frontpanel stuff - CP/M

This is a discussion on frontpanel stuff - CP/M ; While looking for interesting stuff for the Altair and IMSAI I found YouTube videos that show operation of the original machines: Altair: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAhp_LzvSWk IMSAI: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHi1b1esV5s If you don't want to enter the program for the IMSAI via frontpanel as shown ...

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  1. frontpanel stuff

    While looking for interesting stuff for the Altair and IMSAI I found
    YouTube videos that show operation of the original machines:

    Altair:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAhp_LzvSWk

    IMSAI:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHi1b1esV5s

    If you don't want to enter the program for the IMSAI via frontpanel as
    shown in the video, you can download it and load it right into the
    emulator:
    ftp://ftp.unix4fun.org/z80pack/imsai/

    While watching the movies I realized that I got the LED status of the
    frontpanels wrong, while the RESET switch is hold in upper position. This
    has been corrected and a patch for release 1.17 is available at:
    ftp://ftp.unix4fun.org/z80pack/

    Enjoy,
    Udo Munk
    --
    The real fun is building it and then using it...


  2. Re: frontpanel stuff


    >
    > While watching the movies I realized that I got the LED status of the
    > frontpanels wrong, while the RESET switch is hold in upper position. This
    > has been corrected and a patch for release 1.17 is available at:
    > ftp://ftp.unix4fun.org/z80pack/
    >


    I applaud your efforts.
    But I just don't get the whole simulator thing.

    Why spend all that time when you can pick up the genuine article for a
    couple of grand? As I'm sure your project has taken much more than $2K
    worth of your time. Now if I wanted to run some stuff on a Cray...

    In retrospect, I'd have to say that this type of work HAS to be done. Not
    for the joy of playing with the early machines, but to preserve them. Metal
    may corrode, but multiple software copies will live until the next big rock
    passes our way. And if we're lucky, a few copies may survive even that.
    And then, millenia later, the mutated intelligent ****roaches will discover
    them in the dust and start building their own computers, and then...

    ....but I digress...


    cheers,

    -J

    So, what, the software bugs finally get the last laugh?






  3. Re: frontpanel stuff

    On Sun, 26 Oct 2008 17:24:29 -0500, John Crane wrote:

    >> While watching the movies I realized that I got the LED status of the
    >> frontpanels wrong, while the RESET switch is hold in upper position. This
    >> has been corrected and a patch for release 1.17 is available at:
    >> ftp://ftp.unix4fun.org/z80pack/
    >>

    >
    > I applaud your efforts.


    Thanks.

    > But I just don't get the whole simulator thing.


    Well, you got one point, but there are more...

    > Why spend all that time when you can pick up the genuine article for a
    > couple of grand? As I'm sure your project has taken much more than $2K
    > worth of your time. Now if I wanted to run some stuff on a Cray...


    You are right, if that had been payed work I could own several Cray's now,
    which I have no need for.
    I grew up with this machines, in 1975 I was using a PDP-8, no boot ROM,
    boot code needed to be entered via front panel, after 3 times it becomes
    boring. The machine had a Fortran compiler and an assembler, but not even
    a simple line editor. You had to get a correct Fortran program onto paper
    tape offline somehow, without an editor. And so on and so forth, I just
    got enough from this kind of machines for this life, that was real work,
    no hobby. I kept up with the equipment until today and I do enjoy using
    the machines we have now and not that 'old slow crap'. But I definitely
    want to preserve and use the old software I enjoyed using way back then,
    but not on 'awkward' equipment. I do realize that people try to keep the
    old machines in workable condition, all fine too, but I just have had
    enough from that stuff. Then I like this kind of programming, I
    entertain my self working on this, won't hurt anyone. Well, this are
    personal decisions and reasons, but I got some more...

    And yes, I do enjoy using an emulated front panel machine after all that
    years again, but I don't have to fix broken floppy disk drives, horrible
    loud paper tty's with punch and reader, find some 128x4 bit rare memory
    chip and all that.

    The Cray, well those are build from Opteron CPU's nowadays,
    entry level starts at 25K US$ or so, if you want one then get one. Not
    sure what you want with a vector processor at home tho, simulation of
    nuclear physics for weapon construction?

    Then the 8 and 16 bit machines can be emulated pretty good on a $400
    notebook system, a Cray supercomputer on such hardware could be emulated
    but it won't make sense, unacceptable slow. That's why they start with 16
    Opteron CPU's for the entry level machines. Pretty inexpensive compared
    to the first versions of the Cray machines.

    > In retrospect, I'd have to say that this type of work HAS to be done.
    > Not for the joy of playing with the early machines, but to preserve
    > them. Metal may corrode, but multiple software copies will live until


    Right, but it should be fun too to play with this machines, if it is
    entertaining then it will be used. The machines alone also are worthless,
    it is the software that makes them tick. All this software written way
    back then has interesting ideas and concepts inside and this knowledge
    should be preserved. Once the universities were a place of knowledge, but
    it seems they can't even archive their own products in a usable state
    anymore and a lot of knowledge is getting lost there. That companies fail
    at some time for various reasons is not new, but that everything developed
    there is getting lost for everyone is not acceptable, IMHO.
    Then how do you think CS student freshmen get started in microprocessor
    lesions? You can't give them a 64 bit highly complex AMD, Intel, Sparc,
    P6, whatever CPU and have them program that thing in assembler, they need
    to learn some basics before. This stuff has educational value and
    potential, here an example where they use an IMSAI emulator right now in
    2008 for microprocessor training in CS education:

    http://web.sunybroome.edu/~eet_dept/eet267/

    > the next big rock passes our way. And if we're lucky, a few copies may
    > survive even that. And then, millenia later, the mutated intelligent
    > ****roaches will discover them in the dust and start building their own
    > computers, and then...


    No they won't, they will start all over again. Why? Best examples are we
    self. A few thousand years ago they build that pyramids in the deserts and
    we are pretty much clueless how that really was done. How many written
    languages are still unreadable nowadays even with all our computer
    equipment, because all knowledge was lost after a few thousand years? And
    so on and so forth...
    Well, maybe not, maybe we could work some more on preserving our knowledge
    instead of doing unbelievable stupid things.

    > ...but I digress...
    >
    >
    > cheers,
    >
    > -J
    >
    > So, what, the software bugs finally get the last laugh?


    No the software bugs get squished and exterminated, the life bugs will get
    the last laugh.

    Udo Munk
    --
    The real fun is building it and then using it...


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