×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

126 comments

yes but... (0)

Kildjean (871084) | more than 2 years ago | (#36014748)

will it run quake?

Re:yes but... (2)

StripedCow (776465) | more than 2 years ago | (#36015190)

I'm even wondering if this thing runs faster than my cellphone...

Re:yes but... (1)

ShavedOrangutan (1930630) | more than 2 years ago | (#36015368)

I'm even wondering if this thing runs faster than my cellphone...

1MHz * 17?

Nope.

Re:yes but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36015578)

My new fangled washer and dryer DSP's run at 400 Mhz.

Re:yes but... (1)

ShavedOrangutan (1930630) | more than 2 years ago | (#36015772)

Yeah, but will your washer or dryer run CHOPLIFTER?

I think not. But I wouldn't be surprised if it'll update your facebook status.

Re:yes but... (1)

The Optimizer (14168) | more than 2 years ago | (#36016138)

If you have the same T-mobile HTC that my girlfriend has... the answer is "hell yes".

Re:yes but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36017678)

Just because you give your blowup doll a mobile phone it doesn't mean she's real. Also it's not cute but creepy that you set the phone to auto answer so you can call her from work. Still worse is the auto dialing script.

Re:yes but... (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 2 years ago | (#36017298)

I'm even wondering if this thing runs faster than my cellphone...

Even? The original Quake ran OK, but not great on a P60. On a P133, it ran well. On a P133 with a Riva128 (yeah, so I couldn't justify a Voodoo) it ran great. Have you any idea how much faster your cellphone is?

My name is finally appropriate (2, Funny)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#36014828)

Apple II == 6502 CPU from Commodore Semiconductor

I'd sooner have an Apple IIgs stack however (with its 16 bit 65000). Same ease-of-use as the original 8 bit computer, but operates about six times faster, and has a Mac-style OS.

Re:My name is finally appropriate (2)

chill (34294) | more than 2 years ago | (#36014970)

16-bit 65000...is that like, 3000 less than the Motorola 68000? Did Apple get a discount, or just not use the extra transistors?

And if you were going for M68000-based machines, why not the Atari ST or Commodore Amiga? (Nothing like dredging up decades-old flame wars. :-)

Re:My name is finally appropriate (3, Informative)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 2 years ago | (#36015238)

It was actually the 65c816, which was a 16-bit version of the 6502, completely unrelated to the m68k, and binary-compatible with the 6502 so the IIgs could still run old Apple II software.

Re:My name is finally appropriate (1)

chill (34294) | more than 2 years ago | (#36015404)

Ah! I had totally forgotten about that beast. That was so long ago my memory of the 8-bit era is a bit pixelated.

Re:My name is finally appropriate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36016328)

They also chose the 65c816 because they didn't want it competing with the Macintosh, which was running on the 68000, but has less memory, a smaller monochrome only display and a host of other limitations.

Re:My name is finally appropriate (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#36015386)

>>>16-bit 65000...is that like, 3000 less than the Motorola 68000? Did Apple get a discount?

Funny, but your joke is actually truthful. 6500 processors originated at Motorola as a cheap alternative to the 6800 ($25 versus $300), but when Motorola tried to kill the project, the engineers spun-off their own company. In fact before today's "everything intel" or everything x86 world, multiple lines of CPUs existed:

Commodore's 6502/8502 series (used in 90% of the 8 bit computers/game consoles)
Zilog's Z80 series
Motorola
and Intel

The Commodore and Zilog lines never went higher than 16 bit, while Motorola's lines stopped at 32 bit (68060 and PowerPC). Only Intel and various spinoffs still survive since the early 1970s.

Re:My name is finally appropriate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36015708)

Actually, Zylog produced the Z8000 (32bit) and the Z800 (16/32bit) cpu's.
The Z8000 - though better than the x86 (Didn't suffer form segmented architecture) was not chosen by IBM
The Z800 has software computability with the Z80 (16 bit) but can address up to 512mb RAM (segmented)

Re:My name is finally appropriate (1)

SETIGuy (33768) | more than 2 years ago | (#36016024)

Just to be accurate, the Z8000 did have a segmented architecture. But it was a logical segmented architecture with segment number being the upper bits of the address, rather than the weird segment arithmetic chosen by intel. You could actually use the segment number as the input to an external MMU.

