I Bought the Computer from WarGames - nzwargamer.net

I Bought the Computer from WarGames

Dave’s Garage
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Dave takes you on a tour of the IMSAI 8080, from history to setup and configuration to running Microsoft BASIC and CP/M. For my book “Secrets of the Autistic Millionaire”:

Neil’s ShadowTron Blog Retro-Tech channel:

IMSAI 8080 Replica Kit:

Discord Chat w/ Myself and Subscribers:

Primary Equipment (Amazon Affiliate Links):
* Camera: Sony FX-3 –
* Camera Lens: 50mm F1.4 Art DG HSM –
* Microphone: Electro-Voice RE 320 –
* Teleprompter: Glide Gear TMP 100 –
* SD Cards: Sony TOUGH –

TCP Server command-line on the Mac, for the curious:
tcpserver -q -H -R -d 6400 lynx frogfind.com


  1. I name all my computers with a form of Wopr.

  2. I had an IMSAI 8080, which I built as a kit. Later, when I switched to an S-100 single board computer based upon the Z80, I had to modify the front panel to allow the thing to run properly. The IMSAI had a well made S-100 backplane and power supply that eventually housed an 8 cpu system running TurboDOS. I used the IMSAI chassis for over 20 years before retiring it. When my wife asked to have a closet, the system was sold on ebay.

  3. Misleading Title

    This is not the machine from wargames. This is an modern emulator. That is the equivalent of saying I bought a Mortal Kombat 2
    machine but this is just MAME in a MKII cabinet.

  4. Brought back some awful memories of my first programming of the Intel 8080A using a method similar to this demo. Just not as easily as with the Imsai (gee, that makes it sound trivial). I did manage to build up an operating system of sorts and a BASIC interpreter that made it a little easier to make stuff happen. Fortunately (?) I was able to buy a TRS80 within a year or two of that exercise. The TRS80 felt like a dream in comparison but it would be some years before the IBM PC became available. Meanwhile I was developing embedded programs for the Motorola 6800 and 6802 using the Motorola Exorset development system (sounds like a missile, doesn't it?). Decades later, I am programming in C# and Xamarin Android etc. This video reminded me of how tough we had it way back then. And yet we loved it ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. Don't know why I watched this, that computer was about as exciting as watching paint dry! ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. react os may intrest you take a look @dave

  7. I come from that time! Got my start on the REX serial #13 and CPM v1.4. Fun to walk back down memory lane!

  8. See if you can get that Gibson from Hackers.

  9. Glad I didnโ€™t have to deal with this crap.

  10. I was in the military training to be a signalโ€™s intelligence analyst when War Games was being shown in theaters. The IMSAI 8080 computer seemed so advanced as compared to the machines we used to feed with a paper tape in class. My first assignment was to Berlin, Germany in 1984 and we received an IBM desktop that had an 8088 processor with a 20 meg HD and I thought that thing was the cats ass. I was assigned to Hawaii a couple years later and we were using Compaq 80386 computers when I arrived in 1987. Now, Iโ€™m watching this video on a phone with no telling how much more computing power it has over a computer from back then. Amazing how computer technology advances over the years.

  11. The "algorithm" system that directs people to your video do so, or fail to do so no matter if people are subscribed or not. It isn't that YouTube doesn't know what 'SUBSCRIBE' means. They just assume you are collectively too dumb to know better, and too complacent to do anything about it.
    Love the dog in the background.

  12. I'd rather have the motorcycle from Thunderbolt and Lightfoot.

  13. As a Electronics Tech from 1982 this made my head hurt trying to pull this from wet memory. Haven't used this in almost 40 years.

  14. I am a computer programmer and i knew the original guy who this movie is based on. He got in a lot of trouble and could not use a computer for years. He died about ten years ago and was a real good guy.

  15. Gary Killdall is oon of the most unsung heros of our home computer world.

  16. I find it fascinating to learn about old computers. I got started with the TRS-80 computers in the late 70s, so I wasn't around when Altair was all the rage. I find it interesting that the Altair originally didn't have any kind of boot ROM, so the idea of a boot ROM was something that had to evolve later, as all the microcomputers boot into a BASIC interpreter or DOS by running code in ROM.

  17. Why did I always think that was MAtthew Broderick that played the lead?

  18. Reminded me of my PC-Jr. My first was the C-64 BTW.

  19. I Wonder what year will โ€œsky netโ€ will become self conscious

  20. Old ways of computing, always had some magical stuff to it. I remember that I saw online communication first time around 1992'ish on a school for electronics and technology. The teacher showed how to connect to a computer elsewere, through one of them shortwave radio's. He downloaded a schematic for building a covox LPT soundcard.

  21. If you'd purchased the WOPR & got it up & running, I'd be impressed ๐Ÿ˜‰ I wish I still had my self-built Compukit 101 but it got lost somewhere along my various moves between London & Denver.

  22. When I saw "War Games" back then, I was immediately obsessed with computer programming. The movie is solely responsible for my IT career which is winding down after 32 years in the field. It's great to see this IMSAI in action. I always wondered how these front-panel-switch thingies were programmed,. I see now how tedious it was and I realize I had it dead easy compared to the programmers before me.

