In message <33B75A67.2AE4(a)ndirect.co.uk> classiccmp(a)u.washington.edu writes:
On Sun, 29 Jun 1997, e.tedeschi wrote:
> There are computers that you could not possibly USE but they are
> important for what they meant (and mean today) in short for their
> "heritage". Without them you could not have used (and use) the ones you
> are using today.
I assume the following is one of the computers you claim can't possibly be
How about the Science of Cambridge (Sinclair) MK XIV ?
It had 256 bytes
You mean an MK-14. I've never seen it printed in roman numerals (I have the
machine, user manual, a couple of 3rd party books, the adverts, etc, etc,etc
It was my first computer).
(NOT Kb, BYTES) of RAM memory, LED display, not
modulator and no way of
storing programs (you could add these at a later stage as accessories).
Perhaps you could explain _why_ I can't use one today. I've written many,
many embedded control programs (monitor some inputs, update state variables,
toggle outputs, etc) that would _trivially_ fit into 256 bytes of SC/MP code.
If I add the optional INS8154 RAM/IO chip I have another 128 bytes of RAM and
16 bidirectional I/O lines. I can also add another 256 bytes by raiding my
junk box for some 2111's.
I can think of a few dozen applications that I could use that for. A trivial
one is an I2C chip tester - replace the monitor ROMs with ones burnt to contain
the correct code (avoids using the cassette interface option...), and have
said code read I2C addresses/data from the hex keypad and bit-bang the I2C
protocol on a couple of the 8154 lines. Or, how about a Centronics printer
tester (emulate the centronics port on the 8154, make it print the classic
scrolling ASCII text). Or a programmable pulse generator for digital IC
testing. Or a hundred-and-one other applications.
Yes, I can do any of those with a PC or many, many other machines. But the MK14
is small and portable. It doesn't need a monitor. It will start the program
instantly at switch-on. It is still useful today.