Through the back pages of electronics magazines, both Netronics and Quest Electronics offered low-priced, enhanced kits that were based on this design. The system was a very early single-board personal computer. It featured two hexadecimal LED displays for byte data value output and a set of 8 toggle switches for input. A simple circuit used the DMA feature of the to permit entry of programs and data into RAM through the toggle switches. Entering a byte via the toggle switches and pressing the "input" button would enter a byte into RAM and display it on the pair of hex LEDs, then advance the DMA counter to the next location.
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Through the back pages of electronics magazines, both Netronics and Quest Electronics offered low-priced, enhanced kits that were based on this design. The system was a very early single-board personal computer. It featured two hexadecimal LED displays for byte data value output and a set of 8 toggle switches for input.
A simple circuit used the DMA feature of the to permit entry of programs and data into RAM through the toggle switches. Entering a byte via the toggle switches and pressing the "input" button would enter a byte into RAM and display it on the pair of hex LEDs, then advance the DMA counter to the next location. A "memory protect" switch could be used to disable memory alteration.
If an error was made in program entry, it could be corrected by turning on memory protect, turning off load mode thus resetting the program counter to zero , turning on load mode, and pressing "input" to advance to the address of the incorrect data. After turning off memory protect, the correct value could be entered. The Pixie required a 1. The resulting 1. Monochrome video output with timing roughly approximating NTSC standard could be generated using DMA operations interleaved with carefully arranged opcodes as instructions in software.
The maximum resolution of the was 64h by v rectangular pixels. In August , Nuts and Volts magazine, along with Spare Time Gizmos , released a project to build the "Cosmac Elf ," based on the original Elf, with some newer and easier to find components and enhanced features, modules, and functionality, including the STG Pixie Graphics Replacement board that is functionally equivalent to the now-rare RCA CDP integrated circuit.
Various other hobbyist systems can be found on the Internet, including hardware emulators using FPGA and modern microcontrollers. A series of newsletters and small booklets offered by Netronics and Quest contained machine language and CHIP-8 programs, along with schematics for expanding the Elf and adding peripherals, including a light pen. Other, similar information and hobbyist software projects can be found on the Internet. Pittman also wrote a small booklet about the titled "A Short Course In Programming", which he has allowed to be published and made available online free of charge.
Other languages available are noted at the RCA Wikipedia entry, including interpreters, compilers and assemblers. File dumps of these games can be found on the Internet. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Tom Swan Homepage. Tom Swan. Retrieved 19 August Dave Ruske. Itty Bitty Computers. Tom Pittman. Categories : Early microcomputers. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Contribute Help Community portal Recent changes Upload file.
In August of Joseph Weisbecker introduced a new microcomputer to the world in the pages of Popular Electronics magazine. The original ELF project featured:. Several articles appeared in Popular Electronics in the months that followed. With only bytes of memory to start with, things were becoming a little tight, so Weisbecker went on to describe the construction of a 1, byte memory expansion.
Vintage COSMAC Elf Is Pretty Close To Original
Popular Electronics was famous for the article introducing the Altair back in well, the cover date was ; it really came out in late That was so popular no pun intended , that they ran more computer construction articles, including the SWTPC late in Now, forty-something years later, he finally got around to it. He made the very detailed video about his experience, below. The result looks awfully close to the original. He even did a nice front panel using Front Panel Express.
ROM-less system started to feel cool some time back, so I decided to make one myself. Starting point was to make an ELF or a clone of it. Processor chip I could borrow from my Nano. When I found some I had a solution, as these are from 70's as well and also x4 but different pinout.