The history of computers is a fascinating subject when you think about how much technology has progressed in a relatively short amount of time. If you were growing up in the dawn of the digital age, there was almost always something new and better around the corner.
Enter the Altair 8800. This piece of retro tech was first announced in 1975, and while it had its moment in the spotlight, new options quickly overwhelmed the market. The creator of this Altair-Duino never had the chance to get their own Altair 8800, but still recalls that spark of imagination that happened when it was first announced.
So, as is the maker way, he built it. After spotting a Altair 8800 emulator project online, the quest to build a faithful recreation began. While there are others who have gone to great lengths to recreate this hardware, they can be extremely pricey.
This new “standard” version has a blue laser-cut acrylic frame, along with a clear back and rear panel for style. It includes an RS232 serial port, and audio jack that emulates the Processor Technology Music System, a USB connector, SD card slot, a power jack, and even Bluetooth for a wireless serial connection.
The kit comes with a micro SD card that has software and games as well. The entire project is a cycle-accurate recreation of the original Altair 8800, meaning that the 8080 CPU is emulated, along with some of the I/O, disk drives, and serial ports.