Tag Archives: Raspberry Pi

Something useful

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If you’re into retro computing, or building stuff based on SBCs such as the Raspberry Pi or BeagleBone, you’ll be familiar with a certain refrain from your significant other and even those you consider your friends. They’ll look at your latest project — perhaps a restoration of a 1980s home micro, or a simulation of a 1960s mini computer, or something… Read more »

Python on the PiDP

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I’m not really a C kind of person. And so when I finished building my PiDP kit, I immediately started thinking, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to use all these switches and lights from Python?’ Because Python really is my kind of language. You can be properly expressive in it. And there’s not all that nasty business with make files. Fortunately,… Read more »

Networking VAX OpenVMS on SIMH & the Raspberry Pi

[Update 10/03/2017: some broken links were fixed] We’ve already had some fun getting a VAX up and running with OpenVMS under SIMH on a Raspberry Pi. And boy, what a mouthful that is. I’m building my installation on my lovely PiDP just because it seems appropriately retro. I mentioned at the time that the next step would be getting networking… Read more »

SIMH on the Raspberry Pi

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Installing the software for the PiDP, Oscar Vermeulen’s re-imagining of the PDP-8/I, couldn’t be easier. But that wasn’t going to stop me making life harder for myself. I mean, why do we play with machines like this? It’s to learn, to explore, to discover, to take things apart and occasionally to break them. I haven’t done that last one yet,… Read more »

Computing the ’60s – Raspberry Pi style

As soon as I heard of the PiDP I knew I would have to have one. Created by Oscar Vermeulen, whose KIM Uno kit I’d previously bought, it’s a brilliant recreation of a PDP-8/I using SIMH running on a Raspberry Pi. What’s more, it has loads of blinkenlights. So why did the kit sit in my office for eight months… Read more »

Forward to the past

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This photo is just a teaser for a couple of forthcoming blog posts. Both of these are, in effect, glorified cases for the Raspberry Pi. And I know what you’re thinking … “kinda big, ain’t they?”. On top is the PiDP – Oscar Vermeulen’s recreation of a PDP-8/I. In this picture it’s in its not-quite-finished state. Below is a 1960… Read more »

Connecting it all together

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Someone in a BBC Micro community on Google+ asked members to post pictures of their setups. So I quickly snapped this. There’s quite a lot going on in there – at least, there will be when I get the time to finish it. Alongside the BBC Master Turbo is a single 3.5in FDD and the TurboMMC storage device that I… Read more »

PiDP: The next project

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Well, this is exciting. My PiDP kit has just arrived from Oscar Vermeulen. I couldn’t resist pealing back the protective cover on the acrylic front panel. It looks fantastic – and will be so much better when it has all the blinkenlights. I haven’t decided yet whether I will use one of the Raspberry Pi A boards I have lying… Read more »

Waking up with an RPi – pt.5: summing up

  The dawn clock is working well. To recap, here’s how it works: And here’s a basic description of how it works (more info & functions in previous posts): One hour before alarm time (configurable), the first LED is switched on. Subsequent LEDs are switched on at the rate of one each minute. To simulate dawn, the first 8 LEDs are… Read more »

Waking up with an RPi – pt.4: software

The software for the dawn clock is written in Python. And no, I’m not going to upload it to GitHub, or anywhere else for that matter. There are two reasons for this: first, it needs work still; and second, it would take too much explaining, not least because it uses loads of my hand-rolled libraries and classes for the Raspberry… Read more »

Waking up with an RPi – pt.3: audio

My first big disappointment with the Raspberry Pi was the audio output from the headphone jack. When I built my first dawn clock, using an Arduino, I had to buy a separate shield for audio output, and even that was severely limited. With the RPi, I thought, life will be easy because all the audio stuff I need is built-in…. Read more »

Waking up with an RPi – pt.2: lights & sensors

One of the problems with my Arduino-powered dawn clock was that 10 LEDs just don’t put out enough light. I wanted a lot more for the Mk.II, but that then raises the issue of how they are controlled. Cascading shift register ICs would be one way to go. I decided, instead, to go with I2C port expanders. I selected the… Read more »

Waking up with an RPi – pt.1: introduction

I don’t like waking up. I need easing into the day, slowly and carefully, especially in Winter. My wife is the same, which is why she bought a ‘dawn clock’. This is an alarm clock with a light that fades up slowly, over the course of 90 minutes, before sounding the alarm. It’s a fine device and we still use… Read more »