Mark-8

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The July 1974 issue of Radio-Electronics: "Build The Mark-8: Your Personal Minicomputer".[1][2]

The Mark-8 is a microcomputer design from 1974, based on the Intel 8008 CPU (which was the world's first 8-bit microprocessor). The Mark-8 was designed by Jonathan Titus, a Virginia Tech graduate student in Chemistry. After building the machine, Titus decided to share its design with the community and reached out to Radio-Electronics and Popular Electronics. He was turned down by Popular Electronics, but Radio-Electronics was interested and announced the Mark-8 as a 'loose kit' in the July 1974 issue of Radio-Electronics magazine.[1][2]

Project kit[edit]

Intel 8008 CPU

The Mark-8 was introduced as a 'build it yourself' project in Radio-Electronics's July 1974 cover article, offering a US$5 booklet containing circuit board layouts and DIY construction project descriptions, with Titus himself arranging for $50 circuit board sets to be made by a New Jersey company for delivery to hobbyists. Prospective Mark-8 builders had to gather the various electronics parts themselves from various sources.[3] A couple of thousand booklets and some one-hundred circuit board sets were eventually sold.

The Mark-8 was introduced in R-E as "Your Personal Minicomputer" as the word 'microcomputer' was still far from being commonly used for microprocessor-based computers. In their announcement of their computer kit, the editors placed the Mark-8 in the same category as the era's other 'minisize' computers. As quoted by an Intel official publication, "The Mark-8 is known as one of the first computers for the home."[4]

Influences[edit]

Although not very commercially successful, the Mark-8 prompted the editors of Popular Electronics magazine to consider publishing a similar but more easily accessible microcomputer project, and just six months later, in January 1975, they went through with their plans announcing the Altair 8800.[5] According to a 1998 Virginia Tech University article, Titus' Mark-8 microcomputer now resides in the Smithsonian Institution's "Information Age" display [6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Titus, Jonathan (July 1974). "Build the Mark 8 Computer". Radio Electronics. 45 (7): 29–33.
  2. ^ a b Radio-Electronics; July 1974 issue.
  3. ^ Mark-8 Minicomputer, Bryan's Old Computers, retrieved Feb 11 2009
  4. ^ Intel Microprocessor Timeline
  5. ^ About Forrest M. Mims III, By writer, editor and publisher Harry L. Helms, retrieved Feb 24 2009
  6. ^ Pioneers in microprocessor technology, Virginia Tech. Magazine, 1998

External links[edit]