FPGA VAX update

Tony Duell ard at p850ug1.demon.co.uk
Thu Nov 3 13:33:42 CST 2005

> Holger Veit wrote:
>  > [... lot  before ... ]
> > When Hillary climbed the Mount Everest 50 years ago, it was something 
> > new, extraordinary. When tourist nowadays use sort of stairways to reach 
> > the top (okay, it's not *that* extreme now), it is just uninteresting. 
> > But standing on the top, is still a challenge and an experience for the 
> > individual. However, what we lost now is a sense of wonder - that small 
> > ALU based TTL circuit was built by myself, and I did it, and it is 
> > irrelevant that some idiot could download a digital simulator and click 
> > the same circuit together on a PC screen. I guess this is what makes the 
> > difference between a real PDP-11 with some ridiculous 5MB storage disks 
> > compared to a SIMH emulator running on a 3GHz Pentium.
> > Watch the blinkenlights.
> Well said !!!

Somewhat OT, but anyway...

One of my other interests (it has been for much longer than I've been 
interested in computers) it horology -- clocks, etc. 

One day I will make a mechanical clock from scratch, probably to my own 
design. It will, I know, be a poor timekeeper. A $5 quartz clock will be 
a lot better. But there is a certain joy in actually making it oneself. 
Others certainly feel likewise, there are a number of people who make 
mechanical clocks, there are plenty of books on the subject.

I feel the same way about desgining and making a processor. Do it for fun. 
You are not going to make a faster Pentium at home. Period. You might well
make something with a strange architecture or instruction set. You _will_
learn a heck of a lot by doing it, though. 


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