Solid State Machines

A project log for Novasaur CP/M TTL Retrocomputer

Retrocomputer built from TTL logic running CP/M with no CPU or ALU

Alastair HewittAlastair Hewitt 10/06/2022 at 21:070 Comments

Things are still progressing with a lot of behind the scenes work. This included setting up a business to officially launch the products - there will be two initial products with plans for more produced by Solid State Machines!

The website has some basic info, a forum, wiki, and store. The plan is to fill out the wiki by pulling a lot of details from these logs and adding more detailed info on the software and how to develop the platform.

Both the Novasaur and Novatron made it to VCF Midwest last month. The Novasaur was showing off not one, but two instances of CP/M running on the same machine.

The image above shows the VGA output displaying a mandelbrot set generated by MS Basic (it took a long time!) and a game of Super Star Trek being played via the serial terminal. Both these programs were loaded over the serial terminal using PIP as Intel hex files and then converted to binaries using Load.

This is going to be the initial release configuration of the Novasaur with the machine booting to CP/M on both the VGA console and serial terminal (the machine-code monitor is still accessible by hitting ctrl-alt-home).

VCF Midwest also hosts a lot of retro-tech YouTuners resulting in some brief coverage by the 8-Bit Guy and Ben Heck, plus a full one-on-one interview with Dr Dave.

Components are on hand for two dozen kits including packaging materials to ship the final product. The images below show the kit components.

There are a couple of things still missing: The assembly guide and the machining of the case. This requires something to machine the ABS panels... so there's a new side project to set up a CNC machine.

After the CNC setup and assembly guide there's still a couple of minor bugs to clean up in the Novasaur software to get to a 1.0 release. The plan is to release both the Novasaur and Novatron together in early December. Sorry for all the teasing this year... it's getting there!