computers within their own homes. The kit allowed users to write programs, perform calculations, and interact with the machine using switches and lights, providing a hands-on and immersive computing experience. This democratization of computing played a pivotal role in shaping the future of the computer industry, setting the stage for the development of more advanced and user-friendly personal computers that we use today.

The Legacy Lives On

Although the Altair 8800 is now considered a relic of computer history, its impact on the industry is undeniable. It is often hailed as the catalyst for the microcomputer revolution and stands as a testament to the power of innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit. The Altair 8800 inspired a generation of computer enthusiasts and laid the foundation for the modern computer industry we know today. Its legacy lives on through the continued exploration and advancement of computing technology.


In conclusion, the Altair 8800 was a groundbreaking microcomputer kit that helped shape the future of computing. With its affordable price and hands-on experience, it opened the doors to personal computing and sparked an era of innovation. Its legacy as one of the first personal computers remains untarnished even today, serving as a reminder of the transformative power of technology. Whether you’re a computer enthusiast or simply interested in the evolution of computing, understanding the significance of the Altair 8800 is essential to appreciate the road we’ve traveled so far in the digital age.