Re: Pictures TCF 2010
- --- In email@example.com, Evan Koblentz <evan@...> wrote:
> That's a great story! Thanks for sharing.I don't remember much about it, as I no longer have mine (one of four or five that ever existed).
> Other than the disk format, what was unique about BoGUS?
It was a CP/M machine designed as CP/M was fading into oblivion, so it was a very nice machine at the wrong time. Some of the Franklin engineers came from Delta Data, so they were very focused on doing the video right. BoGUS had a really nice character set and did all the niceties that nobody notices, like scrolling only during vertical retrace time (avoids the blips all over the screen when doing lots of scrolls). It might have had smooth scroll as an option. Video output speed was very fast as the hardware and software were really optimized.
Dave Warker, the resident CP/M guru and one of the primary motivators of the project, had CP/M 3 running on it.
Hardware-wise, I seem to remember 64K, nice video, external keyboard, multiple serial ports and parallel port for a printer, a very current disk controller and maybe a real-time clock. It was a single PC board nicely laid out on the fancy new VAX using CAD. Prior boards were laid out by hand (!) by a very nice woman named Mary who was there before I joined the company.
Basically, Dave wanted a super CP/M machine and Bob had some bandwidth to do the work. The goal was to do everything right and not compromise on anything. Engineering budgets were so wild back then and money was flowing everywhere, so nobody noticed this project being built. We didn't have timecards so there was no record of where we were spending our time, and as long as our main projects were going well the engineers were actively encouraged to find creative stuff to do.
After the collapse all/most of the boards disappeared. Dave found some guy selling old computer boards, spotted the BoGUS boards, and bought them all back. In recent years he and Bob have built several new pieces of hardware for them. When I got rolling on my S-100 machine Dave suggested using the Bogus 720K disk format so I could exchange code with Bob who lived down the street from me. Now that Bob moved to the Left Coast it's not such an important feature anymore.