The computer on the shelf in WarGames

I’ve just finished reading the first 3 chapters of Fire in the Valley, a history of the development of the PC. These first chapters were history prior to development of the Altair (which was before my time, but I’m familiar with the history), and centered on IMSAI and development of their 8080 computer.

Not having any personal experience¬†with an IMSAI these first chapters were rather dry and slow going, but on the last page of chapter 3 it mentions IMSAI’s one and possibly only claim to fame was that an IMSAI 8080 was used as a prop in the background of WarGames when Matthew Broderick’s character was seen using his computer at home. Given that WarGames is one of my favorite films, this suddenly brought some conext and interest to this first part of the book. I always though that was an Altair on the shelf in the background, but apparently it’s an IMSAI 8080. More info on their site here.

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