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Powertran Cortex

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    #91
    I've been reading & downloading the documentation, don't worry. But time is one thing I'm ridiculously short of at the moment. Plus my 'scope did "the big firework" a couple of weeks back and I ended up spending quite some time repairing that. Computery stuff (actually ALL fun stuff ) is very much on a back burner till I can get the loft conversion (and heating) fully functional. That should be within the next 6 months or we all freeze and I go loopy. and I WILL be adding my questions to the list!
    "Don't it always seem to go
    That you don't know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone" (BANG )

    Comment


      #92
      Originally posted by nige the hippy View Post
      I've been reading & downloading the documentation, don't worry. But time is one thing I'm ridiculously short of at the moment. Plus my 'scope did "the big firework" a couple of weeks back and I ended up spending quite some time repairing that. Computery stuff (actually ALL fun stuff ) is very much on a back burner till I can get the loft conversion (and heating) fully functional. That should be within the next 6 months or we all freeze and I go loopy. and I WILL be adding my questions to the list!
      Cool. Good luck with everything. Just wanted to tease as you were instrumental on getting me to dive in at the deep end! Glad i did though

      Comment


        #93
        Originally posted by tms9995 View Post
        Thanks for the complement. I guess I could put the source up on WHTech if you want to have a laugh at my first C++/Direct X project! It started out in C as a DOS program. I then made it a Windows App using Borland C++ Builder, added Direct X and then converted it all to classes / C++. I'm quite proud of it really!
        I wouldn't laugh, I am not that good a programmer that I would even know where to begin writing an emulator for a computer that is over 27 years old.

        Originally posted by tms9995 View Post
        I have dreamt of putting the Cortex on a chip, but I think that's as far as it will go unless I win the lottery and have all the spare time in the World!
        Its been done for the Amiga, Minimeg. Maybe the same hardware could be pressed into service for the FPGA Cortex.

        Originally posted by tms9995 View Post
        On both of mine I swapped out the 2564s for a 29F010 (or some FLASH equivalent) and replaced the TMS4500 & 4164s with a 628128 Static Ram (used with the Memory Mapper for 128K).
        Good minds think alike

        Originally posted by tms9995 View Post
        You also get a slight speed increase as the TMS4500 no longer slows down the CPU during refresh (although removing the automatic waitstate generation on the TMS9995 is really the way to go, but that's another story...)
        You learn something new everyday. It's not really new to me, I just forgot that I knew it LOL

        Originally posted by tms9995 View Post
        I'm sure Ksarul has told you in his PM, but my understanding of TI at that time was the chips went TMP, TMX & TMS from prototype through production and I don't think the TMX9909 ever made past TMX
        No wonder the bessed things are as rare as the proverbial rocking horse doodoo!

        Originally posted by tms9995 View Post
        For your floppy drives, just use a couple of regular 3.5" PC drives. Cover the hole on the diskette so it thinks it's a 720K (ie non high density) and you're good to go.
        I was thinking about this, but I wasn't to sure that it would work. But then again I have the "chicken and egg syndrome" the only copy I have of CDOS is on a 40T SS SD 5.25" floppy and you need a drive to load it in.

        Maybe I could reverse the direction of the your imaging technique, and get the Cortex to read the WHTech CDOS image from the PC via its RS232 port. BTW, my copy of CDOS is actually 1.11 serial No 53 (1984), and not 1.2 as I stated previously.

        Originally posted by tms9995 View Post
        Not sure about mapping a PC drive to the Cortex emulator. It's not like it had a hard drive on it to begin with. I have some utilities that can extract a file from a disk image and save it as a PC file. I suppose the other way would be to hijack the cassette save/load?
        I was thinking more along the lines of mapping a PC floppy or USB stick to one of the floppy drives on the emulator. I wasn't actually thinking about the PC's HDD or full on "map network drive" type of thing. Just simply mapping A: to CD0 job done, but I wouldn't where to start with programming that cos it sounds easier said than done.
        Last edited by Cybernaut; August 7, 2009, 03:58 PM. Reason: Just my usual typo's

        Comment


          #94
          Tmx9909

          Originally Posted by tms9995:
          "I'm sure Ksarul has told you in his PM, but my understanding of TI at that time was the chips went TMP, TMX & TMS from prototype through production and I don't think the TMX9909 ever made past TMX"

          Here's the chap to ask: <http://www.linkedin.com/in/longley>.

