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Planning to watch Halt and Catch Fire?
Old 05-22-2014, 07:16 PM   #1
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Planning to watch Halt and Catch Fire?

I am excited for this show.

1) AMC (Breaking Bad vs NBC,ABC,CBS tripe)

2) I spent the early 80s on a Tandy color computer II as a child. To think that all of this was going on around me and I was just a wee bit too young to participate.
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Old 05-22-2014, 08:15 PM   #2
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I love the idea of having a show in the era and around some of the excitement of early PCs. If the first episode is any indication, they intend to sex it up, add some ruthless over the top corporate machinations and make sure it's extra tabloid lurid. Too bad. It could have been an excellent premise. Maybe saner heads will prevail for subsequent episodes.
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Old 05-22-2014, 09:03 PM   #3
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Just poke 0xDD into the 6800's instruction store. When it hits that...

This is the name of an actual TV show? Camera pointed at a smoldering S100 card? :-)
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Old 05-23-2014, 02:11 AM   #4
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Just poke 0xDD into the 6800's instruction store. When it hits that...

This is the name of an actual TV show? Camera pointed at a smoldering S100 card? :-)

Yup it sure is and part of the reason I am excited about the show is there use of one the great urban legends of the early computer years, the Halt and Catch Fire instruction.

AMC generally does quality work so I am optimistic. I am also very much enjoying HBO's Silicon Valley, which I think is a wonderful parody of the valley.
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Old 05-24-2014, 10:02 AM   #5
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I remember HCF. in the Motorola 6800. What ever happened to the 68000? It had a great instruction set. Raise your hands if you ever programmed in binary! using switches. Anyone ever have Altair Thumb?
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Old 05-24-2014, 10:25 AM   #6
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Old 05-24-2014, 12:16 PM   #7
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Raise your hands if you ever programmed in binary! using switches.


Back in the late 70's I designed and built a functioning 16 bit computer from 7400 series logic gates. It was quite the rat's nest of wires. We had no RTL or simulation- had to debug it with a logic probe and an oscilloscope. Doing that will put hair on your chest.
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Old 06-03-2014, 03:16 PM   #8
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Well, watched the first episode last night. It was ok, better than reruns of Judge Judy.

I did find myself yelling at the TV "Why are you using leds to read out the ROM contents instead of just hooking the data pins up to a parallel port on another PC and cycling through the address lines with a counter? A simple program would capture all of the contents....I mean they knew this stuff back in 1983, right?

At the rate they were reading out 64K on the leds and writing it down (about once every 5 seconds) it would have been 91 hours straight before they were finished (with no eating or toilet breaks)
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Old 06-03-2014, 03:56 PM   #9
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I remember HCF. in the Motorola 6800. What ever happened to the 68000? It had a great instruction set. Raise your hands if you ever programmed in binary! using switches. Anyone ever have Altair Thumb?
I did a bunch of programming of various 8 bit processors, including the 6805, early in my career. 16 bit was luxury.

But I never had to program with switches - we used one time programmable roms. And I worked for a very cost conscious organization so they allocated the roms not-so-generously... made for scary debugging.

Later we were upgraded to eproms so at least we could erase the roms with UV.

No RTOS on those early projects - just round robin and interrupts... and you better treat the stack with care in your ISRs.
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Old 06-03-2014, 07:50 PM   #10
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I remember HCF. in the Motorola 6800. What ever happened to the 68000? It had a great instruction set. Raise your hands if you ever programmed in binary! using switches. Anyone ever have Altair Thumb?

Several PDP machines. And an Intel Intellec 8, which I still have, and which still boots! I ported UNIX 6th Edition/Programmers Workbench to a Z8000, as well as hacking drivers and boot code for XENIX on the Z8000 and a UniSoft port to the 68K. Wrote a terminal emulator for a 6502 machine, so I could poke on the other stuff, and dial into work and The Well.

Later on I got to play with operating system work of different flavors on things like the i860 and 88110, but by then panel switches were long gone.
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