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My 1802 has been running code for me for 32 years today!

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  • ted_rossin
    32 years ago today while my mom was putting the turkey together for Thanksgiving I finished soldering up my Elf on perf-board using point-to-point wiring and
    Message 1 of 28 , Nov 26, 2009
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      32 years ago today while my mom was putting the turkey together for Thanksgiving I finished soldering up my Elf on perf-board using point-to-point wiring and loaded:

      01111011
      00110000
      00000000

      And the Q LED lit! I did have enough paper route money for toggle switches so I had 8 wires floating in the air that I could tie to ground or +5V with a little solderless breadboard. Those were the days. Long hair and a face full of zits enduring 10th grade!

      Hard to believe that 32 years later I'd be writing code in C for that same chip.
    • al.williams
      I was dismayed when my old elf was pretty much totaled by Hurricane Katrina :-( I had said a hundred times I was going to pull it out of that storage building
      Message 2 of 28 , Nov 26, 2009
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        I was dismayed when my old elf was pretty much totaled by Hurricane
        Katrina :-( I had said a hundred times I was going to pull it out of
        that storage building and bring it to Texas and I just waited too late.
        But I was happy to be able to get the Elf 2K -- it made putting a
        replacement back together easier. And I had almost all the parts -- even
        an 1861.

        Happy birthday to your elf. I hope you finally bought those switches ;-)

        Al W.
        http://www.hotsolder.com/articles/
        (a few 1802 things at that link)


        ted_rossin wrote:
        >
        > 32 years ago today while my mom was putting the turkey together for
        > Thanksgiving I finished soldering up my Elf on perf-board using
        > point-to-point wiring and loaded:
        >
        > 01111011
        > 00110000
        > 00000000
        >
        > And the Q LED lit! I did have enough paper route money for toggle
        > switches so I had 8 wires floating in the air that I could tie to
        > ground or +5V with a little solderless breadboard. Those were the
        > days. Long hair and a face full of zits enduring 10th grade!
        >
        > Hard to believe that 32 years later I'd be writing code in C for that
        > same chip.
        >
        >
      • Bill Rowe
        Too cool teed. So Nov 200 and still running!. I m going to go this aft and see if I can find a date for my build. ... From: ted_rossin To:
        Message 3 of 28 , Nov 26, 2009
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          Too cool teed. So Nov 200 and still running!.

          I'm going to go this aft and see if I can find a date for my build.
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: ted_rossin
          To: cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Thursday, November 26, 2009 12:00 PM
          Subject: [cosmacelf] My 1802 has been running code for me for 32 years today!



          32 years ago today while my mom was putting the turkey together for Thanksgiving I finished soldering up my Elf on perf-board using point-to-point wiring and loaded:

          01111011
          00110000
          00000000

          And the Q LED lit! I did have enough paper route money for toggle switches so I had 8 wires floating in the air that I could tie to ground or +5V with a little solderless breadboard. Those were the days. Long hair and a face full of zits enduring 10th grade!

          Hard to believe that 32 years later I'd be writing code in C for that same chip.






          ------------------------------------------------------------------------------



          No virus found in this incoming message.
          Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
          Version: 8.5.426 / Virus Database: 270.14.83/2528 - Release Date: 11/26/09 09:10:00


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • awasson2001
          That s pretty cool Ted! I was two years behind you in age and technology... I was looking at 1802 s and 8080A s (in my Radio Shack catalog) but I was still
          Message 4 of 28 , Nov 26, 2009
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            That's pretty cool Ted!
            I was two years behind you in age and technology...

            I was looking at 1802's and 8080A's (in my Radio Shack catalog) but I was still playing with old analog computer circuits from my dad's ancient popular electronics collection and dreaming of the day when I would have a Logix 0-600 computer... I got one for Christmas that year : )

            I built my Netronics ELF II about a year and a half later and started making my own expansion cards for noise (sound) and interface.

            I Hope you're having a great Thanksgiving Day!

            Andrew

            --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, "ted_rossin" <ted_rossin@...> wrote:
            >
            > 32 years ago today while my mom was putting the turkey together for Thanksgiving I finished soldering up my Elf on perf-board using point-to-point wiring and loaded:
            >
            > 01111011
            > 00110000
            > 00000000
            >
            > And the Q LED lit! I did have enough paper route money for toggle switches so I had 8 wires floating in the air that I could tie to ground or +5V with a little solderless breadboard. Those were the days. Long hair and a face full of zits enduring 10th grade!
            >
            > Hard to believe that 32 years later I'd be writing code in C for that same chip.
            >
          • Raymond Siminas
            I also had an ELF II back in those days and made several expansion cards for it.  I still have a copy of the Philadelphia Computer Music Festival LP from
            Message 5 of 28 , Nov 26, 2009
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              I also had an ELF II back in those days and made several expansion cards for it.  I still have a copy of the Philadelphia Computer Music Festival LP from Creative Computing magazine.  It was sort of amazing at the time to hear what some people were doing with computer generated music.  There are several recordings of music from the COSMAC ELF on that record.  The most interesting piece was by Hal Chamberlin on a system he designed, where he did Back's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor.  I got to see this system performed at one of the West Coast Computer Faires in the early 80s.  The performance was done if I remember correctly from a series of about 40 8" floppy disks that he inserted at regular intervals.  When Hal started playing it, you could have heard a pin drop in the auditorium.  My Elf isn't around any more to due an accident in which the circuit board got destroyed, but I'm hoping to build up another one someday.

               

              --- On Thu, 11/26/09, awasson2001 <andrew@...> wrote:

              From: awasson2001 <andrew@...>
              Subject: [cosmacelf] Re: My 1802 has been running code for me for 32 years today!
              To: cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com
              Date: Thursday, November 26, 2009, 10:33 AM
















               









              That's pretty cool Ted!

              I was two years behind you in age and technology.. .



              I was looking at 1802's and 8080A's (in my Radio Shack catalog) but I was still playing with old analog computer circuits from my dad's ancient popular electronics collection and dreaming of the day when I would have a Logix 0-600 computer... I got one for Christmas that year : )



              I built my Netronics ELF II about a year and a half later and started making my own expansion cards for noise (sound) and interface.



              I Hope you're having a great Thanksgiving Day!



