Remembering Ed Roberts

Ed Roberts who?


Ed Roberts, who died Thursday at age 68, created the Altair, the computer that brought Microsoft Corp. founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen into desktop computing. His machine inspired a legion of hobbyists who became the foundation of a vibrant new industry.

Then he walked away and became a country doctor.
Mr. Roberts in 1977 sold MITS to Pertec Computer Corp. of Los Angeles, a manufacturer of disk drives. He took up farming and later attended medical school.

In the late 1980s, Mr. Roberts moved to rural Cochran, Ga., where the town’s only doctor had recently died. He set up a clinic with a modern laboratory, built a local network to link the office’s computers and wrote record-keeping software.

He said he had few regrets. “I think I’m making a fairly substantial contribution here,” Mr. Roberts told the New York Times in 2001. “Maybe not to the wider world, but I think what I do now is important.”


These are the kind of people I admire. As someone says in the comments: “Medicine that late in life, truly a Rennaisance man.” Aye to that!


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