[vcf-midatlantic] C64 workhorse survivor

David Riley fraveydank at gmail.com
Wed Sep 28 15:17:14 EDT 2016

On Sep 28, 2016, at 2:40 PM, Jason Perkins via vcf-midatlantic <vcf-midatlantic at lists.vintagecomputerfederation.org> wrote:
> It's amusing to consider NT4e "huge", the whole thing runs off of an
> 8gb IDE hard drive, with 2 2gb FAT partitions. The whole thing takes
> up only 700mb, 8mb of which is the configuration and logging database.
> But... compared to 100s of KB in a C64 it is much more overhead :)

Most hardware I'd design to run something like this WITHOUT those displays would clock in at less than a megabyte.  WITH the displays, you should be able to fit something like that on maybe an 8 MB CompactFlash drive.  I'd personally be nervous in an industrial setting about anything with a spinning disk, and if it's going to live a long time, any flash-based media better be copyable as well.  Logging is separate, but even then you should be able to do that over a network with e.g. syslog or a close analog.

All the same, though, that's a neat looking system.  It's just that using Windows NT to run an environmental control system makes me shudder about as much as the people these days trying to use Raspberry Pis to make simple microcontroller stuff (interface converters, timers, etc.).

But, as always, time to market and the availability of good engineering resources tends to be the constraint.  In the startup I co-founded, my business partner ended up telling me to stop writing things so close to the metal because no one else could handle it (I doubt anyone on this list would have had much trouble).

- Dave

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