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The P.C. finds a market

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Popular Electronics' Altair cover From the Museum Collection

None of these early microcomputers sold very well, although enough hobbyists were building their own that by 1974 Creative Computing Magazine and The Computer Hobbyist Magazine were launched.

But the existence of a viable market for home computers wasn’t established until the arrival of the Altair. The Altair has become such an ingrained part of computer mythology that many people mistakenly believe it to have been the first-ever home computer.

One part of that mythology is true, though: Once Popular Electronics put the MITS Altair 8800 kit on its cover in December 1974, the popularity of home computers exploded.

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Copyright 2002 Computer Museum of America