Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 6th Jul 2007 20:01 UTC, submitted by Oliver
Apple 10ZenMonkeys has interviewed Steve Wozniak. When asked about Bill Gates, he replied: "I've only spoken with him briefly a couple of times. I admire him, he admires me. Good lord, I'd never written a computer language when he had written a BASIC in the early days of hobby computers. And I thought, 'Oh my gosh - a computer with BASIC finally makes a computer that people can use for things'."
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How an invention is offered/sold/marketed has nothing to do with the nature of the device. The Xerox Alto had all of the basic properties of the later, mass-marketed PCs, with the added bonus of a GUI!

Good point, but I dont see the Alto as an "invention" as such, and if we're going to be absolute then the PDP-8 could be considered a Personal computer (minus the gui), or the Imlac PDS-1. They were contained in relatively small cabinets, could be used by a single person, and were both around before the Alto. Hell there was probably some obscure computing device from the 1950's that could be described as "personal", but its not what I'd consider to be a PC.

I have enormous respect for the Alto, but I cant consider it as a "personal computer" in the way that the PET/Apple II/TRS-80 etc. were.
Yes it had a mouse, gui, ethernet and various other technologies, but it was a high concept mini-computer used in a research center, rather than a personal device that could be used in the home. I wouldnt even say that it initiated the home computer market as such.
Kits like the Altair and Mark-8 were what kickstarted the hobbyist movement which grew into todays industry.

Perhaps my definition of PC is somewhat different to yours, but to me it implies affordable and accessible to the home user, otherwise its another tool that remains in the preserve of universities/governments/corporations etc.

Edited 2007-07-10 15:54

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