5t4nd1ng @ th3 3dg3 0f 5p3ct4t10n!

Welcome to Walt Perko's Brainless.org-anizm
Too Bored? Try a Two Board Altair 8800c!

This Page is My Basic SetUp

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Start with understanding a few basic concepts


My entire Beginner Documentation
. . . . .

Please Remember: As I learn and understand I will continue to update this page and the documents!
. . . . .
With the Altair-Duino computer and most others, the user connects and controls the computer via the “console”.

. . . . . The console is the screen display and the keyboard.

There are three primary console connections:
. . . . .
USB cable to a PC/TeraTerm or other, terminal program
Back of the computer VT-100 board I/O to VGA monitor and keyboard
. . . Back of the computer VT-100 RS-232 Port B to an external terminal that has a keyboard and display

The first connection normally used is the USB cable to the PC/TeraTerm. This is where you need to setup TeraTerm correctly, to connect to the Altair-Duino computer.
. . . . .
1. First, after connecting the USB cable to the PC, goto the Windows “Device Manager” - Right-Click on Windows ICON in lower left of the Windows desktop.
2. Select “Device Manager” from the list
. . . 3. Click on the arrow next to the Ports (COM & LPT)
4. Find the “Arduino Due Programming Port (COM x) to get that port number

. . . . .
After running TeraTerm on your PC do the following from the top menus:
Setup - Serial port - Port: and select that COM port number from the list
. . . Speed: Select 115200
Click “New Setting” and now TeraTerm is ready to communicate with the Altair-Duino computer.

. . . . .
Typically, the console is “Port A” on a vintage computer . . . On the Altair-Duino computer Port A is the “USB Programming Port” on the Arduino DUE board.
The RS-232 port on the back of the computer would typically be the “Port B”
. . . In the “Configuration Editor” you can reconfigure all the ports to accommodate other devices and other software. Some of this will come up a little later in this document
The Back of the Altair-Duino Pro has a few Physical Ports
Top center "mini-A" USB connector is the Arduino DUE Programming Port to connect the Altair-Duino Pro to a PC/TeraTerm or other terminal
. . . . . 9V d.c. IN . . . microSD Card . . . Audio OUT . . . RS-232 I/O typically set to (A6/A7). . . USB Keyboard IN . . . VGA OUT

Setting Up the Terminal for a Vintage 9600 BAUD Experience
.
The simplest setup in the beginning is using the USB Programming Port at 115200 8N1 BAUD, but for a more “vintage” feel, dropping the BAUD down to 8600 8N1 is common with users.

. . . This means setting the TeraTerm: [Setup - Serial port - Speed] to 9600 then [New setting]
Then in the Altair-Duino Configuration Editor [STOP + AUX1 UP]
Then type an ‘s” on the keyboard to enter Configure host (s)erial settings
. . . Then type a “0” (zero) on the keyboard over and over to change the USB Programming Port to 9600

When you type an “x”, to go back, then “S” to Save as the default (0) configuration, you will see a message telling you to confirm.
. . . . .

Setting Up the Drives
.
IF using CP/M you can use 5MB or 8MB HDDs on drive A: and/or B:
You could also use two 8MB FDDs on drives A: and/or B:
. . . Drives C: and D: only support 360K FDDs.

These choices are just an example of choices, personally, for Drive (1) you might want to use a blank 360K FDD .DSK for your own collection of software.
. . . . .
In the Configuration editor:

. . . [D] (controls drives C: and D:)
Drive (0) mounted disk image : DISK05.DSK: Games (CP/M programs)
Drive (1) mounted disk image : DISK14.DSK: CP/M 3.0 disk 2 (utilities)
. . . . .
[H] (controls drives A: and B:)

. . . . . (F)orce real-time mode : no
(0) Hard disk platter 0 image : HDSK03.DSK: Mike Douglas' 88-HDSK CP/M
(1) Hard disk platter 1 image : HDSK04.DSK: Infocom Adventures CP/M
. . . . .


. . . . .

Floppy Disk Drive (FDD) Listings
.
SENS Switch Positions:
Address . . . Data
. . . 0 000 000 000 000 000
AUX1 DOWN

. . . . .
00000000) [print this directory]
00000001) Calculator
. . . 00000010) Kill-the-Bit
00000011) Pong (LEDs)
00000100) Pong (Terminal)
. . . 00000101) 4k Basic
00000110) 16k ROM Basic
00000111) MITS Programming System II
. . . 00001000) Disk boot ROM
00001001) ALTAIR Turnkey Monitor
00001010) Music ('Daisy')
. . . 00001011) CPU Diagnostic
00001100) CPU Exerciser
00001101) Music system
. . . 00001110) Hard disk boot ROM
00001111) Multi-boot loader ROM
00010000) Tarbell disk boot ROM
. . . 00010001) Cromemco RDOS 1.0 ROM
01xxxxxx) [Read Intel HEX data from primary host interface]
10nnnnnn) [load memory page, nnnnnn=file number]
. . . 11nnnnnn) [save memory page, nnnnnn=file number]


. . . . .


. . . . .

