Tarbell Cassette Interface

A 1976 advertisement for the Tarbell Cassette Interface.

The Tarbell Cassette Interface is an expansion card for use with the Altair 8800 early personal computer, or other systems using the Altair's S-100 bus. It was designed by Don Tarbell[1] and sold by Tarbell Electronics as early as 1976.[2] At the time, it was considered to be fast, reliable, and popular. While supporting the 1975 Kansas City (Byte/Lancaster) standard, it also introduced a much faster Tarbell standard which became a de facto standard for compact cassette data storage.[3][4]

Tarbell also sold other products, including TARBELL CASSETTE BASIC in 1978[5] and a Shugart Associates-compatible dual disk drive subsystem. The latter includes a Tarbell floppy disk interface, said to plug into any S-100 bus computer, introduced in 1979.[6]


  1. Don Tarbell, By Tom Dilatush, May 18, 2008, JamulBlog, My name is Paula Rouse. I worked for the "Famous" Don Tarbell at Tarbell Electronics in Carson, CA from 1976 to 1983. I was his first employee when he began selling cassette interface kits and assembled units. He was a terrific boss and his wife Brenda and I have been best friends for all these years. She called me this evening to say that Don passed away this morning, May 19th, 1998, after a long bout with cancer.
  2. "SCCS Interface". Southern California Computer Society. December 1976. p. 51.
  3. The IMSAI 8800
  4. Advert: TARBELL SETS STANDARDS For Hobbyists and Systems Developers, Byte Magazine Volume 03 Number 08, Page 51
  5. TARBELL CASSETTE BASIC, Written by Tom Dilatush of REAL TIME MICROSYSTEMS , 2240 Main St. No. 18, Chula Vista, CA 92011 for Don Tarbell of TARBELL ELECTRONICS, 950 Dovlen Place, Suite B, Carson, CA 90746, October 19, 1978
  6. "Dual Disk Drive System Bows". Computerworld. September 24, 1979. p. 51.

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