  23. I bought and built an IMSAI kit in Nov. 1976. I didn't have floppies, so I used a couple of cassette recorders. Back then, the kit didn't come with anything, not even memory, so I had to buy various boards, using the ads in Byte magazine to see what was available. I started with 4K of memory, but eventually reached 20K. For software, my go to was a company called Scelbi. I bought an assembler, editor, monitor and BASIC from them. Since I didn't have a paper tape reader, I had to load them in manually, initially via front panel, later with a keyboard and then save to tape. When I had everything up & running, I had a keyboard & monitor, 2 cassette recorders, a 300B manual modem, an amateur radio interface, which I designed and built myself, an 8 port serial I/O card (4 populated), which I also designed and built. It was connected to my amateur radio transceiver and also a M35 ASR Teletype, which provided printer, keyboard, tape punch and reader. Other than the Scelbi apps, I wrote all my own software.

    Back in those days, you knew your computer inside and out.

    BTW, that Zork game reminded me of Adventure, which I used to play on a VAX 11/780 computer at work. One day, I showed the game to my wife, who then asked if she could play it on my IMSAI. I said no, but if we had a modem… I was soon the proud owner of a 300 baud manual modem, which could then be used to call into the VAX.

  24. What was this purge? And thank you for letting us know to check, cuz I found I was unsubscribed!

  25. Wait! The WOPR is fictional?! Say it isnโ€™t so! Lol

  26. And now my cell phone I'm typing on is more powerful than that warehouse sized "super computer"

  27. RIP Gary Killdal. An unrecognized hero of the computing world

  28. It'll be awesome if you could buy the computer from Colossus the Forbin Project!

  29. My 8080 had all of 4K memory… the upgrade was for 8K ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. Made me look! Of course, my mind went straight to WOPR. Trivia questions perhaps, but the big screen graphics while WOPR played tic-tac-toe was generated by some s-100 bus systems with hardware from Godbout. In 1983 at Westinghouse I ran a Lisp machine on Godbout hardware. It was shocking fast for the times. A year later I bought my own s-100 super computer of sorts, a Seattle Computer Products Gazelle. It was a monster number cruncher. I wanted a IMSAI for a long time. If I had a spare cabinet for one now, I might use it as a case for a serious gaming PC. Good times.

  31. that movie inspired my first attempt as customizing the voice synthesizer on the TI-99/4A

  32. I actually assembled the IMSAI 8080 as a kit in 1977, 1 MHz clock speed, and 4k ram. Audio cassette as data storage. I eventually added a 16k memory card and the basic video for a CRT. I also had a Zilog Z80 CPU adapter for a blazing 2 MHz. I ran Palo Alto Tiny Basic and Micro Pascal. ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. I used to have an IMSAI that I got at a swap meet but could never get it to work through the front panel. It would always start a program one byte up from the established front panel address. I ended up giving it away to a friend who just wanted to use it as a coffee table top. I still have my Altair but really have nothing to run on it.

  34. NICE AWES0ME KEEP_IT_UP! โœจ๐ŸŽ‰โœจ๐ŸŽ‰โœจ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽŽ๐ŸŽญ๐ŸŽŽ๐ŸŽญ๐ŸŽŽ๐ŸŽญ๐ŸŽ—๐ŸŽ—๐ŸŽ—๐ŸŽ—๐ŸŽ—๐ŸŽ—๐ŸŽ—๐ŸŽ‘๐ŸŽ‘๐ŸŽ‘๐ŸŽ‘โœจ๐ŸŽ†๐ŸŽ†

  35. I remember seeing that piece of hot garbage in theaters back in the day. I just couldn't get past that the plot hinged on some random kid hacking into NORAD over a phone line. I can suspend my beliefs just fine; just write something decent and I'll follow you anywhere. "Wargames" wasn't that.

  36. bro iam about up to the moon with microsaoft man i really had therer stuff now.. lol. i wantthe 80s back anlog no social meddia and everyone basicly got along.. metal rules…

  37. Dave, I can't begin to tell you how fascinating it is, the content of your videos. What a treasured resource you are! To think that the person behind so many of the elements to my PC which I've loved since my own 80-88 clone is right here and reading my words is astounding, to say the least. Thank you for providing this content. If you don't, so much history would be lost! You're a national treasure, in the flesh, and I'm a big fan!

  38. 2:02 That is Fort Worth Texas on west 7th street. That building is still there, but the dealership is long gone.

  39. Thanks. Very interesting! Greetings from Germany

  40. Hmmmmm . . . a replica of the War Games computer. I see the need for War Games sequel. What would a grown-up Matthew Broderick need his original IMSAI 8080 to do? It's not EMP-resistant. I can't imagine that a self-aware AI would be unaware of it; so it's hard for me to believe that he'd be using it to sneak into the backdoor and shit down a rogue AI. Still . . . if any screenwriters out there can that a convincing storyline for a wider audience, or come up with something else entirely . . . if certainly be a cool kick in the nostalgia to bring Matthew and his old computer back to save the world one more time. Can somebody convince Jennifer Gray out of retirement for this one? Is their granddaughter the person wo discovers that the AI has become dangerous?

  41. I can use a rotary phone, and boot FALCON 3.0 off a 5.25". Damn I feel old.

  42. The real question is: Can you make this computer think as fast and speak as clearly as it did in the movie? ๐Ÿ˜
    That movie kills me everytime I watch it, and compare the apparent computing power on the machinery I knew they had back then, with computers today.

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