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Fire in the Valley, 3rd Edition by Paul Freiberger, Michael Swaine

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All Hell Breaks Loose

PROJECT BREAKTHROUGH! World’s First Minicomputer Kit to Rival Commercial Models…ALTAIR 8800

Popular Electronics cover, January 1975

Ed Roberts was still worried about his investment even as the first orders came rolling in. But within a week, it was clear that whatever problems MITS would face in the immediate future, bank foreclosure would not be one of them. In just a two-week period, Roberts’s tiny staff had opened hundreds of envelopes and read with giddy excitement orders for all the computers they had ever hoped to sell. Within a month, MITS had gone from one of their bank’s biggest debtors to a fiscal hero. MITS’s bank balance went from $400,000 in the red to $250,000 in the black in a few weeks. Just processing ...

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