Altair 8800 Micro Replica Nears Release
By James Grahame
Vince Briel is famous for his replicas of vintage Apple I and Commodore KIM-1 computers. His latest machine is the Altair 8800 Micro, a miniaturized (10″ x 7.5" x 3″) recreation of the Altair 8800, which appeared on the cover of the January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics, billed as the "World's first minicomputer kit to rival commercial models."
While the original was based on the Intel 8080 processor, the new machine emulates the original CPU using an Atmel AVR microcontroller. It includes 32K RAM, SD flash memory card slot, VGA or composite video output using an Integrated PockeTerm serial terminal and PS/2 keyboard support.
A couple of days ago, he proudly announced, "After a month of intense programming, the Altair 8800 Micro is now functional. Early tests show it runs all 4K BASIC commands and 8K is now being tested. The Micro version is one of 3 planned versions of the Altair replica line. The full sized panel will also be available with a future option of the AltairPC, a complete PC Case with the look of a Altair and your latest PC inside."
There's still some more firmware development required, but it looks like the world will see the release of a new Altair computer in 2010, thirty-five years after the original sparked the home computer revolution. I can't wait.