Date   
new forum

etga2000 <rgilman@...>
 

This forum seems to be better.

And I'm glad to be the second member...

1980 Netronics Elf - What is it worth?

Tim Rotarius <trotarius@...>
 

Hi group,

I recently brought my first computer out of storage after 30 years. It is a Netronics Elf computer (like the one pictured in the November 1980 issue of Byte Magi zine (see Byte Magazine Article.pdf found the the file section of this group in Richard's extended COSMAC file area ). The computer consists of two parts, a product board and a programming board.

It was fully functional when I stored it but now the keypad circuitry isn't outputting correctly to the data port. Does anyone in the group have any idea as to it's worth in it's current state vs fixing the problem?


I also have the following document ion/manuals:

1802 product board assembly / user manual

1802 programmer board assembly instructions

Schematic for both boards

COSMAC Microprocessor Product Guide (MPG-180C

User Manual for the CDP1802 COSMAC Microprocessor (MPM-201C)

Instruction Summary for the CDP1802 COSMAC Microprocessor (MPM- 920A)

A Short Course In Programming by Tom Pittman


Thanks,

Tim

Tiny Basic...It's alive!!

aa3nm <aa3nm@...>
 

Well, since I posted this info on the old forum, I think I should
post it here as well.

I have a copy of Tom Pittman's Tiny Basic for the 1802. Originally
it was on 2-1k proms. I've coppied it onto 2k proms, modified the code
to jump to a 300 baud I/O routine (I have the rs232 iption on my
Super Elf) which is also in prom.

I have copies of the code in several electronic formats and can make
copies of the original manuals if needed. I am willing to share but
there are several customizable subtlties related to formats and I/O
routines that need to be discussed if TB is to run "out of the box".

Currently my Super ELF comes up running Tiny Basic at 300 baud. (I do
use a Pentium Laptop as a dumb terminal to talk to it, still it's
nice be able to program in basic again.)

On the "wants list"... I have the manual for Quest's editor
assembler... I know I had the tape to go with it, but it seems to
have vanished. Does anyone have a copy?

Thanks,
and nice forum,

Steve Gemeny
aa3nm@...

Re: Tiny Basic...It's alive!!

aa3nm <aa3nm@...>
 

My version (for the Quest Super ELF) of Tiny Basic really wants to be
loaded at 8400 though. The I/O routine I use runs on the Q and EF3 I
modified three LBR instructions in TB to jump to the I/O routine at
8300 (the unused 1/4 K block between the QUEST Super Monitor and TB,
otherwise TB assumes I/O is at 0100 Input, 0103 Output & 0106 Break).

8000 - 82FF Super Monitor
8300 - 83DF TB I/O and Text Lable
83E0 - 83FF Not used
8400 - 8BFF Tiny Basic

TB finds all available ram and assumes it can use all of it. It
seems that TB also makes use of the original page of CMOS memory on
the Super Elf (this gets moved to 9800 when the 4K memory is added).
There is a whole list of stuff TB stores there in Appendix D of the
manual.

Better find a way to have memory in 9800 to 98FF, it's probably
easier than changing TB.

<<< Late BREAKING News while coping this post from the old forum >>>

I found a note in the delivery sheet that modifies Appendix D to
point to page 00 instead of page 98... I'll have to run TB and poke
around to be sure which is correct.

Later,
Steve

Tiny again

etga2000 <rgilman@...>
 

Steve,

(I had some problems e-mailing a message to you. Server problem...
May be you got it but, just to be sure, here it is again. I take the
opportunity to add some questions ;)


My "Tiny" project is going well. I have 4K RAM at 0000-0FFF and
another 4K at 8000-8FFF. None outside these ranges, also none at 9800
but you said it doesn't seem to be needed.

Questions:
Is TinyBASIC entry point at address 8400 ?

Does TinyBASIC use some of SuperMon code or it is a completely
independant?

Do you use a SuperMon command to branch to BASIC?
If so, does SuperMon do some "housekeeping" before branching to
Tiny like setting stack pointer register, program counter register,
etc. ?