AAAAGHHH! (2)

poptones (653660) | more than 2 years ago | (#36015780)

The 6800 came from Motorola. The 6502 was the successor the the 6501, both of which came from MOSTEK. Commodore may have had cpus contracted out, but the 6500 came nearly a decade before commodore hit the bigtime. MOSTEK was one of the leaders at the time because they offered experimenters a $20 "kit" that included a manual AND a 6501 CPU chip. This price was phenomenal at the time. The 6502 was the cpu that powered the KIM and SYM microcomputer kits, which were also very capable and very affordable - at $250 they were a fraction the price of the 8080 and z80 based machines of the time, and were equally capable (in fact, in many cases, much faster).

NOT a 65000, NOT a 68000, not a 6800, and so on. The 6800 was a slightly different beast, pushed by Motorola because they thought they had the power to overcome mostek's intertia because they're freaking motorola. But the 6800 was inferior in many ways, and it didn't happen until the 65xx line was long sold and dying.

Re:AAAAGHHH! (2)

SETIGuy (33768) | more than 2 years ago | (#36016040)

Mostek was very much a different company than the one that built the 6502. MOS Technologies built the 6502.

Re:AAAAGHHH! (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#36018636)

>>>The 6502 was the successor the the 6501, both of which came from MOSTEK. Commodore may have had cpus contracted out, but the 6500 came nearly a decade before commodore hit the bigtime.

Stop spreading incorrect information.
- The 6501 was developed by Motorola engineers.
- Motorola didn't want to sell it, so the engineers created a spinoff company: MOS.
- MOS became Commodore Semiconductor in 1976 (not 86 as you incorrectly implied).

Re:My name is finally appropriate (1)

SETIGuy (33768) | more than 2 years ago | (#36015966)

The Commodore and Zilog lines never went higher than 16 bit.

There was the Zilog Z8000 which was as 32bit as the Motorola 68000. It had a 16-bit ALU with ability to merge adjacent registers into 32bit or 64bit values. The Z80000 (aka Z320) was a true 32-bit processor. The Motorola 68000 had 32 bit registers, but a 16-bit ALU.

Assigning the 6502 to Commodore is a misnomer. The original 6502 was made by MOS Technology and licensed to Rockwell and Synertek. MOS Technologies was later purchased by Commodore. The 65C02, 65C802 and the 65C816 were designed by Western Digital, and second sourced by many companies. I don't think Commodore produced either. But you are correct that no 32bit version exists in silicon.

Re:My name is finally appropriate (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 2 years ago | (#36017726)

Of course, the Z80 had a 4-bit ALU, IIRC.

And, the CMOS 65xx variants were designed and (I believe) manufactured by Western Design Center, not Western Digital Corporation, as well as manufactured by various second sources. (Well, that's not completely true - the W65C816S was designed by Sanyo, because the original W65C816 sucked ass, and Sanyo had to redesign it to fix the bugs, when they needed a 65816 for something they were designing. But, this was very late into the IIGS's life, and too late for it to be much of an effect on the IIGS market other than for hobbyist accelerator overclocking.)

Re:My name is finally appropriate (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#36018694)

>>>Assigning the 6502 to Commodore is a misnomer.

Not really.
Why do you think Commodore could sell their C64s for just $200?
Answer: Because they were able to get the 65XXs and 85XXs for FREE. That gave them a competitive advantage over atari, apple, et cetera who were forced to pay full price. It's a key reason why the C64 sold 30 million units: because it was cheaper than the others.

Re:My name is finally appropriate (4, Informative)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 2 years ago | (#36015056)

Apple II == 6502 CPU from Commodore Semiconductor

No, the 6502 was designed by Motorola and manufactured by MOS Tech. Besides, he's using enhanced 2e's which sported a 65c02 which was designed by Western Design Center...

