[vcf-midatlantic] Intro

Michael Kato michael.kato at gmail.com
Thu Mar 30 14:51:51 EDT 2017

My name is Maki and I've been on the list for a little while now, I've also
had the chance to meet a number of members two weekends ago at TCF.  Since
I'm going to be at VCF-E on Friday and Sunday I thought I'd write a bit
about myself so that maybe I can connect with those sharing similar

I grew up in Japan in the 80's; got my amateur radio license and then
almost immediately got caught in the "paso-kon"(personal computer)
excitement.  Read lots of magazines and spent countless hours typing in hex
code to run a game or to try a new programming language.  My favorite was
the Sharp MZ-80 machines with Z-80s.  At school we had access to Hitachi
Basic Master Level 3 machines with 6809 still with cassette tapes.  I also
had access to SORD M-100 and M-23 machines where I learned Z80, I also had
a hand me down CP/M crate with 8" floppies.(Probably S-100, but don't know
the make or model for that matter I don't even know who gave me the box -
probably my dad's colleague)

Eventually I went off to boarding school in Singapore, and took with me a
Epson Geneva PX-8(z80 cp/m laptop).  I have again my dad to thank for this
nice gift.  I did a little programming on that and remember writing a
compiler that would take tiny pascal looking code and output z80
assembly.(in Lisp-80)

>From college I remember TOPS-20 and Motorola 68HC11 intro to digital
class.  I also remember spending lots of time on a Mac IIci with Pascal and
C, oh and of course Sun-2 and then Sparc.  After graduating I entered the
workforce as a programmer, worked for a number of companies including a
trip back to Singapore to work for IBM Global Services.(I learned a bit of
mainframe and a bit of AS/400 and did quite a bit of C++ on AIX and OS/2)
 Since returning to the states I've been almost exclusively in the Web
space.(and of course the Arduino and Raspberry pi stuff for fun)

During the 80's 90's and into the 00's I collected unix workstations mostly
around the MIPS architecture, and enjoyed getting NetBSD to boot on each.
Recently I've decided to focus on a few things I really want to spend my
time on.  I've kept my Z80s(~10 machines including a Sharp MZ-700 and
Nascom-2)  Motorola 88k (NCD X-terminals, VME machines, DG AViiONs and
Omron 88k) and some Sharp PC-1500 calculators with 8bit LH5801.

I feel like there are still more creating to be done on all the older
platforms, but in particular I'm thinking along the lines of z80 as target
for embedded application like motor control for a drawbot.  I have done
some Forth but feel like I haven't experienced enough of that so thinking
about Forth on Z80 and 88k to programming these projects.  On the NCD 88ks
I'm thinking maybe someday of bringing up an Oberon system.

Being a web guy I fancy building a collaborative disassembler where people
can annotate and share annotations for reverse engineered binaries.

That's sort of where my mind's at; looking forward to meeting more z80 fans
and 88k fans.  And looking forward to seeing cool old hardware.


PS. I also kept my sparetime gizmo 6120 - looking forward to learning more
about pdp8

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