[rescue] Cheapest Cray?

Dave McGuire mcguire at neurotica.com
Fri Apr 30 01:27:44 CDT 2004

On Apr 30, 2004, at 2:21 AM, Bill Bradford wrote:
>>> The Z80 was fun.
>>   It still is.  In another window, I'm designing a PCB for a 
>> commercial
>> product based on one. :)  (well, a single chip containing a Z80 CPU,
>> SIO, and CTC)
> For someone who has tons of *software* experience, e.g. sysadmin-level,
> but almost no knowledge of things at a processor/register/stack
> level, what would you recommend for learning?  Anything like a M68K or
> Z80 "breadboard" processor lab, or certain books?

   Definitely one of those processor lab thingies...they are great.  Go 
with an 8-bit CPU at first...a Z80 is perfect.  Easy to learn, powerful 
enough to do Real Work with, and very predictable.

   "Programming the Z80" by Rodnay Zaks is excellent.  There's a copy on 
eBay right now, but it's in the UK.

   Learning the Z80, in particular, is nice because that processor is 
still in very widespread use...while its contemporaries (the 6502, 
6800, etc) are all but dead.  The Z80 has found a second life in the 
world of embedded systems, where it is enjoying booming popularity.  
There is even a great free C compiler for the Z80 that is particularly 
well-suited to generating standalone (i.e., no operating system) 


Dave McGuire          "PC users only know two 'solutions'...
Cape Coral, FL          reboot and upgrade."    -Jonathan Patschke

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