          ***
          New Product Definition Engineer
          Texas Instruments - Houston
          (Semiconductors industry)

          1976 — 1979 (3 years)

          Architect of the TMS9909 Floppy Disk Controller - precursor to modern DSP's, and TMS9911 DMA Controller. Transferred 9909 to design team at TI Bedford, England and evangelized TI processors in Italy. Wrote articles on TMS9940 16-bit microcomputer published internationally, and wrote datasheets and most original content of "The TMS9900 Family System Design Guide". Worked on SPICE models of microprocessors and a high-speed bus architecture.
          ***

          Comment


            #95
            I'd seen some posts from him before. He indicated that they were in production for ten years or so in that thread, but everything else I've seen cut that to about five. . .the most recent ones I've seen came from Malaysia and the Philippines though, so they may have been in use longer on that side of the ocean.
            Enter My Mind At Your Own Risk!

            Comment


              #96
              Powertran Cortex

              I stumbled across this forum the other day after watching a TV program on early PCs.

              I'm assuming that most people who still have a Cortex probably have all the documentation that came with it but just in case anyone needs additional info, I've got the following documentation that I could try scanning:

              Cortex users manual
              The 9900 family data book
              The TMS9918A/TMS9928A/TMS9929A Video display processor data manual.
              The TMS9995 16 bit microcomputer data manual.
              Pages entitled "Reprint of article published in Electronics Today International (with corrections and amendments necessary to be consistant with kit)"
              Including :
              Block diagram for the complete Cortex.
              Circuit diagram of the CPU and DMAC circuitry.
              Circuit diagram of the memory section.
              Circuit diagram of the video display circuitry.
              Circuit diagram of the keyboard and control port.
              Circuit diagram of the RS232 and cassette interfaces.
              Circuit diagram of the floppy disk controller section.
              Component overlay for main board..
              Circuit diagram of the E-bus interface.
              Circuit diagram of the keyboard.
              Circuit diagram of the power supply.
              Component overlay for the power supply.
              The keyboard overlay.
              Circuit diagram of the parrallel I/O board.

              Parallel I/O project for the Cortex - ETI September 1985.

              Cortex users group news letter # 3

              Fig-forth users manual / memory map.

              My Powertran Cortex has been tucked away in my loft for the past 20 years and I've always wanted to show my kids my early attempts at writing games for the PC.
              The only problem I've got is that at least one of my eproms is faulty and I've never been able to get another copy.
              I don't know if you can still find TMS2564 eproms but if necessary I would be willing to sacrifice my fig-forth eproms if somebody was able to reload it with the missing data for me.

              Once again, If anyone needs a few pages of the above info scanned and e-mailed, just let me know.
              Last edited by andyp; October 15, 2009, 10:15 AM. Reason: Spelling Error

              Comment


                #97
                Hi Andy,

                Welcome to our growing little group! I think we now have about 9 known Cortex computers between us which is great.

                Have you seen what's on ftp://whtech.com/Powertran%20Cortex/ ? We have quite a lot of info, so please take a look and see what you can add. I believe most of the TI data you mention is also pretty easy to come by.

                I think what is really interesting to us is the Forth stuff! I don't know of any copies of this so it would be awesome to copy the ROMs and documentation. Do you have access to an EPROM programmer so you can copy the ROMs to a binary file? If you do, you can also download the CORTEX ROM image from the above link and blow yourself a new copy to get you machine going again in its native environment. The 2564s are kind of rare but it's pretty simple to replace one or all with something fairly modern. Not sure if this is something you are comfortable with? Ksarul is quite good at locating the obsolete ICs.

