Hack Chat Transcript, part 3

A event log for Retrocomputing for the Masses Hack Chat

Spencer Owen and the RC2014

lutetiumLutetium 05/29/2019 at 20:041 Comment

AlanH12:41 PM
would be cool to crowd-fund a proper injection molded case for it

Andrew Lindsay12:41 PM
@Bil Herd That is true. Had a number of dev jobs for clients based on previous projects and things I've played around with.

spencer12:42 PM
@AlanH There's a couple of designs on Thingiverse

Lex Landa12:42 PM

Lex Landa12:42 PM
@marblypup I couldn't resist uploading this photo of my Elektronika BK0010, I think it is. I've never used it - I haven't got pinouts for the connectors. It's got 4 identical 5-pin DIN sockets.

Bil Herd12:42 PM
@kevin I think one has to be really experienced to tell the strong suite of VHDL vs Verilog vs VHDL and I learned both at once since I was younger (couldn't do it now). However Verilog tends to be easier if not better outright. We joke that we can tell a lot about a company based on which one they choose for their official language.

Lex Landa12:42 PM
My apologies for suddenly pasting that image.

David Reid joined  the room.12:43 PM

Kevin12:43 PM
@David Richards That is one of the early pitfalls when starting out with FPGA's. You have to try and think of the hardware and what can it can be doing at the same time and break the HDL in to related blocks of code.

Bil Herd12:43 PM
That thingverse link rocks.

19-rsn-00712:43 PM
@Bil Herd exactly...I mean, look at me. I've been playing around with all sorts of stuff electronics wise, about 2 years ago a buddy of mine dropped a ball that they were looking for employees at the company he was working fro and now almost 2 years later they offered me an education and the oppertunity to get a better fitting job function :)

Nils-Arne Dahlberg joined  the room.12:43 PM

19-rsn-00712:43 PM
and to learn stuff like I should

19-rsn-00712:43 PM
most of my knowledge I have (still very basic) I have learned just by doing stuff

marblypup12:43 PM

spencer12:44 PM
Do many of you that play around with modern hardware also tinker with genuine old (1980's or earlier) stuff?

marblypup12:44 PM
(That's my Z280 board.)

Kevin12:44 PM
I still play with vintage stuff. My 1802 board is a ceramic part from late 70's.

Bil Herd12:44 PM
I only work on new stuff, trying my hand on open source radar... I still have the tshirt from doing the old stuff.

emdarcher joined  the room.12:44 PM

Andrew Lindsay12:45 PM
@spencer Do mostly modern mcu stuff for the day jobs, dont get enough time for retro computing.

Lex Landa12:45 PM
@marblypup I like the layout.

Kevin12:45 PM
I even have an old TI-9900 part in my parts drawer.

AlanH12:45 PM
ok.. i'm dragging out my box of goodies this weekend and working on my project. rc2014 motivation = win

Bil Herd12:45 PM
FPGA on signlesided, very cute.

Nils-Arne Dahlberg12:45 PM
Elektronika BK0010, one of the smallest LSI-11 compatible computers made. Probably the one sold in the biggest numbers...

19-rsn-00712:45 PM
Well first I was mostly just playing around with old microcomputers, then it came to a point where I had to repair them, modify them and all that stuff, so the interests moved to learning how they actually work and designing stuff for them. and now even to a point where I want to design my own machine

Bil Herd12:45 PM
Anybody doing the latest Hackaday Prize challange?

Lex Landa12:45 PM
@Nils-Arne Dahlberg That's the one.

marblypup12:45 PM
@Lex Landa Thanks. The signals connected to the NVRAM are on 2 sides of the CPU, so rotating the CPU seemed easier than routing lots of stuff round a corner.

spencer12:45 PM
It's awesome that this is inspiring people to dig out their old stuff :D

Bil Herd12:46 PM
@Dan Maloney See I'm plugging HAD. :)

emdarcher12:46 PM
@spencer I have mainly played with modern microcontrollers, AVR, STM32, etc. But have a bunch of salvaged 80's 8-bit components and EPROMS. Working on eventually doing a retrocomputer with an 8085 I found. When I get time though...

