The Computer Museum in Boston (now the The Computer Museum History Center (TCMHC) in Mountain View, Calif., ran a contest to find the first commercially produced personal computer in 1986, and named the Kenbak-1 the winner. However, that title is disputed by some because the Kenbak-1 uses discrete logic ICs in place of a microprocessor. Designed by John Blankenbaker, the system was limited even by the day’s standards. It had no digital I/O capability and a miniscule amount of memory. These systems are extremely rare, but TCMHC has one in its collection.
Kenbak-1 (1971, early micro)
Original Retail Price: $750
Base Configuration: two-chip discrete logic CPU, 256 bytes RAM, status LEDs, front panel switches