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Manufacturer KENBAK
Identification,ID KENBAK-1
Date of first manufacture1971
Number produced about 40
Estimated price or cost$750
location in museum -
donor -

Contents of this page:



Len Shustek is quoted as saying -
"So what was the first commercially available PC? Well, according to the results of a 1986 contest sponsored by The (Boston) Computer Museum, it wasS "none of the above". Instead, the winner was the Kenback-1, designed by John Blankenbaker in 1971. It predated microprocessors, had 3 programming registers, 5 addressing modes, and 256 bytes of memory. Price $750."

Special features
  • this site)say KENBAK-1 had 0.25 K Bytes.
  • this site says it had no provision for digital I/O
  • and Popular Mechanics says it has no microprocessor! It also has quite a discussion of "first" or "early" personal computers.

Historical Notes
Widely regarded as the first Commercially Available personal computer.

This detail appeared on e-bay on April 27, 2010

This Artifact

Interesting Web Sites
  • August 13, 2022 - from - Achim
    With John Blankenbaker’s permission I do take care about his original website The website is back online!
  • Blinkenlights has a serious lengthy discussion of "first personal computer". Their selection (after describing many, including the KENBAK-1) is "Simon", a description by Edmund C, Berkeley (published in Scientific American in 1950) of a relay machine. It could handle the numbers 0, 1, 2, and 3
  • Kenbak documents
an e-mail, "xxxxxx" marks deletions
Sat 3/26/2022 7:33 PM


You have a page about the Kenbak-1 #0183. xxxxxx


I visited John twice and I own his prototype. xxxxxx
I do preserve the legacy and history of the Kenbak-1 and of John. He gave me permission to rescue his former website.
Now I started a Kenbak-1 Registry and try to get any information.

Thank you,
Achim Baqué

and followup Sunday 3/27/2022
John’s website is already rescued. You can see the original page now under with some editorial notes.
I work together with John to get back his former domain.

A draft of the Kenbak-1 Registry is online A first step and information are very limited.

It is far, far away from my Apple-1 Registry.


Take care,
Achim Baqué

Other information

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Updated March 26, 2022