Hard Disk Drive (HDD) Listings
.
SENS Switch Positions:
Address . . . Data
. . . . . 0 001 000 000 000 000
AUX2 DOWN

. . . . .
---------------------------------------------
Available disks images:
. . . ---------------------------------------------
00001) DISK01.DSK: CP/M (63k)
00010) DISK02.DSK: ALTAIR DOS 1.0
. . . 00011) DISK03.DSK: ALTAIR Disk Basic
00100) DISK04.DSK: ALTAIR Disk Basic programs
00101) DISK05.DSK: Games (CP/M programs)
. . . 00110) DISK06.DSK: SuperCalc II (CP/M program)
00111) DISK07.DSK: WordStar (CP/M program)
01000) DISK08.DSK: Zork (CP/M game)
. . . 01001) DISK09.DSK: Time Sharing Basic V1.1
01010) DISK0A.DSK: Time Sharing Basic V2
01011) DISK0B.DSK: Time Sharing Basic V2 programs
. . . 01100) DISK0C.DSK: Altair Mini-Disk Basic
01101) DISK0D.DSK: Altair Mini-Disk Basic programs
01110) DISK0E.DSK: Altair Mini-Disk DOS
. . . 01111) DISK0F.DSK: Altair Mini-Disk DOS programs
10000) DISK10.DSK: Dazzler programs (boots CP/M)
10001) DISK11.DSK: VDM-1 programs (boots CP/M)
. . . 10010) DISK12.DSK: IMP modem executive (CP/M)
---------------------------------------------

. . . . .


. . . . .

Example to BOOT a Disk to Run a Program
.
SENSE Switch Positions:
Address . . . Data
. . . 0 000 000 000 000 010
AUX1 DOWN
This runs the “Kill-the-Bit” game, and you should see the upper address LEDs streaming across the front panel
. . . 00000010) Kill-the-Bit

The object is to toggle an address switch just as the LED lights to “Kill the Bit” IF you miss, more LEDs begin streaming across the front panel. Makes for a fun entertaining LED show for others.
. . . . .

Example to MOUNT and BOOT a Disk
. . . . .
SENSE Switch Positions:
Address . . . Data
. . . 0 001 000 000 000 101
AUX2 DOWN
This mounts the disk image into drive A:
. . . [mounted disk image ‘DISK05.DSK: Games (CP/M Programs)’ in drive 0]
00101) DISK05.DSK: Games (CP/M programs)
SENS Switch Positions:
. . . Address . . . Data
0 000 000 000 001 000
AUX1 DOWN
. . . Now you should see: on the screen:
[Running Disk boot ROM]

. . . 62K CP/M
Version 2.2mits (07/28/80)
Copyright 1980 by Burcom Inc.
. . . . .
A>

. . . . .

Quick BOOT SetUp
.
The idea is that IF you have set the desired HDDs and FDDs in the Configuration Editor,
then all you need to do after Power ON is hit the AUX1 DOWN and you BOOT into the system you have setup in the Configuration Editor.
. . . . . e.g.
Configuration Editor Section: D

. . . Configure disk drive settings

(F)orce real-time mode : no
. . . Drive (0) mounted disk image : DISK05.DSK: Games (CP/M programs)
Drive (1) mounted disk image : DISK18.DSK: Walt's BASIC Games1 Disk5 (utilities)
Drive (2) mounted disk image : DISK14.DSK: CP/M 3.0 disk 2
. . . Drive (3) mounted disk image : DISK19.DSK

E(x)it to main menu
. . . . .
Command:

. . . . .
Configuration Editor Section: H

. . . Configure hard disk settings

(F)orce real-time mode : no
. . . (0) Hard disk platter 0 image : HDSK03.DSK: Mike Douglas' 88-HDSK CP/M
(1) Hard disk platter 1 image : HDSK02.DSK: Walt's Programs & Files
(2) Hard disk platter 2 image : HDSK04.DSK: Infocom Adventures CP/M
. . . (3) Hard disk platter 3 image : HDSK01.DSK: Altair Hard Disk BASIC

(R)eset hard disk controller
. . . . .
E(x)it to main menu

. . . Command:


. . . . .
Power the Altair-Duino computer ON

. . . SENSE Switch Positions always let in this position:
Address . . . Data
0 001 000 000 001 110
. . . AUX1 DOWN


. . . . .
This BOOTs the computer into CP/M and has these drives available for use:

. . . Drive A: (0) Hard disk platter 0 image : HDSK03.DSK: Mike Douglas' 88-HDSK CP/M
Drive B: (1) Hard disk platter 1 image : HDSK02.DSK: Walt's Programs & Files
Drive C: (0) mounted disk image : DISK05.DSK: Games (CP/M programs)
. . . Drive D: (1) mounted disk image : DISK18.DSK: Walt's BASIC Games1 Disk5 (utilities)

So, all you need to do is get to work playing or programming on your Altair-Duino computer is turn the computer ON and press AUX1 DOWN.
. . . . .


. . . . .

Repairing the microSD Card
1. Put a blank SD card (FAT26 or FAT32 formatted) in the card slot
2. Start the Altair-Duino and go to the settings screen (raise STOP and AUX1).
. . . . . 3. Save the configuration (press "S").
4. Insert SD card in a computer and see if it created a file called STORAGE.DAT.

. . . . . If that works, the SD card works.
You can also try a few of the SD card functions in the setup screen ("File System Manager for SD Card"). It would also be useful to read David's original documentation:
Documentation.pdf
. . . . .
It is possible that the SD card module was messed up when the card was snapped in two. I could send you a new module if you want to try desoldering and putting in a new one.

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Convert your Altair-Duino into a Processor Technology Sol-20 Computer
. . . . .

Convert-your-Altair-Duino-into-a-ProcessorTechnologySol-20Computer.pdf
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