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Vintage Computers Any vintage computer systems, calculators, video games etc., but with an emphasis on 1980s and earlier equipment.

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Old 20th Jul 2021, 10:32 pm   #21
Slothie
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Default Re: MK14 Programming Interface

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I have a Pico too but haven't done much with it as I would rather programme it in 'C'- they haven't got the working environment for that language set up very well yet, although there is a script which sets everything up on the (Linux Computer) Pi if you don't mind using that as your main development machine. I really wish they had not used the 'Raspberry Pi' brand name for the Pico. The Arduino IDE is supposed to be bringing in support for the Pico as well as a few other PCBs which will use the same microcontroller.

My impression (unconfirmed) is that the Pico has quite a lot of onboard RAM and is also very fast so you could do something like the MK2 Arduino version (which currently uses an external SRAM as a serial buffer) but try using the internal RAM on the Pico instead.

If just not having the right optocouplers is an issue for Mark, fear not, I can easily populate the opto positions (if desired) by soldering SMD versions to the through hole pads on the upper side of the PCB - wouldn't add much to the weight and I have more than enough of them lying around at work.
The pico micropython interpreter also maps unused flash memory as a file system (about 1600k) which holds the python code you write but also can hold data files (like mk14 hex files,,,,) so you could make a mini standalone "program disk" device. I believe you can "partition" the flash like this when using C too.

I agree that it would have been less confusing to have branded it the Raspberry Pico without the "pi".
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Old 21st Jul 2021, 1:20 am   #22
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Default Re: MK14 Programming Interface

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Quote:
it probably wouldn’t increase postage to include one and
..I think there was a glitch in The Matrix there.
Not sure what happened there, I don’t even remember typing “and”.

I was thinking about connecting an ft245, with ram instead of prom and /OE disabled until one of the flag outputs is set. Then connect rx ready to NHOLD and send code over the ft245 to write data to ram. That was before I just set the links on the ram to bootstrap ram from the prom as the code in the prom executes.

I need an easier way to load code, but not sure if the proms are going to get in the way.
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Old 21st Jul 2021, 7:08 am   #23
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Default Re: MK14 Programming Interface

There's always the prospect of using NENIN to kick the SC/MP off the bus and then directly flood the RAM with code from something directly attached to the address, data and control lines and presumably isolated from them all by tristate buffers. When released again the SC/MP will try to resume where it left off even though the code it was executing may have vanished, so you'd probably need to assert Reset as well, to force predictable behaviour after loading of new code.

The 'keypad injection' method obviously only works when the OS is present and working as it literally types the code into the machine exactly the same way as a human operator does - but quite a bit faster - using the normal user interface provided by the OS.
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Old 21st Jul 2021, 7:58 am   #24
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Default Re: MK14 Programming Interface

I also like the way you see the display quickly changing a bit like on Star Trek when Data is speed-typing into the shipboard computer....
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Old 21st Jul 2021, 8:06 am   #25
SiriusHardware
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Maybe that's what I should have called the project... "Data". It still amazes me how rapidly the MK14 allows keypresses to be entered. If you watch the data field digits on the display during upload, they are just a blur.
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Old 21st Jul 2021, 9:21 am   #26
SiriusHardware
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Default Re: MK14 Programming Interface

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I agree that it would have been less confusing to have branded it the Raspberry Pico without the "pi".
A rookie marketing blunder, it can only lead to little Johnny or Mary asking for a "Raspberry Pi" like the ones they use at school only to be given a (cheaper) and incompatible Pico, which has 'Raspberry Pi' in the name.

Raspberry = Brand
Pi = Model, or model range.
Pico = An entirely different model, not a Pi at all.

This should have been pretty obvious to anyone. That said, I am looking for 'proper' jobs (like the uploader) for the undeniably powerful little Pico to do - once the programming environment catches up with the hardware.
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Old 21st Jul 2021, 9:41 am   #27
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There is this project https://github.com/earlephilhower/arduino-pico that implements the pico into the Arduino IDE board manager, but it still looks a little complex to me. I expec that you'd be happier with some kind of "official" project. The main attraction of the Pico to me is the fact that it can be programmed in Micropython, there have been Micropython microcontrollers before but they have been expensive or fiddly to use. The Pico also uniquely has the "Programmable I/O" (PIO) feature that should make tight timings on interfaces a bit easier too.
If I want an ARM core microcontroller to program in Arduino IDE I'd probably use one of the STM32 boards I picked up for almost nothing from China
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Old 21st Jul 2021, 10:07 am   #28
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Yes, when the Arduino IDE has a 'Choose Board' drop down box for the Pico 'out of the box', that's when I will revive my interest in the Pico. Apparently it is coming.

As a point of interest, the little BBC Micro:Bit which was offered / given to schoolkids of a certain generation (and now in its second hardware version) can also be programmed in Micropython and there is a nice mature offline Micropython IDE for it, similar in operation to the Arduino IDE, called 'Mu'.
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Old 21st Jul 2021, 11:21 am   #29
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Default Re: MK14 Programming Interface

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Originally Posted by SiriusHardware View Post
Yes, when the Arduino IDE has a 'Choose Board' drop down box for the Pico 'out of the box', that's when I will revive my interest in the Pico. Apparently it is coming.

As a point of interest, the little BBC Micro:Bit which was offered / given to schoolkids of a certain generation (and now in its second hardware version) can also be programmed in Micropython and there is a nice mature offline Micropython IDE for it, similar in operation to the Arduino IDE, called 'Mu'.
Yes, I had a Micro:Bit back in the day and I was quite impressed with it. I even bought some peripheral bits for it but never did much with it, not sure what became of it. At the time I was working for the BBC co-incidentally and I may have loaned it to one of my collegues to play with and not got it back. The "Thonny" IDE supports the Micro:Bit too if you're using micropython.

While we are on the subject of IDE's all the cool kids are using "Geany" these days I am told, I tried it and it seems quite good, although I tend to use Sublime Text which is almost an IDE these days just because its what I'm used to and I bought a licence that you can port about onto any computer you use. You can use it without a licence, it just nags you from time to time, but I worked with companies that have conniptions about using unlicensed software even if its free so I bought one to shut them up
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Old 21st Jul 2021, 11:30 am   #30
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Default Re: MK14 Programming Interface

I've also noticed I only got 10 uploader PCBs, I misread the packet. Not that I'm in danger of runnng out!
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Old 21st Jul 2021, 12:33 pm   #31
SiriusHardware
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I use Geany (which has been bundled on the Linux Pi for a while now) as an editor (only), it's quite useful as it recognises the syntax of various languages and renders everything in soothing context-sensitive colours, which, of course, is important.

I didn't realise 'Back In The Day' now meant 'several years ago!' Mind you, it's slightly longer ago than I thought, the Micro:Bit having been introduced in 2014.

Swerving more back on topic, please let us know when the Ortonview PCBs arrive, in the meantime anyone else interested in an OrtonView PCB or uploader opto-interface PCB please pipe up.
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Old 21st Jul 2021, 1:05 pm   #32
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Yes I will, They're coming by parcel post because I chose the cheapest option They might be a week or 2.

If it helps, I'm regretting that decision already!

Update: Its cleared customs already, so may not be that long....

Last edited by Slothie; 21st Jul 2021 at 1:07 pm. Reason: Update
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Old 21st Jul 2021, 1:09 pm   #33
SiriusHardware
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Well, it will give you lots more opportunities to toss and turn at night, wondering whether you've made any fatal mistakes on the OrtonView PCBs. (Fairly unlikely, given your past record).
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