Linker300012:46 PM
@spencer My scope runs from TTL/6502/Z80 to ESP32/RPi/BBC Micro:bit via GAL, AVR and PIC microcontrollers - with the odd valve radio restore and transistor-based stuff thrown in

Kevin12:46 PM
:) I'm not in the current HAD Prize challenge.

@Bil - You're a good soldier

Peabody192912:46 PM
Might we see future RC2014 boards based on high integration chips? Perhaps a processor board with a Z80 and a Z84C90 KIO chip or an eZ80? Or will the "Retro" in RC2014 be enforced?

Nils-Arne Dahlberg12:46 PM
But the Elektronika MK-85 is probably the smallest LSI-11 computer ever made...

Lex Landa12:46 PM
@marblypup Could you post a photo of the back of the PCB, please?

Now get them to buy tickets for the Supercon!

Bil Herd12:47 PM
@Lex Landa You learned something that can take an "experienced" engineer awhile to learn since they can sometimes be too wed to how things were done in the past.

EtchedPixels12:47 PM
@Peabody1929 Bill Shen is working on a KIO using board

marblypup12:47 PM
@lex Not today, I think. The board's at home but I'm not. I dug that photo out of my Facebook!

marblypup12:48 PM

David Richards12:48 PM
I keep wondering whether to get an Electronica system for no good reason. I saw the soviet programmable calculators recently, they look nice too. One of the even earlier ones has a delay line memory.

Lex Landa12:48 PM
@marblypup No problem. I wondered what the track layout was like..

marblypup12:48 PM
(That's a 68010 compared with a KitKat clone :-) )

Nils-Arne Dahlberg12:48 PM
@spencer I play around now and then on my old Sharp PC-1500. My other old computers have been sold or given away long time ago. (Sharp MZ-711, Sinclair QL, three Amigas...)

EtchedPixels12:48 PM
@spencer I do retro including fixing old machines as a hobby and work with scary people who build 5GHZ CPUs at work

Bil Herd12:48 PM
If you look at some of the Terasic boards they did a 45 degree rotate as best option also.

AlanH12:48 PM
Break me off a peice of that kit... err mo-to-bar

spencer12:48 PM
@Peabody1929 I don't "enforce" anything :) However, I tend to design the boards and modules that I want to use. Some people are putting quite highly integrated chips with lots of modern interfaces on them. That's great, because it means that I don't have to :)

Peabody192912:48 PM
Good answer!

Bil Herd12:49 PM
I used to say that an engineer is the laziest workaholic you will find, but now I'm too lazy to even say that.

19-rsn-00712:49 PM
Oops, wrong button

Lex Landa12:49 PM

emdarcher12:49 PM
@Bil Herd so true

Gregory Nutt12:49 PM
@spencer I am a software guy. I have a Unix like OS that like to port to retro hardware. But it is difficult to get any significant C-based software in 64Kb.

Andrew Lindsay12:49 PM
So you've got people using smd components in other add on boards rather than just pure through hole designs?

Bil Herd12:49 PM
But yes, don't reinvent the wheel unless Marketing insists.

Marcel van Kervinck12:49 PM
This will be a good weekend to solder my RC2014 Plus.

EtchedPixels12:50 PM
@Gregory Nutt rc2014 runs Fuzix banked

19-rsn-00712:50 PM
I wish I could solder anytime soon. a bad hand injury is keeping me from doing it. been keeping me off a soldering iron for 5 weeks now

Bil Herd12:50 PM
@spencer and C compilers like lots of registers.

Peabody192912:50 PM
Aw, the advantage of the 68K family.

Nils-Arne Dahlberg12:51 PM
@David Richards the "normal" programmable calculators from the Elektronika MK series can be bought for not too much. MK-52 and MK-61 are commonly for sale on different sites.

spencer12:51 PM
@Andrew Lindsay Quite a few of the 3rd party RC2014 Compatible Boards do use SMD parts. Everything that I supply, though, is through-hole (except for the CF socket, which I pre-solder, and the ESP8266 module)

Bil Herd12:51 PM
@19-rsn-007 Sorry to hear about your injury, I lost a finger a while back and it still scwers wit mi typng

marblypup12:51 PM
@Bil Herd I wrote a simple C-like compile for my 68HC11 and that's got 3 GP registers : -)

AlanH12:52 PM
@spencer any plans for VCF-West in August in Mountain View, CA or VCF-MW in September in Chicago?

