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Re: [midatlanticretro] Altair 680 Basic - loading without papertape

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  • Bob Applegate
    ... No offense was taken, I assure you! Bob/Mike/whatever ___________________________________ NOCC, http://nocc.sourceforge.net
    Message 1 of 21 , May 5, 2007
      Dan <ragooman@...> wrote :

      > oops, neural glitch
      >
      > that was supposed to be *Bob Applegate's *website

      No offense was taken, I assure you!

      Bob/Mike/whatever


      ___________________________________
      NOCC, http://nocc.sourceforge.net
    • Bob Applegate
      I meant non-vintage as-in using more current parts, such as any of the 64Kx8 RAM chips out there. I d never resort to 2102s again! 2114s, maybe (1Kx4 bits).
      Message 2 of 21 , May 5, 2007
        I meant non-vintage as-in using more current parts, such as
        any of the 64Kx8 RAM chips out there. I'd never resort to
        2102s again! 2114s, maybe (1Kx4 bits). Another example is
        using a small CPLD instead of lots of discrete TTL. The
        CPLD is cheaper, more flexible, easier to debug, but definitely
        not a 1970s device.

        I don't know that the 680's expansion pins are, but you can
        probably add 64K of RAM with just a couple of parts now if
        you're willing to veer away from pure vintage. The software
        you run is still vintage, as is the base machine, and that's
        the important part from my viewpoint. My KIM-1s are all
        vintage, but I use newer parts to enhance them.

        Bob

        B. Degnan <billdeg@...> wrote :

        > <snip>
        >  
        > I won't retire off selling add-ons for old machines, but I
        > get a lot of neat stories from
        > people about their old machines.  I also get a fair
        > amount of vintage equipment offered
        > to me since clearly I care about that older stuff. 
        > It's fun.
        >  
        > My boards are for the KIM-1, which was produced in fairly
        > large quantities compared to
        > some other systems.  I keep toying with the idea of
        > building new S-100 cards since used
        > ones on eBay go for so much and always carry no
        > guarantee.  While not truly vintage, it
        > is "vintage-like" because old components are
        > used.  From the software perspective, it IS
        > vintage... old CPUs that you've got to write a bootstrap
        > for, etc.
        >  
        > Bob
        >  
        > There is nothing wrong with putting non-vintage hardware in a vintage
        > machine IMHO.  From a testing perspective new parts can be the key
        > to diagnosing vintage part problems.  You can compare and contrast
        > the vintage part with the new part to troubleshoot.  When it's time
        > for an exhibit, swap the vintage part back into the system.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >

        ___________________________________
        NOCC, http://nocc.sourceforge.net
      • Bryan Pope
        ... Hey... I just used a few 2114 s to repair a couple of C= 4040 drives I have. :) ... There is quite a few people remaking vintage hardware using FPGA type
        Message 3 of 21 , May 5, 2007
          Bob Applegate wrote:
          > I meant non-vintage as-in using more current parts, such as
          > any of the 64Kx8 RAM chips out there. I'd never resort to
          > 2102s again! 2114s, maybe (1Kx4 bits). Another example is
          >
          Hey... I just used a few 2114's to repair a couple of C= 4040 drives I
          have. :)

          > using a small CPLD instead of lots of discrete TTL. The
          > CPLD is cheaper, more flexible, easier to debug, but definitely
          > not a 1970s device.
          >
          >
          There is quite a few people remaking vintage hardware using FPGA type
          devices like here: http://home.freeuk.com/fpgaarcade/

          Cheers,

          Bryan

          > I don't know that the 680's expansion pins are, but you can
          > probably add 64K of RAM with just a couple of parts now if
          > you're willing to veer away from pure vintage. The software
          > you run is still vintage, as is the base machine, and that's
          > the important part from my viewpoint. My KIM-1s are all
          > vintage, but I use newer parts to enhance them.
          >
          > Bob
          >
          >
        • Dan
          I started designing a S-100 layout this past weekend to make some memory cards. I was going to try both, one with vintage components and one using new
          Message 4 of 21 , May 7, 2007
            I started designing a S-100 layout this past weekend to make some memory
            cards. I was going to try both, one with vintage components and one
            using new components. Istill have to pick a reasonable PCB house to make
            the cards. I found a couple of places that still sell the S-100 edge
            connectors so I was going to look into making the extender card for the
            Altair680(it's the same connector--different pinout)

            =Dan

            [ My Corner of Cyberspace http://ragooman.home.comcast.net/ ]