              Andrew



              --- In cosmacelf@yahoogrou ps.com, "ted_rossin" <ted_rossin@ ...> wrote:

              >

              > 32 years ago today while my mom was putting the turkey together for Thanksgiving I finished soldering up my Elf on perf-board using point-to-point wiring and loaded:

              >

              > 01111011

              > 00110000

              > 00000000

              >

              > And the Q LED lit! I did have enough paper route money for toggle switches so I had 8 wires floating in the air that I could tie to ground or +5V with a little solderless breadboard. Those were the days. Long hair and a face full of zits enduring 10th grade!

              >

              > Hard to believe that 32 years later I'd be writing code in C for that same chip.

              >



























              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Steve Valin
              I was also in 10th grade, about 30 years ago, when I built my Elf.  I really wanted a Netronics or Quest, but didnt have $100.  Armed with a copy of the
              Message 6 of 28 , Nov 27, 2009
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                I was also in 10th grade, about 30 years ago, when I built my Elf.  I really wanted a Netronics or Quest, but didnt' have $100.  Armed with a copy of the Popular Electronics Elf series, I ordered the parts from Quest for about $40 and wire wrapped it myself.  Throughout high school I added on to it.  I still have it, but haven't dared to power it on with the birds nest of 30AWG kynar!   I have since collected many of the SBC's I lusted after as a kid (VIP, Elf II, Super ELF, and many 6502 (my other 8bit love) based boards.

                -steve


                --- On Thu, 11/26/09, ted_rossin <ted_rossin@...> wrote:

                From: ted_rossin <ted_rossin@...>
                Subject: [cosmacelf] My 1802 has been running code for me for 32 years today!
                To: cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com
                Date: Thursday, November 26, 2009, 9:00 AM







                 









                32 years ago today while my mom was putting the turkey together for Thanksgiving I finished soldering up my Elf on perf-board using point-to-point wiring and loaded:



                01111011

                00110000

                00000000



                And the Q LED lit! I did have enough paper route money for toggle switches so I had 8 wires floating in the air that I could tie to ground or +5V with a little solderless breadboard. Those were the days. Long hair and a face full of zits enduring 10th grade!



                Hard to believe that 32 years later I'd be writing code in C for that same chip.

























                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • cwardell2000
                I remember building the Giant Board for my ELF II on Christmas of 1980. Played around with a Parallax Propeller this Thanksgiving, some things never change...
                Message 7 of 28 , Nov 27, 2009
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                  I remember building the Giant Board for my ELF II on Christmas of 1980. Played around with a Parallax Propeller this Thanksgiving, some things never change... :-)

                  C.W.

                  --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, "ted_rossin" <ted_rossin@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > 32 years ago today while my mom was putting the turkey together for Thanksgiving I finished soldering up my Elf on perf-board using point-to-point wiring and loaded:
                  >
                  > 01111011
                  > 00110000
                  > 00000000
                  >
                  > And the Q LED lit! I did have enough paper route money for toggle switches so I had 8 wires floating in the air that I could tie to ground or +5V with a little solderless breadboard. Those were the days. Long hair and a face full of zits enduring 10th grade!
                  >
                  > Hard to believe that 32 years later I'd be writing code in C for that same chip.
                  >
                • Jaap Huijsman
                  I get a Netronics ELF II on my 15th birthday on the November of 1979. My father has builded it all for all before, and I only have programmed on it. Yep 7B 30
                  Message 8 of 28 , Nov 28, 2009
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                    I get a Netronics ELF II on my 15th birthday on the November of 1979. My
                    father has builded it all for all before, and I only have programmed on it.
                    Yep 7B 30 00 gives Q on.

                    I'm living in Holland, not in USA. For $100 my dad get it from USA via post
                    while I don't mark and know the whole time.



                    I can remember all, how it works. Until 1983 it worked perfectly with Giant
                    Board, 20K Board, Video Board. I have made many many programs, in machine
                    language, assembly, Super Basic, FigForth and (shortly) C. Now now I have
                    only a motherboard as a last piece, it don't work anymore sadly.. Only it
                    can worked for me is an 1802-emulator on my 200x's pc.

                    And in the March of 1983 I get a next new computersystem: Commodore 64. I've
                    stopped experimenting of 1802 a little bit month later.



                    Greetings.

                    Jaap Huijsman from Holland.





                    Van: cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com [mailto:cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com] Namens
                    ted_rossin
                    Verzonden: donderdag 26 november 2009 18:01
                    Aan: cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com
                    Onderwerp: [cosmacelf] My 1802 has been running code for me for 32 years
                    today!





                    32 years ago today while my mom was putting the turkey together for
                    Thanksgiving I finished soldering up my Elf on perf-board using
                    point-to-point wiring and loaded:

                    01111011
                    00110000
                    00000000

                    And the Q LED lit! I did have enough paper route money for toggle switches
                    so I had 8 wires floating in the air that I could tie to ground or +5V with
                    a little solderless breadboard. Those were the days. Long hair and a face
                    full of zits enduring 10th grade!

                    Hard to believe that 32 years later I'd be writing code in C for that same
                    chip.





                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Kevin P. Rice
                    Hi all, I ve been lurking here a few months. In 1977 I was in 4th grade (9 years old). I d already built an LED winky-dink in 3rd grade and regularly read
                    Message 9 of 28 , Nov 28, 2009
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                      Hi all,

                      I've been lurking here a few months.

                      In 1977 I was in 4th grade (9 years old). I'd already built an LED winky-dink in 3rd grade and regularly read Popular Electronics. One day my dad brought home a bunch of parts and a 1802 and I went to work soldering up an ELF using 24 AWG wire.

                      After a couple days it became very apparent from the huge mass of wire that point-to-point soldering wasn't working. Thus, my dad purchased a wire wrap tool and a bunch of sockets and I started over. My dad fabricated a two-piece chassis--the ELF PC board in one box, and the switches in a separate box connected with a ribbon cable (sort of a "keyboard").

                      At the time, the hex displays were extraordinarily expensive (around $40, I believe), so we went with eight discrete LEDs instead. I always thought the hex displays would have been so neat, but now I'm thankful that I got to build the most basic display possible!

                      After a lot of effort, I couldn't get it to work. Very disappointing. I tried for a long time to troubleshoot with a logic probe. The funny thing was at 9 years old, I really didn't have much of an idea just WHAT I was building! I only knew it was neat! I had never programmed a computer and had only enjoyed the opportunity to spew out a few yards of paper punched tape on a TTY terminal at my dad's work. I'm sure I still have that punch tape and I'd love to decode it and see what I typed back then.

