Monday, October 28, 2013

The Spoiler Entry

In which our protagonist admits he's been doing a little something between entries, which sets the tone for the next weeks.

It turns out that if you have done your homework and bought all the parts, the jump from the free run of the last entry to a working prototype is not that big. In fact, one thing led to another, and a few days later ...

The breadboarded first working prototype. From left to right and top to bottom: 8 kb ROM with the Squirrel Operating System (SqOS) and monitor; 1.8 MHz clock can, 65c02 CPU, chip select logic; 6850 ACIA connected to Arduino USBSerial interface, 32 kb RAM. Still missing are VIA 65c22 I/O chip, the second 8 kb ROM for Forth and the interrupt logic.

The amazing thing is, it works. Really, it works. The prototype is up and running. I’ve built a computer!

Photo of the first successful boot of the Übersquirrel, because screenshots don't count. Note the line spacing is still off, because we generate CR/LF instead of just LF at the end of a line. Seriously, what was I thinking?

Of course, this is only the prototype, and it will be a while before we can get to putting the actual machine together. So in the next entries, we'll be reversing the way we've been doing things and explain the prototype's features.

After I'm done grinning maniacally.