On this day: December 19

POSTED: 03:58 PM PST Dec 18, 2012    UPDATED: 11:00 PM PST Dec 18, 2014 

"A Christmas Carol" is first published, the NHL plays its first games, Apollo 17 splashes down, and the U.S. House impeaches President Bill Clinton, all on this day.

OTD December 19 - Altair 8800
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Swtpc6800/Wikimedia Commons

1974: The pioneering Altair 8800 microcomputer is first put on sale in the U.S. as a do-it-yourself computer kit, for $397. The demand for the machine, which used switches for input and flashing lights as a display, exceeded the manufacturer's wildest expectations and would blaze the trail for the first commercially successful personal computers, including the Commodore PET and Apple II.

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