                      In 1979 my brother and I got a TRS-80 (Model I) in exchange for NOT going to Hawaii with my parents (good for them). I learned BASIC from the Radio Shack manuals, but I still had no idea what assembly language was--except I heard it was really difficult (it's actually easier). Eventually, I got some books on assembly and learned to program the TRS-80's Z-80 and subsequently programmed the 6502 a bit on the Apple II and Commodore PET.

                      What about the ELF?

                      After learning what assembly language was, I wanted to go back and fix my ELF. In 8th grade I brought it to Mr. Fitt's electronics class. I can't remember what the problem was--a simple power supply wiring error, I believe. Anyway, I finally got it to work!

                      Because of the ELF I became extremely proficient at converting between hex, binary AND decimal. Because of the ELF I truly understand how a computer works. And, because of learning assembly language, I truly understand the massive waste of resources and memory used by:

                      float tempF = 1.8 * tempC + 32;

                      ...when you perhaps could have written:

                      int tempF = 18 * tempC / 10 + 32;

                      I constantly see vastly inefficient code written by programmers who have absolutely no understanding what sort of inefficiencies occur because of a single line of code and are unable to think outside the box to avoid these inefficiencies. Simple tricks that we all probably know like:

                      xor ax, ax; // 2 bytes (Intel x86)

                      instead of:

                      mov ax, 0; // 3 bytes

                      With today's powerful programming languages, programmers think the simplest looking code is the best and don't hesitate to use powerful features that waste megabytes of RAM. Often, an alternate method (perhaps requiring a bit more thought) could have done the same thing with nearly zero RAM, far fewer CPU cycles, and ultimately less code (all unknown and unseen to programmers who have no idea that huge code libraries are invisibly being included).

                      They should teach assembly/machine code programming on the ELF in school FIRST; then move on to other languages!

                      Long-live the COSMAC ELF!!

                      I'll post pictures of my ELF if anyone is interested.

                      Kevin
                      San Luis Obispo, CA
                    • cwardell2000
                      Great story Kevin. It was good to hear that you persisted and got the ELF to work. Seeing pics would be cool. C.W.
                      Message 10 of 28 , Nov 28, 2009
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                        Great story Kevin. It was good to hear that you persisted and got the ELF to work. Seeing pics would be cool.

                        C.W.

                        --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, "Kevin P. Rice" <kriceslo@...> wrote:
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Hi all,
                        >
                        > I've been lurking here a few months.
                        >
                        > In 1977 I was in 4th grade (9 years old). I'd already built an LED winky-dink in 3rd grade and regularly read Popular Electronics. One day my dad brought home a bunch of parts and a 1802 and I went to work soldering up an ELF using 24 AWG wire.
                        >
                        > After a couple days it became very apparent from the huge mass of wire that point-to-point soldering wasn't working. Thus, my dad purchased a wire wrap tool and a bunch of sockets and I started over. My dad fabricated a two-piece chassis--the ELF PC board in one box, and the switches in a separate box connected with a ribbon cable (sort of a "keyboard").
                        >
                        > At the time, the hex displays were extraordinarily expensive (around $40, I believe), so we went with eight discrete LEDs instead. I always thought the hex displays would have been so neat, but now I'm thankful that I got to build the most basic display possible!
                        >
                        > After a lot of effort, I couldn't get it to work. Very disappointing. I tried for a long time to troubleshoot with a logic probe. The funny thing was at 9 years old, I really didn't have much of an idea just WHAT I was building! I only knew it was neat! I had never programmed a computer and had only enjoyed the opportunity to spew out a few yards of paper punched tape on a TTY terminal at my dad's work. I'm sure I still have that punch tape and I'd love to decode it and see what I typed back then.
                        >
                        > In 1979 my brother and I got a TRS-80 (Model I) in exchange for NOT going to Hawaii with my parents (good for them). I learned BASIC from the Radio Shack manuals, but I still had no idea what assembly language was--except I heard it was really difficult (it's actually easier). Eventually, I got some books on assembly and learned to program the TRS-80's Z-80 and subsequently programmed the 6502 a bit on the Apple II and Commodore PET.
                        >
                        > What about the ELF?
                        >
                        > After learning what assembly language was, I wanted to go back and fix my ELF. In 8th grade I brought it to Mr. Fitt's electronics class. I can't remember what the problem was--a simple power supply wiring error, I believe. Anyway, I finally got it to work!
                        >
                        > Because of the ELF I became extremely proficient at converting between hex, binary AND decimal. Because of the ELF I truly understand how a computer works. And, because of learning assembly language, I truly understand the massive waste of resources and memory used by:
                        >
                        > float tempF = 1.8 * tempC + 32;
                        >
                        > ...when you perhaps could have written:
                        >
                        > int tempF = 18 * tempC / 10 + 32;
                        >
                        > I constantly see vastly inefficient code written by programmers who have absolutely no understanding what sort of inefficiencies occur because of a single line of code and are unable to think outside the box to avoid these inefficiencies. Simple tricks that we all probably know like:
                        >
                        > xor ax, ax; // 2 bytes (Intel x86)
                        >
                        > instead of:
                        >
                        > mov ax, 0; // 3 bytes
                        >
                        > With today's powerful programming languages, programmers think the simplest looking code is the best and don't hesitate to use powerful features that waste megabytes of RAM. Often, an alternate method (perhaps requiring a bit more thought) could have done the same thing with nearly zero RAM, far fewer CPU cycles, and ultimately less code (all unknown and unseen to programmers who have no idea that huge code libraries are invisibly being included).
                        >
                        > They should teach assembly/machine code programming on the ELF in school FIRST; then move on to other languages!
                        >
                        > Long-live the COSMAC ELF!!
                        >
                        > I'll post pictures of my ELF if anyone is interested.
                        >
                        > Kevin
                        > San Luis Obispo, CA
                        >
                      • Lee Hart
                        ... With today s powerful programming languages, programmers think the simplest looking code is the best and don t hesitate to use powerful features that waste
                        Message 11 of 28 , Nov 28, 2009
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                          Kevin P. Rice wrote:
                          > Because of the ELF I truly understand how a computer works. And, because of learning assembly language, I truly understand the massive waste of resources and memory...
                          With today's powerful programming languages, programmers think the
                          simplest looking code is the best and don't hesitate to use powerful
                          features that waste megabytes of RAM. Often, an alternate method
                          (perhaps requiring a bit more thought) could have done the same thing
                          with nearly zero RAM, far fewer CPU cycles, and ultimately less code
                          (all unknown and unseen to programmers who have no idea that huge code
                          libraries are invisibly being included).
                          > They should teach assembly/machine code programming on the ELF in school FIRST; then move on to other languages!
                          >
                          Amen! *Any* resource that is assumed to be infinite and therefore "free"
                          tends to be over-used and under-appreciated. It's why we need GHz clock
                          speeds and megabytes of memory to do even trivial jobs. If we had to
                          depend on today's software engineers, we wouldn't have pocket
                          calculators (which typically have only a 4-bit CPU and a couple Kbytes
                          of memory). They would say it's "impossible" to do anything with so
                          little resources.

