Altair 8800

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An Altair 8800 with no peripherals

The Altair 8800 is a microcomputer designed by Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS) based on the Intel 8080 processor. It gained popularity in the mid to late '70s because of publicizing by technical magazines and its low price. It is generally credited with kick-starting the homebrew microcomputer revolution with hackers like Steve Wozniak and Gordon French getting their start with the system. It is also responsible for the S-100 bus (the bus through which boards were made for everything from keyboards, to modems, to teletypes and monitors) which became a de facto standard in computer bus interfaces until the early '80s. The 8800 is still in use today in hobbyist and homebrew projects, prized for its adaptability. It had an Intel 8080 at 2 MHz for its CPU.


There is a multitude of games written for the system, although many of them utilized the front panel of the system and as such do not translate well into emulation.


Name Platform(s) Latest Version FLOSS Active Recommended
PC / x86
SIMH Windows Linux macOS FreeBSD 4.0-Beta-1
emuStudio Windows Linux macOS FreeBSD 0.41 ?
MAME Windows Linux macOS FreeBSD 0.262 ?
z80pack Windows Linux macOS FreeBSD 1.36 ?
Altair 32 Windows 3.35.2054 ?
Online Simulator Web Always fresh ?


A highly portable, multi-system simulator. It mainly 'simulates' many obscure minicomputers & midrange computers with custom chips or circuits introduced in the years from the late 1950's to early 1980's, so it's certainly impossible that it covers the 'conventional' Intel x86-powered computers that were released in the 1980's and 1990's.