Thanks!
Ronald

Hello

Daventhalas <daventhalas@...>
 

I just joined the group. I posted once in the old message boards and
I am hoping to be more active here. I actually have never seen a
real ELF in person, but I really enjoy using the emulator. I have
been using it and a few other old computer emulators to teach me more
about programming and assembly language.

1802 Development Environment

kevashley
 

I have an 1802 development environment that I wrote ages ago in
MFC/Visual C++. It includes an internal Macro Assembler, Editor, and
Debugger. I originally wrote it to give me a way to develop my own
Forth for the 1802. Since I didn't have a complete working 1802
system, I opted for the software solution to my problem!

Anyway, I'm in the process of cleaning up the code a bit, after
changing it from an SDI to an MDI application.

I recently got a copy of eForth.asm for the x86 family, and am
converting that to run under my dev system (hence the reason I added
Macro support).

Currently, the system only provides eight I/O and the Flags for
Input/Output to the system. If anyone can provide me with details of
the Pixie stuff (I have the 1861 docs), I can add that to my emulator.

Likewise, if anyone wants a copy of the source, please e-mail me for
a (current) copy.

Cheers, Kev

Re: 1802 Development Environment

Ray Jewhurst <daventhalas@...>
 

Reading this gave me a thought, is there an Elf
emulator out there that can handle terminal emulation?
I only know of two emulators out there. And of
course the TinyElf is only for the palm where terminal
emulation is not an option. I know of an Altair
emulation project that has incorporated elements from
other emulators out there and is likewise willing to
share code for other emulators. As am I rambling on,
I've noticed that I'm suggesting a new emulator, which
even though wasn't the point of this message, it might
not be a bad idea. I don't know if elements of
TinyElf can be ported, but the foundations of it
coupled with Bill Richman's emulator we could really
come up with something.

The link for the Altair Emulator I mentioned is
http://highgate.comm.sfu.ca/~rcini/classiccmp/Altair32.htm
--- kevashley <kdashley@...> wrote:
I have an 1802 development environment that I wrote
ages ago in
MFC/Visual C++. It includes an internal Macro
Assembler, Editor, and
Debugger. I originally wrote it to give me a way to
develop my own
Forth for the 1802. Since I didn't have a complete
working 1802
system, I opted for the software solution to my
problem!

Anyway, I'm in the process of cleaning up the code a
bit, after
changing it from an SDI to an MDI application.

I recently got a copy of eForth.asm for the x86
family, and am
converting that to run under my dev system (hence
the reason I added
Macro support).

Currently, the system only provides eight I/O and
the Flags for
Input/Output to the system. If anyone can provide
me with details of
the Pixie stuff (I have the 1861 docs), I can add
that to my emulator.

Likewise, if anyone wants a copy of the source,
please e-mail me for
a (current) copy.

Cheers, Kev


=====
"If the future's looking dark we're the ones who have to shine
If there's no one in control we're the ones who draw the line
Though we live in trying times we're the ones who have to try
Though we know that time has wings we're the ones who have to fly!" -Rush "Everyday Glory"

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Re: 1802 Development Environment

kevashley
 

Reading this gave me a thought, is there an Elf
emulator out there that can handle terminal emulation?
Since I have the source for my emulator, it shouldn't be too
difficult to add Terminal Emulation support. Mine isn't technically
an ELF emulator, but rather an 1802/1805 assembler/debugger/simulator.

I could easily add ELF support by monitoring the INPUTx/OUTPUTx
instructions and displaying the appropriate info in a dialog.

I'll probably emulate an 1851 at some I/O address. I'll ignore the
1871 emulation for later.

