The Altair Experience



The video library below is full of hands-on demonstrations and tutorials. It is a great way to work through the history of the Altair 8800 computer. Feel free to contact us with your suggestions for additional videos.

Front Panel Introduction
Overview, power on, reset, memory examine and modify
Front Panel Programming
Program entry, single step, run, address lights for program debug/verification
Front Panel Game – Kill the Bit
Program entry, demonstration, explanation of how LEDs were controlled
Support material for this video
Front Panel Status Lights
Explanation and demonstration of the front panel status lights
Support material for this video
Front Panel Programming – Interrupt Processing
Overview and demonstration of interrupt acknowledge cycles
Support material for this video
Front Panel Programming – Serial I/O Echo Routines
Simple echo, interrupt echo, halted interrupt echo
Support material for this video
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Loading Altair 4K BASIC
Loading Altair 4K BASIC using the front panel and a paper tape image file
Support material for this video
Using Altair 4K BASIC
Loading, running and saving programs via paper tape image files
Loading and Operating Altair 4K BASIC with a Teletype
Follow-up to the preceding two videos that demonstrates loading and operating
Altair 4K BASIC using the front panel and an ASR-33 Teletype
Loading and Operating Altair 8K BASIC
Loading Altair 8K BASIC, loading, running and saving programs via cassette tape image files
Support material for this video
Loading Altair 8K BASIC from Cassette Tape
Follow-up to the preceding video that demonstrates loading and operating Altair 8K BASIC
from the front panel using an actual tape recorder and cassette tape
Loading Altair 8K BASIC the Fun Way!
Loading Altair 8K BASIC from a reel-to-reel tape deck through the cassette interface
Includes explanation of various tones from the tape during the load process
Altair ROMs to Simplify Loading of BASIC
Multi-Boot Loader ROM (MBL), Turnkey Monitor ROM (TURMON)
Altair BASIC Version 1.0
Loading the very first version of BASIC for the Altair using a Teletype
Bootstrap Loader used in this video
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Altair Floppy Disk
Front panel program to demonstrate Altair floppy disk functionality
Booting from floppy disks using the Disk Boot Loader ROM (DBL) and tape
Altair Disk BASIC
Demonstration of Disk BASIC 5.0 for the Altair including booting from
floppy and using disk related commands
Disk Boot from Paper Tape
Demonstration of the convoluted process of booting an Altair floppy from a Teletype and paper tape
This was required when the Disk Boot Loader PROM was not available in an Altair 8800
Altair Timesharing BASIC
Loading and configuring Timesharing BASIC for the Altair
Demonstration of multiple simultaneous users
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MITS Programming Package II – Introduction
Booting and initializing the monitor, editor and assembler from cassette tape
MITS Programming Package II – Programming
Demonstration of editing, assembling and running a program
MITS Programming Package II – Loading and Saving Programs
Demonstration of loading and saving program source files and executable files
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Altair DOS – Introduction
Booting and running Altair DOS version 1.0
Demonstration of some Altair DOS features and commands
Altair DOS – Programming
Assemble, link and run an assembly langauge program
Compile, link and run a FORTRAN program
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CP/M on the Altair – Introduction
Booting and running a commercially available distribution of CP/M from 1980 on an Altair 8800 Computer
CP/M Programming
Edit, assemble and run a program under CP/M as demonstrated on an Altair 8800 Computer
Changing CP/M's RAM Size
Using MOVCPM and SYSGEN to modify CP/M for more or less RAM
CP/M Applications
Demonstration of MBASIC, Zork, Ladder, SuperCalc2
CP/M AutoExec on Boot
Demonstration of how to use CP/M's relatively obscure auto-run on boot feature
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Quick Demos #1
Three quick, "just for the fun of it," demonstrations:
Load BASIC from an iPad, boot our own program from paper tape,
punch human-readable messages on paper tape
Pong on the Altair 8800 Front Panel
Demonstration of Pong played on the front panel of an Altair 8800 along with a look at
program development, saving and loading in the early Altair days
Support material for this video
Altair Turnkey Board
Demonstration of the Turnkey Module for the Altair 8800 Computer
High Speed Paper Tape Reader/Punch
Using a high speed paper tape reader/punch with the Altair 8800 Computer
Music on the Altair 8800
Demonstration of a real Altair playing music through an AM radio
and with the "Music System" from Processor Technology
The Music System on the Altair Clone
The "Music System" from Processor Technology running on an Altair Clone
Altair Clone Playing Music on an AM Radio
Quick demo of the Altair Clone playing music through an AM radio