                          --
                          Ring the bells that still can ring
                          Forget the perfect offering
                          There is a crack in everything
                          That's how the light gets in -- Leonard Cohen
                          --
                          Lee A. Hart, 814 8th Ave N, Sartell MN 56377, leeahart_at_earthlink.net
                        • Charles Richmond
                          Think of all that time that you could *not* use your ELF, just because of one *stupid* wiring error!!! It seems to me that a *huge* amount of problems are
                          Message 12 of 28 , Nov 28, 2009
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                            Think of all that time that you could *not* use your ELF, just
                            because of one *stupid* wiring error!!! It seems to me that a *huge*
                            amount of problems are caused by stupid mistakes. And when I find the
                            stupid mistake that I made, I regret wasting all that time over
                            something so silly. :-(

                            As for inefficient code, we are spared some waste by optimizing
                            compilers. Removing common subexpressions, hoisting code out of a
                            loop, and things like that can save *ions* of time during execution
                            of the program. Some of the "defensive" coding that older programmers
                            did is now unnecessary, because the compiler will take care of it.


                            The "xor ax,ax" for the x86 was "xra a" on the 8080. The "xra" took
                            *one* byte and was faster than the "mvi a,0".

                            I think that the tendency in colleges is to *omit* the basics and
                            start programming classes at the level of programming that gives a
                            person *no* insight into what the computer is really doing. I believe
                            that the educators think that learning the whole gamut of programming
                            would take *more* than the four year course. It's sad. :-(

                            Sure, I'd *love* to see pictures of your Elf!!!





                            On Nov 28, 2009, at 8:51 AM, Kevin P. Rice wrote:

                            > Hi all,
                            >
                            > I've been lurking here a few months.
                            >
                            > In 1977 I was in 4th grade (9 years old). I'd already built an LED
                            > winky-dink in 3rd grade and regularly read Popular Electronics. One
                            > day my dad brought home a bunch of parts and a 1802 and I went to
                            > work soldering up an ELF using 24 AWG wire.
                            >
                            > After a couple days it became very apparent from the huge mass of
                            > wire that point-to-point soldering wasn't working. Thus, my dad
                            > purchased a wire wrap tool and a bunch of sockets and I started
                            > over. My dad fabricated a two-piece chassis--the ELF PC board in
                            > one box, and the switches in a separate box connected with a ribbon
                            > cable (sort of a "keyboard").
                            >
                            > At the time, the hex displays were extraordinarily expensive
                            > (around $40, I believe), so we went with eight discrete LEDs
                            > instead. I always thought the hex displays would have been so neat,
                            > but now I'm thankful that I got to build the most basic display
                            > possible!
                            >
                            > After a lot of effort, I couldn't get it to work. Very
                            > disappointing. I tried for a long time to troubleshoot with a logic
                            > probe. The funny thing was at 9 years old, I really didn't have
                            > much of an idea just WHAT I was building! I only knew it was neat!
                            > I had never programmed a computer and had only enjoyed the
                            > opportunity to spew out a few yards of paper punched tape on a TTY
                            > terminal at my dad's work. I'm sure I still have that punch tape
                            > and I'd love to decode it and see what I typed back then.
                            >
                            > In 1979 my brother and I got a TRS-80 (Model I) in exchange for NOT
                            > going to Hawaii with my parents (good for them). I learned BASIC
                            > from the Radio Shack manuals, but I still had no idea what assembly
                            > language was--except I heard it was really difficult (it's actually
                            > easier). Eventually, I got some books on assembly and learned to
                            > program the TRS-80's Z-80 and subsequently programmed the 6502 a
                            > bit on the Apple II and Commodore PET.
                            >
                            > What about the ELF?
                            >
                            > After learning what assembly language was, I wanted to go back and
                            > fix my ELF. In 8th grade I brought it to Mr. Fitt's electronics
                            > class. I can't remember what the problem was--a simple power supply
                            > wiring error, I believe. Anyway, I finally got it to work!
                            >
                            > Because of the ELF I became extremely proficient at converting
                            > between hex, binary AND decimal. Because of the ELF I truly
                            > understand how a computer works. And, because of learning assembly
                            > language, I truly understand the massive waste of resources and
                            > memory used by:
                            >
                            > float tempF = 1.8 * tempC + 32;
                            >
                            > ...when you perhaps could have written:
                            >
                            > int tempF = 18 * tempC / 10 + 32;
                            >
                            > I constantly see vastly inefficient code written by programmers who
                            > have absolutely no understanding what sort of inefficiencies occur
                            > because of a single line of code and are unable to think outside
                            > the box to avoid these inefficiencies. Simple tricks that we all
                            > probably know like:
                            >
                            > xor ax, ax; // 2 bytes (Intel x86)
                            >
                            > instead of:
                            >
                            > mov ax, 0; // 3 bytes
                            >
                            > With today's powerful programming languages, programmers think the
                            > simplest looking code is the best and don't hesitate to use
                            > powerful features that waste megabytes of RAM. Often, an alternate
                            > method (perhaps requiring a bit more thought) could have done the
                            > same thing with nearly zero RAM, far fewer CPU cycles, and
                            > ultimately less code (all unknown and unseen to programmers who
                            > have no idea that huge code libraries are invisibly being included).
                            >
                            > They should teach assembly/machine code programming on the ELF in
                            > school FIRST; then move on to other languages!
                            >
                            > Long-live the COSMAC ELF!!
                            >
                            > I'll post pictures of my ELF if anyone is interested.
                            >
                            > Kevin
                            > San Luis Obispo, CA
                            >
                            >

                            --
                            +----------------------------------------+
                            | Charles and Francis Richmond |
                            | |
                            | plano dot net at aquaporin4 dot com |
                            +----------------------------------------+
                          • ted_rossin
                            It is great to hear all the stories. I agree that learning from the ground up is the way to go. When I went to college for electrical engineering and had some
                            Message 13 of 28 , Nov 30, 2009
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                              It is great to hear all the stories.

