Again, some posts/projects received silent updates worth mentioning:
Happy new year, y’all! I hope Santa brought you some geeky stuff 😉
Here’s a quick heads-up of what’s cooking since more than 2 months… Well lots of small and bigger things happened mostly in the background in preparation for something bigger 😉
- Made quite some progress with the Helios Server. That’s the ‘terminal’ software which interfaces your PC to the Helios Kernel(s) running on your Transputer(s). For now everything is checked into github. Currently I’m working on the write up of all findings and howtos.
- While doing so, I learned a lot about the concepts used programming the Helios kernel. Also needs quite some documentation.
- Wasted quite some time in upgrading my workhorse PC due to amnesia and eroding instincts 🙁
But now everything is working again and I can keep on working on the Tower of Powers successor. Here’s a small hint:
- I had to close my little shop. It’s way too risky given german laws make it very easy for any idi** to submit a judicial warning in order to make some money just because of e.g. formal errors in your terms and conditions 😕
So if you need something Transputer’ish, drop me a mail, maybe I have some parts left I can share.
- Ah, that said, I had a 2nd run of AM-B404s… need to solder pins and sockets to finalize them. And 10 are already reserved 😉
Ok, this is quite quite a timespan to cover… 4 months and not really that much to report.
Most successful post was the SIEMENS PC-X page (a strange i80186 Unix box). I’ve mainly set it up for the guys over at MESS, specifically ‘crazyc’ who’s actively working to include PC-D and PC-X emulation into MESS.
Next bigger work were two articles about (ISA) Transputer Interfaces: The INMOS B004 and the HEMA TA2. Those two are -roughly- the first and the most recent models of their kind, before PCI and USB took over.
This is the kick-off to document the most important cards you can plug into your computer to dive into the fascinating world of transputing. Come back often.
Finally I added my PeekPoke-Tool to the transputer software page.
It’s a basic tool which helps you reading/writing any systems memory which uses the B004 interface and protocol.
This is yet another months news roundup. Just in case you missed something 😉
First of all…
My little shop opened. Yes, I decided to sell surplus directly on my page instead of going all the hassle and rev-share you have on ePay.
If I had to produce/order more parts than I needed, the rest will end up there. Mainly stuff related on the hardware you can read about on Geekdot. Need to figure out all those shipping details… so bear with me.
Helios had to move into the Software menu to gain more space in the menu-bar for the shop item.
..then, the Archive got two new sections.
Back in the days, when geekdot.com was hosted on my own iron at some hosting facility I was in desperate need of remotely manage my server. IPMI is a nice standard built into most real server hardware… but as cheap as I am, my server started as a recycled desktop and after some iterations ended in a 19″ rack case. Still no IPMI. The solution was the so-called RiloE (Remote Insight Light-Out Edition) from Compaq – later HP. While meant for usage in Compaq machines, it can easily tweaked to work in any PCI machine. My findings are available in the Archive now.
Back in 1995 I fell in love with the Apple Newton and created my first useful webpage for it. Until 1998 it was quite a destination for Newton fanatics around the world. This page too got its own place in the Archive now.
(small) new hardware project
You might have read my lengthy
rant article about the Inmos C004 32-way linkswitch. Because I like to have a niftier Transputer network on my IMSB012 but don’t like the price you have to pay using a C004 I created two small replacement PCBs.
Here’s a quick list of pages which got updates recently:
- The new design and relaunch of GeekDot is more or less completed. I hope I found all dead links – if you stumble across onw, please tell me.
- The i860 software page got an APX860 paragraph incl. APX860 binaries for download. It’s a start, maybe it grows into a post of its own. If you have any extra infos about APX860 it’s very welcome!
- Added a nice presentation of the Hauppauge 4860 (at the very end of the post) concept from Hotchips Conference 1990.
- Found a nice prototype HTRAM picture which I added to my HTRAM post.
Woohoo! Geekdot.com got a complete overhaul.
About nearly everything has changed… besides the content of course.
The most obvious change is the complete responsive design. That means reading GeekDot on your smartphone or tablet should be much easier now.
Also every social bells’n’whistle is activated – so you can comment, quote, twitter and FB-like nearly everything… if you don’t have better things to do 😉
Over the coming weeks I will keep on smoothing the edges. Every feedback from you is very welcomed.
2 1/2 worth mentioning updates:
There’s a new (small) project in town – A QFP-2-PGA Adaptor specifically for transputers (in progress).
A small guide on how to handle TRAMs und the Transputer on it (with pictues).
And if you didn’t heard it yet, there’s a Geekdot Facebook page now. Meh, I couldn’t help it. You even can “share” each and every article now (upper right corner).
A (late) Merry Christmas and an (early) happy new year y’all! Just a quick update: The AM-B404 production is well in schedule. Some already sold… so it might be smart to inform me right now, if you’re interested in buying one… or two.
Say hello to the brand new AM-B404, a 2MB, Size-1 Transputer TRAM. It wouldn’t be a Geekdot’ish device, if it hadn’t at least one LED 😉
Besides this, its using as-recent-as-possible parts, is fully SRAM (i.e. fast) and just half the size of the original Inmos counterpart (IMS-B404). Oh, and did I mention the 2 LEDs?
Several sections and chapters got updated.
- Finally opened the Software section for Transputers and the i860 (DSM boards). More to come when I find the time…
- Updated the Parsytec GigaCluster with more details on cooling and more hardware pictures – as well as some tiny new findings on the SuperCluster NCU boards.
- Some Housekeeping, due to the fact that Helios is becoming a bigger matter on GeekDot it was moved from a chapter to a full fledged section.
- Finally! Running X Window on Helios described… there’s even a screenshot 😉
- Small but adorable addition to the INMOS TRAM section – the mighty IMSB438, the ultimate graphics TRAM!
- Hauppauge 4860 manual added for downloading… nice read even you’re not in the owners club. Also I found a better piccy of the original framebuffer.