The Kenbak-1 was a truly revolutionary machine for its time. It was the first stored-program computer that was designed to be sold as a personal computer for educational purposes. It was also the first computer to be marketed as a “personal computer”.
The Kenbak-1 was a very basic machine, but it was still capable of some impressive things. It had 256 bytes of memory, which was a lot for a computer in 1971. It could also execute instructions at a speed of almost 1 MHz.
The Kenbak-1 was not without its flaws, however. It was very expensive, costing $750 at a time when most people were still using typewriters. It was also very difficult to program, requiring users to enter machine code using a series of switches and buttons.
Despite its flaws, the Kenbak-1 was a significant milestone in the history of computing. It was the first computer that was truly accessible to the average person, and it paved the way for the development of the personal computers that we use today.
Here are some additional details about the Kenbak-1:
- It was designed and built by John Blankenbaker, who was an electrical engineer and entrepreneur.
- It was first sold in 1971.
- Only about 40 Kenbak-1s were ever sold.
- It was powered by a 110-volt AC power supply.
- It had a serial computer architecture, which meant that it processed one bit at a time.
- It had a keyboard with 24 keys.
- It had a display with 16 lights.
- It could be programmed in pure machine code.
- It was used for educational purposes, such as teaching computer programming.
The Kenbak-1 is a fascinating machine with a rich history. It is a testament to the ingenuity and creativity of John Blankenbaker, and it helped to pave the way for the personal computers that we use today.