                              I agree that learning from the ground up is the way to go. When I went to college for electrical engineering and had some software classes, they would always start at a high level and use terms like automatically when describing how the machine worked. This always hurt my mind and I found it confusing. They never went very deep. My EE classes did go deep which helped balance it out.

                              It seemed that software engineers had to take graduate level classes to learn how computers work. I always felt this was a limiter.

                              My early days with the 1802 and 1861 really gave me a head start on my understanding. I'm still learning today and I credit my hobby with the 1802 as the most important stepping stone in my career.

                              Today I'm working at Intel designing TLBs, caches, and working a bit with branch prediction for enterprise server processors. Before this I was at Agilent (a HP spin off) designing embedded processors for per pin system-on-a-chip testers. Before all that I had the ultimate job at HP designing high performance 3D graphics accelerators for HP unix workstations.

                              I just wanted to point out that on most processors (even those I used in 1994), that for the equations below:


                              float tempF = 1.8 * tempC + 32;
                              int tempF = 18 * tempC / 10 + 32;

                              The floating point version will exectue faster and requrie less memory than the integer version since most modern processors implement floating point as single cycle instructions. The integer version has an extra divide that is dependent on the result of a prior multiply so if the processor's ALU is pipelined (and most are) there is a hazard that the processor must wait for the pipe to empty before continuing. floats and integers are both 32-bit values.

                              As Charles pointed out, sweating the details is not always required as other folks sometimes do it for you with the processor or the compiler. There is still a need for knowing what is going on and hand crafting software. For example when working with small/low-cost embedded processors or having to optimize a slow inner loop of code but other times it gets in the way of getting the job done or making code that can be maintained or modified or bug free.

                              If everyone had to program in assembly or hex we would not have the wealth of software that we have today. I don't believe that the state of the CAD tools would be where it is today without high-level languages and abstraction. Same with games, video compression, web browsers, cell phones ...

                              Just my two cents.

                              Ted.





                              --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, "ted_rossin" <ted_rossin@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > 32 years ago today while my mom was putting the turkey together for Thanksgiving I finished soldering up my Elf on perf-board using point-to-point wiring and loaded:
                              >
                              > 01111011
                              > 00110000
                              > 00000000
                              >
                              > And the Q LED lit! I did have enough paper route money for toggle switches so I had 8 wires floating in the air that I could tie to ground or +5V with a little solderless breadboard. Those were the days. Long hair and a face full of zits enduring 10th grade!
                              >
                              > Hard to believe that 32 years later I'd be writing code in C for that same chip.
                              >
                            • jdrose_8_bit
                              Wonderful story. I wish fledgling programmers today were required to do what you did. Learn programming at the bare level; bits, bytes and assembly (machine)
                              Message 14 of 28 , Apr 28, 2013
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                                Wonderful story.

                                I wish fledgling programmers today were required to do what you did. Learn programming at the bare level; bits, bytes and assembly (machine) language. I think they would get a better feeling of how a computer actually works.

                                I agree that assembly language is easier to learn than high level languages.

                                --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, "Kevin P. Rice" <kriceslo@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > Hi all,
                                >
                                > In 1977 I was in 4th grade (9 years old). I'd already built an LED winky-dink in 3rd grade and regularly read Popular Electronics. One day my dad brought home a bunch of parts and a 1802 and I went to work soldering up an ELF using 24 AWG wire.
                                >
                                > After a couple days it became very apparent from the huge mass of wire that point-to-point soldering wasn't working. Thus, my dad purchased a wire wrap tool and a bunch of sockets and I started over. My dad fabricated a two-piece chassis--the ELF PC board in one box, and the switches in a separate box connected with a ribbon cable (sort of a "keyboard").
                                >
                                > At the time, the hex displays were extraordinarily expensive (around $40, I believe), so we went with eight discrete LEDs instead. I always thought the hex displays would have been so neat, but now I'm thankful that I got to build the most basic display possible!
                                >
                                > After a lot of effort, I couldn't get it to work. Very disappointing. I tried for a long time to troubleshoot with a logic probe. The funny thing was at 9 years old, I really didn't have much of an idea just WHAT I was building! I only knew it was neat! I had never programmed a computer and had only enjoyed the opportunity to spew out a few yards of paper punched tape on a TTY terminal at my dad's work. I'm sure I still have that punch tape and I'd love to decode it and see what I typed back then.
                                >
                                > In 1979 my brother and I got a TRS-80 (Model I) in exchange for NOT going to Hawaii with my parents (good for them). I learned BASIC from the Radio Shack manuals, but I still had no idea what assembly language was--except I heard it was really difficult (it's actually easier). Eventually, I got some books on assembly and learned to program the TRS-80's Z-80 and subsequently programmed the 6502 a bit on the Apple II and Commodore PET.
                                >
                                > What about the ELF?
                                >
                                > After learning what assembly language was, I wanted to go back and fix my ELF. In 8th grade I brought it to Mr. Fitt's electronics class. I can't remember what the problem was--a simple power supply wiring error, I believe. Anyway, I finally got it to work!
                                >
                                > Because of the ELF I became extremely proficient at converting between hex, binary AND decimal. Because of the ELF I truly understand how a computer works. And, because of learning assembly language, I truly understand the massive waste of resources and memory used by:
                                >
                                > float tempF = 1.8 * tempC + 32;
                                >
                                > ...when you perhaps could have written:
                                >
                                > int tempF = 18 * tempC / 10 + 32;
                                >
                                > I constantly see vastly inefficient code written by programmers who have absolutely no understanding what sort of inefficiencies occur because of a single line of code and are unable to think outside the box to avoid these inefficiencies. Simple tricks that we all probably know like:
                                >
                                > xor ax, ax; // 2 bytes (Intel x86)
                                >
                                > instead of:
                                >
                                > mov ax, 0; // 3 bytes
                                >
                                > With today's powerful programming languages, programmers think the simplest looking code is the best and don't hesitate to use powerful features that waste megabytes of RAM. Often, an alternate method (perhaps requiring a bit more thought) could have done the same thing with nearly zero RAM, far fewer CPU cycles, and ultimately less code (all unknown and unseen to programmers who have no idea that huge code libraries are invisibly being included).
                                >
                                > They should teach assembly/machine code programming on the ELF in school FIRST; then move on to other languages!
                                >
                                > Long-live the COSMAC ELF!!
                                >
                                > I'll post pictures of my ELF if anyone is interested.
                                >
                                > Kevin
                                > San Luis Obispo, CA
                                >
                              • Lee Hart
                                ... Some are, but many aren t. The assembly language of many modern CPUs is so byzantine that even experts have trouble using it. You pretty much *have* to
                                Message 15 of 28 , Apr 28, 2013
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                                  On 4/28/2013 3:33 PM, jdrose_8_bit wrote:
                                  > I wish fledgling programmers today were required to do what you did.
                                  > Learn programming at the bare level; bits, bytes and assembly
                                  > (machine) language. I think they would get a better feeling of how a
                                  > computer actually works.
                                  >
                                  > I agree that assembly language is easier to learn than high level
                                  > languages.

