This early version of the script had the story line placed in the future and seemed to depend more on fantasy and conjecture rather than technical reality.
Our contact person for the film was Special Effects Supervisor Mike Fink.
Mike told me that the screenplay writer Lawrence Lasker stipulated that an IMSAI 8080 be used as the visual prop for the central character's computer. At that time, acoustic couplers had a maximum communications rate of 300 baud (ridiculously slow then, and now by today's standards).
Still skeptical, I read the script trying to envision the equipment requirements. First, the central character (Matthew Broderick) would access a military computer (the visually delightful W. The requirement of an acoustic coupler was mandated more for visual effect than for reality.
Our engineer Glen Hoag came up with an idea to hard-wire a RESTART 7 instruction onto an old MPU-A 8080 processor board to provide a somewhat random light activity to the front panel lights, which worked out nicely.
The chassis was then loaded with an assortment of junk boards to give the impression that the box was loaded with processing power!
Another thing was apparently missing from the initial script.
How was this young lad going to load software into his computer?My Marketing Director Bob Walker sent off the requested materials along with a brief letter extolling the virtues of an IMSAI 8080 as a prop, and that we had many other related historical items, magazines, and equipment to sweeten the pot.On July 8,1982 Bob Walker briefed me regarding a call from Cliff Mc Mullen of Unique Products, a major pioneering product placement company in the Los Angeles area.Being somewhat skeptical, I told Mc Mullen on the phone to send me a copy of the script and I'd get back to him.To my surprise, two days later a package arrived from Mandy Films containing other informational items about Unique Product Placement and a pre-shooting script of "Wargames", typed and printed onto a photocopy-resistant green paper by a script services company in the west Los Angeles area.The loading of one of those 8" disks (about 1 meg of storage in double density format) is one of the few equipment close-ups that made the final cut of the film.