Getting into BASIC

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Getting into BASIC

Postby George » Aug Mon 02, 2010 3:29 pm

Hello, I've ordered my kit and it will be shipped soon, was just checking out some videos on youtube and I see people type something like 1000R or similar to load various things, and to enable the use of BASIC, I'm not fully sure what is going on, once the kit is switched on for the first time, what do I need to do? I also saw a video where a computer inputs 3000 lines of hex code, do you have to do that each time you start it up?
Bit confused!
George
 
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Re: Getting into BASIC

Postby vbriel » Aug Mon 02, 2010 4:38 pm

Good question. The manual will show you step by step how to get into BASIC, but I'll cover things in short detail here.

To start, the sense switches are switches 8-15, they are numbered under each switch. The original Altair SIO2 had you switch 11 on so that BASIC would know what serial port you were using. I emulated that with the Altair. So, when you are ready to power up your Altair, switch 11 should be up and the rest of the sense switches should be down. Lift AUX so the CPU knows to look for BASIC on power up and flip the ON/OFF switch to ON.

You need a monitor, keyboard and a SD with BASIC loaded on it (on the CD) when you power up. On your display you should get a message for a file name to load. Type in the name of the file on the SD card exactly. There is no backspace feature yet so if you mess up, you have to turn off the unit and turn it back on (sorry). When you hit ENTER on the keyboard, if it finds the file you listed on the SD card it will begin loading it into memory. It takes about 20-30 seconds to load 8K BASIC.

When it is finished downloading, you get a message that it is finished. If the RUN/STOP switch is in the RUN position, then the Altair starts running at memory location 0. The nice thing about this is that BASIC loads at memory location 0 and therefore will start up by prompting you with a "MEMORY SIZE?" prompt. If you hit ENTER it will attempt to calculate how much RAM is in the system. Next it ask you about terminal and just hit enter and Y to math functions. Next you should get a display with Microsoft BASIC and you are ready to go. Nothing simple, here's the shortcut for the switches:

Keep 11 and AUX up when powering on to prompt for BASIC. Keep RUN/STOP in RUN mode so the CPU will not be in single step mode when finished loading.

Hope this helps,

Vince
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Re: Getting into BASIC

Postby cowgod » Aug Mon 02, 2010 7:51 pm

Vince, I think this question was asking about the Replica-1, not the Altair. :)

You don't have to transfer anything to use BASIC the Replica, the BASIC is in ROM. Just power up, hit the reset button, then enter: E000R and hit return.

Tom
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Re: Getting into BASIC

Postby vbriel » Aug Mon 02, 2010 9:17 pm

Yeah, I'm tired, lol. Well, you answered the question. I saw the part about switches and I only posted youtube on the altair, I forget other people post video on the replica 1.

George, the biggest thing people don't realize until they have a replica 1 is that the apple 1 didn't have a auto-reset circuit. So when you turn it on, you get a blinking cursor and that is it. To get the computer going, you have to press the RESET button on the board. The replica 1 should respond with a \ and drop the cursor down to the next line. If you get that far, your system is probably going to work. Then to enter basic, do as COWGOD says and type E000R and press enter on your keyboard. You are now in BASIC.

Vince
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Re: Getting into BASIC

Postby George » Aug Tue 03, 2010 3:27 pm

Thank you both for your informative replies, it cleaned up a lot of questions I had.
Sorry to sound like a beginner, but I'm trying to learn all this hex stuff and memory addresses, I was hoping the replica i would help me do that, and so, i wonder why E000R has to be typed into the system when starting? what does it mean exactly?

Thanks again for your helpfulness :)
George
 
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Re: Getting into BASIC

Postby cowgod » Aug Tue 03, 2010 4:53 pm

When you press the reset button on the Replica-1, it will start running the "monitor" program, which allows you to enter a few simple commands to examine and modify data in memory and to execute programs. The "E000R" command tells the monitor program to "start running the program stored in memory at address E000". On the Replica, E000 is the location where the BASIC interpreter program is stored in ROM.

Tom
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