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re: [midatlanticretro] Re: RCA COSMAC Microkit

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  • B. Degnan
    Mike, ... any software? ... Just got it, I have not even tested the power yet. .. I have this Scelbi kit to get started first! ... consulting published most
    Message 1 of 13 , Apr 5, 2013
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      Mike,

      >
      > That is really cool. Are you going to try to get it going? Do you have
      any software?
      >

      Just got it, I have not even tested the power yet. .. I have this Scelbi
      kit to get started first!

      > The group of us folks working on SCELBI's are very lucky in that SCELBI
      consulting published most of their software in book form. SCELBAL BASIC
      has been digitized a few years back, and I'm working on digitizing and
      running some of their other published programs on reproduction hardware.
      It's been a real trip. We think that some of this stuff hasn't been run on
      physical hardware (or otherwise) in 25 or more years.
      >

      Basically I picked this COSMAC up because it was now or never. What to do
      and when to do it to be determined. I will be bringing both the Scelbi and
      the COSMAC to the MARCH open house most likely.

      Bill
    • Bill Dromgoole
      Bill, do you remember talking about the MicroKit 1 in 2009? Look at message #14763 when you corresponded with Joyce Wiesbecker about it on this forum. I think
      Message 2 of 13 , Apr 5, 2013
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        Bill, do you remember talking about the MicroKit 1 in 2009?
        Look at message #14763 when you corresponded with Joyce Wiesbecker about it on
        this forum.
        I think your subconscious mind kicked in and made you buy this.

        Begin Quote
        " You're right about the Microkit 1. It was RCA's hardware development kit
        targeted at design engineers looking to embed a microprocessor into their
        equipment. I never even saw one of them, only read the product brochure,
        because - Man!!! - that thing cost thousands of dollars, and RCA made its
        employees buy those kits at full price! That was an RCA Somerville project, so
        my father had no input. My father was building the prototypes (in our basement)
        for all the other computers I mentioned, and his group at the Sarnoff Labs was
        developing those models, so he got to bring home one of each of the final
        production models. (Yes, every aspect of the 1802 - microprocessor, computers,
        videogame, and kits - was a skunkworks project.)

        You really have a collectible in that Microkit 1, Bill. It was the
        predecessor to the VIP. Dad pitched the VIP as a cheaper, more accessible (and
        therefore better selling tool to OEMs) than the Microkit 1. But it was also the
        only way he could get RCA to offer a hobbyist computer since management was dead
        set against the idea :). Between the limited production run, the high cost, and
        the fact that most of them were the property of the employer, not the engineer,
        your Microkit 1 is probably one of the rarest production model computers still
        around. (Even I had forgotten it existed until you mentioned it!)
        Congratulations on your rare treasure!

        Joyce"
        End Quote.

        Bill Drom
        -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "B. Degnan" <billdeg@...>
        To: <midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Friday, April 05, 2013 3:04 PM
        Subject: re: [midatlanticretro] Re: RCA COSMAC Microkit


        > Mike,
        >
        >>
        >> That is really cool. Are you going to try to get it going? Do you have
        > any software?
        >>
        >
        > Just got it, I have not even tested the power yet. .. I have this Scelbi
        > kit to get started first!
        >
        >> The group of us folks working on SCELBI's are very lucky in that SCELBI
        > consulting published most of their software in book form. SCELBAL BASIC
        > has been digitized a few years back, and I'm working on digitizing and
        > running some of their other published programs on reproduction hardware.
        > It's been a real trip. We think that some of this stuff hasn't been run on
        > physical hardware (or otherwise) in 25 or more years.
        >>
        >
        > Basically I picked this COSMAC up because it was now or never. What to do
        > and when to do it to be determined. I will be bringing both the Scelbi and
        > the COSMAC to the MARCH open house most likely.
        >
        > Bill
        >
        >
        >
      • B. Degnan
        Yes, I was the one who brought up the COSMAC Microkit in 2009 when I discovered that they existed from a magazine article (on my site). Joyce appears to have
        Message 3 of 13 , Apr 5, 2013
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          Yes, I was the one who brought up the COSMAC Microkit in 2009 when I
          discovered that they existed from a magazine article (on my site). Joyce
          appears to have misunderstood me at the time in that I did not actually
          have a Microkit, I was only asking her if *she* had one...but perhaps she
          can read the future.

          I plan to sell my Steinberger Bass (anyone interested?) to pay for the
          computer, because I could not justify the expense otherwise. I figured
          this is a once in a lifetime thing and I am in the "go for it!" camp when
          it comes to things like that. And I never play that bass anyway. :-)

          Bill



          -------- Original Message --------
          > From: "Bill Dromgoole" <drummy@...>
          > Sent: Friday, April 05, 2013 9:31 PM
          > To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
          > Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] Re: RCA COSMAC Microkit
          >
          > Bill, do you remember talking about the MicroKit 1 in 2009?
          > Look at message #14763 when you corresponded with Joyce Wiesbecker about
          it on
          > this forum.
          > I think your subconscious mind kicked in and made you buy this.
          >
          > Begin Quote
          > " You're right about the Microkit 1. It was RCA's hardware development
          kit
          > targeted at design engineers looking to embed a microprocessor into their

