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Introduce Yourself!

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  • Matthew Mikolay
    The best way to get to know everyone is to introduce yourself first! So I ll begin. My name is Matt Mikolay. I m currently a student in the New Jersey area.
    Message 1 of 7 , Aug 27, 2008
      The best way to get to know everyone is to introduce yourself first!
      So I'll begin.

      My name is Matt Mikolay. I'm currently a student in the New Jersey
      area. I'm a member of MARCH (The Mid Atlantic Retro-Computing
      Hobbyists) and I'm a blogger for PC World's Community Voices Blog
      (http://blogs.pcworld.com/communityvoices/). I've never actually used
      a COSMAC VIP system, but my interest in CHIP-8 and its emulation has
      sparked my interest.

      I play guitar and keyboard, and have experimented with DJing. My main
      interests are music and computers. I have experience with coding in
      HTML, JavaScript, BASIC, Visual Basic, Perl, Python, C, and C++. More
      recently, my interests have been focused on retrocomputing.

      My computer of choice is running Ubuntu 8.04.

      Thanks!
      ~Matt
    • Marcel van Tongeren
      Hi there! Thanks Matt for starting this group, I just joined the cosmacvip group as well.... My introduction: My name is Marcel van Tongeren, born in Holland
      Message 2 of 7 , Aug 27, 2008
        Hi there!

        Thanks Matt for starting this group, I just joined the cosmacvip group
        as well....

        My introduction: My name is Marcel van Tongeren, born in Holland but
        living in Sweden. I'm interested in anything that uses the 1802, this
        started with my first computer which was the COMX-35 back in the
        early '80s.

        During the last 2 years I have been working on an 1802 emulator which
        since the last 0.9.9v release also emulates the Cosmac VIP (next to the
        COMX, Elf, Telmac, Studio II). As it emulates the VIP it also runs Chip-
        8 and in principle Chip-8X, however colour and sound support won't be
        there until 0.9.9w..... if I can manage to find out how these boards
        worked; looking quite promising at the moment.

        Cheers, Marcel.
      • saturn5tony
        Hello, My first computer was not the 1802 but something far older. It was the intel 8008. I was building a popular electronics article (maybe a radio
        Message 3 of 7 , Aug 30, 2008
          Hello,
          My first computer was not the 1802 but something far older. It was
          the intel 8008. I was building a popular electronics article (maybe a
          radio Electronics article at the time, I dont remeber it was way back
          in 1973) to do something amazing! Home computers!!! I bought the 8008
          for about $180 and started building it based on the article. I then
          got a job afterwards, working for the National Science Foundation in
          the mid 70's on a project called CALM. Computer and labratory Math
          for college classes. We started using the 8008 but found it to be
          very week compared to a new microprocessor that just came out. Not
          the 8080, but the 6502 and the first board we used was the KIM-1 by
          MOS Technologies. It was great! All that power for an entire computer
          system that cost only $245. It still needed a power supply though
          which I could make very easily and it only displayed info on a 6
          digit LED display but we could save programs on a cassette tape. As a
          matter of fact we had an entire class full of these computers just
          waiting to show students for teaching them about microprocessors in
          1976! The project was terminated, I guess NSF didn't see a future in
          low cost home and business computers so I left on my own again.

          I tried a new single board computer in 1977 that cost only $275 and
          could interface with a Television. The RCA COSMAC VIP. This was
          fantastic! You could write games and play them on a TV. I was hooked
          immediately so I started designing my own 1802 based computers which
          started my whole carrier in microcomputers. It was interesting to
          note that the 1802 took a fraction of the power requirements when
          compared to other micro's. I wonder what other applications this
          computer would find. Maybe the search for other planets and even
          other worlds. I didnt find out about that until later, that three
          1802's would be put on the Voyager spacecraft, heading toward the
          stars. Simply Amazing.

          Im glad to join the RCACOSMAC group,
          Tony
        • Matthew Mikolay
          It seems like a lot of people had the same reaction to the VIP as you did. I only wonder what today s computers would be like if more people had tried the VIP!
          Message 4 of 7 , Aug 30, 2008
            It seems like a lot of people had the same reaction to the VIP as you
            did. I only wonder what today's computers would be like if more people
            had tried the VIP!