Re:My name is finally appropriate (3, Informative)

Arlet (29997) | more than 2 years ago | (#36015186)

More correctly, the 6502 was designed by Chuck Peddle and Bill Mensch. Both engineers were working for Motorola, but the 6502 was an underground project. Management didn't approve of their efforts to create a cheaper version of the 6800. They left, and started working for MOS to finish the design.

Re:My name is finally appropriate (2)

drgould (24404) | more than 2 years ago | (#36015258)

No, the 6502 was designed by Motorola and manufactured by MOS Tech.

Almost, but not quite [wikipedia.org]. The 6501 was designed by a team at Motorola but Motorola management was uninterested so the entire design team resigned en masse, shopped the design around and finally MOS Technology produced it.

The 6501 was pin-compatible with the Motorola 6800, Motorola sued immediately so the not-pin-compatible, but otherwise identical, 6502 was designed and produced.

And the rest is history.

Re:My name is finally appropriate (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 2 years ago | (#36015450)

No your wrong. The 6502 was designed by Chuck Peddle and Bill Mench who went to MOS they came up with the 6502that after Motorla sued them for making the 6800 pin compatible 6501. MOS was later bought by Commodore in 1976.
So yes for most of Apples life they where using a Commodore CPU.

Re:My name is finally appropriate (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 2 years ago | (#36015798)

If you were to go through old A2 motherboards, I think you'd find that 6502s made by Synertek were predominant. MOS licensed the 6502 to both Synertek and Rockwell.

Re:My name is finally appropriate (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 2 years ago | (#36016158)

But it is still a MOS 6502. AKA a Commodore CPU. Just because it was licensed doesn't change that.

Re:My name is finally appropriate (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 2 years ago | (#36016566)

The 6502 was developed by MOS Technology. That Commodore bought them after it was designed and produced doesn't make it a "Commodore CPU." Either way you look at it, that's the case. You can credit the CPU designer (MOS Technology independent of Commodore), or you can credit the manufacturer (Synertek), but it's not a "Commodore CPU," nor was it ever referred to as such.

Re:My name is finally appropriate (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 2 years ago | (#36017796)

And, actually, Commodore Business Machines didn't make any computers at all until they bought MOS, and their computers before the Amiga were all descendants of MOS designs, so it could be argued that everything from the KIM-1 (which was pre-CBM), to the PET (the first CBM computer), to the C128 were all MOS machines.

(The Amiga was bought from outside of Commodore, so...)

Re:My name is finally appropriate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36017172)

your wrong => you're wrong == you are wrong

Re:My name is finally appropriate (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#36015522)

>>>MOS Tech

A division of Commodore Semiconductor Group in Norristown, PA since 1975.

>>>Western Design Center.

A licensee of Commodore Semiconductor, who owned the 6502 IP. The arrangement was similar to how AMD licensed the 8088 and 80286 from intel. i.e. Second sourced.

Re:My name is finally appropriate (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36015716)

The Wikipedia article says that Commodore Semiconductor Group [wikipedia.org] purchased MOS Tech after the 6502 was first produced. I'm not sure who to believe: Wikipedia or a Slashdot troll with 6502 in his nick.

Re:My name is finally appropriate (3, Interesting)

rimcrazy (146022) | more than 2 years ago | (#36016050)

Western Design Center WAS Bill Mench. I worked with him. He had the rights to the 6502 as well as the follow on 16C6502. Bright guy but a disaster to work with. The world revolved around Bill. Did not matter that all of the world semiconductor fabs had their own design rules for how THEY manufactured semiconductors. Bill designed things based upon what he thought they SHOULD be using. Made for very fun times when you had to do silly things like DRC and timing analysis. In particular race condition analysis because you.... oh.... ran your CLOCK lines in poly (aka resistor) instead of metal. Can you say "Race Condition?" or how about "Lets beat the clock!"...............

gad I thought I forgot those days....................