                If not, I could make a copy of the ROMs and program the CORTEX Basic back in. We are all pretty dedicated to the preservation of this machine so I'm sure something can be sorted out.

                Thanks again for checking in!

                Comment


                  #98
                  Originally posted by andyp View Post
                  I don't know if you can still find TMS2564 eproms but if necessary I would be willing to sacrifice my fig-forth eproms if somebody was able to reload it with the missing data for me.
                  If you can't find 2564s You can probably make an adapter for 2764s which are easy to find, with a turned pin socket & some mod wire. the pinout's similar.

                  if you put your location on, we also know who's up the road and can post you the eproms more easily.
                  "Don't it always seem to go
                  That you don't know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone" (BANG )

                  Comment


                    #99
                    Here's an eBay seller with 14 of the 2564's in Great Britain:

                    http://cgi.ebay.com/IC-TMS2564JL-TMS...item27a0667310

                    Just under four Pounds each. . .

                    And the FigForth manual and ROM images are a definite high interest item. Most of the rest of the documentation is already up on WHTech, in either ther Cortex or TI-99 folders, as they used the same TI chip set for the most part.
                    Enter My Mind At Your Own Risk!

                    Comment


                      They have the SN74LS612N memory mappers in too item number 180273705894.

                      I've just rooted out my programmer, apparently it will program 2564s!
                      Last edited by nige the hippy; October 17, 2009, 11:39 AM.
                      "Don't it always seem to go
                      That you don't know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone" (BANG )

                      Comment


                        Cortex Forth

                        Thanks for the replies.

                        tms 9995,
                        Unfortunately I don't have access to an Eprom programmer and would need some help to get a new ROM copy.
                        I followed Nige the hippy's advice and included my location on this reply

                        Nige the hippy,
                        If I manage to get hold of a replacement 2564 or a 2764 (if you could supply me with the details of the 2764 adaptor), would I be able to post all the eproms to you so you could make a copy of the figForth Eproms and maybe re-load the original Cortex rom for me - If it's not too much of a hassle.

                        Ksarul,
                        Thanks for the ebay link for the 2564's, I'll take a look.

                        I should be able to scan the Forth User manual myself and e-mail the info.
                        I notice that the Cortex Forth documentation and Eproms were supplied by Lombard Systems of 18 Lombard Street, Lidlington, Bedford.
                        At the back of the manual, it states that the glossary supplied, has been taken from public domain publications.
                        I'm not sure if there are any copyright issues for a user manual dating back to the 1980's or how we would trace them if it was an issue.

                        Once again, thanks for all the info and advice.

                        Comment


                          No problem in programming up the 2564s
                          Can't supply you with details on a 2564-2764 adapter at present, that'll take a bit of work, but should be just a few mod-wires on a socket.
                          "Don't it always seem to go
                          That you don't know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone" (BANG )

                          Comment


                            To save all the hassle and extra work for you, I'll order 3 of the 2564's using Ksarul's ebay link and then get in touch again when they arrive.
                            Thanks for the speedy response and your offer of help.

                            Comment


                              Cortex Forth

                              At ...

                              <http://www.forth.org/fig-forth/contents.html>

                              ... there's the source code for a FIG-Forth implementation for the TMS 9900. The Cortex Forth might possibly be a copy of this, with the Cortex-specific keyboard input / screen output routines. There is loads of Forth documentation elsewhere on that site.

                              Stuart.

                              Comment


                                Thanks for the figFORTH link, Stuart!

                                AndyP, if you can get the manual scanned, I can put it up with the other documents on WHTech. If we ever get questions about documents posted there, we remove them immediately. Most of the companies involved are so long-gone that there is no trace of them anymore--but we always respect their wishes when made known.

                                I'm just glad there is so much still out there for the Cortex!
                                Enter My Mind At Your Own Risk!

                                Comment

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