            --- In rcacosmac@yahoogroups.com, "saturn5tony" <saturn5tony@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hello,
            > My first computer was not the 1802 but something far older. It was
            > the intel 8008. I was building a popular electronics article (maybe a
            > radio Electronics article at the time, I dont remeber it was way back
            > in 1973) to do something amazing! Home computers!!! I bought the 8008
            > for about $180 and started building it based on the article. I then
            > got a job afterwards, working for the National Science Foundation in
            > the mid 70's on a project called CALM. Computer and labratory Math
            > for college classes. We started using the 8008 but found it to be
            > very week compared to a new microprocessor that just came out. Not
            > the 8080, but the 6502 and the first board we used was the KIM-1 by
            > MOS Technologies. It was great! All that power for an entire computer
            > system that cost only $245. It still needed a power supply though
            > which I could make very easily and it only displayed info on a 6
            > digit LED display but we could save programs on a cassette tape. As a
            > matter of fact we had an entire class full of these computers just
            > waiting to show students for teaching them about microprocessors in
            > 1976! The project was terminated, I guess NSF didn't see a future in
            > low cost home and business computers so I left on my own again.
            >
            > I tried a new single board computer in 1977 that cost only $275 and
            > could interface with a Television. The RCA COSMAC VIP. This was
            > fantastic! You could write games and play them on a TV. I was hooked
            > immediately so I started designing my own 1802 based computers which
            > started my whole carrier in microcomputers. It was interesting to
            > note that the 1802 took a fraction of the power requirements when
            > compared to other micro's. I wonder what other applications this
            > computer would find. Maybe the search for other planets and even
            > other worlds. I didnt find out about that until later, that three
            > 1802's would be put on the Voyager spacecraft, heading toward the
            > stars. Simply Amazing.
            >
            > Im glad to join the RCACOSMAC group,
            > Tony
            >
          • erd_6502
            ... Hi, Matt (and everyone else on the list). My name is Ethan Dicks. I m currently a researcher with the University of Wisconsin, running a Linux-based
            Message 5 of 7 , Sep 17, 2008
              --- In rcacosmac@yahoogroups.com, "Matthew Mikolay" <mikolaym@...> wrote:
              >
              > The best way to get to know everyone is to introduce yourself first!

              Hi, Matt (and everyone else on the list).

              My name is Ethan Dicks. I'm currently a researcher with the
              University of Wisconsin, running a Linux-based neutrino telescope at
              the South Pole, but at heart, I'm a computer guy that works for a
              physics department.

              I've had a VIP for over 20 years, but it wasn't my first 1802 system.
              That was a Quest Elf that I bought new in high school as a bare board
              and spent months scrounging parts to complete. I had a head-start,
              though; a friend of mine who was in high school when I was 11, built a
              Quest Elf when they were first released. I followed in his footsteps
              and built my own after borrowing his for a couple of years.

              Since then, I've collected quite a few 1802 machines... a VIP3301
              terminal, a Studio II video game, an MSI 88e handheld "terminal", a
              Quest SuperElf, along with some recent ones, a Spare Time Gizmos
              Elf2000 (that boots ElfOS from CF and plays Zork!), a Spare Time
              Gizmos EmbeddedElf (palm-sized version of the E2K), and about four
              years ago, I finally managed to build an Elf from scratch based on the
              1977-1978 Popular Electronics articles.

              Like Matt, I'm into retrocomputing, but a lot of my stuff (as you can
              already see) I've had since it was current technology, but now it's
              "retro".

              I still enjoy building hardware kits and programming firmware as well
              as playing with the finished product. It all started back with that
              Quest Elf.

              As for my VIP, since this is a VIP group, I bought that used, fully
              assembled and loaded with RAM, so there was nothing to build there.
              While it was inexpensive at the time ($35, IIRC), I bought it so long
              after it was released that it wasn't possible to buy any expansion
              boards anymore, and I never did get around to wiring up any by hand.
              I did type in CHIP-8 and many of the games in the manual, and
              somewhere in a shoebox, I still have a cassette tape from that system.

