The Official Home Page of... ( ... a small division of the Fischer-Freitas Company )

"The standard of excellence in microcomputers since 1975"
Hit Counter   Copyright 1999-2015 Thomas "Todd" Fischer    All rights reserved worldwide 
IMSAI Home Page
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NOTE:  Many potential updates to this page have occurred since the last entries.  I will attempt to add these as I revise the web site.
-trf 2-21-2010

Latest additions...


Feature Magazine Article!  Details! magazine published a short photo article for their June/July 2003 edition about the 20th Anniversary of the MGM movie "Wargames", with main emphasis on the availability of the new IMSAI Series Two.  I was interviewed at length via telephone and e-mail regarding my contributions of equipment and technical development of minor, but significant elements of the original script.  We shipped an IMSAI Series Two First Edition to New York for a professional photo shoot at their headquarters.  The final result is quite off-beat and a bit fanciful, but seems to be garnering interest from some unexpected quarters.

IMSAI and the "Wargames Computer" mentioned on television
Hello, I thought you might want to know IMSAI is listed as one of collector Sellam Ismail's favorite vintage computers in this article (which includes a link to your site):
(link inactive)
 If you'd like to link to this article for somewhere on your site, we'd be most honored.  (Also, we plan to do a short feature on the movie "War Games" this Friday, in which we plan to mention IMSAI's role.) 
Thanks!-  Josh Lawrence  The Screen Savers

My thanks to S2/FE purchaser Mark Rosenthal for notice that we've once again been mentioned in Dr. Dobbs magazine (September 2003 issue, News & Views section on page 14). I suspect it to be the work of Editor Michael Swaine (also co-author of the authoritative history of the birth of the "personal computer" in the 1984 and 2000 editions of  "Fire In The Valley"), who has been a subtle booster of the IMSAI for almost twenty years that I know of.


1975 MCS-80 Intel 8080 Microcomputer Systems User's Manual
Through the kind auspices of Richard Lehman, I was able to make a photocopy of this hard-to-find book, and have recently acquired an original for our archives.  An Adobe PDF copy is available for download

I've provided some minimal but useful information on the 8080 Microprocessor specifications from the 1976 Intel Data Catalogue in an Adobe PDF file at:

More complete information on the system and support chips used with it are contained in the "Intel 8080 Microcomputer Systems User's Manual" ( Intel Corporation, September 1975).  This seems to be the only place on the 'web where a copy can be found, at least for now!  I believe it to be complete, and blank pages were NOT copied, thus the occasional missing page.  Warning!  It's BIG, so is presented in four parts at:\device_specs\Intel8080Manual-1.pdf\device_specs\Intel8080Manual-2.pdf\device_specs\Intel8080Manual-3.pdf\device_specs\Intel8080Manual-4.pdf

If you have a request for other obsolete chip data (devices used on the early S-100 boards), e-mail me and I'll do what I can to help you out.

Wanted:  Copies of S-100 Board and System Manuals
Many IMSAI systems were configured with non-IMSAI boards and peripherals. I've had many requests from folks asking about availability of technical information, but have been unable to provide much assistance.

Herb Johnson (Dr. S-100) has been of great help to me and many others in providing a copy service for obsolete boards and equipment.  Not to diminish his value as a resource, I'd like to offer Adobe PDF copies of manuals and technical documents for download as a support service for those folks wishing to get the technical details needed to repair or configure their systems.  I'm seeking manuals and schematics for all S-100 bus systems, boards, and the peripherals commonly used with them.

Original documents will be returned upon request, and existing scanned or machine readable files fitting this request are welcome, and all contributions will be acknowledged and credited as posted.

Our technical support page will be updated to reflect available documents.   Additionally, we'll post a DOCUMENTATION WANTED column for the benefit of individuals in urgent need of a specific document.  Your contributions are most welcome.



Major Historical Update!  The IMSAI 8080 has often been derisively referred to as the first computer clone of the Altair 8800.  In fact, the IMSAI 8080 existed at least 6 months before the Altair!  On June 18, 2002 Doug Earp provided details to the story of IMSAI's earliest beginnings, and I've posted those developments, along with a very rare image of Charles Tandy's (Radio Shack) "IMSAC" version of the IMSAI 8080.  Click here for more details, and the origin and meaning of the letters IMSAI

bullet Digital Scrapbook: A gallery of people behind IMSAI- customers, friends, and associates, past and present

My thanks to Kurt Freiberger, Brad Webb (Online Writer), and Leon Brooks who have informed me that I have been "Slashdotted", and Dr. Dobbs Journal has once again provided a kind mention (



There are many perceptions of IMSAI, past and present.  Few have come close to getting it right, mainly because the IMSAI phenomenon affected employees, management, dealers, and clients in such a different,  complex and intertwined manner.  Image was the strength, execution often the weakness.  In this April 2001 article from Forbes, IMSAI is compared with IBM, Apple Computer, Atari, and National Semiconductor as a cult:


1999 Vintage Computing Festival 3, Santa Clara, California


The IMSAI Dollhouse  An early demonstration of computerized environment management


"Wargames IMSAI"  The first and only public showing in 1999 of this, one of the world's most famous personal computers


The "First West Coast Computer Faire"  Some background on the event that helped legitimize the "birth" of the personal computer


Some CP/M History  An important historical footnote relating to Gary Kildall's contribution of the world's first popular microcomputer operating system, predecessor to MicroSoft's DOS

bulletChip Specifications (for a few of the more exotic and obsolete devices used on early IMSAI boards)

Intel 8080 microprocessor technical specification  Pinouts, timing diagrams, instruction set, and more... (Adobe PDF file)


AMD 8212 I/O Port (Intel-compatible 8212 device)   Used on several IMSAI boards including CPA, PIO 4, MPU-A, and others (Adobe PDF file)

New! Now available, the  IMSAI 8080 Microcomputer System User Manual

$100 (plus shipping)