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PICList Thread
'[PIC] Lost Souls'
2017\09\23@140829 by Bob LeDoux

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I still prefer to code in PIC assembler

Now that I have justified the [PIC], let me comment on the last email posting:

1. There were 25 postings on the Piclist and not one of them was PIC related.

2. Some of the brightest minds I know found the time to argue over the choice of units systems.

I miss the old days when we enjoyed the challenge of solving complex problems with an 8 bit PIC. Remember the days of 40 bit calculations without floating point operations?  How about working with non-linear functions by using piecewise linear interpolation (AN942)?  I used that technique to translate pressure into altitude.

More recent posts don't contain the mental challenges, the gamesmanship, of old.  Its enough to drive me to cross word puzzles.

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2017\09\23@155544 by Harold Hallikainen

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I appreciate the ideas in your post. I started with the PIC16 in assembly.
I then started with C on the PIC18, then 24, then 32. Most of my code is
now in C, though I did recently do some PIC18 stuff where the ISR is
written in assembly.

My PIC24 and PIC32 assembly language stuff has largely been dealing with
bootloading. Everything else is in C.

But, no matter what the language is, there's certainly room for
discussion. I have not posted a question here in a while, but read
everything and respond when I have something to contribute. With this in
mind, I'll go ahead now and post a question I currently have at Microchip
Support.

Thanks!

Harold



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2017\09\23@192204 by IVP

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> 1. There were 25 postings on the Piclist and not one of them was
> PIC related

Hi Bob,

I suspect bare micros are no longer the entry level when it comes
to software engineering and so the questions of old just don't arise
in the quantity they used to

I've been a mentor on a NZ schools forum for many years and have
not yet helped, or even seen, anyone with a PIC issue, because they
simply don't use them. It's all PICAXE, Arduino, Raspberry Pi and
$5 modules from Alibaba or Sparkfun. Programming is in some HLL
like BASIC, Python etc

20 years ago we didn't have the luxury of fast micros in corporatised
hybrids and a zillion libraries on the web and had to do it ourselves

When I have a project to share with them it's in PIC assembly with
comments to explain the logic and a schematic, which they seem to
follow and understand. The intelligence is there but I feel they are
mostly ignorant of how a micro actually works and cheap turnkey
modules have deprived them of investigating component choice and
circuit design

Joe

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2017\09\23@202805 by RussellMc

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On 24 September 2017 at 07:08, Bob LeDoux <.....bobledouxKILLspamspam@spam@proaxis.com> wrote:


> I still prefer to code in PIC assembler
>
> ​Real Men [tm] code in machine language :-).

It's been 35+ years since I was a real man I guess - and then ​

​it was not initia​lly by choice.
We had no assembler available and nothing sensible to ruin one on or to
write one for.
(Uphill both ways in the snow with no shoes in a cardboard box at the
bottom of a lake*).

I still remember quite a few of the MC6800 assembler mnemonics.
Mental relative figuring would probably approach it's original ease fairly
rapidly, I think/hope.
6800 family was a serendipitously good choice for raw machine language
programming as the instructions group the operator and data bits far more
logically for manual construction than does the 8080 family.
Hex keypad entry was a quantum step up from the initial binary switch
address and data toggling on my SC/MP system.


        Russell

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2017\09\23@205657 by smplx

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On Sun, 24 Sep 2017, RussellMc wrote:

> I still remember quite a few of the MC6800 assembler mnemonics.
> Mental relative figuring would probably approach it's original ease fairly
> rapidly, I think/hope.
> 6800 family was a serendipitously good choice for raw machine language
> programming as the instructions group the operator and data bits far more
> logically for manual construction than does the 8080 family.

look at the 8080 opcodes again but in octal :-)

The Z80 opcodes were mostly 8080 with prefix opcodes that replaced HL with
IX or IY

Regards
Sergio Masci
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2017\09\23@205959 by David Strumpf

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And then there was CP/M for 8080 and Z80.  Oh, the good days...

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-----Original Message-----
From: smplx <smplxspamKILLspamallotrope.net>
To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public. <.....piclistKILLspamspam.....mit.edu>
Sent: Sat, Sep 23, 2017 07:57 PM
Subject: Re: [PIC] Lost Souls




On Sun, 24 Sep 2017, RussellMc wrote:

> I still remember quite a few of the MC6800 assembler mnemonics.
> Mental relative figuring would probably approach it's original ease fairly
> rapidly, I think/hope.
> 6800 family was a serendipitously good choice for raw machine language
> programming as the instructions group the operator and data bits far more
> logically for manual construction than does the 8080 family.

look at the 8080 opcodes again but in octal :-)

The Z80 opcodes were mostly 8080 with prefix opcodes that replaced HL with
IX or IY

Regards
Sergio Masci
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2017\09\23@212005 by Richard Pope

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Hello all,
    You can build an S-100 based system or you can go to ebay and buy a S-100 system. Sometimes there are IMSAIs and Altairs on ebay. I Took the build my own system from scratch path. The site to go to is s100.computers.com. There are blank Backplane boards with several configurations available. You can get boards for 8080, Z80, 8086, 80286, 80386, 80486. 68000, 6502, and 6809 processor boards. There are sound cards, frt panel cards, FDC cards, HDD cards, ram boards, monitor boards, and others. All of these boards are blank. They aren't all available but from time to time a new batch is produced. All of the files that you need are supplied so that you can produce your own boards. Go take a look. Another site to look into is retrotechnology.com. They offer complete boards, system, and floppy drives including 8", 5.25", and 3.5" that are configured to work with s-100 systems.
America: Love It or Leave It!
GOD Bless,
rich!

On 9/23/2017 9:01 PM, smplx wrote:
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2017\09\23@233021 by Michael Johnston

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I just rejoined this list about a year ago and I do not miss several people
that bebrated others for not being real engineers or something Faux PaX.
Anyways the list is quiet and makes me wonder how people are developing
things around the pic processor today. Im still interested and just dont
have much time right now!
Michael Johnston

On Sat, Sep 23, 2017 at 1:08 PM, Bob LeDoux <EraseMEbobledouxspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTproaxis.com> wrote:

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2017\09\23@234611 by William Westfield

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> the list is quiet and makes me wonder how people are developing things around the pic processor today.

A lot of the “random” stuff has moved from eMail lists to forum-like services.

A lot of what drives this sort of mailing list is “beginners” and hobbyists, which ask the questions (sometimes “stupid questions" that spur interesting discussions.  And a lot of them have moved to Arduino or Raspberry Pi; both pretty far removed from “clever sequences of obscure 8bit PIC instructions.”

I was a little surprised that the 16 and 32bit PICs didn’t generate more discussion here :-(

BillW


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2017\09\25@140846 by RussellMc

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On 24 September 2017 at 13:59, David Strumpf <@spam@davidcouKILLspamspamaol.com> wrote:


> And then there was CP/M for 8080 and Z80.  Oh, the good days...
>
> ​I have 2 x "Osborne One"s​
Operating condition uncertain.

Russell
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2017\09\25@202807 by mike brown

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I still have a Cosmac Elf II that I built around 1977.  It should still
work, but needs to be tested to verify.  256 bytes of SRAM.  Code is hand
assembled into hex got easy entry via the hex keypad.  Much more luxurious
than the previous model since that required you to enter actual binary via
toggle switches.

Altair and IMSAI boxen were only in my dreams.  My next personal computer
was a Commodore 64.

On Sep 25, 2017 13:17, "RussellMc" <KILLspamapptechnzKILLspamspamgmail.com> wrote:

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2017\09\26@020708 by RussellMc

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On 26 September 2017 at 13:28, mike brown <spamBeGonemikespamBeGonespamn5qmg.com> wrote:

> I still have a Cosmac Elf II that I built around 1977.  It should still
> work, but needs to be tested to verify.  256 bytes of SRAM.  Code is hand
> assembled into hex got easy entry via the hex keypad.  Much more luxurious
> than the previous model since that required you to enter actual binary via
> toggle switches.


​Probably 5101 low power CMOS memory.
(256 x 4 from memory).

If loaded regularly with the same code these started to "remember" their
prior contents when powered off overnight and then restarted.
This could not be relied on as "ROM: but seemed to become more ROM like
with time.
- This was discovered by some students who had a system that ran the same
code which was rekeyed in each day. (Why it was not just left on I know
not).

Russell
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2017\09\26@065008 by mike brown

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That's a cool piece of trivia reminiscent of the PIC list days of lore.
Alas, it uses a pair of 256x4 2101 chips.  You should check out what kids
today are doing.  They are building emulators and copies in FPGAs of the
old Elf.  I was astounded to see that there were people doing such things.

They still use 1801 processors for satellite/space usage.  Apparently they
have a natural resistance to radiation in the gold and ceramic packages.

The CDP1861 video generator is now truly as rare as proverbial hens teeth,
but I think someone is making a pin compatible copy using a small CPLD.

http://cosmacelf.com

On Sep 26, 2017 01:15, "RussellMc" <TakeThisOuTapptechnzEraseMEspamspam_OUTgmail.com> wrote:

​Probably 5101 low power CMOS memory.
(256 x 4 from memory).

If loaded regularly with the same code these started to "remember" their
prior contents when powered off overnight and then restarted.
This could not be relied on as "ROM: but seemed to become more ROM like
with time.
- This was discovered by some students who had a system that ran the same
code which was rekeyed in each day. (Why it was not just left on I know
not).

Russell
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2017\09\26@110034 by David C Brown

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One of the great pleasures of my retirement is solving difficult
calculations in assembler or PIC16s.  With all the pressures of deadlines
gone I can spend an entire day crafting an exquisite 10 lines of
assembler.  Far more interesting and demanding as doing a suduko and, in
the greater scheme of things, equally futile.


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On 23 September 2017 at 19:08, Bob LeDoux <bobledouxEraseMEspam.....proaxis.com> wrote:

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