back to article WarGames IMSAI machine for sale (again)

If you have a yearning for the days when “modem” meant something you attached to the telephone with an acoustic coupler, and dreamed that you too could take over NORAD's machines to launch a war, the “microcomputer” from the movie WarGames is for sale. Actually, it's for sale for the second time: Thomas “Todd” Fischer of IMSAI …


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  1. Cliff

    Suitable for a home control system

    If you can beat it at tic tac toe when you want the heating turning down.

  2. Neoc


    I was hoping it was WOPR - it's be nice as a side-table. ^_^

    And now I've got that damn "it takes two hands to handle a WOPR" jingle in my head.

    1. Eradicate all BB entrants

      Re: Damn

      Write to the fella, WOPR is in the background of the pic :)

      1. mark 63 Silver badge


        if he wants $25k for the altair, how much does he want for the wopr? $1m ?

    2. Gareth Perch

      Re: Damn

      Perhaps WOPR would make a better bar than side table?

  3. Ged T

    WOPR: Today, ze home - Tomorrow...

    ...ze Velt!

    1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

      Re: WOPR: Today, ze home - Tomorrow...

      You mean "Die Welt", shirley?

      1. Reading Your E-mail

        Re: WOPR: Today, ze home - Tomorrow...

        He is serious.....and don't call him Shirley

      2. C 18

        Re: WOPR: Today, ze home - Tomorrow...

        >You mean "Die Welt", shirley?

        Now that's a proper Grammar Nazi!

        Although what a newspaper has to do with this is beyond ich.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I used to own one of those

    Sadly, I sold it. I recall translating the opcodes for my first few programs into hex numbers by hand. Then mentally translating those hex bytes into binary so that I could key them into the machine using the front paddle switches, toggling examine/deposit. Things got easier with the addition of a Casette Tape interface card from Tarbell Inc. Later additions included keyboard, monitor, floppy disks and Gary Kildall's CP/M.

    I am now retired, and apparently too old to know anything about computers or software. Or so I'm told.

    1. Steve Williams

      Me too..

      I picked up several of them during the early 1980s along with a couple of Altairs. Typically I would find them on sale at ham radio fairs, after Apple II, Commodore and then early model IBMs had displaced them from whatever function the DXers used them for. I had a lot of fun developing the BIOS for the various S100 peripheral cards I could find, preferably CompuPro. Eventually they were both outfitted with 40 MB hard disks.

      Oh the joys of sorting out S100 termination problems!

      Unfortunately all that stuff was binned 5 or 6 years ago during a move.

      1. Ian Michael Gumby

        Re: Me too..


        They were old hat by then.

        IMSAI was late 70's along w Heathkit's H8.

        I cut my teeth on a OSI C3a.

        But yeah a classic.

    2. Justice

      Re: I used to own one of those

      Not to North Koren, I hope.

      This stuff is state of the art to them!!!

    3. Michael Dunn

      Re: I used to own one of those

      " I could key them into the machine using the front paddle switches, toggling examine/deposit. " Once spent an entertaining afternoon doing the same with an ICL 1900 - the switches - 24 of them - were on the 'engineer's box' attached by a a cable to a multi-pin socket on the mainframe.

  5. jake Silver badge

    We used to run flight simulators on kit like that ...

    Beer, for the memories.

  6. hi_robb


    Will it play Crysis...

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

      Re: But...

      No, but it might cause a few international ones ;)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I used one of those a couple times at uni. Write the code in Assembler, hand translate to machine code and then binary and set the switches. After that my mate's TRS-80 was the pinnacle of technology!

  8. Daniel Bourque

    Imsai 8080

    I've done lot of programming on this system in a Raman spectroscopy Chemistry research lab. It had 48 KB of RAM and 2 SSSD 5,25" floppy. In the end, it was running the spectrograph, controling temperature of the sample, doing data acquisition and displaying the spectra in real time... and interfacing with the IBM Mainframe to transfert data, impersonnating an APL terminal... You knew what section of the program was running just checking the LED display panel.

    That was quite a tool when I left in 1982. Been told it was just trash in the end... Too bad.

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