Tag Archives: code

Zolatron 64: 6502 bare metal random

There’s a problem when you build your own computer and therefore have to write your own operating system. All the things you rely on when coding in other environments – such as maths functions – are not there. You have to write them yourself. The Zolatron 64, like most homebrew computers, is effectively a bare metal project. I’m writing all… Read more »

Zolatron 64 6502 homebrew – processing commands

In an earlier post, I described how I was parsing commands input (via serial) into the Zolatron 64 8-bit homebrew computer in assembly language. That parsing process matched an input command with an internal list and the result was a ‘token’, a single integer value of $80 or more representing that command that is placed in a memory location. Or… Read more »

Zolatron 64 6502 homebrew – parsing inputs in assembly

Okay, so this is going to be a long one. Grab a coffee, settle down and we’ll begin… The last time we talked, I was able to send messages to the Zolatron 64 6502 homebrew computer via its serial port. But all it could do was print those messages to the LCD screen. It’s time to actually do something with… Read more »

SmartParallel: Go code is go

      No Comments on SmartParallel: Go code is go

Success! The Go code I’d been struggling with is working, although it also required changes to the C++ code running on the ATMEGA328PB. Here’s a quick overview of how the process works. On the SmartParallel, the ATMEGA328PB code sits in a loop watching for incoming data on the serial port. It also monitors the state of the printer by frequently… Read more »

ESP8266 IoT room thermometer – part 4: the code

In response to a flood of requests – well, okay, one – I’ve posted the code for this project on GitHub. But don’t expect to be able to run it. That’s the thing about a maker project – you can create it to be used by anyone who cares to download your designs and code; or you can optimise it… Read more »

Sharing code: at your own risk

      No Comments on Sharing code: at your own risk

Often, when discussing projects on this blog, I share bits of code. Sometimes more than a bit. But I rarely share whole programs or libraries because, well, it’s a pain uploading it and making sure WordPress hasn’t munged characters. And it’s equally difficult to correct errors and keep code updated. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. “FFS, use GitHub.” And… Read more »

Go or Python for the Raspberry Pi

Pretty much all of the code I’ve written for the Raspberry Pi (and the BeagleBone for that matter) has been in Python. It’s widely regarded as the de facto language for the platform, not least because it is newbie-friendly. But does it have to be this way? Ups and downs of Python It’s not hard to enumerate a long list of… Read more »

DottyMatrix software stack: PHP & Python messaging

On the Raspberry Pi that I’m using to control my DottyMatrix serial-to-parallel Centronics printer interface there are two main software components – a web-based PHP/JavaScript front-end UI and a back-end server programmed in Python. So these need to talk to each other. Here’s the overall architecture of the solution: The matrixSvr.py program is intended to run permanently on the RPi… Read more »

Mechanical keyboards: KÛL ES-87 TKL review

There is a world that most people know nothing about. It is home to a motley assortment of obsessives. Welcome to the dark and sometimes noisy domain of mechanical keyboard enthusiasts. I had no idea this subculture existed until my painfully progressing arthritis spurred me to seek out alternatives to the standard Apple keyboard that came with my iMac. More than… Read more »

A little bit of an obsession

      No Comments on A little bit of an obsession

So I wrote this Python program to allow me to carry out certain kinds of calculations on binary numbers — you know, AND, OR, XOR and that kind of thing. It’s an absolutely essential tool for anyone who, you know, needs to NAND two 12-bit binary numbers. And happens to own a PiDP PDP-8 replica. Okay, so that’s a very… Read more »

The search for the perfect keyboard

Keyboards are very person things. What suits one person won’t suit another. And I’m very, very picky. After 35 years of using computers, I know what I like, and what I like is what I’m typing on right now. I’ve always been a fan of keyboards with a positive click. The classic IBM keyboard with a buckling spring was my idea… Read more »