Sunday, October 29, 2017

A fun toy...

Had a bit of fun today running a 6502 processor simulator on an Arduino that was running a copy of EhBasic.  Not much practical you can do with it, but kinda fun to play around with a tiny micro-controller (Arduino) simulating the same processor that was used in the original Apple computers and running a basic emulator on the simulated processor.

This was fun for me because my first experience with micro-controllers was when the MOS Technology 6502 was introduced at the Wescon trade show in San Francisco in 1975.  I was at the time working for Hewlett Packard Advanced Products Division in Santa Clara, CA interestingly enough in the same group of teams that employed Steve Wozniak who later went on to found Apple Computer.

A group of us went to the trade show in the fall of 1975 and were able to purchase the 6502 for $25.  The hardware and programming documentation manuals were another $10.  At the time, Motorola was selling the 6800 microprocessor for a single unit price of $175 and ended up dropping the price to $69 in single unit quantities with further price reductions to follow.  Bringing our loot home spawned a lot of effort to build and program working systems.  Cross-compilers and assemblers were built and utilized to program our new hardware.

I still have my 6502 system built back in the mid-1970's.  I will provide some pictures as soon as I figure out what box contains that little treasure.

It is fun to think that the meager capabilities represented by an Arduino is able to simulate the silicon that was available back when I first started working with micro-controllers.  We have indeed come a long way.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sorry for neglect of blog for so long

Hi Folks,

It has been a while since I tended to my blog for a lot of reasons which I won't bore you with.  I have a backlog of comments that are pending approval for publishing which I will be working through in chronological order.  My apologies again for being tardy in tending to these comments as they are important to me.  Thank you for your patience as I get caught up on blog maintenance.

UPDATE: I have published all outstanding comments to posts.  I have attempted to reply to them but seem to be having some difficulty in doing so currently.  Google is kindly tossing my replies to comments in the bin after I submit them silently.  Thank you for your patience as I sort this out.

UPDATE: I have sorted out my problems replying to comments to posts.  It seems that google Chrome is for whatever reason failing to post the updates.  I have for the moment switched for Firefox and the problem does not repeat, so likely something in my Chrome settings.  This will work in the meantime.  Thanks again for your patience.