The Altair 8800 computer system is based on the Intel 8080 CPU. The basic machine in kit form is $439.

  • Intel 8080
  • 1K or 4K boards available
  • Serial board available

The Altair 8800 was tricky to use with dynamic memory. Third party static memory runs far better. Altair BASIC was the first machine to license Bill Gates and Paul Allen’s BASIC for the machine. A 4K and an 8K version are available.

In the first design of the Altair, the parts needed to make a complete machine would not fit on a single motherboard, and the machine consisted of four boards stacked on top of each other with stand-offs. Another problem facing Roberts was that the parts needed to make a truly useful computer weren’t available, or wouldn’t be designed in time for the January launch date. 

Depending on the boards installed a teletype terminal works. Not sure if the VT-52 will work on the machine or not.

Altair 8800 Computer.jpg

The plethora of small TTL chips suggests some work is needed to improve the density of the system and reduce the number of logic boards needed. The 8″ floppy drive is an optional piece of hardware that does add significantly to the cost of the machine.

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