                                  Some are, but many aren't. The assembly language of many modern CPUs is
                                  so byzantine that even experts have trouble using it. You pretty much
                                  *have* to program them in a high level language and use a compiler.

                                  But, many high level languages have evolved so far that they are very
                                  difficult to learn as well.

                                  The goal should be to teach students both assembler, and high level
                                  language. But you need very *simple* examples of both.
                                  --
                                  ICEs have the same problem as lightbulbs. Why innovate and make better
                                  ones when the current ones burn out often enough to keep you in
                                  business? -- Hunter Cressall
                                  --
                                  Lee A. Hart, http://www.sunrise-ev.com/LeesEVs.htm
                                • jdrose_8_bit
                                  ... That is true. Some of later ARM assembly languages are definite mind twisters. ARM promises to make ARM assembly language more programmer friendly with the
                                  Message 16 of 28 , Apr 28, 2013
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                                    --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, Lee Hart <leeahart@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Some are, but many aren't. The assembly language of many modern CPUs is
                                    > so byzantine that even experts have trouble using it. You pretty much
                                    > *have* to program them in a high level language and use a compiler.
                                    >

                                    That is true.

                                    Some of later ARM assembly languages are definite mind twisters. ARM promises to make ARM assembly language more programmer friendly with the introduction of the 64 bit v8 processors. We'll see. Promises. Promises.

                                    I think I have heard of microprocessors that have high level languages programmed into their microcode. That would be something to tinker with.
                                  • Lee Hart
                                    ... Charlie Moore, the creator of the FORTH language, has been doing this for many decades. Since FORTH is a pretty low high level language , it is easy to
                                    Message 17 of 28 , Apr 28, 2013
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                                      On 4/28/2013 4:02 PM, jdrose_8_bit wrote:
                                      > I think I have heard of microprocessors that have high level
                                      > languages programmed into their microcode. That would be something to
                                      > tinker with.

                                      Charlie Moore, the creator of the FORTH language, has been doing this
                                      for many decades. Since FORTH is a pretty low "high level language", it
                                      is easy to make special-purpose CPUs that run FORTH directly.

                                      These "FORTH engines" often run at astounding speeds. Of late, he's been
                                      putting hundreds of them on a single chip, in massively parallel
                                      architectures! But since FORTH is off the beaten path of standard
                                      programming, they have generally been used only for special purpose
                                      applications.

                                      --
                                      An engineer can do for a nickel what any damn fool can do for a dollar.
                                      -- Henry Ford
                                      --
                                      Lee A. Hart, http://www.sunrise-ev.com/LeesEVs.htm
                                    • ajparent1
                                      My first Elf is still running it was built in the spring of 1977 and a second one a year later. That makes those two 35 and 36 years old. Then again I also
                                      Message 18 of 28 , Apr 28, 2013
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                                        My first Elf is still running it was built in the spring of 1977
                                        and a second one a year later. That makes those two 35 and 36 years old. Then again I also have a SC/MP, 6800D1, Kim-1 from that era.
                                        I liked investigating micros.

                                        After programming PDP-8 most machines look either too complicated
                                        or too easy. I can never decide.

                                        Allison



                                        --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, "jdrose_8_bit" <rarecoinbuyer@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, Lee Hart <leeahart@> wrote:
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > > Some are, but many aren't. The assembly language of many modern CPUs is
                                        > > so byzantine that even experts have trouble using it. You pretty much
                                        > > *have* to program them in a high level language and use a compiler.
                                        > >
                                        >
                                        > That is true.
                                        >
                                        > Some of later ARM assembly languages are definite mind twisters. ARM promises to make ARM assembly language more programmer friendly with the introduction of the 64 bit v8 processors. We'll see. Promises. Promises.
                                        >
                                        > I think I have heard of microprocessors that have high level languages programmed into their microcode. That would be something to tinker with.
                                        >
                                      • ajparent1
                                        I actually made it to a few of them and have that same LP to this day. That and PCC on the Jersey shore and the Trenton Computer fest. There were a few really
                                        Message 19 of 28 , Apr 28, 2013
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                                          I actually made it to a few of them and have that same LP to this day.
                                          That and PCC on the Jersey shore and the Trenton Computer fest.

                                          There were a few really good music generation system but Processor Tech was the cheapest while effective.

                                          My favorite use of the 1802 was a complete model train
                                          marshaling yard and the user could specify what cars to
                                          line up for the outgoing. There was a fair amount of
                                          code to do that as they had to keep track of what cars
                                          there where and which track they to go on.


