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Thread: USD $14 modern computer FabGL emulating VIC20, Altair, CP/M etc

  1. #1

    Default USD $14 modern computer FabGL emulating VIC20, Altair, CP/M etc

    $14 computer can be purchased here:

    Open source project here:

    Videos of it in action:

    Altair 8800 CP/M Text Games

    FabGL embedded free VIC20 games

    Altair 8800 - CP/M Turbo Pascal 3

    Emulating Altair 8800 with FabGL (ESP32) - CP/M Setup Wordstar 4

    Altair 8800 - CP/M Compiling C programs -

    Altair 8800 CP/M languages (BBC Basic, Nevada Basic, forth, lisp...)

    Altair 8800 CP/M Formatting C and D - MBASIC test

    Altair 8800 - Altair Basic

    Network terminal:

    Collision detection:

    Double buffering:

    Space Invaders:

    Video modes:

    FabGL Tutorial - Installation

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Penticton, B.C.


    I'm a little confused... is the link for the AliExpress product the whole product, or an add-on for something called the ESP32? Sorry, it's late and I don't want to fall down a rabbit hole of youtube videos, etc... need sleep more.

  3. #3


    i'm a little confused about this but it looks with an ESP32 with all the peripheral goodies and hardware to connect VGA, mouse, and keyboard. It might even have SPI PSRAM. Good price, you couldn't even get the parts for much less.

    I built several 8008 and 8080 emulators with the ESP8266( ESP32 predecessor) packages, some with serial/Telnet, some with NTSC and PS/2 and paper tape reader:

    The problem with the ESP8266 was that it was a little light on RAM for a full 64K emulator (although someone managed to do it by stripping out wireless libraries). I used an SPI ram, which obviously slowed it down quite a bit, but it's still usable. Multitasking the wireless is tricky. The ESP32 has more RAM, multicore, more pins, Bluetooth, is faster, and can be available with a pseudo-static RAM connected by SPI that can be used for caching or fairly fast storage.

    These are not very expensive, and I had a very good cost/fun ratio with these projects. The NTSC video output (not written by me) is especially amazing. ONE DIGITAL PIN and devilishly clever use of a capacitor and resistors for sync levels.

  4. #4


    USD$14 is the whole computer (plus shipping). It's about AUD$20

    All you need is that purchase from Aliexpress and you have everything you need apart from visiting the github account to get the software.

    esp32 is the cpu of that $14 computer.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Vancouver Island


    Quote Originally Posted by flibbledeedo View Post
    It was fun to watch the video compression progressively degrade as this demo went on. Neat project! Definitely looks like a cool little board - love the onboard PS/2 & VGA.

  6. #6


    hi - Once this is done, I assume it can this stand alone with the USB port used for powering the computer, correct?
    @ BillDeg:
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