Mattis Lind mattislind at
Sun Oct 2 10:27:16 CDT 2016

2016-10-02 16:04 GMT+02:00 Noel Chiappa <jnc at>:

> So I just bought, and have been avidly reading:
>     Lamont Wood, "Datapoint: The Lost Story of the Texans Who Invented the
>         Personal Computer Revolution"
> and I was wondering what other people thought of it.
> (For those who aren't familiar with it, his thesis is in the sub-title. He
> reckons the first Datapoint machine, the 2200 - announced 1970, shipped
> 1971 -
> was the first personal computer, and a direct ancestor of all the PC's out
> there today. The Intel 8008 - base of the later 8080 and 8086 - was not
> actually related to the 4004, but instead was done persuant to a contract
> with
> Datapoint to provide a CPU for the 2200, to replace its inital CPU, which
> was
> built out of discrete chips.)
> It seems to be a reasonably scholarly work - he did a lot of interviewing
> of
> the principals, has made extensive use of archives of contempory written
> material, and it has some source footnotes (although not as many as would
> be
> optimal).
> So I think he might have a good case....
> Any collectors of early Datapoint machines out there on the list? If his
> thesis is correct (and I think it is) these are very historic machines - up
> there with Altairs, etc.

I think that Incoterm is worth mentioning in the same context as the
Datapoint 2200. Incoterm was founded in 1968 and filed a number of patents
for their Intelligent terminals in 1969. There are ads from 1972 showing
their SPD line of terminals. From one perspective they are a little bit
more than just a terminal. It could be programmed to do all sorts of jobs.
It had diskette drives and there were simple games to run on them. Like the
Datapoint it was an all TTL design.

I am not sure when the Incoterm terminals were first put on the market. The
information I have I gathered from various sources including Neil Frieband,
one of the first employees:

Another early general purpose computer was the Q1 Corporation 8008 based
computers apparently delivered in December 1971. Daniel Alroy (co-founder
of Q1) writes about it on this webpage:


>     Noel

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