It's with a sore arm, thanks to Max, that I've decided to enter the fast-paced world of "blogdom" here at All Programmable Planet. I've always had too much to say (and not enough people who cared to listen), so this forum seems to be an ideal venue for one such as myself who has accumulated an awful lot of information over a long time.
My premise is that much of the high-tech gadgetry we marvel at (or take for granted) each day has firm roots in the past. I refer to "Dem Bones" or just "Bones," being that I'm Southern, like Max.
Who are you calling Southern? Those are fighting words. I was "born and bred" in Yorkshire, England, where we are Northern and proud of it!
I could delve right into valve (vacuum tube) theory, but since this forum is focused on modern programmable logic devices and methods, I'm going to stick to topics that resurrect suitable old technology Bones and slap 'em straight into an FPGA, with a bit of coding, synthesis, and debugging thrown in.
It is for this reason that my column titles will all lead with "Jurassic HDL." My goal is to dig up some Bones, explain them as best I can, and try to make something relevant today from the DNA we find there. As Mr. Anonymous once said: "Two heads are better than one," so I'm hoping that we can do this together. The intent of my Blog is to get you, the Blogee, involved (if I am the "blogger," then that must make you the "blogee," don't you agree?). That way I might actually learn something... again... that sinks in this time...
I remember it like it was yesterday...
While I was washing my hair last Thursday, I thought back on a "Way Cool" project, circa 1977, that involved replacing a hard-to-manufacture dense wire-wrapped (look that up) logic board used in a paging terminal (look that up also, or ask your Dad). The main part I chose to use was a single-bit microprocessor! (I can just hear the belly laughs from you younger Blogees right now.)
The device in question was the MC14500B from Motorola. This was officially referred to as an Industrial Control Unit (ICU). I call it a "MicroController" or "μC." Anyway, the circuit design replaced tons of hand-wired TTL logic with this little device -- plus a handful of peripherals -- all mounted on a simple double-sided printed circuit board (PCB). This must have done the job for my customer, because he built a whole bunch of them over a number of years and I finally got paid for something. Plus, the project was fun (if I remember correctly).
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