One of the things I’ve been interested in for the last year or so, is developing for the Atari family of 8-bit computers. I haven’t done a lot yet, but I’ve been slowly getting software, docs, and hardware to start writing code with all the tools I could possibly need.
I had already built a SIO2Arduino, and that allows me to emulate a disk drive that I can use to load the dev tools I need. Its biggest problem, however, is that it only allows you to mount one disk drive at a time. If I wanted to have any form of operating system, dev tools and my own project files, I would need to create a custom Frankenstein disk image with everything inside.
A more elegant solution, of course, would be to use something that’d allow me to emulate several drives at once. That device already exists, and it’s called SDrive-Max.
A couple of months ago I was asked if I could prepare a sort of workshop on one of my favorite topics: ASM Programming for PIC microcontrollers, which I of course accepted on the spot. Now, I wanted to include a couple of “hands-on” lab sessions in this workshop, and because of this, I needed a way for all attendants to actually work with real PICs that hopefully did not involve purchasing PIC-programming hardware in bulk for what is probably going to be a one-shot activity.
Simple DIY programming circuits exists, and in fact, my first PIC programmer was a home-built “Enhanced” NOPPP (No-Parts PIC Programmer); a fully functional device that required only a couple of components (Not really “No-parts” but pretty close to it). The problem is that it used the PC parallel port (R.I.P), and required an external power supply. And this goes for pretty much every “classic” DIY PIC programming circuit; they all either require extra hardware or can no longer be used on current computers. Read More →
As a break from my regular activities I decided to spend a week designing and building something with parts and components I’ve purchased over the years but never had the chance to use in a project. This is the result:
A sort of portable gaming device powered by a really old AVR microprocessor.
I’ll try to walk you now through the things I used to design and build both the software and hardware of this device.