66% or better

Return of the Altair


Thank [J. Peterson] for this one. Kits don’t usually end up as the daily post on Hackaday, but the altair was one of the first ‘personal computers’ – and this guy’s put together a new kit version. Wow. [The latest kit went on ebay for $1750...]

Comments

  1. ex-parrot says:

    I’d love to have one of these, but it’s actually at the point where I wouldn’t know where to put it. Has anyone seen that neat Altair PC case the Replica One (Vince Briel) guy was making?

  2. dcgrendel says:

    I’d much rather have a 6502 system such as the CS/A6502 or Gecko. Then again, plans for a homebrew computer based around a PIC16F877A would also be on that list. I found the S100 bus and computers that use it not fun. $1750 is also alot of money for this beast. Andre’s PET4032 looks to be something nifty to try if you are into the CBM stuff.

  3. Mark Pulver says:

    YES! I had one of the originals and spent WAAAYYYY too many hours flipping those toggles! I had quality time with an IMSAI as well. flashbacks!

  4. Mr Jones says:

    WOW! Now all you need to do is find and post plans (or a kit) for Steve Jobs “black box” from his college days and this site could be renamed “Pirates of Hackaday Valley”! Even though this one is not a “hack”….I am still impressed. thanks for that guys!

  5. weirdguy says:

    Makes me wonder if some of those resistors on the CPU board could be removed to “overclock*” it, or if they are just for power.

    *It would really be De_Underclocking it

  6. weirdguy says:

    UGH, double post, but just saw you can also buy a usb 2.0 front panel replica from here

    http://www.altair32.com/Altair32FrontPanel.htm

  7. andrew says:

    sorry i’m not trying to be a stiff, but i believe it was called a “blue box”, tho i’m not completely sure… don’t quote me on that….

  8. Landsknecht says:

    @ 4 and 7

    Jobs and Woz had the “Blue Box”, which was a telephone phreaker. If I remember correctly, Woz won’t pull a schematic for it, but you could possibly contact Captain Crunch for one.

    And going from memory again, any connection between Jobs and a “black box” is probably referring to Jobs’ NeXT software/computer company.

  9. Mark Pulver says:

    Blue is in…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_box

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=phone+phreak+blue+box

    http://www.webcrunchers.com/crunch/esq-art.html

    Schematics are easy to find these days, but they won’t do you much good. The phone systems in all but the most remote of countries have progressed far away from being sensitive to phreaking.

  10. LaserBeams says:

    Funny thing is, this is actually a pretty good deal!

    The altair cost $595 when it came out as a kit in 1975.

    With inflation:
    “What cost $595 in 1975 would cost $2228.64 in 2005.”

    http://www.westegg.com/inflation/

  11. andrew says:

    yeah i was actually pretty sure that it was a blue box, but there’s nothing like getting hammered into the ground by someone over the internet ;)

  12. servant74 says:

    It seems expensive. I purchased on with my first paycheck working for a big company as a programmer when I got out of college in early 1975. It took almost all of the paycheck. … The $395 I spent would be $1750 now (31 years later) at 4.92% inflation. I guess it is really ‘fairly priced’.

    I sold mine after being ‘highly modded’ over 20 years ago, with a Processor Technology video and 3P+S board, and 16 slots, and 62K of RAM and 2K of EPROM. I found my AI Cybernetics Speach Synthasizer last year and gave it back to who sold/made them in 1978 or so.

    It was a good computer but it was about 10% as powerful as the origional IBM PC. (A 2MHz 8 bit processor, vs the PC was a 16 bit 5.44MHz processor). Now a 32bit 3GHz processor multicore SMP with 4+G Ram is not unusual.

    Things change, but we all still want more GHz, more RAM, more disk, and faster networking. (Oh yea, the best networking I did with the Altair, was dialup with my 300baud DCHayes modem board!

  13. servant74 says:

    I think the $395 was a ‘pre-production’ special from MITS that readers of Radio-Electronics could get in on! (If my memory fails me correctly ;) )

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