In my opinion, at the moment, the most critical thing in the hobby market is the lack of good
courses, of books and of software itself.
The hobby market is wasted without a good software and a user who understand the programming.
Will the good quality software be able to be written for the hobby market?
Al most a year ago, expecting the expansion of the hobby market, Paul Allen and I, paid the
Monte Daviddoff and developed the basic for the Altair .
Al though the initial work kept us busy only for two months, the three of us
spent the most of the last year documenting, improving and adding new characteristics
to the Basic.
Now we have the 4K, 8K, extended, ROM and disk basic.
The value of the time -machine that we used is more than $40.000.
The answer we got from the hundreds people who say they are using the basic ,are all
Yet two amazing things are clear:
1- the most of these "users" have never bought the basic (less than 10% of all the owners
of the altair have bought the basic ) and
2-The amount of the royalties we received from the sale to the hobbists is less
than $2 per hour, despite the time spent on the altair Basic.
Why does it happen?
There fore the most of the hobbists must be informed: The most of
you steal your software.
The hardware has to be paid but the software is something to exchange.
What does it matter to anyone if people who worked on it are paid?
Is this correct?
Stealing the software you can't return to the mits for any problem which you can have.
This hits doesn't earn money selling softwares.
The royalities paid to us, the manual, the tape, and the general costs make
it the hits softwares' sale balance.
In that way you don't let them write a good software.
Who can afford to work professionally without pay?
Which hobbist can spend 3 years-man in the programming, finding all the errors
and documenting his product and then give out it free?
The point is that nobody, except us, has invested much money in the hobbistic software .
We have written the basic of 6800 and we are writing the Apl of 8080 and
of 6800, but there isn't much incentive to put this software at the hobbists disposal.
Directly, what you are doing is a theft.
What can we say then about those who resell the altair's basic, aren't they
earning on the hobby software? yes, but those who have been pointed out in the end will lose.
They are those who give to the hobbists a bad name and any club self should kick
I would like to receive letters from anyone who wants to pay write me at 118 Alvarado
#11A,Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87107.
Nothing would satisfy me more than to take on the programmers and to flood the
hobby market of a good software.
General Partner, MicroSoft