View Full Version : ODT for the Nova

July 6th, 2016, 07:06 AM
have been wasting much time playing around with a Data General Nova variant, it’s a Rolm/ Loral 1602 military version of the Data General Nova system. It uses the same instruction language as the Nova and I have been able to write up little loops and push data in and out of the ports (TT0) and do stupid things like that but was wondering if anyone had a copy or information of anything like a ODT or simple program that can be loaded to allow you to deposit and examine addresses from the TT port? Think the Nova three and four had this as standard being they did not have a front panel with all the switches and lights like the old Nova but I would like to have code for doing this on my primitive system. Although I have copies of the programing language and all that I am almost completely useless when it comes to writing in assembler so that’s why I am asking here.


July 8th, 2016, 05:18 AM
An update (if anyone is interested!), I found a copy of the Data General NOVA Debugger 1 manual and downloaded it. Will have to go back and look at my paper tape collection and see if I have it on tape but if nothing else can enter the 192 lines of code from the front panel and do it that way. One advantage to core memory is that once it’s loaded it tends to stay there until you over write it.

July 9th, 2016, 05:50 PM
My Nova 3 has a switches-and-lights front panel, though there were also turnkey versions that lacked the switches and lights.

Does your Rolm machine have the same program load function as the Nova machines? I think earlier Novas had it as an option and it became standard later. I hacked up Toby Thain's assembler to automatically append a self-loading bootstrap that lets me load up test programs without needing to toggle in any code:


That doesn't answer your debugger question, but I wanted to make sure you are aware of it, because I've found it to be quite handy for loading in test programs to exercise the hardware as I work on debugging my 6045 hard drive.

July 11th, 2016, 05:15 AM
The Rolm/Loral military systems are more closely related to the first generation Nova platforms with the Nova 3 and 4 being way more user friendly systems. I did find Nova Debugger 1 and am in the process of working on building a paper tape for that.
Big hold up right now is that I need to replace one of the switches on the control and that’s going to be a big job and have one or two other projects on the bench in front of it.

August 10th, 2016, 12:40 PM
Spent two or three days entering Debug code by hand into the Nova, not all at once but a page or so every night. Had it running for a little while but quickly discovered I had no idea on how to use the syntax and somehow managed to wipe the core clean. So back to square one and started entering a page a day and see how it goes this time. Think the real answer is to get the paper tape up and running or maybe build a text file that I can push in that way, mean time will be flipping lots of switches.

August 16th, 2016, 09:24 AM
New video in exciting HD of the attempt to load DeBug1 into my Rolm 1602. Still having an issue getting the program to work correctly being the program will echo back but will not print back the contents of accumulators or memory addresses. May have one of the three hundred lines of code wrong.
This is the first thing that I have posted to YouTube in HD, think the quality is far better.