Cheers, Kev

1802 chip

stew_m_3
 

Hi all,

I like the new forum. Much nicer to use. I just wanted to
venture a comment. The emulators are fun and allow one to play with
the 1802 programming very easily, but I want to encourage any newcomers
out there to have a go at building a real ELF if they are inclined.
Some may not realize the 1802 chip is still available. I bought a
couple of new ones from Newark about a year ago and the price was not
bad, about $12. each I think. They turn up on ebay too. It really is
not a bad job to wirewrap up an ELF or else point to point wire it with
a fine tip soldering iron. Everything, including handy sized perf
boards, can be had either from the mail order houses or Radio Shack;
and there are a lot of tutorials and info on wire wrapping and
prototyping on the Net. I built my first ELF years ago right on the
kitchen table in a small apartment, in just two or three evenings. If
you can't find the hex displays (they are a bit pricey too), just go
with separate LED's on each of the eight data lines. You will learn
hexadecimal very quickly this way! Also, there is a neat chip
available from eLabs now, the EDE707, which converts ordinary cheap 7-
segment displays to hex and is very easy to interface to any
microcontroller. (http://www.elabinc.com) They have some other
interesting chips too, including a 4x4 keypad interface. So, don't be
afraid to tackle building an actual ELF of your own! It does not take
a lot of previous electronic experience at all. The original
instructions are perfectly clear and you will learn a lot when you get
into customizing or expanding it. Good luck and best wishes to all for
2002, Stewart Marshall

cdp1802 chip

etga2000 <rgilman@...>
 

I some people are interested to get a 1802 chip,

they can get it at Rochester Electronics in Massachusetts. They still
have thousands of them and some at reasonably good price, $10 to $20.

Take a look at www.rocelec.com

Ronald

ELF PROMable OS (256 bytes!)

kevashley
 

I've disassembled the tiny OS for an ELF from an old DDJ issue. It's
only 256 bytes in length, but it provides 5 functions: RUN/DUMP/ENTER
and READ/WRITE to cassette via EF2 and Q outputs.

I've reversed it back to ASM code so I can reuse the tape
functionality. I also have a copy of the cassette interface
schematic available too.

Since we can't post attachments here, you'll have to personally
contact me if you'd like a copy.

Cheers, Kev

Hello all

Lee Hart
 

The 1802 ELF was my first computer. It taught me a lot, and I still
have fond memories of it.

In 1980-87 I designed 1802 microcomputers for Technical Micro Systems
Inc. in Ann Arbor Michigan. Our 1802 computer was called a BASYS
board, and had up to 2k of RAM, 4k of ROM, serial, and parallel I/O.
Software included an IDIOT monitor program (like RCA's UT4), Tiny
BASIC, and 8TH (a tiny version of FORTH).

I still have a VIP in my robot. It's patterned after Jeff Duntemann's
"Captain Cosmo's Whizbang" (must reading for 1802 fans :-)

Are there any sources of downloadable 1802 software? I still have
source for the TMSI products. But I would like to find the BASIC for
the RCA VIP, and perhaps Tom Pittman's DOTS program for displaying
text with the 1861 video chip.

Re: Hello all

Dave Ruske <dave@...>
 

Hi Lee. I remember TMSI. I inquired once about 8th, but as I recall it was
pretty expensive at the time, particularly with figForth available for the
price of a cassette. I think I understand why Linux is such a hit on college
campuses... commercial software cuts into one's beer money!

I'd be happy to host any 1802 software anyone cares to contribute on
cosmacelf.com, providing that the copyright holder doesn't object. (Yeah, I
know, where's the market for 1802 software... but believe it or not, I'm
involved in the receiving end of an IP lawsuit that's almost as silly, so I
tend to err on the side of caution. Never underestimate the power of a sleazy
lawyer!)

I never did see a copy of Pittman's DOTS program, but I've heard of it. Back
in college I was using the 1802 with a TVT based on one of Don Lancaster's
designs, when the video board decided to call it quits. I improvised by
writing my own 1861-based TVT, with 3x5 pixel characters in high res mode for
a 16 character by 16 line display. Try differentiating the letters H, M, N
and W in a 3x5 character... yikes. I believe Pittman's DOTS program used
variable width characters, no doubt providing the inspiration for TrueType
fonts. :)

Dave

On Wednesday 30 January 2002 01:02 pm, you wrote:
The 1802 ELF was my first computer. It taught me a lot, and I still
have fond memories of it.

