I love my retro computers and the Internet does too, given the massive number of web sites out there dedicated to them.
A recent great find of mine is James Lewis’s Bit Preserve site on github. Unlike most retro sites which try to preserve an old computers operation manuals, service manuals and programs verbatim, Jame’s site goes further and is trying to preserve their technical designs by “recreating classic computer schematics. Let’s convert all those random scanned PDFs into a modern, editable and re-usable format”, to quote him directly. James gives an excellent video introduction to the preservation project.
The preservation project has picked KiCad as the primary schematic capture tool.
Whilst many of the directories are empty, the current system wish list is:
Tandy / Radio Shack
TRS-80 Model I
TRS-80 Model II
TRS-80 Model III
It was a pleasant surprise to see the Raspberry Pi foundation bring out their own microcontroller, the RP2040 and also a dev board for it, the Pico.
I’ve bought a few and I can say its a really good device but what makes it standout is the quality of its documentation, it is really excellent. Never the less, there are a number of great website posts popped up for those wanting to quickly get started. There are also some gerat projects as well. I’ve listed a few of both below:
After a what can only be described as a very strange year, I find myself working on a project inspired from yesteryear.
The ZX Spectrum from Sinclair Research was the first computer that I owned, getting it 1982. One of the books I bought back then was the Spectrum Hardware Manual by Adrian Dickens. I remember building many of the circuits described in it, both temporary on breadboard and also permanently on Vero board.
Now fast forward to today, December 2020. Inspired by those early days I have designed a couple of PCB’s to make building circuits for ZX Spectrum a little easier than back then.
There’s a quartet of boards: starting with a breadboard PCB, next we have a prototyping board, another more advanced prototyping board with decoding IC’s and finally a bus extender PCB with vertical and horizontal signal expansions.