            Bryan Pope wrote:
            >
            > Bob Applegate wrote:
            > > I meant non-vintage as-in using more current parts, such as
            > > any of the 64Kx8 RAM chips out there. I'd never resort to
            > > 2102s again! 2114s, maybe (1Kx4 bits). Another example is
            > >
            > Hey... I just used a few 2114's to repair a couple of C= 4040 drives I
            > have. :)
            >
            > > using a small CPLD instead of lots of discrete TTL. The
            > > CPLD is cheaper, more flexible, easier to debug, but definitely
            > > not a 1970s device.
            > >
            > >
            > There is quite a few people remaking vintage hardware using FPGA type
            > devices like here: http://home.freeuk.com/fpgaarcade/
            > <http://home.freeuk.com/fpgaarcade/>
            >
            > Cheers,
            >
            > Bryan
            >
            > > I don't know that the 680's expansion pins are, but you can
            > > probably add 64K of RAM with just a couple of parts now if
            > > you're willing to veer away from pure vintage. The software
            > > you run is still vintage, as is the base machine, and that's
            > > the important part from my viewpoint. My KIM-1s are all
            > > vintage, but I use newer parts to enhance them.
            > >
            > > Bob
            > >
            > >
            >
            >
            > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
            >
            > No virus found in this incoming message.
            > Checked by AVG Free Edition.
            > Version: 7.5.467 / Virus Database: 269.6.4/790 - Release Date: 5/5/2007 10:34 AM
            >
          • B Degnan
            Dan, Did you get your Altair 680 working? Bill ... -END-
            Message 5 of 21 , May 7, 2007
              Dan,
              Did you get your Altair 680 working?
              Bill
              >
              > I started designing a S-100 layout this past weekend to make some memory
              > cards. I was going to try both, one with vintage components and one
              > using new components. Istill have to pick a reasonable PCB house to make
              > the cards. I found a couple of places that still sell the S-100 edge
              > connectors so I was going to look into making the extender card for the
              > Altair680(it's the same connector--different pinout)
              >
              > =Dan
              >
              > [ My Corner of Cyberspace http://ragooman.home.comcast.net/ ]
              >
              >
              >
              > Bryan Pope wrote:
              >>
              >> Bob Applegate wrote:
              >> > I meant non-vintage as-in using more current parts, such as
              >> > any of the 64Kx8 RAM chips out there. I'd never resort to
              >> > 2102s again! 2114s, maybe (1Kx4 bits). Another example is
              >> >
              >> Hey... I just used a few 2114's to repair a couple of C= 4040 drives I
              >> have. :)
              >>
              >> > using a small CPLD instead of lots of discrete TTL. The
              >> > CPLD is cheaper, more flexible, easier to debug, but definitely
              >> > not a 1970s device.
              >> >
              >> >
              >> There is quite a few people remaking vintage hardware using FPGA type
              >> devices like here: http://home.freeuk.com/fpgaarcade/
              >> <http://home.freeuk.com/fpgaarcade/>
              >>
              >> Cheers,
              >>
              >> Bryan
              >>
              >> > I don't know that the 680's expansion pins are, but you can
              >> > probably add 64K of RAM with just a couple of parts now if
              >> > you're willing to veer away from pure vintage. The software
              >> > you run is still vintage, as is the base machine, and that's
              >> > the important part from my viewpoint. My KIM-1s are all
              >> > vintage, but I use newer parts to enhance them.
              >> >
              >> > Bob
              >> >
              >> >
              >>
              >>
              >> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
              >>
              >> No virus found in this incoming message.
              >> Checked by AVG Free Edition.
              >> Version: 7.5.467 / Virus Database: 269.6.4/790 - Release Date: 5/5/2007
              >> 10:34 AM
              >>
              >
              >
              >
              > Yahoo! Groups Links
              >
              >
              >
              >


              -END-
            • Dan
              oh, I still have about 20 sockets left to replace, it s such an arduous task. Something I do in between my other projects. I m hoping that I ll get it done
              Message 6 of 21 , May 7, 2007
                oh, I still have about 20 sockets left to replace, it's such an arduous
                task. Something I do in between my other projects. I'm hoping that I'll
                get it done once the S-100 boards I'm designing are built.
                In the meantime, I'm going to fire-up my IMSAI, (figuratively speaking)
                so I can get my S-100 stuff running and be ready to test the new memory
                card designs.