In 1980-87 I designed 1802 microcomputers for Technical Micro Systems
Inc. in Ann Arbor Michigan. Our 1802 computer was called a BASYS
board, and had up to 2k of RAM, 4k of ROM, serial, and parallel I/O.
Software included an IDIOT monitor program (like RCA's UT4), Tiny
BASIC, and 8TH (a tiny version of FORTH).

I still have a VIP in my robot. It's patterned after Jeff Duntemann's
"Captain Cosmo's Whizbang" (must reading for 1802 fans :-)

Are there any sources of downloadable 1802 software? I still have
source for the TMSI products. But I would like to find the BASIC for
the RCA VIP, and perhaps Tom Pittman's DOTS program for displaying
text with the 1861 video chip.

Re: Hello all

Lee Hart
 

Dave Ruske wrote:
Hi Lee. I remember TMSI. I inquired once about 8th, but as I recall it
was pretty expensive at the time, particularly with figForth available
for the price of a cassette.
Yes, I'm afraid everything for computers was more expensive "way back
then". RCA wanted $39 for their Tiny BASIC. I think TMSI's 8TH was $150.
Forth Inc's polyFORTH for the 1802 was something like $500. We wrote 8TH
as a cheaper alternative.

I'd be happy to host any 1802 software anyone cares to contribute on
cosmacelf.com, providing that the copyright holder doesn't object.
Well, I wrote the IDIOT monitor and 8TH for TMSI, and since the company
is dead, there is no one to object. I also have source for Tom Pittman's
Tiny BASIC and RCA's BASIC2 (full BASIC), but don't know how to find the
copyright holders to ask if they care. Any ideas?

Another problem is that my source is on 8" floppies for the old 1802
development system, which has gone to the computer graveyard. Thus I
don't have any way to read these disks. I have managed to laboriously
extract the .HEX files for the ROMs themselves, and have a buggy version
of the BASIC2 source on disk. But I do have printed source listings; I
guess they could be scanned if someone had a scanner.

(Yeah, I know, where's the market for 1802 software... but believe
it or not, I'm involved in the receiving end of an IP lawsuit that's
almost as silly, so I tend to err on the side of caution. Never
underestimate the power of a sleazy lawyer!)
My motto on old software is that it's easier to ask for forgiveness than
for permission :-) Use it until someone asks you to stop.

I never did see Pittman's DOTS program, but I've heard of it.
I have copies of the magazine article. Yes, it did use variable width
characters; it displays 7 lines of about 18 characters per line. I guess
he incorporated it into his Tiny BASIC in versions for the Quest and
Netronics Elfs, though with lowercase removed. In my own case, I'd like
to get it running on my VIP.

You got 16 lines of 16 characters? Wow. Seems like they would be twice
as wide as they are high. Was it readable?
--
Lee A. Hart Ring the bells that still can ring
814 8th Ave. N. Forget your perfect offering
Sartell, MN 56377 USA There is a crack in everything
leeahart_at_earthlink.net That's how the light gets in - Leonard Cohen

Re: Hello all

druske <dave@...>
 

--- In cosmacelf@y..., Lee Hart <leeahart@e...> wrote:
Forth Inc's polyFORTH for the 1802 was something like $500.
We wrote 8TH as a cheaper alternative.
Wow, I wonder how many $500 compilers Forth Inc. sold for the
1802. That must've worked out to something like a nickel per
byte! Wish I could charge that kind of rate for my code...

Well, I wrote the IDIOT monitor and 8TH for TMSI, and since
the company is dead, there is no one to object. I also have
source for Tom Pittman's Tiny BASIC and RCA's BASIC2 (full
BASIC), but don't know how to find the copyright holders to
ask if they care. Any ideas?
Wouldn't know where to begin for full BASIC. As for Tiny, I did
a Google search a while back and found what seemed to be a recent
email address for Tom Pittman, but while the email didn't bounce,
I never received a reply. I'll probably give in and just post the
thing if I ever get around to recovering it from cassette
(assuming that I can even get the cassette to read). Can't imagine
he'd care, as it skated the edge of being public domain even back
around 1980.

