IMS releases the IMSAI 8080
16th December 1975
IMS was founded in 1973 by Bill Millard in San Leandro, California, when he left his management job to start his consulting company. In 1974, Millard developed a microcomputer system based on the Intel 8080 microprocessor which he called the IMSAI 8080. He placed adverts in Popular Electronics magazine offering the IMSAI 8080 for sale first as a kit, then later as a fully assembled system. In 1976, Millard renamed his company IMSAI Manufacturing Corporation.
The first IMSAI 8080 kits were shipped on 16th December 1975. Around 20,000 units were sold between 1975 and 1978. The IMSAI 8080 sold for $439 in kit form, or $621 fully assembled.
The IMSAI 8080 was a copy of the MITS Altair 8800 computer, and is commonly considered to be the first clone computer. The IMSAI 8080 ran a modified version of the CP/M operating system called IMDOS.
The IMSAI 8080 will be recognised by fans of the 80's blockbuster film 'War Games' as it was the computer used by the main character to hack the US military computer 'WOPR'.