RC 2015/7 – Setting Objectives

Marketing Department claims that we are in need of a marvelous project name and an infinite list of dazzling features. Financial Department moans that throwing money onto a dead technology won’t result in a rebirth. General Management commands overtime to meet the deadline July 15th.
Development Engineer thinks it’s great to awake from a nightmare.

Ok, so why, what and how?

Why? Well, I own a small collection of PET/CBM series models and want to learn as much as possible about their working principles to keep these beauties running. Detailed knowledge is essential as more and more spare parts become Unobtainium. The development of a graphic extension and its integration into
the CBM video system will most likely teach me something.

What? That’s still a moving target. I simply don’t know how the video system works and what can be accomplished within a few weeks. Possible goals are
– resolution better than 240 x 240 pixel
– different pixel states (e.g. off, dim, normal, bright, blinking)
– integrated character generator
– scalable character size
– integrated graphic processor
– 4D accelerator, VSXGI, MXFAA, DSQR, 8K, VR INDIRECT (that’s for the marketing guys)
– simple interface to CBM BASIC

How? Study the circuit diagrams. Use the oscilloscope. Surf the internet. Refine the goals. Sketch a circuit. Avoid SMD parts. Start soldering already!

fix the errors
don’t give up
UNTIL success OR deadline

Retrochallenge Competition 2015/7

As a regular listener to the Retro Computing Roundtable podcast I heard about the Retrochallenge Competition in Episode 103 and decided spontaneously to enter this years July edition of the contest.

My entry will be a graphics hardware project for a Commodore CBM 8296-D from the early 80s. Well, so far I only managed to get the mainboard up and running, so forget about the “-D”. Maybe fixing the floppy disk module will be another RC project sometime…