Did you get to experience the MIPS Altair 8800

Not many of us left around. So I am looking for the few who got to frollick in the grass of the early MIPS. I was so fortunate to have a mentor in the field. I had a family member that was a Penn State Grad and worked for AT&T. He developed caller ID. I was 8.


My high school had a MIPS Altair 8800 and they forced me to use it. At first I thought it was cool, and it was. But quickly discovered I am bad at programming. The guys that were into it are all millionaires now. I would love to see someone that’s good at it show me what an Altair can do.

I can build PC’s and consider myself a near expert user of software. But as far as programming, networking or knowing how they actually work at the ‘metal’ level, I haven’t a clue. I’m a driver, not a mechanic. That’s why I couldn’t figure out the Altair.

Nope, wasn’t born yet.

Come to think of it, my dad was only 5 when that thing came out.

My comp sci class had teletypes and a few commodore pets. At the time I hated it, except for playing lunar lander. I failed the class but I succeeded in getting the lander safe on the ground!

Bill Gates and Paul Allen used to see who could make the smallest bios, thats where the famous “Hi” comes from you see on the Win 10 install

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I was steeped in PASCAL and multivariable calculus. All I can say is … I guess our professors had their reasons. In my case this was 1988 and C did exist. From a teaching perspective I can understand why they didn’t jump right on that bandwagon. On the upside I did get the first days of X Windows and ftp with Rutgers so that was cool.

As for what the machine could do … even on it’s best day it was frightfully basic when compared to even say a C-64; which was the first computer that I owned. It had quite the following. I was later told by Lynn (who owned it) that it ran BASIC, Algol, Fortran, and a assembler for machine language. He is brilliant and yes very likely another one of those millionaires you speak of. He taught himself Mandarin just because.

Being as young as I was at the time, my enthusiasm was geared toward playing ACII Star Trek. Even then at 8 years old I could see that it had changed the world.