Progress update 2019-09-16

In keeping with posting updates on lobste.rs every Monday, I'm crossposting my update here. Note that little has been done on the KZ80 due to life events, but I've done some thinking on other things.

I've done a little work on the KZ80:

  • The LCD showed up and I soldered up the keyboard. I still need to attach headers to the LCD, but you can see a general size comparison.
  • The mainboard and powerboard should show up today.
  • The development backplane and serial module should be here this week.

I also started thinking about a standalone serial terminal. I don't like that I need a full computer (e.g. RPi) to interact with the RC2014, so I'm thinking about how to do this using the same LCD I'm using for the KZ80 and an ATmega1284. I have some 16550s lying around, so I could use one of those for a true serial interface, I think. The hardest part is the keyboard; there's some options for 5x8 keyboards, which I don't like. At the same time, I don't really want to do a PS/2 or USB keyboard. I guess the next step is to figure out the keyset I want, and figure out how to fit it into the available pins.

I am about to have about a month of free time, so in addition to these, I figured why not start learning Ada again. I opened up Programming in Ada 2012, which past me helpfully got both the Kindle and paper copies of. After that, I'm going to move on to the SPARK book.

I'm still working to decode the Quick Release Sector Format that Compaq used for software updates; I've got pretty much everything working except my checksum computation. Once that's done, I can hopefully get into the BIOS of my Compaq SLT/286 - and maybe restore the RTC, which requires some surgery.


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