          > equipment. I never even saw one of them, only read the product brochure,

          > because - Man!!! - that thing cost thousands of dollars, and RCA made its

          > employees buy those kits at full price! That was an RCA Somerville
          project, so
          > my father had no input. My father was building the prototypes (in our
          basement)
          > for all the other computers I mentioned, and his group at the Sarnoff
          Labs was
          > developing those models, so he got to bring home one of each of the final

          > production models. (Yes, every aspect of the 1802 - microprocessor,
          computers,
          > videogame, and kits - was a skunkworks project.)
          >
          > You really have a collectible in that Microkit 1, Bill. It was the
          > predecessor to the VIP. Dad pitched the VIP as a cheaper, more accessible
          (and
          > therefore better selling tool to OEMs) than the Microkit 1. But it was
          also the
          > only way he could get RCA to offer a hobbyist computer since management
          was dead
          > set against the idea :). Between the limited production run, the high
          cost, and
          > the fact that most of them were the property of the employer, not the
          engineer,
          > your Microkit 1 is probably one of the rarest production model computers
          still
          > around. (Even I had forgotten it existed until you mentioned it!)
          > Congratulations on your rare treasure!
          >
          > Joyce"
          > End Quote.
          >
          > Bill Drom
          >
          ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
          -------------------------------
          > ----- Original Message -----
          > From: "B. Degnan" <billdeg@...>
          > To: <midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com>
          > Sent: Friday, April 05, 2013 3:04 PM
          > Subject: re: [midatlanticretro] Re: RCA COSMAC Microkit
          >
          >
          > > Mike,
          > >
          > >>
          > >> That is really cool. Are you going to try to get it going? Do you
          have
          > > any software?
          > >>
          > >
          > > Just got it, I have not even tested the power yet. .. I have this
          Scelbi
          > > kit to get started first!
          > >
          > >> The group of us folks working on SCELBI's are very lucky in that
          SCELBI
          > > consulting published most of their software in book form. SCELBAL
          BASIC
          > > has been digitized a few years back, and I'm working on digitizing and
          > > running some of their other published programs on reproduction
          hardware.
          > > It's been a real trip. We think that some of this stuff hasn't been
          run on
          > > physical hardware (or otherwise) in 25 or more years.
          > >>
          > >
          > > Basically I picked this COSMAC up because it was now or never. What to
          do
          > > and when to do it to be determined. I will be bringing both the Scelbi
          and
          > > the COSMAC to the MARCH open house most likely.
          > >
          > > Bill
          > >
          > >
          > >
          >
          >
          >
          > ------------------------------------
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
        • B. Degnan
          ... the ROM as inverted so you didn t have to put another buffer chip on the bus. If you re trying to disassemble it, just run it through a program to flip
          Message 4 of 13 , Apr 18, 2013
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            >
            > In this case, if you had an inverted bus, it would make sense to store
            the ROM as inverted so you didn't have to put another buffer chip on the
            bus. If you're trying to disassemble it, just run it through a program to
            flip the bits.
            >
            >
            -Thanks Dave-
          • joshbensadon
            ... I don t think Bill has determined that the bus is inverted. I observed the dump that Bill posted didn t make sense as 1802 machine code until I guessed
            Message 5 of 13 , Apr 18, 2013
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              --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, "B. Degnan" <billdeg@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              > >
              > > In this case, if you had an inverted bus, it would make sense to store
              > the ROM as inverted so you didn't have to put another buffer chip on the
              > bus. If you're trying to disassemble it, just run it through a program to
              > flip the bits.
              > >
              > >
              > -Thanks Dave-


              I don't think Bill has determined that the bus is inverted.

              I observed the dump that Bill posted didn't make sense as 1802 machine code until I guessed that the bits might be inverted.

              I am only guessing that the bus is inverted and wish to advise Bill to look out for that.

              I could be totally out to lunch, since it is an 1801 chip set.

              :)J
            • B Degnan
              When I get back from a brief vacation I will look up the commands from their HEX values, and/or convert to an Intel record that would be easier to assemble. I
              Message 6 of 13 , Apr 19, 2013
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                When I get back from a brief vacation I will look up the commands from their
                HEX values, and/or convert to an Intel record that would be easier to
                assemble. I believe I have the instruction set in my
                vintagecomputer.net/RCA/COSMAC directory, or elsewhere. If assembly is
                possible. No way to know about whether inversion is necessary yet.



                -----Original Message-----
                From: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                [mailto:midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of joshbensadon
                Sent: Thursday, April 18, 2013 1:39 PM
                To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [midatlanticretro] Re: RCA COSMAC Microkit

                --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, "B. Degnan" <billdeg@...> wrote:
                >
                >
                > >
                > > In this case, if you had an inverted bus, it would make sense to
                > > store
                > the ROM as inverted so you didn't have to put another buffer chip on
                > the bus. If you're trying to disassemble it, just run it through a
                > program to flip the bits.
                > >
                > >
                > -Thanks Dave-


                I don't think Bill has determined that the bus is inverted.

                I observed the dump that Bill posted didn't make sense as 1802 machine code
                until I guessed that the bits might be inverted.

                I am only guessing that the bus is inverted and wish to advise Bill to look
                out for that.

                I could be totally out to lunch, since it is an 1801 chip set.

                :)J




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