IMSAI 8080

Information Management Sciences Associates

This system was donated by Patrick "Fitz" Fitzpatrick on 8/13/21.

IMS (Information Management Sciences) Associates was founded in 1973 by William Millard and was based in San Leandro, California. It was renamed IMSAI Manufacturing Corporation 1976. In 1977 IMSAI was facing strong competition from the Z80 microprocessor used in competing systems. Mr. Millard decided that starting a retail store for his and other microcomputer products was the best path forward. He opened Computer Shack, later renamed ComputerLand after Radio Shack objected to the name. ComputerLand sold IMSAI as well as Apple, North Star, and Cromemco products. Millard used IMSAI as a funding source for ComputerLand, and IMSAI quickly was in trouble. IMSAI went bankrupt in 1979, but two IMS employees, Thomas "Todd" Fischer and Nancy Freitas bought the IMSAI trademark. manufacturing continued under the Fischer-Freitas name.

The IMSAI 8080 was introduced in 1975 and was based on the new Intel 8080 microprocessor. It uses the same S-100 bus backplane as the Altair. IMSAI licensed the CP/M operating system from Digital Research, modified it, and sold it as IMSDOS.

Somewhere between 17,000-20,000 IMSAI 8080 systems were produced by IMSAI and another 2,500 were produced by Fischer-Freitas.

Information on our restoration effort is here.

This model of microcomputer was featured in the 1983 movie WarGames. How about a nice game of chess?