Friday, May 15, 2020

Third Quarter Report

There are about two weeks left, so I wanted to say a few things about the projects I've been watching.  I've broken them up in to a few categories.

Homebrew Computers

Building your own computer... starting with chips.

Eric Smith (COSMAC ELF) (blog) (photo album)
His website is still not working, but there is a photo gallery.  It seems he has constructed several COSMAC ELF front panels.  I hope he gets his site running soon, as I have built an ELF before, and want to see what he does with it.

Paul Robson: (Eris computer)
An amazing entry.  This is writing games for a homemade computer system called Eris based off an ESP32.  The amount of work needed to create your own platform, and then make use of it is not to be trivialized.

Scott Baker: (z80 FPGA)A Z80 in an FPGA. Scott Baker (forum blog)  (Github)  It seems to be working great, its even running Conways Game of Life.  (On a sad note, John Conway has recently passed away from COVID-19... The world has lost an interesting mind.)

Just4Fun (V20/8088 SBC) (link) They are building a single board computer that works either with in 8088 or a V20 CPU.  Best as I can tell, the V20 is a faster 8088 that also has a build in 8080 emulation mode.  This is interesting, as it is essentially two computers in one.

Retro Coding

Writing programs for old platforms.

Jim Gerrie (MC-10 gaming) (link):
Jim never dissapoints... His devotion and dedication to the MC-10... a system most prople ignore is incredible.  This system is seriously lacking in power compared to its big brother, the CoCo, but the creativity involved to make working adventure games on this platform is something to see.

Mark Wickens (VAX Projects):(link) Successfully porter lunar lander to an emulated VAX.  This is pretty cool.

Matteo Trevisan (Chatbot): (link)  A chatbot loosely based on ELIZA for early Apple computers.  This is double-retro... A 1960's program adapted for a 1980's computer.

Pim van Tend:  (Forth on HP) (link)
Pim had a previous project where he got Forth working on an HP simulator.  This time around, he is expanding it from a limited Forth to Forth-77.

Decle : Accessing hidden debugger built into World Championship Baseball for Intellivision.  (

Retro Platform

Getting to know an older system, setup and possible repair.

Beniamino Cenci Goga:  (playing with old Apple computers)
This one is interesting to me because its around old Macs.  I never did much with Apple computers, but we had them in school when I was a kid, so it is a bit nostalgic for me.  Reading thru his progress, it makes we want to pick up an old Mac and play around.

Raphael Assenat (First time MSX User) (
 An impressive demo of what the MSX can do.  I picked up a MSX on ebay about a year ago, but never did much with it.  Included are hacks on getting TAP images into real hardware without a real tape... I'll need to do this soon.

Richard Loxley (Osborne 1 repair) (
Richard is making a second attempt at fixing a pair of broken Osborne computers.  Not much progess has been written yet, but I hope there is an update soon to read.  Interestingly, the Osbourne computers were build in my hometown of Hayward, CA.


Taking a premade single board computer, and building it into a working system.

Abraham Vreugdenhil (Z80 SBC Program Loader) (
He is building a little hardware necessary to load programs onto an old Z80 single board computer, the MPF-1b. 

Eric Pooch (CMS 9619A SBC running OS9) (
Another program-a-raw-SBC-board project.  Eric has gotten the OS9 shell running on a  9619.


Simulating old hardware the best we can.

Tobias Langhoff (Dream 6800 Emulator) (

Latest update... He is learning 6800 assembly language.  Earlier, he already had some games running in the emulator.

Jeff Salzman (MOBIDIC  simulator) (
Jeff is continuing a previous project to emulate a MOBIDIC computer.  The MOBIDIC is an early "portable" computer, from when portable meant a whole truck trailer.


Please update your blogs... I want to see what you are doing.

Mark Overholser  (Apple ][ Projects)

Niels Mosele (Unknown Project)

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