Very interesting. So some did and some did not.
I have just had another thought. I have a whole slew of DEC systems that
have 80xx or Z80 processors.
and run CP/M . Now nobody is going to hack a desktop case about but
sneaking a flat cable out the back
or through a drive blanking panel might be a non destructive access system.
On 01/11/15 12:05, Jeff Galinat wrote:
On Nov 1,
2015, at 3:13 AM, Brent Hilpert <hilpert at cs.ubc.ca> wrote:
The other way round I think, the Altair and IMSAI were the only S100 machines I recall
OTTOMH which had blinkenlight panels.
The vast majority of them didn't. Northstar & Cromemco as you say, Compu-Pro,
Vector-Graphic, Processor Tech SOL, Poly 88, etc. : no blinken.
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.
For the sake of completeness, the other S-100 machines I can think of with a full
front panel were the Ithaca Intersystems DPS-1 and some BYT-8 machines.