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Re: Interview

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  • Larry T.
    ... Todd The 8800B was an upgraded 8800. MITS improved the powersupply, included a full chasis monterboard (instead of 4 slots then adding on 4 slots at a
    Message 1 of 7 , Sep 8, 2003
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      --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, TMollerup <no_reply@y...>
      wrote:
      > Steve,
      >
      > You mentioned below that MITS was going to place a Motorola 68000
      > into production, but closed its doors before doing so. I had
      > previously assumed the Altair 680 was just that. What is the
      > difference between the 8800 and the 680? Additionally, what is the
      > 8800b? Thank you for taking the time to write-up the message below,
      > and for answering my questions. This forum is rich with information.
      >
      > Todd Mollerup
      >

      Todd

      The 8800B was an 'upgraded' 8800. MITS improved the powersupply,
      included a full chasis monterboard (instead of 4 slots then adding on
      4 slots at a time).

      The 680 was a totally different design using the Motorola 6800 8-bit
      processor. MITS had a full line of cards for this system using a
      different bus layout. The main board had the CPU and front panel
      logic on it (and I think some RAM) then the chassis had a vertical
      mother borad instead of horizontal like the 8800's.
      Larry
    • TMollerup
      Ahh. Larry. That clears up years of confusion. Now I understand that the 68000 and the 6800 are not the same. Seeing both, I had assumed as a kid, the last
      Message 2 of 7 , Sep 8, 2003
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        Ahh. Larry. That clears up years of confusion. Now I understand that
        the 68000 and the 6800 are not the same. Seeing both, I had assumed
        as a kid, the last zero was optional, much the way people would say
        version 3 vs. version 3.0. I should have assumed different. Of
        course, when I was in high school (I'm 36), it was difficult to find
        information. The libraries were behind the times and the teachers
        knew little. At my boarding school, we pushed them. One of the upper
        classmen put together a Timex Sinclair Z-80 if I remember the name
        correctly. Everyone circled around him in his dorm room, not only
        because he had a Timex computer, but he had the best soldering iron
        in the dorm.

        I put together a little kit computer my Physics teacher though would
        feed my thirst. I don't remember much about the procesor used in the
        kit, but I loved the 8 bit LED binary readout. Just the counting
        routine was wonderful. It made binary crystal clear, which certainly
        has helped me over my life time. (Surprisingly, most computer people
        don't understand something as basic as binary)

        Well, now I understand that the 6800 (6809) was the 8-bit processor
        and the 68000 was the 16-bit. I remember everyone, back in the 80's,
        putting down the 8088 design. Microsoft even seemed to support the
        idea of a complete migration away from the platform with the hardware
        abstration layer (HAL) introduced with Windows NTAS 3.1.

        When I bought my Altair in 2000, I was hoping to continue learning
        about basic processor operation, in addition to owning a piece of
        history. I would be picking-up where I left off in high school. I
        have been in technology my whole life, and feel I'll be missing out
        if I don't someday learn how to toggle data into a processor.
      • Larry T.
        ... that ... find ... upper ... 80 s, ... hardware ... Your Altair is still a good tool. That is why I will be keeping several different versions running
        Message 3 of 7 , Sep 9, 2003
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          --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, TMollerup <no_reply@y...>
          wrote:
          > Ahh. Larry. That clears up years of confusion. Now I understand
          that
          > the 68000 and the 6800 are not the same. Seeing both, I had assumed
          > as a kid, the last zero was optional, much the way people would say
          > version 3 vs. version 3.0. I should have assumed different. Of
          > course, when I was in high school (I'm 36), it was difficult to
          find
          > information. The libraries were behind the times and the teachers
          > knew little. At my boarding school, we pushed them. One of the
          upper
          ...

          > Well, now I understand that the 6800 (6809) was the 8-bit processor
          > and the 68000 was the 16-bit. I remember everyone, back in the
          80's,
          > putting down the 8088 design. Microsoft even seemed to support the
          > idea of a complete migration away from the platform with the
          hardware
          > abstration layer (HAL) introduced with Windows NTAS 3.1.

          Your Altair is still a good tool. That is why I will be keeping
          several different versions running myself.

          As far as the 6800/6809/68000:
          MITS and SWTP (Southwest Technical Products) both had 6800 systems
          Of course, Apple, Atari, and Comodore had 6502 systems.
          I do not know if anyone had 6809 systems, the 6809 as a very strange
          beast indeed. I'm not sure, but it may have been the 8088 of the 68000
          family.
          The 68000 ended up in the Apple Lisa and Macintosh family, Atari
          ST/TT/Falcon family and the Comodore Amiga family
          The 8088 was an 8-bit bus version of the 8086, which was the parent of
          the 80x86 and Pentium CPU familys from Intel. (If you look back to
          articles when the IBM PC was introduced, Intel made statements to the
          effect that they did not know the 8088 was a 16-bit chip!)
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