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Building a computer (May or may not be OT)

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  • Joe Giliberti
    I m not talking about a PC, first off. I want to try building something from scratch, as in a blank, wire-wrap circuit board, based around an earlier
    Message 1 of 32 , Apr 21, 2007
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      I'm not talking about a PC, first off. I want to try building something from scratch, as in a blank, wire-wrap circuit board, based around an earlier technology. Maybe a 6502 or a Z80. Does anyone know of a kit, of a good set of instructions and schematics, for building a computer?
      Basically, I'd want a display, and a means of input and storage. I don't care if I use, say, a VGA monitor for display, or an old disk drive for storage, but I want to build the computer itself, myself. I just want to learn something more about computer science, outside of what you can learn on a PC.


      Thanks
      Joe
    • Herb Johnson
      Like many discussion threads, this one is going in several directions. 1) University libaries. People local to a university can often get limited privledges by
      Message 32 of 32 , Jun 17, 2007
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        Like many discussion threads, this one is going in several directions.

        1) University libaries. People local to a university can often get
        limited privledges by paying a deposit, or an annual fee. Check the
        library's Web site for more information, or ask a "senior" staffer at
        the library (student staff may not know this stuff). University
        libraries are good sources for books a few decades old. But you won't
        get "interlibrary loan" privledges as a "depositer" at a Univ. library
        - but you can do that from your local public library.

        2) The microKIM uses a few odd parts, and of course some ROMS. Joe, if
        you make one from scratch, better plan on a way to get those ROMS, and
        make sure you can get ALL the chips on the schematic. The ROM source
        and binaries are available from the microKIM site.

        For fun, if you do make a list of parts and prices, I'd be curious to
        know the total. Betcha the kit price will be close to your onesie's
        parts prices! ;)

        3) The microKIM does not normally have a cassette port; programs are
        downloaded from the serial port, which one would generally connect to
        a PC where you can load and save programs in hex format. Consequently,
        using a PC with the microKIM is just fine. But you can of course load
        programs in hex from the keypad.

        My advice was to program from the keypad, by the way, as a way to
        learn coding at the bit level. That seemed to be your interest.

        4) Building a TV Typewriter, or the II, will be harder than building
        the microKIM from scratch. I'm not sure what your objectives or
        priorities are, my apologies.

        5) Please read the microKIM manual to get a better idea of what you'll
        need to use it. If it's not on the Web site, ask for a copy from the
        seller. Chances are he'll send a file, or if he charges for a printed
        version he'll deduct it from your kit purchase.

        This ends my advice. Joe, you are a good guy, but you want to do many
        things for many reasons. That's fine, but it's more than an old guy
        like me can keep up with. No disrespect meant.

        Herb Johnson

        Herbert R. Johnson, New Jersey USA
        http://www.retrotechnology.com/herbs_stuff/ web site
        http://www.retrotechnology.net/herbs_stuff/ domain mirror
        my email address: hjohnson AAT retrotechnology DOTT com
        if no reply, try in a few days: herbjohnson ATT comcast DOTT net
        "Herb's Stuff": old Mac, SGI, 8-inch floppy drives
        S-100 IMSAI Altair computers, docs, by "Dr. S-100"
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