I must have read almost every book on the history of the personal computer. One of my early favorites was Accidental Empires, which was later made in to a documentary, Triumph of the Nerds: The Rise of Accidental Empires. One of things I thought was an interesting factoid was that Microsoft was actually founded in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Not Seattle. Why New Mexico? The answer is Ed Roberts.
In no small way Dr. Roberts is a big reason why I got in to computers. I found it particular touching that as his illness grew darker Bill Gates had reached out to him with letters and phone calls and last week flew down to be at his bedside.
He was a big deal.
The fact he died on the birth of a new innovation in personal computing, the iPad, seems fitting as well.
H. Edward Roberts, PC Pioneer, Dies at 68 -New York Times
Remembering Ed Roberts -The Gates Notes
Ed Roberts (computer engineer) -Wikipedia