MITS Altair 680.

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Lot 632W
MITS Altair 680.

US$ 2,000 - 3,000£ 1,600 - 2,400
MITS Altair 680.
8-Bit Microcomputer, 1976, metal case with removable top, face plate with 27 switches and corresponding LEDs, reverse with serial port, 2 toggle switchs and 2 3.5mm jacks, interior containing MITS 680 Expander Rev 0 - 1; MITS KCACR 680 Rev 0, 1976. With fan and power supply, 116 x 278 x 279 mm.

Announced in November, 1975, the Altair 680, based on the 6800 microprocessor, was finally ready to be shipped in May of 1976. Paul Allen of newly-formed Microsoft rewrote his and Bill Gates's 8080 assembler to support the 6800 processor and had their high school friend and second employee Ric Weiland convert the Altair BASIC's 8080 assembly language to 6800 assembly language. Microsoft, having suffered per-copy royalty loss with their 8080 BASIC due to software sharing, licensed 680 BASIC to MITS on a non-exclusive basis for a flat fee of $31,200. Reports indicate that the 680 BASIC was quite fast compared to 8080 BASIC, but the 680's limited capacity and incompatibility with the popular 8800 led to poor sales and few are available today.
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MITS Altair 680.
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