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I was a child of 9 years old when the Altair 8800 was announced on the pages of Popular Electronics magazine in January of 1975. It captured my imagination - and I knew thatsomedayI would build and own my own computer. I never did get an Altair 8800 - the computer revolution was started and it movedFAST. The heyday of the Altair lasted only a short while. The first computer I built was 6 years later when I built the Sinclair ZX81 kit.
Well imagine my surprise 42 years later when David Hansel of Brookline, MA published his Ardunio-based Altair 8800 emulator project onhuckster.io! I knew this was my chance to finally build an Altair 8800! Sure, there are other Altair 8800 clones out there, but all seemed out of reach for a simple working-man hobbyist. There\'s Mike Douglas\'s excellent altairclone.comwhich is a dead-ringer look-alike for the Altair 8800, but it\'s over $600, there\'s also the very ambitious altairkit.comin which Grant Stockly painstakingly recreated every board and component of an original Altair.
Once I saw David\'s code and design, I knew I could improve on it and make an affordable, easy-to-build kit. My first \"beta-testers\" were my 12 and 14 year old sons. Yes, you can still follow David\'s original planif you wish. If you want a ready-to-go kit, look no further.
This is a cycle-accurate recreation of the original Altair 8800. What does that mean? It means the Intel 8080 CPU is emulated, as is some of the basic I/O (disk drives, serial ports, etc.) but everything else is REAL Altair machine code and CP/M that was created more than 40 years ago.
Original Altair 8800
Dimensions: 17\" x 7\" x 18\"
Weight: depends on cards loaded, but generally around 65 lbs.
RAM: 64KB maximum
Altair-Duino (Pro version)
Dimensions: 15\" x 6\" x 6\"
Weight: 3 lbs with acrylic case.
RAM: 512KB (64KB maximum for Altair emulation, the rest used as storage for Altair programs and utilities.)