                =Dan

                [ My Corner of Cyberspace http://ragooman.home.comcast.net/ ]



                B Degnan wrote:
                >
                > Dan,
                > Did you get your Altair 680 working?
                > Bill
                >
                >
              • Herb Johnson
                ... There was a recent discussion of MFM emulation in comp.os.cpm, where I participate. The discussion of vintage vs. modern design is also of interest
                Message 7 of 21 , May 8, 2007
                  David Comley <david_comley@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > I'm hoping to be able to emulate a Micropolis 1325 at
                  > a low enough level that it could support any
                  > host/controller platform (that can use that particular
                  > drive type/geometry etc). The drive emulation should
                  > be transparent to the point where any low level format
                  > can be overlaid on it by the controller or host.
                  >
                  > Doing an emulation of an MFM drive would be useful for
                  > a variety of reasons for hobbyists, not the least of
                  > which is the cost of replacement drives. The MTTF of
                  > the platters in these drives is 4 years so they are a
                  > dying breed; plus, emulation would make it possible to
                  > expose the low-level formatting used by the hardware
                  > vendor, something that there's not a great deal of
                  > documentation on so far as I can tell.
                  >
                  > Of course talking about it is easier than actually
                  > doing it...
                  >
                  > -Dave

                  There was a recent discussion of MFM "emulation" in comp.os.cpm, where
                  I participate. The discussion of "vintage" vs. "modern" design is also
                  of interest to me. Here's my comments.

                  In comp.os.cpm, it was noted that there WAS a MFM to IDE product, but
                  it waa a few thousand dollars. Seems to me that one reason it is that
                  high, is that it takes some bit of effort to support the variety of
                  potential uses for such a product. Those who really need an MFM
                  replacement, to keep production equipment going, will pay accordingly.

                  The drive issue as cast in comp.os.cpm was about replacing an MFM
                  drive in a S-100 system. It was suggested the owner use an IDE card of
                  some sort, and write a driver. In some number of cases, it's more
                  reasonable to replace the controller and adjust the software.

                  The point of S-100 systems with a standard bus, was that you COULD
                  replace and upgrade as needed. At least the hardware did not stop you
                  from doing so. That concept spawned a computer industry from 1976
                  through the 1980's. The IBM PC, to compete, HAD to offer 1) a bus and
                  2) clear means to add to that bus - because S-100 and other systems
                  set that standard. (In the minicomputer world, DEC set a similar
                  standard as did other manufacturers.)

                  In that light, there's been discussion here about building "new" S-100
                  cards with either "vintage" hardware or with "new" hardware. Clearly
                  an MFM to IDE device would be "new". It would require somewhat fast
                  logic: either a programmable logic device, or a "computer on a
                  board".

                  But an IDE interface for S-100 or any Z80? - dirt simple, the IDE
                  drive does all the work, just a few simple chips will do it (Google
                  "GIDE"). But most people get stuck at the point where they have to
                  write software to support that new device. (I should know, I first
                  offered the GIDE interface in the USA, and I've watched its use.)

                  Note to "purists" that say a vintage system has to have "original",
                  vintage cards. Few REAL S-100 systems were "original", or stayed
                  original. People upgraded as hardware improved, as software changed.

                  The point? As I see it, if you are "into" old computers to show them
                  off in original condiiton, then all this talk about "emulators" is
                  moot. Pay $$$ for the last unused (or rebuilt) MFM hard drive and run
                  it only on exhibit day. If you are in it because you can "dig into"
                  it, then adapt some new hardware to old and start writing some CODE.
                  If you are in it for "use" only, then you depend on others to keep
                  providing working hardware: that, and your budget.

                  Herb Johnson

                  Herbert R. Johnson, New Jersey USA
                  <a href="http://www.retrotechnology.com/herbs_stuff/"> web site</a>
                  <a href="http://www.retrotechnology.net/herbs_stuff/"> domain mirror</a>
                  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"
                • Jim Scheef
                  Herb, Words of wisdom! As you note there is more than one way to enjoy vintage computing. Jim ... From: Herb Johnson To:
                  Message 8 of 21 , May 8, 2007
                    Herb,

                    Words of wisdom! As you note there is more than one way to enjoy 'vintage' computing.

                    Jim

                    ----- Original Message ----
                    From: Herb Johnson <hjohnson@...>
                    To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Tuesday, May 8, 2007 2:36:33 PM
                    Subject: [midatlanticretro] Re: Designing Vintage Hardware (was Altair 680 Basic - loading without paperta

                    David Comley <david_comley@ ...> wrote:

                    >
                    > I'm hoping to be able to emulate a Micropolis 1325 at
                    > a low enough level that it could support any
                    > host/controller platform (that can use that particular
                    > drive type/geometry etc). The drive emulation should
                    > be transparent to the point where any low level format
                    > can be overlaid on it by the controller or host.
                    >
                    > Doing an emulation of an MFM drive would be useful for
                    > a variety of reasons for hobbyists, not the least of
                    > which is the cost of replacement drives. The MTTF of
                    > the platters in these drives is 4 years so they are a
                    > dying breed; plus, emulation would make it possible to
                    > expose the low-level formatting used by the hardware
                    > vendor, something that there's not a great deal of
                    > documentation on so far as I can tell.
                    >
                    > Of course talking about it is easier than actually
                    > doing it...
                    >
                    > -Dave

                    There was a recent discussion of MFM "emulation" in comp.os.cpm, where
                    I participate. The discussion of "vintage" vs. "modern" design is also
                    of interest to me. Here's my comments.

