using new technology on old machines. Was: PDP-12 Restoration at the RICM

Pontus Pihlgren pontus at Update.UU.SE
Tue Jun 16 02:10:29 CDT 2015

On Tue, Jun 16, 2015 at 04:28:16AM +0000, tony duell wrote:
> I am of course counting all the transistors inside that chip.

Well, that was obvious. But it raises an interesting point, today you 
can cram a whole computer in the footprint of the simplest DIP carrier. 
For the same price point and same reliablity. Is it then overkill if you 
choose to use thousands of those transistor over using just 10 ?

Similar to Mark's example of using just the first bytes of an SD card 
with gigabytes of storage.

> This is one of my main dislikes with USB. It is so complicated that you 
> have to use a microcontroller. Unlike any of the more sane interfaces that
> you can implement with simple logic if you want to.

I completely agree, I detest USB for various reasons. However consider 

As I said, I have used the Teensy to interface an old 11/70 front panel 
with simh. One possibility I've considered is to let the Teensy present 
itself as USB mass storage when first attached to a PC. On this mass 
storage I would put a special version of simh and 11/70 system images. 
When this version of simh is run, it will instruct the Teensy to present 
itself as the front panel interface instead.

So, I can bring my 11/70 front panel to any friend with a suitable 
computer and show him/her the ropes :)

Admittedly, the Teensy doesn't have enough storage for this, but it 
shows the flexibilty of USB coupled with a microcontroller.


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