Retrochallenge 2014

Published Friday, June 13 2014

Well here we are again. It’s June of 2014, and I have to come up with a Retrochallenge entry.

Last year I decided to tackle an original hardware design and convert a VT100 keyboard to USB. It was a lot of fun, and a lot harder than I thought it would be. This year, I just haven’t been able to come up with a cohesive and innovative idea for something to do, so instead, I’m going to do two smaller projects.

6502 ROM Monitor

The first thing I’d like to do this year is finally put together a simple 6502 ROM Monitor program for my Home Brew 6502 computer. It runs EhBASIC right now, but there’s no interactive ROM monitor or debugger. For a while I had Steve Wozniak’s ROM monitor running, but I’d like to roll my own.

I don’t think this will be a particularly hard challenge, but I do think it will be fun and educational. It’ll probably also leave me with time for a totally un-related Part II…

Clean and Rehabilitate My RL02 Drives

Part two of my Retrochallenge will be to finally open up, clean out, and rehabilitate the RL02 drives on my PDP-11/23+ computer. It’s been sitting in my garage for years, and those drives need some attention. They both allegedly work, but they’re dirty, they (probably?) still have old crumbly air filters in them, and they probably need some regular maintenance before I turn them on. So I’m going to follow DEC’s care procedures, clean them, clean my packs, and get them up and running again. I think it’ll be fun to document this and make some videos out of it.

And In Closing…

I hope I haven’t bitten off more than I can chew, but I really think that these projects are small enough for me to get them both done in a month. I believe the ROM monitor will be two weekends, and the RL02 drives will be one weekend. We will see! I’ll do them serially, so I’ll try to get at least one of them done.

I’ll be seeing you all soon! July 1st is coming up fast.