                                          Allison

                                          --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, Raymond Siminas <lb_tiger39208@...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          > I also had an ELF II back in those days and made several expansion cards for it.  I still have a copy of the Philadelphia Computer Music Festival LP from Creative Computing magazine.  It was sort of amazing at the time to hear what some people were doing with computer generated music.  There are several recordings of music from the COSMAC ELF on that record.  The most interesting piece was by Hal Chamberlin on a system he designed, where he did Back's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor.  I got to see this system performed at one of the West Coast Computer Faires in the early 80s.  The performance was done if I remember correctly from a series of about 40 8" floppy disks that he inserted at regular intervals.  When Hal started playing it, you could have heard a pin drop in the auditorium.  My Elf isn't around any more to due an accident in which the circuit board got destroyed, but I'm hoping to build up another one someday.
                                          >
                                          >  
                                          >
                                          > --- On Thu, 11/26/09, awasson2001 <andrew@...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          > From: awasson2001 <andrew@...>
                                          > Subject: [cosmacelf] Re: My 1802 has been running code for me for 32 years today!
                                          > To: cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com
                                          > Date: Thursday, November 26, 2009, 10:33 AM
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >  
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > That's pretty cool Ted!
                                          >
                                          > I was two years behind you in age and technology.. .
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > I was looking at 1802's and 8080A's (in my Radio Shack catalog) but I was still playing with old analog computer circuits from my dad's ancient popular electronics collection and dreaming of the day when I would have a Logix 0-600 computer... I got one for Christmas that year : )
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > I built my Netronics ELF II about a year and a half later and started making my own expansion cards for noise (sound) and interface.
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > I Hope you're having a great Thanksgiving Day!
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > Andrew
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > --- In cosmacelf@yahoogrou ps.com, "ted_rossin" <ted_rossin@ ...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          > >
                                          >
                                          > > 32 years ago today while my mom was putting the turkey together for Thanksgiving I finished soldering up my Elf on perf-board using point-to-point wiring and loaded:
                                          >
                                          > >
                                          >
                                          > > 01111011
                                          >
                                          > > 00110000
                                          >
                                          > > 00000000
                                          >
                                          > >
                                          >
                                          > > And the Q LED lit! I did have enough paper route money for toggle switches so I had 8 wires floating in the air that I could tie to ground or +5V with a little solderless breadboard. Those were the days. Long hair and a face full of zits enduring 10th grade!
                                          >
                                          > >
                                          >
                                          > > Hard to believe that 32 years later I'd be writing code in C for that same chip.
                                          >
                                          > >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                          >
                                        • jdrose_8_bit
                                          ... Yes, that is right. I have been studying his GreenArrays FORTH chips. Quite amazing. I wanted to buy one but they are only available in lots of 20
                                          Message 20 of 28 , Apr 28, 2013
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                                            --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, Lee Hart <leeahart@...> wrote:

                                            >
                                            > These "FORTH engines" often run at astounding speeds. Of late, he's been
                                            > putting hundreds of them on a single chip, in massively parallel
                                            > architectures! But since FORTH is off the beaten path of standard
                                            > programming, they have generally been used only for special purpose
                                            > applications.
                                            >

                                            Yes, that is right.

                                            I have been studying his GreenArrays FORTH chips. Quite amazing. I wanted to buy one but they are only available in lots of 20 processors. $400. Then another $450 for the development board. Considering they are made in small lots this is a fair price but beyond what I can spend.

                                            Mr. Moore's older FORTH chips are occasionally available on eBay but I have not seen any recently.

                                            I love FORTH. I have been learning your 8TH on the emulators. Very elegant implementation of a FORTH like language on the 1802.
                                          • Lee Hart
                                            ... Thanks! If I ever get time, I d like to go back into it again, and implement some of the things Chuck Moore did in his ColorFORTH. -- If you would not be
                                            Message 21 of 28 , Apr 28, 2013
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                                              On 4/28/2013 9:11 PM, jdrose_8_bit wrote:
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, Lee Hart<leeahart@...> wrote:
                                              >
                                              >>
                                              >> These "FORTH engines" often run at astounding speeds. Of late, he's been
                                              >> putting hundreds of them on a single chip, in massively parallel
                                              >> architectures! But since FORTH is off the beaten path of standard
                                              >> programming, they have generally been used only for special purpose
                                              >> applications.
                                              >>
                                              >
                                              > Yes, that is right.
                                              >
                                              > I have been studying his GreenArrays FORTH chips. Quite amazing. I wanted to buy one but they are only available in lots of 20 processors. $400. Then another $450 for the development board. Considering they are made in small lots this is a fair price but beyond what I can spend.
                                              >
                                              > Mr. Moore's older FORTH chips are occasionally available on eBay but I have not seen any recently.
                                              >
                                              > I love FORTH. I have been learning your 8TH on the emulators. Very elegant implementation of a FORTH like language on the 1802.

                                              Thanks!

                                              If I ever get time, I'd like to go back into it again, and implement
                                              some of the things Chuck Moore did in his ColorFORTH.

                                              --
                                              If you would not be forgotten
                                              When your body's dead and rotten
                                              Then write of great deeds worth the reading
                                              Or do these great deeds, worth repeating.
                                              -- Ben Franklin, from Poor Richard's Almanac
                                              --
                                              Lee A. Hart, http://www.sunrise-ev.com/LeesEVs.htm
                                            • joshbensadon
                                              ... Lot s of great stuff here, snipped. ... YES, YES, YES! Please do post pictures of your ELF! We all enjoy seeing how everyone else built theirs.
                                              Message 22 of 28 , Apr 28, 2013
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                                                --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, "jdrose_8_bit" <rarecoinbuyer@...> wrote:
                                                >
                                                > Wonderful story.
                                                >
                                                > --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, "Kevin P. Rice" <kriceslo@> wrote:
                                                > >
                                                > > Hi all,
                                                > >
                                                > > In 1977 I was in 4th grade (9 years old). I'd already built an LED winky-dink in 3rd grade and regularly read Popular Electronics. One day my dad brought home a bunch of parts and a 1802 and I went to work soldering up an ELF using 24 AWG wire.

                                                Lot's of great stuff here, snipped.

                                                > >
                                                > > I'll post pictures of my ELF if anyone is interested.
                                                > >
                                                > > Kevin
                                                > > San Luis Obispo, CA


                                                YES, YES, YES! Please do post pictures of your ELF! We all enjoy seeing how everyone else built theirs.