Another problem is that my source is on 8" floppies for the old
1802 development system, which has gone to the computer
graveyard. Thus I don't have any way to read these disks.
That sounds like a fairly serious problem. I suppose you could try
posting to the Classic Computer mailing list, there are folks there
with all manner of strange antiques:

http://www.classiccmp.org

You got 16 lines of 16 characters? Wow. Seems like they would
be twice as wide as they are high. Was it readable?
XXX XXX XXX XXX XXX XXX
X X X X X X X X X
XXX X X XXX X X X XXX
X X X XX X X X X
XXX XXX X X X XXX X XXX XXX XXX

(Above answer best viewed with a fixed font :)

Dave

Re: Hello all

druske <dave@...>
 

Dang, HTML eats the extra spaces. Should've seen that coming.

Oh well, the text was supposed to say "SORT OF..." in 3x5
characters. Yeah, it worked, but it was bug-ugly.

Dave

--- In cosmacelf@y..., "druske" <dave@r...> wrote:
XXX XXX XXX XXX XXX XXX
X X X X X X X X X
XXX X X XXX X X X XXX
X X X XX X X X X
XXX XXX X X X XXX X XXX XXX XXX

FORTH (was Re: Hello all)

Lee Hart
 

Lee Hart wrote:
Forth Inc's polyFORTH for the 1802 was something like $500.
We wrote 8TH as a cheaper alternative.
druske wrote:
Wow, I wonder how many $500 compilers Forth Inc. sold for the
1802. That must've worked out to something like a nickel per
byte! Wish I could charge that kind of rate for my code...
Remember that the value of a piece of software (or most anything else)
is not what it cost you, but what it is worth to the buyer.

For quite a while, the 1802 was the only ultra-low power, ultra-high
reliability, ultra-noise immune microcomputer you could get. If your
application demanded these features, you had to use the 1802.

But the 1802 has a peculiar instruction set; not inferior, just
different. It scared many programmers; they'd only use it if they could
program it in a high level language.

FORTH was the first high level language you could get for the 1802. Even
as others became available, FORTH still outperformed them by a wide
margin. Thus it was an extremely valuable program for getting your
product out the door. That's why it was so expensive.

My first 1802 product was a sound level meter / data logger. It was the
size of a pack of cigarettes, and ran for a week on a 9v battery. You
stuck it in your pocket, with the microphone in your ear, and it logged
every sound level you were exposed to in your workplace. Then the data
was read out, and used to decide whether or not you were meeting the
complex OSHA noise standards. This was in 1977! The product was only
possible because of the 1802.

We assumed a 1k byte EPROM was big enough (the largest size available in
low-power CMOS at the time). But no matter how we squeezed and schemed,
we could not get the program to fit. Then we bought FORTH. First, it was
10 times faster to write, compile, and debug programs. Second, the FORTH
program was 2/3 the size of optimized assembler! Without FORTH, we still
might have gotten the product to market, but it would have cost more for
the hardware and software development would have been much slower.

As for Tiny, I did a Google search a while back and found what seemed
to be a recent email address for Tom Pittman, but while the email
didn't bounce, I never received a reply.
Let me know, and I can try again. I had a license agreement with him, so
he may remember my name. Though I hate to speak for someone else, I
would bet he would not object to his Tiny BASIC going public. Tom was
one of the nicest software producers I ever dealt with, and even back
then he only charged a trivial fee for it.

Another problem is that my source is on 8" floppies for the old
1802 development system, which has gone to the computer
graveyard. Thus I don't have any way to read these disks.
That sounds like a fairly serious problem. I suppose you could try
posting to the Classic Computer mailing list, there are folks there
with all manner of strange antiques:
At present, I sent my master disks to Stewart Marshall (who's name I
have also seen on this list). He has a lot of my old 1802 stuff, and
said he had an 8" system that might be able to read them.

