Brent Hilpert hilpert at
Sun Oct 2 12:11:12 CDT 2016

On 2016-Oct-02, at 7:04 AM, Noel Chiappa wrote:
> 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.

Does he contrast it with the Viatron 21 ? - might be a contender.
The 21 is mentioned in the this nice web article about LSI processor development around the late 60's (contenders for "first microprocessor")
including the Datapoint involvement:

There's a Datapoint 1800 on ebay right now. Not sure where that fits in Datapoint's products, can't see enough of it to date it well, but the construction looks like it might be as early as mid-70's;

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