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I > IMSAI  > VDP 80


This mini forum is intended to provide a simple means of discussion about the IMSAI  VDP 80 computer. If you want to share your own experience or memories, or add relevant information about this system: post a message!

  Click Here to add a message in the forum


Monday 29th October 2018
David Rodman (Hawaii/USA)
Red Road Telecom

My first micro was the IMSAI 8080 - programmed via red and blue switches on the front panel, storage via cassette, 4K of RAM. The VDP 80 was a major upgrade! But yeah, a bit flakey here and there. Nonetheless, it did serve pretty well as a platform for the software that continues to be the driving force of the industry. Full disclosure: I wrote FMS-80.

Monday 3rd April 2017
Christopher Shubert (USA)

I worked as a computer salesman in Atlanta from 1979-1981, and this was one of the machines we had on the shop floor. At first, I was thrilled by the level of integration of the machine - the all-in-one format, the dual disk drives, built-in terminal hardware, and the gloriously expansive 64K of RAM! There were also some advanced features in the display hardware, including special characters, multiple character size, and the promise of something that looked like bitmapped graphics.

But, as I experimented with the machine, writing some BASIC programs, I found the hardware was unreliable, and the machine tended to freeze up. It only took one or two major program losses before I walked away disappointed.

The IMSAI VDP-80 was long on concept, but short on execution. Another few months in development might have written a different story for the computer industry!

Monday 27th June 2011
JC Wren (USA)

We used to have one of these when I worked at The Byte Shop in Atlanta, GA. The UPS man thoughtfully rolled it up the flight of stairs to our shop on the 2nd floor. The case was a type of fiber glass, and he managed to break it in a couple places.

I spent many many hours in front of one of these machines, and I wouldn''t mind running across one somewhere.

Tuesday 25th August 2009
Wally Hampton (USA)

We (H $ H Associates$ Denver, CO) used these as our main computer in developing business application software. We developed and sold several applications along with this computer based upon using CP/M, CBasic and QSort.

While the system was a great concept and at the time nothing off-the-shelf was similar enough for us, there were some hardware issues that made it less than the stable platform we had hoped it would be.

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