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+ - Computer History Museum gets the attention it deserves-> 1

Submitted by
mcpublic
mcpublic writes "For years the Computer History Museum has been quietly collecting and displaying the computational relics of yesteryear. Now, finally the New York Times Arts Section shines the spotlight on this most nerdy of museums. Speak Steampunk? You can find a working replica of Babbages Difference Engine in the lobby of the Museum's Mountain View, California home. Of course the vast majority of the collection is electronic, and though 'big iron' is king, that hasn't stopped dedicated volunteers from bringing back to life pioneering 'mini' computers like the 1960 PDP-1 and the first video game software ever: Spacewar!"
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Hardware Hacking

+ - Everything you wanted to know about the MOS 6502

Submitted by mcpublic
mcpublic (694983) writes "The MOS 6502 microprocessor is famous among the vintage computing and classic gaming crowds. It was used inside the Apple II, the Commodore 64, the Atari 2600, and the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Need I say more? In 2010, the chip's 35th anniversary year, reverse engineers came out in droves and published more details about the 6502 than ever before—yes, really! For the assembly language crowd there is Michael Steil's excellent 50 minute talk on the 6502's architecture and instruction set delivered at 27C3, the video posted just yesterday. Or maybe you just want a quick read on 6502 history and some awesome reverse engineering efforts? Check out Russ Cox's blog. But if you are looking for the original 6502 netlist, accurate down to the last undocumented instruction, or want to run an animated 6502 chip simulation in your browser, you'll definitely want to visit Greg James, Barry and Brian Silverman's visual6502.org web site. These pied pipers have attracted an enthusiastic following of like-minded engineers who are now photographing and disecting even more classic chips."
Intel

+ - Intel allows release of full 4004 chip-set details->

Submitted by mcpublic
mcpublic (694983) writes "When a small team of reverse engineers receives the blessing of a big corporate legal department, it is cause for celebration. For the 38th anniversary of Intel's groundbreaking 4004 microprocessor, the company is allowing us to release new details of their historic MCS-4 chip family announced on November 15, 1971. For the first time, the complete set of schematics and artwork for the 4001 ROM, 4002 RAM, 4003 I/O Expander, and 4004 Microprocessor is available to teachers, students, historians, and other non-commercial users. To their credit, the Intel Corporate Archives gave us access to the original 4004 schematics, along with the 4002, 4003, and 4004 mask proofs, but the rest of the schematics and the elusive 4001 masks were lost until just weeks ago when Lajos Kintli finished reverse-engineering the 4001 ROM from photomicrographs and improving the circuit-extraction software that helped him draw and verify the missing schematics. His interactive software can simulate an ensemble of 400x chips, and even lets you trace a wire or click on a transistor in the chip artwork window and see exactly where it is on the circuit diagram (and vice-versa)."
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Intel

+ - First replica built, mother-of-all 'Intel inside's->

Submitted by
mcpublic
mcpublic writes "For the 37th anniversary of Intel's 4004, the world's first COTS, customer-programmable microprocessor launched on November 15th, 1971, vintage computer enthusiast Bill Kotaska has successfully built the first replica of Busicom's historic 141-PF printing calculator using vintage Intel chips. Decades before the ubiquitous 'Intel inside' sticker, Japanese calculator maker Busicom introduced the first product ever to sport an Intel microprocessor inside. Bill's homebrew replica includes a rare Shinshu Seiki Model-102 drum printer and runs firmware extracted from the original Busicom ROMs. Schematics and photos of his re-creation are available at the unofficial 4004 web site, along with Tim McNerney's new PIC-based emulator of the Model-102 printer. As reported here last year, the web site includes the Busicom 'source code', 4004 details, interactive simulators, and other goodies for students, engineers, and computer historians alike."
Link to Original Source
Intel

+ - Historians Recreate Source Code of First 4004 App

Submitted by
mcpublic
mcpublic writes "The team of 'digital archeologists' who developed the technology behind the Intel Museum's 4004 microprocessor exhibit have done it again. 36 years after Intel introduced their first microprocessor on November 15, 1971, these computer historians have turned the spotlight on the first application software ever written for a general-purpose microprocessor: the Busicom 141-PF calculator. At the team's web site you can download and play with an authentic calculator simulator that sports a cool animated flowchart. Want to find out how Busicom's Masatoshi Shima compressed an entire four-function, printing calculator into only 1,024 bytes of ROM? Check out the newly recreated assembly language "source code," extensively analyzed, documented, and commented by the team's newest member: Hungary's Lajos Kintli. 'He is an amazing reverse-engineer,' recounts team leader Tim McNerney, 'We understood the disassembled calculator code well enough to simulate it, but Lajos really turned it into "source code" of the highest standards.'"
Intel

+ - Intel releases 4004 microprocessor schematics

Submitted by
mcpublic
mcpublic writes "Intel is celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Intel 4004, their very first microprocessor, in a way they've never done before, by releasing the chip's schematics, maskworks, and users manual to the public for non-commercial use. This historic revelation was championed by Tim McNerney, who designed the Intel Museum's newest interactive exhibit. Opening on November 15th, the exhibit will feature a fully-functional, 130x scale replica of the 4004 microprocessor running the the very first software written for the 4004. To create a giant Busicom 141-PF calculator for the museum, 'digital archeologists,' Fred Huettig, Brian Silverman, and Barry Silverman, first had to reverse-engineer the 4004 schematics and the Busicom software. Their re-drawn and verified schematics plus an animated 4004 simulator written in Java are available at the team's unofficial 4004 web site. Digital copies of the original Intel engineering documents are available by request from the Intel Corporate Archives. Intel first announced their 2,300 transistor 'micro-programmable computer on a chip' in Electronic News on November 15, 1971, proclaiming 'a new era of integrated electronics.' Who would have guessed how right they were?"

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