Hi Geoff,
Good link to the Altair but as to the name, it came from the film Forbidden planet! On a film (and book note) the Altair computer is used in Wargames, a great 80s film featuring a young Matthew Broderick using one to hack into Norad using an acoustic coupler! Those really were the days my friend!
As you know I have a few bits and bobs in my collection. I need to dig them out and dust them off, try a few pokes and peeks on the Vic 20 with its massive 3.5k ram................
Will be in touch