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RE: Elf III, was Re: [cosmacelf] Re: Elf II PCB

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  • Paul Backhouse
    Snip from Mark G... And Elf II s RPN Arithmetic and Lev III full Basic
    Message 1 of 45 , Apr 20, 2013
    Snip from Mark G...

    < The base Elf II had no EPROM. You may be thinking of the Giant Board
    expansion....>

    And Elf II's RPN Arithmetic and Lev III "full" Basic card also utilises 3
    EPROMs.

    Paul.

    From: cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com [mailto:cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
    Of Mark Graybill
    Sent: 20 April 2013 10:08
    To: cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com
    Subject: Re: Elf III, was Re: [cosmacelf] Re: Elf II PCB



    On Apr 19, 2013 9:22 AM, "Lee Hart" <leeahart@...> wrote:
    >
    >
    >
    > On 4/19/2013 8:20 AM, urrossum@... wrote:
    > > It seems to me that what Mark is going for here is to have the ELF-3
    > > be pretty much "bare metal", at least in its base form. In other
    > > words, there would be no monitor EEPROM, or at least it would be
    > > optional, with functions like the keypad hex display and program load
    > > done with "discrete" logic, not requiring the 1802 to be running
    > > anything. I definitely found that this increased my understanding of
    > > the system, and kept it from just being "magic".
    >
    > I'm thinking of it as a "bare metal" machine as well. But the "metal" we
    > have today can do more than it could back then. For instance, the Elf-II
    > had a monitor ROM, but it was only 32 bytes. You can't get PROMs that
    > small any more (except old stock at high prices).
    The base Elf II had no EPROM. You may be thinking of the Giant Board
    expansion.
    >
    > But you can get far larger EPROMs today, at far lower prices. So use one
    > of them instead. Pick one that is inexpensive, easy to get, and easy to
    > program.
    >
    >
    > > Rather than EEPROM, I think flash would be the way to go.
    >
    > I'm guessing it would be an EEPROM, because the flash ROMs I know of
    > require block writes. But there are EEPROMs where you can program single
    > bytes with DIP switches on the inputs.
    >
    >
    > > Providing on-board programming is very simple
    >
    > Does "simple" mean using a PC, special hardware adapter, and megabytes
    > of special software? Is there a flash ROM that can be programmed
    > *without* all this? My goal would be a setup where there's a ROM on
    > board, but it's initially blank. You load little programs into RAM with
    > the keypad, test them, and then save them in the onboard ROM.
    >
    > If this isn't practical, then provide battery backup for the RAM (to
    > accomplish the same thing).
    >
    >
    > > Interfacing to a PC should be easy, too. Get some form of the USB
    > > loader on board, for sure.
    For me that's an optional add on. I built my first serial port and cassette
    interface for the II.
    >
    > I'm sure us experts want to immediately go to a PC for everything. But,
    > I think that is exactly the wrong direction to go for a beginner. It
    > leads immediately into a learn-nothing situation, where everything has
    > been done for you.
    >
    Exactly.
    >
    > > Speaking of cheaper, it seems that many in this group grew up in
    > > fairly austere circumstances - not "poor", but not with very much
    > > money to throw around on hobbies; this was certainly the case for me.
    >
    > Me, too.
    >
    >
    > > This forced me to learn a lot about how to accomplish things with
    > > limited resources, and using different approaches.
    >
    > Exactly!
    >
    >
    > > Is it just my tiny sample group now (living in a relatively posh
    > > suburb of Silicon Valley), or is this sort of experience much less
    > > common now than it was in my youth (60's and 70's)?
    >
    > For 16 years now I've been going into 4th-6th grade classrooms and
    > mentoring kids to build electric cars. We don't give them money or kits
    > or parts or instructions; they have to INVENT their own solutions. See
    > www.bestoutreach.com for details. I watch how they think, and how they
    > work. Here's what I see:
    >
    > America is becoming a nation of haves, and have-nots. The "haves" are
    > wealthy enough to buy anything they want. Their kids have easy access to
    > all the latest and greatest toys. They don't have to earn their own
    > money, or learn to economize, or make things last, or fix things, or
    > make do with what they have.
    >
    > The have-nots don't have the money to live like this. They have no
    > choice but to work harder, or do without. Their kids have to be more
    > creative, imaginative, and self-reliant to get what they want, or even
    > to survive.
    >
    > In my BEST classes, the "have" kids expect adults to do everything for
    > them, and buy them whatever they need. They are lost and frustrated if
    > we don't. Their solutions all revolve around getting someone else to do
    > it for them.
    >
    > The "have not" kids are used to situations where no one helps them. They
    > are the ones that scrounge up junk from a garage or dumpster, and invent
    > solutions that no one else would have thought of.
    >
    > I think it is *good* for kids to struggle. It gives them a direct,
    > personal reason to learn. You should see their eyes light up when they
    > solve the problem THEMSELVES, without being given the answer! That is a
    > priceless experience!
    >
    > The kids absolutely *love* the BEST program! It's often the first time
    > in their lives that they've ever touched a real tool, or built anything
    > that really works, or invented something themselves, without adults
    > directing and micromanaging it.
    >
    > The sad thing is that the schools, and most parents, and society in
    > general doesn't like it. It's disruptive. The teachers aren't in
    > control, there's no lesson plan, and it's not on the state mandated
    > tests. Parents worry that their little darling will be hurt by dangerous
    > tools. We're teaching them to be scientists and engineers; not good
    > little factory workers and consumers.
    I've seen the same over the past 5-6 years. I see it as more of a split
    between "does" and "does-nots". ;) It's less a matter of material
    circumstances and more one of inclination among the kids I work with, who
    are mostly lower middle class or poor. But some have iPhones and expect
    everything to be a finished product all the same.
    The past two years have been somewhat disheartening, in that I've had kids
    that go through actually doing something, they feel great, then some break
    happens elsewhere and they come into class more resistant than ever. They
    usually end up dropping the class. There have been successes, those and the
    students that really do come to learn pay for all, but the "conversion rate"
    has been significantly lower and at high school level, especially, it's been
    harder to get through.
    On the plus side, the middle school classes haven't been as difficult.
    Especially small class sizes for high school because of class scheduling
    conflicts has been part of the problem, I think, but attitudes and
    influences outside school is part, too.
    -Mark
    >
    > --
    > If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood
    > and don't assign them tasks and work. Rather, teach them to long
    > for the endless immensity of the sea. -- Antoine de Saint-Exupery
    >
    > --
    > Lee A. Hart, http://www.sunrise-ev.com/LeesEVs.htm
    >
    >
  • stephanf01
    Mark, I have an old ELF II with shot buttons - not from age but honestly from overuse - my father and I used that computer for years. I have not been able to
    Message 45 of 45 , Jun 18, 2014
      Mark,

      I have an old ELF II with shot buttons - not from age but honestly from overuse - my father and I used that computer for years.  I have not been able to track down a source for replacement buttons but you mention that you found some.  Could you point me in the right direction to get a handful of replacements?

      Thanks,

      Stephan
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