Why not an ASCII keyboard kit?

Vintage Events and off topic talk

Why not an ASCII keyboard kit?

Postby scelbi8h » Apr Sat 18, 2015 4:08 am

I saw Vince made a good deal with WASD and now the Superboard III has a great keyboard.

Since those keys are available, and with the Super Encoder already developed, why not creating an ASCII keyboard replica?

It could be something similar to the Datanetics one :D
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Re: Why not an ASCII keyboard kit?

Postby jac_goudsmit » Apr Sun 19, 2015 2:21 pm

I proposed the same thing to Vince while we were working on the Superboard III. I think there is probably a "market" (as far as you could call a few potential customers in the Retro world a "market") for retro keyboards and terminal emulators. It would be a whole different experience to have an ASCII keyboard connected to the Replica 1, or to have a version of the Pocketerm that has a VT-100 or ASR-33 keyboard.

On old terminal-based computers, the terminal was also used as mass storage device via the paper tape punch and reader. That's why early versions of Microsoft Basic (like the one for the KIM-1) didn't have a LOAD or SAVE command: you just typed LIST, turned the paper tape punch on and hit Enter. To read a program back into memory, you just typed NEW and started the paper tape reader; all the data from the paper tape would be sent to the computer as if it were typed on the keyboard. It shouldn't be too hard to implement firmware on the Propeller to store a paper tape library into the EEPROM, you just need to replace the 24LC256 (32KB) by e.g. a 24LC1024 (128K) or even use multiple EEPROMS shared by the same I2C bus. I'm going to look into the possibility of doing that with the Superboard III, though in that case because the keyboard is not under control of the Propeller, it may actually be more difficult to do than on e.g. the Pocketerm.

===Jac
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Re: Why not an ASCII keyboard kit?

Postby vbriel » Apr Mon 20, 2015 1:13 pm

coming soon. i have the design finished
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Re: Why not an ASCII keyboard kit?

Postby scelbi8h » Apr Wed 22, 2015 10:34 am

I'm glad to read that :D

Thanks Vince!
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