[rescue] Cheapest Cray?

Janet L. Campbell janet at foonly.com
Mon Apr 26 18:40:42 CDT 2004

On Mon, 26 Apr 2004, Dave McGuire wrote:

>    Wow, they need to check a LOT of their facts.  They state that Zilog  
> only made chips, not computers...this is woefully incorrect, as I've  
> *owned* Zilog computers.

I think that a friend of mine had an IBEX, I seem to remember it being a 
CP/M box.

>    And not only is Zilog "still in business", and they are doing some  
> "new" things, they're also churning out classic Z80 chips in amazing  
> quantities.

Well...they just announced the closure of their last fabrication plant.  
They're still in business, but will be having all of their parts fabbed by 
other companies in Asia.

<nostalgia ahead>

The Z80 was fun.  I vividly remember tinkering around with EDTASM on my
old TRS-80 Model I, complete with 500bps tape drive.  My first project was
writing a disassembler.  My second project was copying the ROM into RAM,
making it relocatable, and patching in multitasking (via an interrupt).  
It wasn't reentrant, sadly, but at least I could debug assembly code a lot
more sanely.  At only 12KB the entire ROM was pretty understandable.

I started a project once to "sandbox" assembly code by doing instruction 
by instruction interpretation, and halting when an "unauthorized" access 
(usually a write) occurred.  It was pretty slow except for instructions 
like LDIR/LDDR (because the boundary checking only needed to be done once 
for the block) but it was useful for testing.  Then I got access to a VAX 
11/750, and I knew that I couldn't keep messing around with PCs.  Once I 
wrote a modem program that could manage mostly-usable terminal emulation, 
I stopped hacking on bitty boxes.

The lack of upper case (and 64x16 display) were real pains, though.  Kids 
these days...

>    Those folks seem to have more than their fair share of stupidity.   
> They need to spend a little more time learning about those systems  
> before they start giving bad information out to the public.

Sadly, it's a sign of the times.


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