Heathkits: A Walk Down Memory Lane

Heathkit - Apache TransceiverI got a note from Harry Schultz in Tennessee about the Heathkit story from this past May. For Harry (and me) the story brought back many good memories. Harry grew up in St. Joseph, Michigan and, like me, enjoyed putting together many Heathkits while a teenager. After graduation from the University of Michigan, Harry actually worked at Heath Co and became a charter member of the initial computer group that brought out the H-8. The Heathkit H-8 was an early entry into the personal computer market. Harry says that is was more like the Altair and Imsai systems of the day than the more complete Apple, Commodore and Radio Shack entries. The H-8 consisted of a “power supply and a number of slots into which processor, RAM and IO cards were plugged”. The user interface was the front panel which consisted of a small LED display and a 16 key keypad for data entry. Harry wrote some of the original software for the H-8. For both Harry and I, a brief reflection on Heathkits was a walk down memory lane.

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