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Very Busy, but Still Here

As I had noted in an earlier post, I’ve gone back to working full-time again.  Timing was perfect… my new employer was looking for someone with my skills and the work I’m doing there is very technically challenging, which makes it a lot of fun every day.  Much of my career had been in the telecom/datacom field and this new job is an entirely new field that I was aware of but never knew much about.  There is a lot of a new technology to learn while still making extensive use of my background in other fields.  My team is small but they’re all good people and we’re really starting to work together very effectively to get a new product developed.

Okay, enough about my day job, so what’s up at Corsham Tech?

Well, there are still several boards in progress, one of which isn’t a big deal but is handy, and is needed for another big project that has a very successful demo working.  I can’t disclose much more about them right now.

I’m also starting a more ambitious project to fill a recent void in the hobby market but it’s going to be a few months until anything is ready to show.

Corsham Tech is still here and active, just not quite as visible as before.  If you need something, just ask!

 

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VCF SE 5 Summary

I made it back without a car crash (I totaled my BMW going to VCF East a few years ago), despite the 816 mile drive in each direction!  It was a good show, definitely well done.  My exhibit was pretty much the same as other recent VCFs but they did provide the commercial folks with a bit more table space so we had a nice “work area” just to the right of my display that we all shared for working with people.

If you’ve never been to a VCF, they aren’t big commercial displays.  Yes, a few commercial folks like me are there, but the whole atmosphere is about sharing ideas, showing off projects and meeting like-minded people.  Need a voltmeter?  Someone’s got one to loan.  Can’t remember the pin-out of a 7400 series device?  Someone has a databook to share.  It’s half about the technology, half about the comradery.  Go to local restaurants and there are fellow vintage computer people there… grab and seat and join in the conversation.

Roswell, GA was a 816 mile drive, but the hotel was nice and the show building was right across the street, plus quite a few restaurants within easy walking distance.

I never take a lot of photos, but here they are:

One of the key topics for me was to talk with Boisy Pitre about porting NitrOS/9 to the Corsham Tech 6809 system.  He got it partially booting before we found my SD card sector read/write routines weren’t a good solution, so he took a system and I’m in the process of coming out with a new EPROM and new Arduino code to make the portation much easier.  I should get the new code to him this week.  My code was heavily based around what Flex/9 needed but those routines were clunky and limited disk sizes for other OSes.  BTW, this might shake out some problems in my boards that were never noticed before.  I already found problems in the rev 3 and rev 4 SS-50 motherboards that prevent IRQ, FIRQ and IRQ from working.  SWTPC never used interrupts so I didn’t test them since rev 2 motherboards (which don’t have the bug).

Another great discussion was with Mike Lee from the Chicago area about a possible new project that I had considered and partially designed but never finished.  It’s KIM related but that’s all I can offer for now.

Anyway, I got in the car around 4 PM Sunday and drove straight through the night, climbed into bed around 5:30 this morning for a few hours of sleep and need to finish unpacking the car still.  It was a fun weekend, lots of driving, lots of vintage computing, lots of great discussions, some excellent meals, and fun meeting up with people from around the world that I don’t see except at VCFs.

It’s time for a nap.

 

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Hitting the Road to Atlanta

Well okay, Roswell actually.  The car is loaded with all the important stuff:

The goal is to hit the road by 5:30 tomorrow morning and drive with as few breaks as possible, hopefully ending up at the hotel next to VCF SE by early evening.

Depending on timing on the return trip I might head over to Currahee Mountain.  My son and I are big fans of Band of Brothers and it would be memorable to see the mountain.  Three miles up, three miles down.