Inside the first personal computer: Kenbak-1


The Kenbak-1 is considered by many to be the world's first "Personal Computer." The Computer History Museum granted it this designation when they were still located in Boston in 1986. More specifically, the machine represents the first commercially available Von Neumann (stored program) computing device intended and priced for personal use.

John V. Blankenbaker designed the Kenbak-1 and marketed in the pages of Scientific American in 1971. The machine's name was taken from the middle of John's last name.

Erik Klein, vintage computer collector and Webmaster of Vintage-Computer.com, takes you inside the his Kenbak-1. Erik has graciously allowed us to republish his photos and descriptions. You can find a much more detailed description of Erik's Kenbak-1 and additional photos of the machine's in his collection on his Web site Vintage-Computer.com.

You can share your experiences with the Kenbak-1 and other classic computers using the discussion link below this image, or on Erik's Vintage Computer Forums.

By Bill Detwiler

Bill Detwiler is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the ...