Re:My name is finally appropriate (1)

rimcrazy (146022) | more than 2 years ago | (#36016118)

I meant the 65C816. Been too long. That chip was a MotherF*@#&*#&*@# to get working........

Re:My name is finally appropriate (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#36015074)

Commodore owned MOS technologies but I have never heard it called that before

Re:My name is finally appropriate (1)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 2 years ago | (#36015518)

I think you're missing the point. If he wanted performance, he could have used a machine built in this century. Here, the goal is clearly to show what can be done with underpowered machines, so using a more powerful machine would somewhat defeat the point. Plus, using a popular machine for its day makes the experiment resonate more with more people than choosing something as obscure as the IIgs would have done. Not to mention the fact that it's got to be a whole lot easier to find old Apple IIs, since so many more of them were made and sold. I think my brother may still have one in his basement somewhere.

Re:My name is finally appropriate (0)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#36015702)

>>>the goal is clearly to show what can be done with underpowered machines, so using a more powerful machine would somewhat defeat the point.

You mean like if I bought a 45hp Lupo to prove my point that... um... not sure? I guess that I can get to work with only 1/6 gallon of fuel. (just joking)

I like to write word processing documents on my C64 just to prove that "yes these old computers did actual work". I guess this is guy is trying to do the same thing.

>>>using a popular machine for its day

Hardly "popular". Apple IIe sold what? 500,000 units? Both Atari and Commodore and even the ugly green monochrome IBM PC outsold it.

Re:My name is finally appropriate (1)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 2 years ago | (#36017842)

Hardly "popular". Apple IIe sold what? 500,000 units?

Don't know about the IIe specifically, but the II series (of which the IIe was the most popular and longest-lived) overall sold between 5 and 6 million. The 8-bit Atari machines (which were considered fairly successful) only sold about 2 million. Moreover, the Apple II was the only machine to be successful in both the home and small business markets until the IBM PC came along. In fact, until the PC, the Apple II was the most popular microcomputer for businesses, outselling the whole CP/M family combined. (This was primarily due to the popularity of Visicalc, the original "killer app".) The C64 outsold the Apple II series overall (by about the same factor that the Apple II outsold Atari), but it had no penetration in the business market.

So yeah, I think describing the Apple II series as "popular" is pretty reasonable, especially if you're going to mention it in the same breath as Atari.

Re:My name is finally appropriate (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 2 years ago | (#36018064)

It's estimated that there were 5-6 million Apple IIs sold in its entire run.

As of the //e's launch, there were 750,000 units sold, so subtract that to remove the ][ and ][ Plus.

That leaves the //c, which was considered only a moderate success, and the IIGS, which was gimped to keep it from competing against the Mac, and was most often used as a faster //e anyway. (And, in fact, the //e was sold for a year AFTER the IIGS was discontinued.) The //e was considered a wild success, too...

Re:My name is finally appropriate (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#36018672)

Hardly "popular". Apple IIe sold what? 500,000 units? Both Atari and Commodore and even the ugly green monochrome IBM PC outsold it.

Troll, troll, troll. ~1,000,000 units in 1984 alone.

Re:My name is finally appropriate (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#36015714)

Hey, everyone is telling me that cpu speed doesn't matter anymore, it's all about the cores, so the 8 cpu AppleCrate should be twice as fast as my 4-core desktop machine. The 17 CPU Applecrate II must be blazingly fast! I'd love to see some Javascript benchmarks for that.

So what if my desktop has 2.5GHz CPU and the Apple IIe runs at .001Ghz, more cores is what matters!

Re:My name is finally appropriate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36017152)

It is only a machine and not Brian Wilson

Re:My name is finally appropriate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36015534)

FYI, modded you Informative to combat vindictive asshat moderators.

Go ahead, mods, mod me offtopic.

