Albert Einstein once said of himself, "If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants." Ed Roberts was one of those giants to whom we owe a great debt of gratitude for our computing technology. You probably have never heard of this great man or his work but I'm about to change all that. Ed Roberts is someone you want to know. He is the "Father of the Personal Computer."
He created the Altair computer, which was a kit-ified computer project. Before I was old enough to afford the $400 for one of his kits, Ed Roberts was making history.
It didn't take long for word to reach from Albuquerque to a couple of young college dropouts in Seattle, Bill Gates and Paul Allen, who had created some software that they wanted to try out on this computer. After a couple of tries, it worked and the first personal computer software product, Altair BASIC, was born. The rest is history. Ed Roberts faded into oblivion for most of us.
He left Albuquerque and went back to his native Georgia and became a medical doctor, his lifelong dream. He lived in Georgia until his death on April 1, 2010.
Many who knew Roberts, including Bill Gates, flew to Georgia to pay their final respects to him. They, and we, owe him everything.
I'm sure at the time, he didn't realize the full significance of what he was doing but in retrospect during his life as a doctor, he probably looked back with the humble knowledge that he had helped change the world.