                                                :)J
                                              • jdrose_8_bit
                                                ... Absolutely.
                                                Message 23 of 28 , Apr 28, 2013
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                                                  --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, "joshbensadon" wrote:
                                                  >
                                                  > Please do post pictures of your ELF!
                                                  >
                                                  > We all enjoy seeing how everyone else built theirs.
                                                  >

                                                  Absolutely.
                                                • Kevin
                                                  Wow, someone dug up my old post! Remind me in a couple days (when I m home) and I ll post some pix for y all.
                                                  Message 24 of 28 , Apr 28, 2013
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                                                    Wow, someone dug up my old post! Remind me in a couple days (when I'm home) and I'll post some pix for y'all.

                                                    --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, "joshbensadon" <joshbensadon@...> wrote:
                                                    >
                                                    > --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, "jdrose_8_bit" <rarecoinbuyer@> wrote:
                                                    > >
                                                    > > Wonderful story.
                                                    > >
                                                    > > --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, "Kevin P. Rice" <kriceslo@> wrote:
                                                    > > >
                                                    > > > Hi all,
                                                    > > >
                                                    > > > In 1977 I was in 4th grade (9 years old). I'd already built an LED winky-dink in 3rd grade and regularly read Popular Electronics. One day my dad brought home a bunch of parts and a 1802 and I went to work soldering up an ELF using 24 AWG wire.
                                                    >
                                                    > Lot's of great stuff here, snipped.
                                                    >
                                                    > > >
                                                    > > > I'll post pictures of my ELF if anyone is interested.
                                                    > > >
                                                    > > > Kevin
                                                    > > > San Luis Obispo, CA
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > YES, YES, YES! Please do post pictures of your ELF! We all enjoy seeing how everyone else built theirs.
                                                    >
                                                    > :)J
                                                    >
                                                  • jdrose_8_bit
                                                    ... Good point. FORTH is so flexible that it can be bare metal and high level at the same time. It offers a warm veneer to soften the edges while slipping in
                                                    Message 25 of 28 , Apr 28, 2013
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                                                      --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, Mr. Hart wrote:
                                                      >
                                                      > ... FORTH is a pretty low "high level language"...
                                                      >

                                                      Good point. FORTH is so flexible that it can be bare metal and high level at the same time.

                                                      It offers a warm veneer to soften the edges while slipping in the ability to slice bits and push the stack.
                                                    • jdrose_8_bit
                                                      I knew about the FORTH processors. Thank you. However, I was thinking there are microprocessors that run even higher level languages like BASIC, Java and
                                                      Message 26 of 28 , Apr 29, 2013
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                                                        I knew about the FORTH processors. Thank you.

                                                        However, I was thinking there are microprocessors that run even higher level languages like BASIC, Java and FORTRAN natively. Perhaps I am mistaken in how they operate.

                                                        --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, Lee Hart <leeahart@...> wrote:
                                                        >
                                                        >
                                                        > Charlie Moore, the creator of the FORTH language, has been doing this
                                                        > for many decades. Since FORTH is a pretty low "high level language", it
                                                        > is easy to make special-purpose CPUs that run FORTH directly.
                                                        >
                                                      • Chuck Bigham
                                                        It depends on what you mean by natively. Microcontrollers like the Picaxe and BASIC Stamp have a built-in interpreter for BASIC, and that s the way that you
                                                        Message 27 of 28 , Apr 29, 2013
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                                                          It depends on what you mean by “natively.” Microcontrollers like the Picaxe and BASIC Stamp have a built-in interpreter for BASIC, and that’s the way that you program them. But the interpreter is an assembly language program pre-programmed into the underlying processor (PIC for the Picaxe, I’m not sure what for the Stamp).

                                                           

                                                          In that sense you could have a “native” processor for even 4th-generation languages like C# and Visual Basic – just build an IL interpreter in assembly language for the target processor – and then download the IL files from the .NET compilers.

                                                           

                                                          Chuck

                                                           

                                                          From: cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com [mailto:cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of jdrose_8_bit
                                                          Sent: Monday, April 29, 2013 10:12 AM
                                                          To: cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com
                                                          Subject: [cosmacelf] Re: My 1802 has been running code for me for 32 years today!

                                                           

                                                           

                                                          I knew about the FORTH processors. Thank you.

                                                          However, I was thinking there are microprocessors that run even higher level languages like BASIC, Java and FORTRAN natively. Perhaps I am mistaken in how they operate.

                                                          --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, Lee Hart <leeahart@...> wrote:
                                                          >
                                                          >
                                                          > Charlie Moore, the creator of the FORTH language, has been doing this
                                                          > for many decades. Since FORTH is a pretty low "high level language", it
                                                          > is easy to make special-purpose CPUs that run FORTH directly.
                                                          >

                                                        • Lee Hart
                                                          ... There is a fuzzy border between a true HLL (High Level Language), and a CPU that truly executes machine code. Lots of HLL compile into a byte code, which
                                                          Message 28 of 28 , Apr 29, 2013
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                                                            On 4/29/2013 12:12 PM, jdrose_8_bit wrote:
                                                            > I knew about the FORTH processors. Thank you. However, I was thinking
                                                            > there are microprocessors that run even higher level languages like
                                                            > BASIC, Java and FORTRAN natively. Perhaps I am mistaken in how they
                                                            > operate.

                                                            There is a fuzzy border between a true HLL (High Level Language), and a
                                                            CPU that truly executes machine code.

                                                            Lots of HLL compile into a byte code, which is a compacted form that is
                                                            easier for a real CPU to emulate. The byte code then gets compiled or
                                                            interpreted into the CPU's native instruction set. Smalltalk, BASIC,
                                                            ucsdPascal, FORTH, and Java are some examples that come to mind.

                                                            But in a few cases, CPUs have been built that can "directly" execute one
                                                            of these byte codes. The trouble is that "directly" often means by using
                                                            microcode, or a program in ROM. In effect, they modified the CPU's
                                                            native instruction set to be more like the byte code. Smalltalk, the
                                                            LISP machine, and Moore's FORTH engines took this approach. The CPU
                                                            doesn't literally execute the English language version of the source,
                                                            but it does directly execute the byte code.

                                                            In the past, the amount of hardware needed to directly execute source
                                                            code would have been staggering. But today, it's not all that hard to
                                                            imagine doing, especially with HLLs that aren't all that "high".
                                                            --
                                                            If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be called research, would it?
                                                            -- Albert Einstein
                                                            --
                                                            Lee A. Hart, http://www.sunrise-ev.com/LeesEVs.htm
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