Re:My name is finally appropriate (1)

kmdrtako (1971832) | more than 2 years ago | (#36017330)

Apple II == 6502 CPU from Commodore Semiconductor

No, Apple ][ == 6502 CPU from MOS Technologies

Re:My name is finally appropriate (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#36018758)

>>>No, Apple ][ == 6502 CPU from MOS Technologies

which was purchased by Commodore in 1976.
i.e. Apple ][ == 6502 CPU from CSG.
i.e. Atari 800== 6502 CPU from CSG.
i.e. Atari VCS==6507 CPU from CSG
i.e. Nintendo ES==6502 core from CSG

"And now you know..... the rest of the story."

What a waste. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36014868)

Seriously. Just get some new energy efficient Atom MBs and do your own rig on something exponentially more energy efficient per compute cycle.

oblig (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36014988)

Can you imagine a Beowulf cluster of these?

Imagine... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36015052)

Just imagine a Beowulf cluster of these.

Supercomputer? (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 2 years ago | (#36015084)

Isn't this like running a program on a Cyber CDC 6600, a state of the art supercomputer when it was developed, instead of a generic PC which would do the same job in less than 1/10 of the time.

Re:Supercomputer? (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 2 years ago | (#36015270)

Other than the generic PC being a bit limiting if you want to learn more about cluster computing? Correct.

Re:Supercomputer? (2)

lostchicken (226656) | more than 2 years ago | (#36015664)

Of course, nowadays the generic PC is a cluster computer. How many single-core machines do you see these days? Factor in the GPU, and you pretty much are hacking on a mid-80s vector computer.

Re:Supercomputer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36015710)

Shit, probably more like 1/50000th the time.

Nice, but (1)

StripedCow (776465) | more than 2 years ago | (#36015164)

I would be more impressed if he built a 6502 processor with DIY chemical processing.

Re:Nice, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36018864)

I would be more impressed if he built a Saturn V rocket in his basement, but this is pretty neat.

Needs a single chip (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36015344)

This is nice, but I would have been more impressed by a bunch of Apple 2s made in Verilog and integrated into a single chip.

Cool but... (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 2 years ago | (#36015598)

This is really cool and there are a lot of really interesting ideas but wouldn't using PC motherboards have worked just as well. Seems a waste to hack AppleIIe boards for this when they could be used to keep Apple IIs running.
I like the idea of using the offsets to create the system and NADA net is also a very interesting hack but a stack of cheap PC mother boards from EBay would be alot more powerful and would leave the AppleII boards free to be used to keep the old classics alive.

Re:Cool but... (1)

lostchicken (226656) | more than 2 years ago | (#36015688)

If you really wanted cheap and simple, a network of AVRs would be approximately what he has here. Meanwhile, I can use the Apple IIe boards to restore more Apple IIe's...

Re:Cool but... (1)

poptones (653660) | more than 2 years ago | (#36015968)

Except you can buy an Apple IIe motherboard that IS based on an ASIC and actually runs BETTER than the original AND uses like a tenth the power. It's also more reliable because it has, basically, one motherboard chip, one cpu, two memory chips, and not much else.

Re:Cool but... (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#36015778)

From the way it looks the boards were not modified at least so they could be returned to normal service someday.

If he did modify them permanently, he should be drawn and quartered.

Re:Cool but... (3, Informative)

tekrat (242117) | more than 2 years ago | (#36015894)

If you look at this actual website, it becomes more obvious WHY he's using Apple II boards.

#1) He's using discrete components and actual wire and solder to cobble the boards into a single computer. He uses perf-board and socketed chips to build his extra peripherals. YOU CANNOT DO THAT with modern Intel-based mobos. They are all surface mount and pretty much unhackable unless you've got some elYte equipment.

#2) The Apple II board was built by a hacker, for hackers. That makes it the obvious choice in a nutshell. This is exactly the kind of stuff Woz wanted people to do with his creation.

#3) There's no challenge to doing parallel computing with an intel mobo -- they are already coming off the shelf with 8 cores. What's the fun in that?