              Since at the time, the only other 1802 I had was the 256 byte Quest
              Elf, the VIP was a huge step up. The Elf2000 is at least two orders
              of magnitude above the VIP (it too has an 1861 PIXIE graphics chip,
              but the E2K also has 32K of RAM, 32K of ROM, a serial port, an IDE/CF
              disk interface, and a bootable operating system). There's still
              something very neat about the VIP, especially its simplicity.

              So in short, I hack hardware, I hack software, and I still enjoy
              dabbling with older platforms, especially the 1802, one of my favorite
              processors of all time.

              -ethan
            • Matthew Mikolay
              Nice to meet you, Ethan! Thanks for joining! Your work is very impressive, I ve never met anyone before that has used a telescope larger than one commonly
              Message 6 of 7 , Sep 18, 2008
                Nice to meet you, Ethan! Thanks for joining! Your work is very impressive, I've never met anyone before that has used a telescope larger than one commonly found in people's homes. Find any aliens yet? Hahahaha! I bet you get that question all the time.

                --- On Thu, 9/18/08, erd_6502 <ethan.dicks@...> wrote:
                From: erd_6502 <ethan.dicks@...>
                Subject: [rcacosmac] Re: Introduce Yourself!
                To: rcacosmac@yahoogroups.com
                Date: Thursday, September 18, 2008, 12:30 AM

                --- In rcacosmac@yahoogrou ps.com, "Matthew Mikolay" <mikolaym@.. .> wrote:
                >
                > The best way to get to know everyone is to introduce yourself first!

                Hi, Matt (and everyone else on the list).

                My name is Ethan Dicks. I'm currently a researcher with the
                University of Wisconsin, running a Linux-based neutrino telescope at
                the South Pole, but at heart, I'm a computer guy that works for a
                physics department.

                I've had a VIP for over 20 years, but it wasn't my first 1802 system.
                That was a Quest Elf that I bought new in high school as a bare board
                and spent months scrounging parts to complete. I had a head-start,
                though; a friend of mine who was in high school when I was 11, built a
                Quest Elf when they were first released. I followed in his footsteps
                and built my own after borrowing his for a couple of years.

                Since then, I've collected quite a few 1802 machines... a VIP3301
                terminal, a Studio II video game, an MSI 88e handheld "terminal", a
                Quest SuperElf, along with some recent ones, a Spare Time Gizmos
                Elf2000 (that boots ElfOS from CF and plays Zork!), a Spare Time
                Gizmos EmbeddedElf (palm-sized version of the E2K), and about four
                years ago, I finally managed to build an Elf from scratch based on the
                1977-1978 Popular Electronics articles.

                Like Matt, I'm into retrocomputing, but a lot of my stuff (as you can
                already see) I've had since it was current technology, but now it's
                "retro".

                I still enjoy building hardware kits and programming firmware as well
                as playing with the finished product. It all started back with that
                Quest Elf.

                As for my VIP, since this is a VIP group, I bought that used, fully
                assembled and loaded with RAM, so there was nothing to build there.
                While it was inexpensive at the time ($35, IIRC), I bought it so long
                after it was released that it wasn't possible to buy any expansion
                boards anymore, and I never did get around to wiring up any by hand.
                I did type in CHIP-8 and many of the games in the manual, and
                somewhere in a shoebox, I still have a cassette tape from that system.

                Since at the time, the only other 1802 I had was the 256 byte Quest
                Elf, the VIP was a huge step up. The Elf2000 is at least two orders
                of magnitude above the VIP (it too has an 1861 PIXIE graphics chip,
                but the E2K also has 32K of RAM, 32K of ROM, a serial port, an IDE/CF
                disk interface, and a bootable operating system). There's still
                something very neat about the VIP, especially its simplicity.

                So in short, I hack hardware, I hack software, and I still enjoy
                dabbling with older platforms, especially the 1802, one of my favorite
                processors of all time.

                -ethan


              • ddmaow
                I m just an old nerd. I don t have a VIP, but I did see a real one once.
                Message 7 of 7 , Nov 4, 2008
                  I'm just an old nerd. I don't have a VIP, but I did see a real one
                  once.
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