This prehistoric computer has no "real" keyboard and no video output, program are entered by the small hexadecimal keyboard (located in the lower right part of the picture) and results are displayed on the small LED "screen" (it can display only 6 digits). It has a simple monitor that allows one to examine & modify memory, load and save paper tape, load and save cassette tape, run and debug programs through a 'single step' mode. The monitor works with the built in keypad and LEDs, or a terminal like the Teletype ASR33.
It is possible to connect the KIM to a terminal via a dedicated serial port.
Soon after release, Commodore Business Machines would buy out MOS Technologies and distribute the KIM-1 with a Commodore name on it.
Bob Leedom reports :
The KIM-1 had "no video output", you say? And the "small LED screen...can only display 6 digits"?
Not quite. The software could address each segment of the 7-segment displays in the "LED screen". As a result, tremendous ingenuity was unleashed by the KIM-1 User's Group, and the display was used for many clever things.
The editors published my version of the artificial intelligence board game (in which the computer learns which moves lose, and never makes those moves again, until it's eventually unbeatable), my baseball game (two-player or you vs computer, six kinds of pitches possible, scoreboard, men-on-base display, lots more), and my semi-successful commercial entry called KIM-venture (a tiny version of Adventure, with XYZZY-type secret word, monsters, treasures, 26 rooms, and more).
It was an amazing little computer. Mine still works!