10 Years

In order to fill the void in the days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve 2013, we began experimenting with a 65C02 on a breadboard. This little experiment would later evolve into an actually working 8bit computer. 10 years and some significant amount of focus creep later we had build this cool little 8bit machine with the specifications found here. The amount of new stuff to learn to design a new computer out of “old” or “retro” components was massive.

Saving ASCII sources in EhBasic

Our FAT32 driver now supports byte-wise writing of a file. Reason enough to continue reworking the file handling of our EhBasic port that we started here to finally having the SAVE command write ASCII source files. The basic idea is to open a file, redirect the EhBasic output vector to our new kernel call “krn_write_byte”, then trigger the LIST command internally. The listing being output by LIST will then be written to the opened file instead the screen.

VCFb 2023

For reasons mostly related to the pandemic, we did not attend VCFb since 2019. Finally, this year we managed to be there again, just im time to show our newly assembled rev0.6 (and fully working !!!) SBC boards around, and have tons of fun with other very nice people there (Hello https://mega65.org/!). Also, we talked about how the Steckschwein evolved over the last almost 10 years and about our development methodology.

SBC - Revision 0.6

After some troubleshooting, we finally finished Revision 0.6 of our boards, and the new boards are finally there, ready to be assembled. We managed to fix all the issues we found, and also did some cleaning up, used better footprints for the resistors and the mini DIN jacks. Soldering session coming up.. Revision 0.6 boards are there

SBC - troubleshooting

Our debugging journey at VCFe began right at powering up the board the first time, when something got real hot real fast. Fair enough, and easy to spot. There was a mixup of VCC and GND at U29, a 74HCT244. Embarassing, but not that critical, as U29 is only used to connect the joystick ports to Port A of the VIA. We can live without them for now. The mixup likely happened when I transferred the IO-board schematics from KiCad 6 to 7 while updating the symbols from the current library, which happened to be different than the old ones.