# Intel debuted its groundbreaking 4004 on November 15th, 1971

#### nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
8,653

#### OBW0549

Joined Mar 2, 2015
3,566
Fond memories. The very first micro I ever worked with was the 4004's big brother, the 4040. I learned a lot from that little beast.

#### prairiemystic

Joined Jun 5, 2018
189
I can't find any mention of the 4004 price, to convert to today's dollars.
Computing in the 1970's was very very expensive for all of us that go back that far.

#### nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
8,653

#### atferrari

Joined Jan 6, 2004
4,424
Equivalent to how much in today's U$D? #### JohnInTX Joined Jun 26, 2012 4,548 Memories for me too, my first micro. Does anyone remember the great software/hardware turf wars that the little 4004 started? When the microprocessor started to get traction and be marketed it was, broadly, of interest to two distinct groups. The software/minicomputer guys who had dabbled with the hardware add-ons to their HP3000s and PDP-8 and 11 machines. They saw the micro as a way to expand their turf into hardware engineering. The hardware guys (like me) who were adept at wire-wrapping big systems with TTL and fusible link PROMS saw the 4004 as just another 16 pin DIP to add to their box of tools. It was slow, expensive and *wow* hard to understand that datasheet not being computer guys. Magazines like EDN would have splashy graphics showing the CPU's internals with things that a hardware guy would understand - stepping switches for the program counter and the like. It didn't help much. In our company, the turf wars got heated in meetings with managers from both sides vying for control of various projects. Intel wanted to sell the 4004 as a general purpose computer - and also sell everyone a$10K Intellec development system, assemblers, high level languages (PL/M) and lots of memory chips which at the time was their main business. But to counter that, a couple of engineers in Monterey, CA Ed Lee and Matt Biewer formed Pro-Log corporation which preached a simpler approach to the software. They taught programming by hand-coding, the human as assembler. You would write the program in tables on paper, translate the opcodes and poke in operands like register and goto addresses. You edited the program cut and paste (literally!) and block copy i.e. Xerox your programming sheet, cut and paste new code on the appropriate line then copy again. Insane by today's standards but we got a lot of useful work done that way and by the time we moved on to assemblers and such, we had a deep understanding of the underlying architecture.

Aside: we also found out that the Xerox copier did not copy exactly 1:1 so after a few edit cycles, nothing on the programming sheet lined up any more. Fun.

#### DickCappels

Joined Aug 21, 2008
7,690

#### DickCappels

Joined Aug 21, 2008
7,690
It was when my chemistry teacher realized that I was taking notes from an 8008 brochure during a lecture that he pulled me into his office and scolded me that I should be concentrating on the importance of chemistry in electronics. At that time, I was just starting realize how to use a microprocessor to actually do things.

#### ErnieM

Joined Apr 24, 2011
8,177
My first micro was about '77 when I got a SBC kit based on the 1802. Came with a hex keypad you could bang code into the 256 bytes of RAM. Used it in a comp sci final project but I forget what that was. Sadly I pitched it some 20-30 years later to make room as one of the chips had died.

#### MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
24,141
My first microprocessor project was hand coding an RCA1802 in machine code to convert a Micro Switch wordprocessing keyboard and send esc codes to CP/M Wordstar.

#### KeepItSimpleStupid

Joined Mar 4, 2014
5,065
Yep, the RCA 1802. I got the 1802 kit from Popular Electronics or radio Electronics. You could disconnect the keyboard when your done. I did a crane for a model railroad. Hand coded. Later I did it in BASIC using a Vitrax 9 SBC.

The first routines I wrote were to emulate gosub and return. I think I can find my paper copies of those.

Prior to that I had written programs for the PDP-8 and PDP-11 in assembly and FOCAL and BASIC respectively.