Canadian inventor is the father of microcomputing

It took last year’s 30th anniversary of the personal computer for the IT community at large to discover its originator is a Canadian. Toronto-based inventor Mers Kutt holds the distinction of creating the MCM-70 microcomputer well before anything else came onto the scene.

The IT pioneer and past president of the Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS), Kutt is also the creator of several IT inventions such as the “key edit,” a data preparation system which succeeded the IBM “punch card” in 1968. But it’s the PC that Kutt is finally getting recognition for.

The fact that knowledge of the MCM-70 toiled in relative obscurity until now can be attributed to various factors, Kutt said. After developing a data entry system and being forced out of one company, Consolidated Computer Inc., Kutt founded Micro Computer Machines. It was on September 25, 1973 when Kutt and Micro Computer Machines officially showcased the 20 lbs. personal computer powered by an Intel Corp. 8008 microprocessor. At the time, it was a groundbreaking notion to consider personal use computing, Kutt said.

Up until last year, it was the MITS Altair 8800 PC that had been recognized as the first PC. Not anymore. The MCM-70 was a breakthrough for the development of user-friendly and cost-effective microcomputing. About the size of a typewriter, the machine included a plasma screen, cassette drives and a keyboard. The computer featured two to eight kilobytes of RAM and 14KB of ROM; the operating system’s virtual memory function boosted the actual memory up to a whopping 102KB.

The $4,500 MCM-70 was intended to be extremely user-friendly, Kutt said. The microcomputer was initially geared towards accountants, actuaries and others desiring a desktop machine to run simple applications such as spreadsheets. Today, Kutt still invents, and with his Toronto-based firm All Computers Inc., is currently developing technology that he says will change the computing world as we know it.

And that would be a second time.

Would you recommend this article?


Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication.

Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Featured Download

Featured Articles

Empowering the hybrid workforce: how technology can build a better employee experience

Across the country, employees from organizations of all sizes expect flexibility...

What’s behind the best customer experience: How to make it real for your business

The best customer experience – the kind that builds businesses and...

Overcoming the obstacles to optimized operations

Network-driven optimization is a top priority for many Canadian business leaders...

Thriving amid Canada’s tech talent shortage

With today’s tight labour market, rising customer demands, fast-evolving cyber threats...

Staying protected and compliant in an evolving IT landscape

Canadian businesses have changed remarkably and quickly over the last few...

Related Tech News

Tech Jobs

Our experienced team of journalists and bloggers bring you engaging in-depth interviews, videos and content targeted to IT professionals and line-of-business executives.

Tech Companies Hiring Right Now