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 The Spider, and Magic-1, and other odd machines 
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Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:54 pm
Posts: 947
I noted some interesting pointers in this post to the Retro Computing community:

Image

"""
The "Spider" - a homebuilt 4-bit TTL machine from 1972

Filed under "home computers" because it's obviously at home.

Anyone got any other good pointers to home made CPUs from the past? I've posted before about BRENDA but it was just prior to this community existing: https://plus.google.com/u/0/10704982391 ... MtgiNCxFJg

From the 1978 BYTE article "The First Ten Years of Amateur Computing", found in Rich Cini's trove of documentation.
http://www.classiccmp.org/cini/pdf/byte ... l-pg64.pdf
"""

The post gathered some interesting comments too.

Cheers
Ed


Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:06 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:38 pm
Posts: 44
That got me thinking of the Amiga prototype (obviously not homemade, but anyway). Small picture found here Image

Makes you wonder how large systems and chips have been made out of wirewrap components?
(We used to have IBM Power 320H and similar boxes at work - the "cpu" was a full-length card with 7-8-9 chips on that together was the processor.)


Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:06 pm
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Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:54 pm
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That's great - presumably we see the wire-wrap prototypes for the custom chips?

Edit: image above borked, should be this:
Image


Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:47 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:38 pm
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BigEd wrote:
That's great - presumably we see the wire-wrap prototypes for the custom chips?

Yeah: Agnes, Daphne, and Portia. Which became Agnus, Denise, and Paula. But they still kept a bus between the chips instead of full integration.

Don't know if someone somewhere on the net has any specs on the bus, but I believe Jens Schoenfeld is still working on his Amiga clone and he set out to replace them one by one so he should have amassed plenty of know-how, and might know about publicly available info on it. If that is of any interest.


Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:53 pm
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Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:03 am
Posts: 245
Location: California
That first picture looks like a disaster hit. That's worse than Bob Pease's desk!

The wire-wrap stuff reminds me of the BMOW (big mess of wires) computer at http://www.bigmessowires.com/bmow1/

Image

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Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:06 pm
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Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 3:41 am
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Quote:
That first picture looks like a disaster hit. That's worse than Bob Pease's desk!

I can't even spot the circuit boards from all of those wires.
I wonder how it even worked with so much long wires...


Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:16 pm
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Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:54 pm
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There's a colour picture of the Spider on the cover of BYTE:
https://plus.google.com/107049823915731 ... R7FCRFcZ3u

Image


Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:02 pm
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Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:54 pm
Posts: 947
You can telnet in to the Magic-1, which is running Minix. There's a video where Bill Buzbee shows it off - it's got a great frontpanel, and is wire-wrapped.
http://www.homebrewcpu.com/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jRgpTp8pR8#t=3326

Code:
ed$ telnet magic-1.org
Trying 173.164.225.201...
Connected to magic-1.org.
Escape character is '^]'.

Minix  Release 2 Version 0.4

Magic-1 login: guest
Password:

    * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - *
    *                                                               *
    *      Bill Buzbee's Magic-1 HomebrewCPU TTL Minicomputer       *
    *                                                               *
    *    Running 16-bit Minix 2.0.4 at a blazing 4.09 Mhz......     *
    *                                                               *
    * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - *



Famous remarks are very seldom quoted correctly.
  - Simeon Strunsky

Magic-1:/usr/home/guest # uptime
 12:14  up 3 days, 23:01,  2 users
Magic-1:/usr/home/guest # uname -a
Minix Magic-1 2 0.4 TTLCPU
Magic-1:/usr/home/guest # time factor 65537
65537 is a prime
      38.00 real      36.25 user       0.75 sys
Magic-1:/usr/home/guest #


There's a c compiler - it's easy to compile C into assembly, but I haven't found out how to make an executable.

Cheers
Ed


Thu Apr 17, 2014 7:18 pm
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Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:59 am
Posts: 1
Bill Buzbee here - thanks for visiting Magic-1. Alas, there is currently no way to assemble and link on Magic-1. I use a cross-build environment, and then ftp the executables to the machine. The issue is Magic-1's virtual address space: 64K bytes for code and 64K bytes for data. The primary C compiler I use, retargeted LCC, requires way too much heap to ever fit on Magic-1. The assembler and linker I wrote are also too big - though at some point I will get around to putting them on a diet.
...Bill


Fri Apr 18, 2014 2:07 am
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Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:54 pm
Posts: 947
Hi Bill - welcome, and thanks for dropping by and clarifying. I was _almost_ tempted to hand-assemble the output from scc, but didn't try.

It's extra impressive that your home-architected, -built and -tooled CPU has an MMU and that you have Minix running so nicely.

Cheers
Ed


Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:29 pm
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Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:54 pm
Posts: 947
In the mid-60s Jim Sutherland made a home computer from surplus parts. Four racks, discrete transistors in cordwood modules, 3.5kW, booted itself every hour to synchronise the BCD clocks around the house. A 15-bit machine with 8k words of core storage.
(http://www.computerhistory.org/atchm/th ... ars-later/)

Photo gallery at https://cortesi.smugmug.com/Other/ECHO-IV-article/
Image

Image

Writeup at http://s3data.computerhistory.org.s3.am ... 05_008.pdf
Quote:
“Simple keyboard entry and printer output routines were the first ECHO programs the Sutherlands wrote. These were followed by the paper tape input and … punching routines... Jim is now devoting his time to writing such programs as multiply, divide, multiple precision add, subtract, and message writer routines.”
This shows that in 1968, Sutherland was still writing very basic system control functions, and the ECHO IV was a long way from being able to order groceries.


Via Kam-Yung Soh's post at https://plus.google.com/u/0/+KamYungSoh ... 5bkkrpFf9L


Wed Jun 01, 2016 8:57 am
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Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:54 pm
Posts: 947
(See also the Megaprocessor here: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=227 )


Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:41 pm
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