Re:Cool but... (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 2 years ago | (#36016234)

"#1) He's using discrete components and actual wire and solder to cobble the boards into a single computer. He uses perf-board and socketed chips to build his extra peripherals. YOU CANNOT DO THAT with modern Intel-based mobos. They are all surface mount and pretty much unhackable unless you've got some elYte equipment."
Depends on the motherboard. If you find some old ones that have printer ports you can use them for all sorts of bit banged IO.
Or you could us a pic or avr interfaced to the USB port if you wanted to.

I am pretty sure that I know the real answer. He really likes the Apple II. Which is a fine answer IMHO.

Re:Cool but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36016506)

"If you find some old ones that have printer ports you can use them for all sorts of bit banged IO.
Or you could us a pic or avr interfaced to the USB port if you wanted to.

I am pretty sure that I know the real answer. He really likes the Apple II. Which is a fine answer IMHO.

However, the printer port only runs at a MHz or so, so no real speed advantage. And the killer is that it is almost impossible to get deterministic timing from a PC, both because of interrupts (which would have to be disabled for the entire length of a packet) and because of the non-deterministic execution of cached (not to mention multi-threaded) processors. The PC was simply not designed for bit-banging, but the Apple II was.

And, yes, I do really like the Apple II. It was the last personal computer for which all the paper manuals required to fully understand it and modify it weighed less than the computer itself. ;-)

-michael

Re:Cool but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36017762)

Did you really just suggest using USB as an interconnect for cluster computing?!

Intrigued, newsletter, etc.

Re:Cool but... (4, Insightful)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 2 years ago | (#36016374)

#2) The Apple II board was built by a hacker, for hackers. That makes it the obvious choice in a nutshell. This is exactly the kind of stuff Woz wanted people to do with his creation.

Wow, kind of a reminder of how much they've changed. These days it's, "You need an Apple technician to replace the battery / hard drive / casing / logo..."

Re:Cool but... (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 2 years ago | (#36017018)

Wow, kind of a reminder of how much they've changed. These days it's, "You need an Apple technician to replace the battery / hard drive / casing / logo..."

Not much has changed; that was always Jobs's mantra -- it was just Woz's crew that prized hackability. That's why Jobs was in charge of sales. Hackability went out with the Lisa.

Re:Cool but... (1)

c600g (30798) | more than 2 years ago | (#36017238)

Wow, kind of a reminder of how much they've changed. These days it's, "You need an Apple technician to replace the battery / hard drive / casing / logo..."

That is why I haven't owned an Apple Computer since my old and faithful Apple ][e. I used that computer from around 6th grade until I was in my first year of graduate school, when I finally bought a 386DX PC. Crazy, I know.

And finally, a story where my user name makes sense...

Re:Cool but... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#36016564)

He's using discrete components and actual wire and solder to cobble the boards into a single computer. He uses perf-board and socketed chips to build his extra peripherals. YOU CANNOT DO THAT with modern Intel-based mobos. They are all surface mount and pretty much unhackable unless you've got some elYte equipment.

His extra peripherals are some hardware tied off the serial ports and an audio mixer that takes sixteen TTL signals (in the Applecrate II) and mixes them. He also rewrote part of the boot code, you can do that on PCs too. So there's nothing you couldn't do with PC motherboards here except stack them without some kind of fancy active cooling.

There's no challenge to doing parallel computing with an intel mobo -- they are already coming off the shelf with 8 cores. What's the fun in that?

More to the point, they already come with at least one GigE interface.

Re:Cool but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36019382)

Actually, that Apple II doesn't have any onboard serial ports. You had to get an expansion card for that.

From what I can tell, he's using the annunciators (there are 4, I believe, on the internal 16-pin game port socket) which are just general purpose pins whose voltage can be brought high or low (Woz thought they might be useful for something, but they had no other purpose), and the joystick buttons (there are 3 available) to send signals to and from his ad-hoc network bus.

The audio came from the speakers on each motherboard on the original, but I don't see where he says he's pulling the TTL level signal off of the new design. However, as I recall there's a corresponding ROM call to "click" either the cassette output or one of the annunciators the same way you'd "click" the speaker. So it may be that way. Either way, no serial ports, per se.

