Front Panels - Thoughts
mhs.stein at gmail.com
Sun Nov 1 15:47:20 CST 2015
Brent Hilpert wrote:
> One problem with a front panel on an S100 machine - or any
> microprocessor-based machine - is getting access to the program
> counter so you can tell it to start running at some arbitrary
> address. The Altair/IMSAI panels resolved this with a hack, jamming a
> jump instruction into the processor data lines (not the S100 bus data
> lines) via a special connector to a special processor card.
> In general, even if you can bus master to put stuff into memory,
> front panel functionality is pretty limited if you don't have control
> ever execution.
Regarding Cromemco, they did sell a blinkenlights
Z-1 which was essentially a Cromemco backplane
and cards in an IMSAI chassis.
Their ZPU processor card does have several option
jumpers to make it compatible with a front panel.
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