Tonight’s : my favorite kit from the late 70s, the OAE Op-80A paper tape reader. Very simple, just 11 chips (nine 555s to denounce the phototransistors, a flip-flop to latch the parallel output based on the feed hole, and a few NAND gates). You provided the motive power for pulling the tape through, not too fast for whatever you were sending the parallel output to. I used it to write Apple I programs offline on paper tape and type them in fast, before we got the tape interface.

@Cdespinosa I love the simplicity of it. Now I want to find one and hook it up to a modern computer through USB via a microcontroller.

Just love these basic computing functions. We used to construct adders, etc. ourselves with NAND blocks.

We still have an HP5036 Microprocessor Lab, to learn microprocessor architecture based around the 8085 CPU.

@Cdespinosa Wow, that's some serious data storage. I'm impressed; a bit before my time. C64 didn't have anything like that, I don't think.

@Cdespinosa Before I got started with FPGAs, I was seriously thinking of using something like this to boot my homebrew single-board computer concept, then built aruond the 65816 processor. The "ROM" code would have basically consisted of just a bunch of LDA/STA instructions to copy bytes into RAM, then a final JMP to kick off the code in RAM.

I never got that far though. I ended up going with FPGAs before then.

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