Re:Cool but... (1)

shmlco (594907) | more than 2 years ago | (#36016820)

"He's using discrete components and actual wire and solder to cobble the boards into a single computer. He uses perf-board and socketed chips to build his extra peripherals. ... The Apple II board was built by a hacker, for hackers. That makes it the obvious choice in a nutshell."

That's how stuff was done back them. Processors and RAM were dropped into sockets. Boards had discrete parts. "Upgrades" meant filling in the empty RAM sockets so you had 48K of RAM and not just 16K.

Re:Cool but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36016266)

I would have had a hard time disassembling all those Apple //e's, too!

But a few months earlier, I had happened upon an auction of a couple dozen Apple //e main boards for less than a dollar a board.

I didn't isolate the fetal stem cells--I only worked with them afterward. ;-)

-michael (mjmahon)

I hate the earth (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36015700)

Because who doesn't need a shockingly power hungry cluster laying around to suck up resources. (ok, I would do it, and just walk to work for a year out of guilt)

Re:I hate the earth (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 2 years ago | (#36015892)

The boards are powered by a PC AT power supply. The average power consumed by an Apple //e board is about 4.2 watts, so the whole 17-board crate consumes only about 70 watts in total, and both the AppleCrate and the power supply run only a few degrees above ambient temperature.

C64 stack (2)

JavaBear (9872) | more than 2 years ago | (#36015706)

Would it even be possible to make a stack with Commodore 64's?

Re:C64 stack (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#36016510)

Why not? They're communicating via serial so the same kind of thing should be pretty easy to do. On the other hand, it might be niftier to utilize the expansion bus for communications to leave the serial ports free.

Re:C64 stack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36017046)

The 2k area between $ce00 and $cfff was reserved for an IEEE expansion card. With clever use of the R/W lines and tri-state buffering, you could send 8-bit values between the C=64 computers without a problem. The c=64 already has a serial bus (used to connect to the 1541 floppy drive and printer), and I think the bus supports device addresses 0-15, so you could use that (would have to fix the ROMs in most to not respond to default addresses). It would be more exciting to see multiple C=64s connected to individual drives via serial busses, and using the cartridge port to do networking. Or you could use the cassette port for networking as well, but that's CPU intensive.

Re:C64 stack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36016956)

C=64 ...heretic! Apple II forever!

My screamer Apple II gs sports a ZipGS overdrive processor at 8mhz, a RAMFast SCSI card feeding a 256mb SCSI drive formated into various 32mb ProDOS partitions, and a 90MB Bernoulli SCSI with removable cartridges (90 mb) It also has a 8mb memory card 4 main, 4 as a ramdrive), a Superdisk card so it can address 1.4mb floppy disks, a LANceGS Ethernet card so I can get it on the internet at 10BasedT (it is not how well the horse can talk, it is that it can talk...at all)
Who needs these new fangled Intel boxes.

Space-saving (1)

ItsJustAPseudonym (1259172) | more than 2 years ago | (#36015754)

From the article for the II version: "This 'hi-rise' construction makes the 'stack' quite rigid and sturdy, while eliminating the need for a space-consuming exoskeleton."

Well, what are you waiting for? Slap a touch screen on that puppy, and make it a 17-processor tablet computer!

Still can't run Crysis... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36016996)

What a shame.

love this topic (1)

hb253 (764272) | more than 2 years ago | (#36018322)

Is this what Slashdot used to be like? It's great! People talking about bit banging, soldering, discrete components, hacking. It brings a smile to my face.

Typo (1)

HairyNevus (992803) | more than 2 years ago | (#36018712)

TFA has a typo in the first line: "AppleCrate I (at the time I didn't realize that it was number "I" ;-) was great fun"

Should be: "AppleCrate I (at the time I didn't realize that it was number "I" ;-)) was great fun".

crap, now I forget the html code for sarcasm...

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...