The Olivetti Programma 101 is an early desktop programmable calculator. It was developed in the years 1962-1964, and launched in the States in october 1965, with the first units being shipped a few months later.
It had a very large success, due to its relatively modest
price ($3.200) and in a few years about 35.000-40.000 pieces
C.G. Bell, in its book Computer Structures: Readings and
Examples, published in 1971, describes it thus:
In the very same year that saw the appearance of the Programma
101, the DEC PDP-8 was launched. The PDP-8 was labeled "mini-computer"
to mark the departure from the idea of the large, extremely expensive
machine. Olivetti went a step further, and today Ing. Perotto,
who headed the development of the Programma 101, describes it
as "the first personal computer". This might sound
misleading to someone, as in today's mind it's more a programmable
calculator than a computer, but technical factors aside the idea
was clearly that one.Quoting from a contemporary Olivetti brochure: