Put the knife down and take a green herb, dude.
One feller's views on the state of everyday computer science & its application (and now, OTHER STUFF) who isn't rich enough to shell out for www.myfreakinfirst-andlast-name.com
Using 89% of the same design the blog had in 2001.
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Thursday, January 03, 2008
Okay, I admit it. I get some hare-brained ideas. It's fun to research them, knowing all along that unless manna from heaven drops embedded with the mats for the project, they'll never happen.
Regardless, the latest is the proverbial disposable portable computer. Just for fun, I thought it'd be neat to think about building one based on a 6502 processor with a USB port or two and VGA output. Here's what little I found on the net worth possibly recording.
|The pointless 6502 computer ||That's right, somebody beat me to it, at least in theory. No prototype yet. |
|6502.org ||Hobbyist/fan site for the 6502, with lots of introductory projects. A couple of the projects look promising, but many haven't been updated in a while or never got past the "twinkle in the eye" stage. |
Look, let me be clear. You're an idiot if you build a system around a 6502. At least go 16-bit so that you can have more than 64k of easily accessed memory.
|The Western Design Center, Inc. |
|A place that apparently owns the rights to the 6502 design in some capacity, and licenses IP based on the 6502. There are lots of places where a good, cheap, familiar processor is still useful when it comes to embedded platforms or whatever the heck. Allows you to purchase samples. |
They have both 8 and 16 bit 6502 style procs, whether microprocessors, microcontrollers, or periph controller. Not too expensive, all things considered.
|comp.arch.embedded ||Usenet group for embedded jive |
|LCD2USB open hardware ||Haven't checked closely, bulids on the Mega8 chip for periphs mentioned on the pointless computer, above. Always thought it was strange how the disc drive for a C=64 had the same chip as the CPU, and here it's kinda neat to think how you could have chips more powerful than your CPU controlling periphs! |
|Bass tabs for Message in a Bottle ||Okay, unrelated to the disposable portable computer, but why not learn guitar instead of play Guitar Hero 2? |
|OpenCores.org VGA project ||I'm too ignorant to be sure of what this is. I think it's a design for a VGA-compliant chip that you could slap into your own open hardware. |
|Wishbone description at Wikipedia |
(VHDL -- another "good to know")
|Lots of cores at opencores.org is based on this wishbone jive. Here's what that jive be. |
|VGA at Wikipedia ||Heck, why not explain what VGA is while we're at it? Apparently it's exactly what you suspected, a sort of bottom common denominator for speaking video to video card/chip hardware. The neat bit is that if you limit yourself to VGA, you can pretty much get whatever chip you want that's cheapest for your DIY rig. |
|Free VGA ||Awfully cool site, it appears, even if it hasn't been updated since 1998. "dedicated to providing a totally FREE source of information about video hardware." Seems to get into the nuts & bolts of VGA assembly programming. |
|Abebook's search for Richard F. Ferraro books with "Guide to the EGA" in the title. ||Richard F. Ferraro's Programmer's Guide to the EGA and VGA Cards, ISBN: 0201570254, or the same author's slightly more expensive book that seems to be an update of the previous, Programmer's Guide to the EGA, VGA, and Super VGA Cards, ISBN: 0201624907, both insanely old, seem to be the place to figure out how VGA works. We'll see how the former is once it arrives for $4.99 shipped. |
Again, you can still talk VGA to today's video cards. Have fun shoving this asm into whatever NVidia's pushing these days.
|Freescale 68k prices||Motorola spun off its processor business, and the prices, if you order 1000 or so, really aren't bad for a good, 32-bit proc. Comparable to the 6502 prices, above, and samples are free if you're legit.|
posted by ruffin
at 1/03/2008 09:07:00 PM