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ClassicHasClass
July 30th, 2015, 10:21 AM
My IMSAI 8080 is now to the point where it is largely rehabilitated: I undid some of the questionable modifications made by its prior owner (don't ask about how I got a solder burn on my foot), it runs and operates sample programs, the panel LEDs work, the switches (mostly) don't stick, and I'm confident in the current RAM card and Z80 CPU card.

It came with a Technical Design Labs SMB card which doesn't seem to do anything when installed. I'm pretty sure the jumpers are set right per the manual, though I'm reexamining the wiring to the rear port since I don't really trust much of what the previous owner did. I'd like something that's a little more idiot-proof, though, because I'm a special kind of idiot.

What are people using as system monitors on their systems and what would you recommend?

billdeg
July 30th, 2015, 11:53 AM
For my IMSAI I use CUTTER, but DAJEN makes a nice one called SCI, and Vector Graphic ZCB running port 4/5 monitor appears to port well to almost anything. WHat's really imporant is that you have something that is port compatible with your I/O card, if they're separate.

Nama
July 30th, 2015, 02:06 PM
I'm using either M84 or Mon-88

ClassicHasClass
July 30th, 2015, 06:04 PM
For my IMSAI I use CUTTER, but DAJEN makes a nice one called SCI, and Vector Graphic ZCB running port 4/5 monitor appears to port well to almost anything. WHat's really imporant is that you have something that is port compatible with your I/O card, if they're separate.

I don't have a separate I/O card. Do these require one?

billdeg
July 31st, 2015, 05:39 AM
Many RAM cards (Tanner for example) had spaces for installing a few ROMs as well, or in place or RAM. In these places one could put a ROM chip (eg. 2716) that could be called from the front panel. Any Serial card waiting for I/O on the ports the ROM was using would be suitable to use the ROM. In some cases you also needed a video card as well, the serial card may only handle the keyboard. It was complex, and often the default was a teletype. Later in the 70's people started coming out with all in one S-100 cards with I/O, video, and a ROM monitor that could be used to call a disk boot routine, also configured with port I/O to match.

Short answer, the DAJEN SCI is such a card. CUTTER is the old style, requiring a serial card for the keyboard, and a separate card for video. The key is to understand what ports are available "set via jumper" so that all cards are working together. Add to that the fact that old hardware may have faults that are hard to track down.

I'd suggest a new S-100 card for serial I/O
http://www.s100computers.com/Cards%20For%20Sale.htm
see in particular something like
http://www.s100computers.com/My%20System%20Pages/Console%20IO%20Board/Console%20IO%20Board.htm

ClassicHasClass
July 31st, 2015, 12:31 PM
Alas, I'm mostly all thumbs with a soldering iron except for simple tasks. I'll look for something pre-assembled.