The first home computers came as build-it-yourself kits, led by the MITS Altair 8800, launched in 1975. The technology, which was later sold as an assembled unit, was the inspiration for future PCs.
The Apple I had already been released as a kit computer but the Apple II was where it all started to go right for Steve Jobs’ company, opening up the home PC market.
The precursor to the ZX Spectrum launched the same year as the first Commodore, the VIC-20. The ill fated Apple /// also came out this year but was later recalled.
The IBM PC was one of the first “post Apple II” expandable and customisable consumer computers. It was also the first to run a new operating system called DOS, made by Microsoft.
Widely considered to be the first “laptop” PC, the Osborne 1, which came with a five inch screen and two floppy drives, weighed 24 pounds and cost $1,795. It didn’t sell very well and the company folded.
The educational BBC Micro, made by Acorn for the British Broadcasting Corporation, was most children of that generation’s first experience of home computing, and sold well as a home PC.
The famous “Bondi Blue” iMac was Apple’s first computer designed by Brit Jony Ive. It once again reinvented the desktop PC and brought Apple to a new generation.
Apple’s first affordable (at $2,500) computer that came with a mouse and a graphical interface. It was launched with a famous advert that ran during the break at the Super Bowl.
The single biggest selling computer model of all time, the Commodore 64 sold between 12.5m and 17m units worldwide. It was still being sold 12 years later. It was the basis for everything that followed.