Olivetti first personal computer at work

Secretary using Olivetti computer

 

240 BYTES.  That is the memory of the first personal computer (or rather the first personal mechanical computer) invented by Pier Giorgio Perotto in 1964 for Olivetti.  What it lacked in memory with respect to today’s computers it made up for in weight: 35.5 kg.

 

Olivetti first personal computer

Olivetti personal computer

 

 

A new project, http://www.101project.eu/ is renewing interest in Perotto’s experience with a website and a documentary in collaboration with the Computer History Museum.

Despite an article in the New York Times, “World’s First Desk Top Computer,” Perotto’s model never really took off although several years later Hewlett Packard was ordered to pay Olivetti 900,000$ after it developed a product based on his work.  In the end, the machine was a bit too ahead of its time (in the documentary one British woman-on-the-street openly states she is “scared” of computers).  Eventually Perotto sold the rights for his invention to Olivetti for a symbolic 1$ price tag.

Programma101 WCSFP promo from massimo arvat on Vimeo

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