                    In comp.os.cpm, it was noted that there WAS a MFM to IDE product, but
                    it waa a few thousand dollars. Seems to me that one reason it is that
                    high, is that it takes some bit of effort to support the variety of
                    potential uses for such a product. Those who really need an MFM
                    replacement, to keep production equipment going, will pay accordingly.

                    The drive issue as cast in comp.os.cpm was about replacing an MFM
                    drive in a S-100 system. It was suggested the owner use an IDE card of
                    some sort, and write a driver. In some number of cases, it's more
                    reasonable to replace the controller and adjust the software.

                    The point of S-100 systems with a standard bus, was that you COULD
                    replace and upgrade as needed. At least the hardware did not stop you
                    from doing so. That concept spawned a computer industry from 1976
                    through the 1980's. The IBM PC, to compete, HAD to offer 1) a bus and
                    2) clear means to add to that bus - because S-100 and other systems
                    set that standard. (In the minicomputer world, DEC set a similar
                    standard as did other manufacturers. )

                    In that light, there's been discussion here about building "new" S-100
                    cards with either "vintage" hardware or with "new" hardware. Clearly
                    an MFM to IDE device would be "new". It would require somewhat fast
                    logic: either a programmable logic device, or a "computer on a
                    board".

                    But an IDE interface for S-100 or any Z80? - dirt simple, the IDE
                    drive does all the work, just a few simple chips will do it (Google
                    "GIDE"). But most people get stuck at the point where they have to
                    write software to support that new device. (I should know, I first
                    offered the GIDE interface in the USA, and I've watched its use.)

                    Note to "purists" that say a vintage system has to have "original",
                    vintage cards. Few REAL S-100 systems were "original", or stayed
                    original. People upgraded as hardware improved, as software changed.

                    The point? As I see it, if you are "into" old computers to show them
                    off in original condiiton, then all this talk about "emulators" is
                    moot. Pay $$$ for the last unused (or rebuilt) MFM hard drive and run
                    it only on exhibit day. If you are in it because you can "dig into"
                    it, then adapt some new hardware to old and start writing some CODE.
                    If you are in it for "use" only, then you depend on others to keep
                    providing working hardware: that, and your budget.

                    Herb Johnson

                    Herbert R. Johnson, New Jersey USA
                    <a href="http://www.retrotec hnology.com/ herbs_stuff/"> web site</a>
                    <a href="http://www.retrotec hnology.net/ herbs_stuff/"> domain mirror</a>
                    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"


                  • David Comley
                    Well said, Herb. Having met so many MARCH folks at TCF, I started to think again about my own take on the hobby. I d profile my own collection and activities
                    Message 9 of 21 , May 9, 2007
                      Well said, Herb.

                      Having met so many MARCH folks at TCF, I started to
                      think again about my own take on the hobby. I'd
                      profile my own collection and activities as being
                      discovery - or re-discovery - related, rather than
                      restoration/refurbishment to original condition. Most
                      of the things I've acquired are missing covers or have
                      dings and dents, and nothing could be said to be 'New
                      in Box' or even close. Instead, I spend a lot of time
                      trying to understand how things were connected or
                      configured together (and even what they were used
                      for). That often results in repair work to return a
                      system to a bootable state (or in a long wait while I
                      scour hamfests and swap meets to find a missing board,
                      cable or disk).

                      It's a great hobby, isn't it: each of us derives
                      satisfaction from it from pursuing a different aspect
                      or perspective - and hopefully we contribute to a
                      broader pool of knowledge by doing so. One can only
                      hope that we capture that knowledge somehow for
                      posterity and the next generation of enthusiasts.

                      -Dave

                      --- Herb Johnson <hjohnson@...> wrote:

                      > Note to "purists" that say a vintage system has to
                      > have "original",
                      > vintage cards. Few REAL S-100 systems were
                      > "original", or stayed
                      > original. People upgraded as hardware improved, as
                      > software changed.
                      >
                      > The point? As I see it, if you are "into" old
                      > computers to show them
                      > off in original condiiton, then all this talk about
                      > "emulators" is
                      > moot. Pay $$$ for the last unused (or rebuilt) MFM
                      > hard drive and run
                      > it only on exhibit day. If you are in it because you
                      > can "dig into"
                      > it, then adapt some new hardware to old and start
                      > writing some CODE.
                      > If you are in it for "use" only, then you depend on
                      > others to keep
                      > providing working hardware: that, and your budget.
                      >
                      > Herb Johnson
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