Altair 8800 reproduction joins a growing trend
By James Grahame
Word recently hit the Net that a lovingly crafted remake of the classic Altair 8800 microcomputer is now on the market. The MITS Altair was the first truly successful home computer, introduced in 1975. Its Intel 8080A microprocessor was intended as an industrial controller for elevators and traffic lights but proved ideal as the brains for a home machine.
Grant Stockly's new kit remains true to the original: he didn't substitute any chips for easier-to-find equivalents and reports that the only changes were made for "quality and safety purposes." Each kit retails for under $1700 and includes a genuine Optima enclosure with beautiful silkscreened panel, along with the CPU board, S-100 Motherboard, Display/Control board and a 1K SRAM board. That's right - a mere 1024 bytes of memory.
These are exciting times for replica aficionados: it's now possible to build updated versions of the Altair's fiercest competitor - the IMSAI 8080 - as well as the Apple I, Digital Equipment Corporation's PDP-8, and the RCA Cosmac ELF. I have an almost unquenchable thirst to collect the entire set.
The new Altair 8800 Microcomputer [thanks, Andy!]