A project log for ESP65 Pocket Computer: KIM-I/Apple-1/esp32

Like a HP-200LX but better - because 6502

OscarvOscarv 02/02/2021 at 16:210 Comments

The hard work only comes when the first prototype hardware is done. I had a few free days to spend on polishing up the basics. Those all seem to work, I can use the KIM-1 and Apple-1 ROMs, run Wozmon and Apple-1 Basic, boot up DOS65, load applications like ehBasic and assemblers with it.

It's shaping up to be what I want it to be: a 6502-based business computer with everything you could bolt on in 1977 - just before the home computer era started with the Apple II etc.

I am really starting to like the keyboard with its mouse-button switches. They feel just right, unlike a lot of the commercial mini-keyboards I tried.

On the to-do list next:

- get half-decent VT-100 emulation (sub-decent now, and I want Dan Werner's full-screen editor SEDIT to work properly);

- hook up the KIM-1 hex programmer's keypad over something that wastes less resources than BLE (later on, I want to add virtual Z80 and 6120 (PDP-8!) coprocessors plus 64K of extra RAM - bluetooth just eats way too much into my free space).

- add fancy features, like a portrait split-screen terminal mode with display of FLTPT65's floating point registers, a disassembler/debugger and perhaps a blinkenlight mode for fun;

- respin a new version of the PCB to improve fit in the case, make things prettier & simpler to build, implement a few extra ideas now I figured out how to free up more GPIO pins.

- longer term, add a Tektronix 4010 graphics mode.

- port more application software to DOS/65. It's simple.

- party like it's 1977 - with the fanciest 6502 system that 1977 dollars could ever buy. Yay! ;)