Bil Herd12:52 PM
The 68HC11 is an absolute b@tch to program for

Andrew Lindsay12:52 PM
@spencer Ah yes, spotted those. Tempted to try a CP/M setup next.

EtchedPixels12:52 PM
@marblypup there is a gcc for 68HC11

spencer12:52 PM
@AlanH YES! (And by "yes", I mean, yes, I really would love to go to a VCF event over there one day. I just need to organise myself)

Bil Herd12:52 PM
I will be at VCF West if your goin

AlanH12:53 PM
HC11 lives on today in the star 12

Nils-Arne Dahlberg12:53 PM
Ahh, forgot, I got 2 older Macs stuffed away at my parents place... I suppose they need some love and change of capacitors soon...

Bil Herd12:53 PM
We did a retro home build panel at VCF East this year.

David Richards12:53 PM
@Nils-Arne Dahlberg

it was the mk61 which took my fancy with the eeprom storage

Kevin12:53 PM
I keep trying to scroll back to read some of the scroll back and the chat window keep jumping to the latest messages before I can read some older ones that ran off the top of my screen. grrr.

AlanH12:53 PM
I'll be at both

Lex Landa12:53 PM
@Kevin I got that too. Will this chat log be available after the chat is over?

David Richards12:53 PM
@kevin, its very difficult to follow. i agree

pi314159atgithub12:54 PM
@spencer Any chance you might be going to the Liverpool Makerfest?

Linker300012:54 PM
@Kevin Yep, this UI is &^£$" irritating!

AlanH12:54 PM
I co-produce VCF-SE.. would love to have you in Atlanta next spring as well

spencer12:54 PM
I try scrolling back to see the older messages too, but I know I've missed some. So, if anybody asked me a Q that I ignored, please ask again :-)

marblypup12:54 PM
@kevin I have the same problem. I'll try to prattle less!

Bil Herd12:54 PM
@AlanH Stop me and say hi if your there, I should be wearing either a Hackady tshirt or a COmmodore one bitching about Apple.

David Richards12:54 PM
yes, lets all prattle less, who agrees?

AlanH12:55 PM
@Bil Herd I was the 'audio guy' when you were here in Atlanta for your (late) talk :)

Bil Herd12:55 PM
I mean the esteemed competition.

spencer12:55 PM
@pi314159atgithub YES! I've already got a stall booked for Liverpool Makesfest. Come and find me and say Hi!

Marcel van Kervinck12:55 PM
@Spencer Do CP/M and FUZIX have the same hardware requirements to run on RC2014? I know I have to upgrade my RC2014 Plus anyway. (I'm a bit more interested in FUZIX, because that might port well to the Gigatron, once we've the C compiler a bit more mature.)

Bil Herd12:55 PM
Ah I remember you!

Nils-Arne Dahlberg12:55 PM
@David Richards eeprom is MK-52. That is on my look out for list. I already got a MK-61 some months ago. A mix of TI and HP. Form factor reminds of the old TI 57 etc (the ones with red LED display), but the MK-61 uses RPN, so the usage is more like the HP calculators...

Linker300012:55 PM
Since we're talking venues, is there much Retro activity on the South Coast UK (Sussex/Hampshire) - things never seem to get this far south, or I am just rubbish at knowing about them.

Kevin12:55 PM
I wonder if I could use OS/9 on the board I'm working on.

AlanH12:55 PM


pi314159atgithub12:55 PM
@spencer Glad to hopefully better weather!

Andrew Lindsay12:56 PM
Thanks @spencer Will catch up with you soon. Got to drop off. Thanks for inspiring me on this. P.S. We are having a Retro-Computing day at NADHack later in the year as part of a local festival.

Bil Herd12:56 PM
That was the classiest stage I have been on, I tried to give VCF "stage envy" but it didn't work.

19-rsn-00712:56 PM
I've just recently moved to FPGA because I wanted to drive an EL640.400 display... :)

spencer12:56 PM
@Marcel van Kervinck I think @EtchedPixels is in a much better place to answer that :) My guilty secret is that I haven't actually used Fuzix. Yet.

marblypup12:56 PM
@Linker3000 FWIW, I'm on the Isle of Wight.


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