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IMSAI 8080

The image is clickable


IMSAI 8080 is probably the world's first computer clone - the world's first copy of another computer. Approximately six months earlier came what we usually call the world's first home computer, the MIT Altair 8800. Then came the IMS Associates, Inc.of San Leandro, California, USA with its micro computer the IMSAI 8080. Both had a lot in common.

Today's computer users, including myself, will probably face the plain, in the case of using an IMSAI 8080. There was no screen, mouse or even a keyboard available. All data entry was done with the FLIP-FLOP in the front. Above them were a number of LEDs, which called in response to your feeds. In binary machine code! A single mistake in the feed, and you had to start over again. Therefore one assumes that only real enthusiasts, was those who deal with computers at the beginning. To further complicate things, it was most common to buy their IMSAI 8080 as kit. It is said that it took weeks of claims, to very carefully build up their computer.

Now it was actually not quite so difficult to use an IMSAI 8080, if you could afford to purchase miscellaneous supplies. As an parenthesis, the computer of the basic execution costed about 45 000 sek (in sweden). As previously mentioned, the two computers Altair and IMSAI was very similar. IMSAI copied/used the same interface, namely the expansion slot as Altair called "Altair bus", and as other successor to Altair's chagrin called "S-100 bus". To the bus you could easily connect inter alia keyboard, data storage (tape or flex disk), printers or other peripherals. That is exactly what is done with the copy avaiable in Datasalen. There were also a screen to this copy, but it is unfortunately not left.

Among the images you can find an unknown equipment, which I do not know how it was used. Do you know anything about how it was used, so please e-mail Datasalen.

Is there any errors? e-mail and correct me!



Former owner: Gunnar Westin, Staffanstorp

Technical data

Year 1975
Origin USA
Manufacturer IMS Associates, Inc.of San Leandro
Name IMSAI 8080
CPU Intel 8080A (in rare cases, the Intel 8080)
Speed 2 Mhz
OS None
ROM Unknown
RAM 256 B
I/O ports S-100 bus
Text modes LED lamps, binary machine code
Graphic modes None
Colours None
Sound None
Built in media -
Power supply Built-in