You got 16 lines of 16 characters? Wow. Seems like they would
be twice as wide as they are high. Was it readable?
XXX XXX XXX XXX XXX XXX
X X X X X X X X X
XXX X X XXX X X X XXX
X X X XX X X X X
XXX XXX X X X XXX X XXX XXX XXX
This came through fine. But since the 1861's best resolution is 64
pixels wide and 128 pixels high. And, the height is 1/2 of the width. So
if you used 8 pixels per character for height (128 / 8 = 16 lines), each
character must have been half as high as it was wide. Your above
characters are the reverse of this. So, did it look more like this?

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXXXX
XXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXX
XXXXXXX

(on my screen, these are twice as wide as they are high)

It occurred to me I could set the monitor on its side, and use the
display as a 128-pixel wide by 64-pixel high display. In this case, your
3x5 character font provides 10 lines of 32 characters per line.
--
Lee A. Hart Ring the bells that still can ring
814 8th Ave. N. Forget your perfect offering
Sartell, MN 56377 USA There is a crack in everything
leeahart_at_earthlink.net That's how the light gets in - Leonard Cohen

Re: Hello all

stew_m_3
 

"druske" <dave@r...> wrote:

I suppose you could try
posting to the Classic Computer mailing list, there are folks there
with all manner of strange antiques:

http://www.classiccmp.org
Hahaha, Dave. Telling Lee to post to that CP/M list is like teaching
your grandma to suck eggs, as the saying goes. He is an old timer on
there, one of the mainstays, the guys with the answers when the rest of
us have a question! Hey, Lee, I see you found us on the new yahoo ELF
list! Welcome aboard. This 1802 revival needs chaps like you who were
there in the beginning. It is curious and wonderful, the appeal this
little chip continues to have! All the best for now,

cheers, Stewart Marshall

Marshall Systems
Lopez Island, WA

8 in. disks (was FORTH)

stew_m_3
 

Lee Hart <leeahart@e...> wrote:

At present, I sent my master disks to Stewart Marshall (who's name I
have also seen on this list). He has a lot of my old 1802 stuff, and
said he had an 8" system that might be able to read them.
For anyone interested, my 8 in. drive setup is not too hard to
construct. I have an ordinary 8 in. floppy drive (any number of brands
will work - Qume DT-8, Shugart 800/850, 1/2-height Tandon 848) set up
as B drive on a 286 PC. The 34 to 50 pin adaptor is easy to rig up
from the pinouts on the CP/M FAQ online, and the FDC is the famous
MicroSolutions CompatiCard. These turn up regularly on eBay and with
computer recyclers; and will actually handle four attached floppies if
you wish. Some regular AT-class FDC cards from IBM clones will work
also, for single density work with an 8 in. drive. This is what I used
for a number of years before finding a Compaticard. Note that the FDC
has to be from a clone, not an actual IBM machine; and also has to be
an AT style for 1.2 mb 5.25 in. HD service. The older 360k DD
controllers will NOT work. Also note that a 286 or 386 is the desired
host. There are a couple of issues with newer, faster PC's. One is a
timing thing, where the new PC's are just too fast to communicate
easily with the old slow drives; and then also the various suitable
FDC's are all for ISA bus. But of course, with every recycle yard full
of $10. 286's, this is no hardship! The software is all DOS-based
shareware found online: Anadisk to examine disk sectors, dump code,
edit disks; 22Disk to read various formats and recover data from them,
transfer between formats, etc.; and TeleDisk for making exact copies of
any disk (regardless of format)and making disk image files for
archiving to hard drive or CD-ROM. I did pay for the full version of
22Disk at one point, for more formats; but the demo version has quite a
few, maybe over a hundred floppy formats. This rig has been very useful
since I have a number of older machines with 8 in. drives, like TRS-80
Models 12/16, CompuPro 8/16, Advanced Digital Super-6, and Cromemco.
It lets me receive raw code or antique software as a download from the
Net, or attached to e-mail from another user, onto my G3 Macintosh,
then dump to a DOS floppy for transfer over to the older PC, then right
onto the appropriate 8 in. disk for the vintage machines. More fun
than we should be allowed to have!

cheers, Stew