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Re: [midatlanticretro] Re: RCA COSMAC Microkit

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  • 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 1 of 13 , Apr 5 6:01 PM
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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 2 of 13 , Apr 5 6:45 PM
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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 3 of 13 , Apr 18 9:13 AM
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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 4 of 13 , Apr 18 10:38 AM
          • 0 Attachment
            --- 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 5 of 13 , Apr 19 4:45 PM
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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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