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Notes and Credits

***ALPHA software***
You have been warned!

Right now, the only thing that works is the front panel switches, and leds. The original would have only had red leds, but I thought it would be fun to have other colours. At this point, there is a kind of pattern to just play with lights. When I get the CPU written, I will see about writing the 8080 code to replicate the light flashing stuff.

Using this is going to be a lot of work. You program this by flipping the switches to handcode every instruction byte in 8080 machine code, just like the original.

To program the memory of the computer:
1) turn the on/off switch to "ON"
2) turn the stop/run switch to "STOP"
3) turn the protect/unprotect switch to "UNPROTECT"
4) set the 16 bit memory location using the sixteen "Sense switches". I recommend starting with "000000" (Octal)
"0000000000000000" (Binary)
5) toggle the EXAMINE button
6) set the 8 bit data value you wish to program into memory using switches "7-0"
7) toggle the DEPOSIT switch
8) set the next 8 bit data value
9) toggle the DEPOSIT NEXT switch

The program will not run until I get the CPU programmed. I am going to program the CPU to act like an Intel 8080 CPU, just like the original Altair 8800.

For more info on Altair 8800, check out:

To get some perspective, the original had a whopping 256 Bytes of RAM, expandable to a maximum of 64K. I use the value of 256 for the "maximumMemory" This is set in the" Stage" script when the "green flag" is clicked.

I got my inspiration for this when I was thinking about a computer I had designed and buile by hand soldering hundreds of wires. This computer made use of the 6502 chip and a bunch of other chips from different computer architectures that I liked. I had given the whole mess away when I was single, now I lament that decision because I'm married now and have two boys who would have really appreciated the old beast I had made. Alas, I don't even have a picture of it.

This project is further inspired by the original Altair 8800 which was the first "home computer" on the USA market back in 1975.

Shared: 19 Dec 2011 Modified: 19 Dec 2011
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