How CPU's work (was Re: Hi, I'm new...)

Dave McGuire mcguire at
Sun Aug 6 10:04:24 CDT 2006

Murray McCullough wrote:
> I quite agree that the 'shack' expanded into the current 8086
> conglomeration but we must consider its success.

  Its commercial success doesn't make it a good architecture. ;)

> It's practically the
> 'only' thing left for the masses to experiment with.

  Huh??  Except for perhaps SPARC, PowerPC, MIPS, Itanium, Alpha,
ARM...And then only if you're restricting your view to things that you
can buy *brand new* today.  "The masses" can even pick up something like
a PDP-11 pretty much any time on eBay.

> Those of us still
> in pre-PC era(well, trying to stay there - getting harder and harder
> these days!), and I do enjoy fiddling-around with my Coleco ADAM and
> coding the Z-80, can only wonder and ponder, what-if...

  I love hacking with Z80s.  I consider myself very lucky that much of
my work these days is done in the embedded systems world, where Z80s
(albeit at 50MHz with 24-bit address buses) are alive and well.  It's
neat to see how it has made the transition from mainstream
general-purpose processor to common embedded processor.  (and I'll bet
Zilog sure is happy about it!)

  I remember the Adam...what a neat machine.  A friend in high school
had one.  I remember being utterly fascinated by those cassette
drives...cassettes as a file-structured medium?  Neat!


Dave McGuire
Cape Coral, FL

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