Symbolics Lisp Machines always fascinated me but I could never afford such a device. It turns out Open Genera was ported to Linux and can be run on ordinary hardware.
I connected to the Z80-MBC2 homebrew Z80 computer from an Android terminal emulator on chromeOS. Here are my early impressions:
Retrocomputing drives preservation, learning, experimentation, and enthusiasm more than the history of any other technical field or science.
I got my hands on these gems, books 1 and 2 of "8080-8085 Software Design" by Larsen and Titus, 1981.
Focus on iterative design, countless examples clearly and fully explained in detail, coverage of programming all sorts of peripherals and devices, extensive discussion of data structures and algorithms. The only downside is a weird Assembly notation.
I'm playing with UCSD p-System, one of the operating systems that come with the Z80-MBC2 Z80 homebrew computer. Here's a demo program that plots a sine wave.
The menu system is easy, but I'm not sure I understand how to go back one level. Pressing Q works most of the times but not all. I tried ESC, Backspace and a few more keystrokes without success.
Cool-retro-term is an awesome vintage looking terminal emulator.
But, on my Crostini Linux (Debian), the cool-retro-term shell sets the keyboard layout to EN instead of the system default, i.e. IT. How con I switch the keyboard layout to IT only for the cool-retro-term session?
Many blogs that report on retrocomputing projects don't go much beyond building and testing kits or restoring classic devices.
Z80 ephemera stands out as it starts from there to share usage experiences with retro devices, such as writing programs in various languages.
I always wanted to try HyperCard but couldn't afford a Mac back when the software was available. This article tells why HyperCard was a big deal.
A key insight of this post for those who grew up, technology-wise, after the microcomputer revolution of the 1970s and 1980s, is how much practical issues affected production processes. The costs and logistics of distributing software and media made iterative development impractical.
I still have a copy of the book "Project Oberon: The Design of an Operating System and Compiler" by Niklaus Wirth and Jürg Gutknecht, published in 1992.
I was fascinated by the coherent operating system, development tools, and GUI stack, the elegance of Wirth's design, and graphics workstations.
I'm having a lot of fun playing with the Z80-MBC2 Z80 homebrew computer.
To document what I learn, I'm publishing to my blog a series of posts with updates, resources, code, tips, videos, and more on my journey to explore the device. These posts are grouped here, where new ones will show up:
I'm looking for blogs or Mastodon users to follow who consistently share their retrocomputing projects or direct experience with Z80 or Intel 8080 systems, Assembly programming, CP/M, homebrew computers, or vintage non-game software and documentation.
I posted some notes on porting to CP/M, building, and running an Intel 8080 Assembly demo on the Z80-MBC2 Z80 homebrew computer. The demo is an ASCII animation of a twirling bar.
I created a YouTube playlist about the Z80-MBC2 Z80 homebrew computer.
The videos are screencasts demonstrating various features of the device and my projects with it, such as feature walkthroughs, running programs, programming sessions, and so on. So far there are only a handful of videos, but I'll publish more.
8bitnews featured my Z80-MBC2 projects in issue 55. This is so cool, many thanks to the editors Jan and Bastian!
8bitnews.io is my favorite retrocomputing newsletter.
Astronomy, space, Android & Google, Python, coding, retrocomputing.
No politics, no negativity. Just passion for my geeky interests.
This Mastodon instance is for people interested in technology. Discussions aren't limited to technology, because tech folks shouldn't be limited to technology either!