Building an IMSAI 8080 replica - ultimate retro computing.


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YouTube video: Building an IMSAI 8080 replica - ultimate retro computing.


The IMSAI8080 was a pretty special machine, mainly because it was considered the very first “clone” computer, being sold in kit form in the mid 70s. This is the buildout of one of the better IMSAI8080 clones around.

The IMSAI8080

The IMSAI8080 was a pretty special machine, mainly because it was considered the very first “clone” computer, being sold in kit form in the mid 70s.

It was a clone of the MITS Altair 8800 and ran a modified version of CP/M on the Intel 8080 and later the 8085. At the time it was pretty cool. Actually, what am I saying. It's still pretty cool.

The Intel 8080 was clocked at 2MHz, with 64k RAM available to the user. Of course, the inside of the unit was pretty packed and you programmed it using toggle switches on the front panel.

If anyone watched the movie War Games in the 80s, you'd have seen one of them in the background.

It's essentially one of the most iconic microcomputers in the history of computing.

RC2014 meet-up

So, I published a video earlier in the year, where a bunch of retro-heads came out to meet Spencer Owen, the creator of the RC2014. It was a real show-and-tell event and you would have seen Dave McNaughton's IMSAI8080 replica.

Since he's a teacher, he orginally wanted to make one to teach people coding. This is a great idea, as the best place to start coding is on retro kit. I think it gives people a much better understanding of what's really going on in their code.

Well, now he's moved on from prototype stage to kit form and you can pick up one from his website.

And since he's an educator, he has come up with a bunch of videos on his YouTube channel going through the whole build process.

Of course my mate, Kean, bought one but I think I was probably more excited about it than he was.

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