Links to Important Sites
Technical Information on Kenbak-1:
Kenbak-1 Theory of Operation: The main technical manual, tells how to maintain your computer, and has all of the schematics, logic diagrams, signal names, and state diagrams.
Kenbak-1 Laboratory Exercises: A manual for students with no computer experience, starting with the basics, and teaching how to program through exercises and examples.
Kenbak-1 Programming Reference: A manual for experienced programs, teaching the architecture, and details of each instruction in the instruction set.
Kenbak-1 Brochure: A sales brochure detailing the Kenbak-1
CTI-5050 Brochure: A similar sales brochure made by CTI Educational Products.
Biographies of John Blankenbaker:
While our biography is quite detailed, there have been many articles over the years telling John's story. Here are some:
John's own Story on www.kenbak-1.net: John made his own website in 2010 to tell his story about the Kenbak-1 computer, and how he got interested in making a computer. This is short, but has some good information.
Oral History of John Blankenbaker: Lee Felsenstein, a computer legend in his own right, conducted an oral interview covering all of John Blankenbaker's life, from early upbringing on an Oklahoma farm, to his post Kenbak computer career, and his research work in genealogy which occupied much of his retirement. This delves very deeply into some technical information, more than any autobiography could do, and was the major source for our John Blankenbaker technical biography.
Video of John Retelling his Story: At Vintage Computer Festival East in 2016 (VCF East XI) John was invited to give a talk about his development of the Kenbak-1. He retells his story of thinking of making a computer in January 1949. Content is good, but most Important as it really shows his humanity and personality.
Chester County Press 2016 Story: In 2016, this local newspaper did a story on John Blankenbaker.
In His Own Words: Speech from 1986 Boston Computer Museum Awards Ceremony: This is the manuscript of a speech about his development of the Kenbak-1 computer John gave at Boston's Computer Museum for the awards ceremony. This is probably the oldest copy of John's biography and story of making his computer.
The man who made 'the world's first personal computer': A BBC News article from 2015, a few technical errors, but interesting.
Oregon State Engineer 2017: A fairly extensive and detailed article about John in the Oregon State University's annual Engineering Journal (backup here).
Links to Kenbak-1 Information:
Kenbak-1 Wikipedia: A short, fairly accurate, commonly cited reference.
John's Original Website: An old website John made in 2007, has more information than just historical.
TheFirstPC.com: Achim Baqué's website, which tells his story acquiring the Prototype Kenbak-1 computer. This also has links to many of his other related websites.
AdWaterandStir.com: Chris Davis has designed and sells several reproduction Kenbak-1 emulators, and runs a Facebook forum of users, which has some great programming and use information.
Bitsavers Kenbak Archive: Contains manuscript of John's 1986 Boston speech, and three original Kenbak Corporation documents: A sales brochure, the Theory of Operation Manual, and the Programming Reference Manual.