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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 23rd Jul 2021, 2:02 pm   #21
Slothie
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Location: Newbury, Berkshire, UK.
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Default Re: Karen's PICL - PCB available

Yes, I had to tinker with the inter-character delay, and I haven't yet got a long program to try it on to see if the delays need increasing as the program size increases. However I have been having fun with it and the CH340G Board Phil uses is pretty neat (Its a sparkfun type, and there are also many clones available, just pay attention to the order of the pins on the header).
I'm trying to see if I can write a mini star trek program for it....
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Old 23rd Jul 2021, 4:38 pm   #22
Phil__G
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Brotherton, West Yorkshire, UK.
Posts: 94
Default Re: Karen's PICL - PCB available

These are the ones I use, they're widely available, if you search you-know-where for item number 142177268249 you'll see its a typical CH360G board.
Re the handshaking, back in the DOS days we used Procomm and Telix, either of which allowed you to write a script that sent a line, waited for the ">" prompt from NIBL, then looped until done. Dont think Teraterm does that?
Thats progress...
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Old 23rd Jul 2021, 7:19 pm   #23
Mark1960
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Default Re: Karen's PICL - PCB available

Teraterm does seem to support scripting. I never tried it myself but found this link.

https://ttssh2.osdn.jp/manual/4/en/m...tax/index.html
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Old 28th Jul 2021, 4:27 pm   #24
Phil__G
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Default Re: Karen's PICL - PCB available

I wrote a simple monitor in NIBL, it has block copy, hex memory dump, modify memory, execute a machine-code program, convert hex-decimal and decimal-hex, memory fill, and a free memory display. I called it BASYS
It looks messy and its very slow, but string handing is minimal in NIBL so theres a lot of jiggery pokery going on. Theres no syntax checking so if you do anything wrong and it errors out, just type run again. Any hex input (addresses, data) is prefixed '#'.
The hex conversion method only works up to 32767 (at which point it goes negative) which I can live with as the PICL has only 8k of memory.
For clarity I left all the rems in and didnt abbreviate any commands, so it can be shortened a lot once you've had a read through.
Cheers
Phil
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File Type: txt BASYS_NIBL_MONITOR.TXT (2.8 KB, 8 views)

Last edited by Phil__G; 28th Jul 2021 at 4:47 pm.
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Old Today, 1:08 pm   #25
Phil__G
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Location: Brotherton, West Yorkshire, UK.
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Default Re: Karen's PICL - PCB available

Karens PICL used an early implementation of her superb SC/MP emulation on the PIC16F877.
One of the differences between the emulation used in the PICL and her later machines is that the SC/MP DLY instruction wasnt implemented.
This was most probably because this was to be a dedicated NIBL machine, and DLY would only have been used for the serial I/O routines, which she'd extracted and given pseudo ops to PIC serial code. DLY would therefore never be used and perhaps, whilst under development, the memory space was more valuable than an unused routine.

This came to light when calling (LINK) machine-code routines from NIBL which would lock-up if they included any form of DLY - though these were taking the PICL outside its intended envelope, within which it works absolutely perfectly.
This, for example, should waggle the flag lines up and down continuously, but in practise, flips them once then locks up:

Code:
; Waggle flag lines continuously
;
LOOP:	06 	CAS	; GET STATUS
	E4 07	XRI 7	; FLIP FLAG BITS
	07 	CSA	; REPLACE STATUS
	C4 FF	LDI FF	; MAX COUNT IN ACC
	8F FF	DLY FF	; MAX DELAY
	90 F6	JMP LOOP
What I've done is to take Karens own DLY code from her later emulation, and patched it into PICL. The updated PICL code therefore remains entirely Karens own work and her name alone appears in the source credit.
With the update, NIBL operation is unaffected but DLY now works as intended, and machine-code programs using DLY now run properly and as far as I can tell, with the correct delays.
I do hope everyone approves of this change, I sincerely hope this doesnt appear disrespectful.

Many thanks
Phil
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File Type: zip picl_03082021.zip (23.4 KB, 2 views)
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Old Today, 4:07 pm   #26
Timbucus
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Default Re: Karen's PICL - PCB available

That is great work Phil and glad it was what you thought. I am sure she would be over the moon that this lives on.

No excuse not to build my board now. I will however leave the original machines as is, with the older firmware and add a post it note to the documentation about this issue.
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