[vcf-midatlantic] Semi-OT: microcontollers (?)

william degnan billdegnan at gmail.com
Thu Jun 29 16:04:36 EDT 2017

On Thu, Jun 29, 2017 at 3:36 PM, Herb Johnson via vcf-midatlantic <
vcf-midatlantic at lists.vintagecomputerfederation.org> wrote:

> I find Evan's responses satisfactory, and reasonable. If he says he wasn't
> opposed to old microcontroller discussions, good; sorry for my
> misunderstanding. And I wasn't out to attack him personally; just
> ideologically.
> I think prolonged discussions here of modern tools and architectures, in
> modern context, are to be discouraged. But as they are relevant to support
> vintage computing - RaspPi's emulating, WiFi chips on Commodore 64's,
> vintage architectures, etc. - then discussion is useful. I guess Evan
> started that discussion to make that point.
> Another discussion group, supports the COSMAC 1802. There's recent
> discussions there, of how USB/serial dongles complicate use of the 1802 at
> 2Mhz with a bit-banged (low baud rate, low response) serial interface. That
> discussion won't occur in USB world, or in Windows world - they would find
> such applications inexpiable, foreign. But I don't participate in those
> worlds - too "new".
> Thus discussion groups limit their range, for purpose.
> Herb Johnson
Let me take a stab at this...most members of this group are interested in
8-bit machines, with a sizable minority who are either also or exclusively
interested in other computing eras/platforms/modes/whatever you call it.

Regardless, there is a common thread we all seem to share, which is
connecting the old machines to new technology.  The benefits include
1) file transfer and recovery
2) reliable storage
3) emulation of missing parts
4) testing/comparing
5) diagnostics
6) bootstrapping.
7) space and cost savings

I may be missing one or two reasons but the point is as the machines of our
group get older and older, modern tools will be more and more essential.
AND as this group is pretty broad, it encourages a broad grouping of
perspectives on the hobby.

I am ok with all this by the way.

BUT - talking about Raspberry Pi's or microcontrollers or modern computers
without any direct reference to a specific vintage computer tied in there
somehow, even loosely, should be marked OT when there's a post about it.
At this point our OT drop-off is the early 1990's and creeping newer every

As I have mentioned months ago I attached my Rasp Pi 0 to my PiDP8, this is
an excellent device for emulating an emulated front panel.  People who had
actual PDP8i's from when they were current would probably laugh at all this.


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