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OT: Mini Cortex board


Willsy
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Stuart

 

Can you give us some more info on the mini cortex board? What it is, spec, capabilities etc?

 

*I used an OT disclaimer as it's not strictly 4A related but I'm sure it will be of interest to a number of TI nerds ;-)

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Stuart

 

Can you give us some more info on the mini cortex board? What it is, spec, capabilities etc?

 

*I used an OT disclaimer as it's not strictly 4A related but I'm sure it will be of interest to a number of TI nerds ;-)

 

It's a further development by Paul (user "pnr" on here and the Powertran Cortex forum [http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/showthread.php?15580-Powertran-Cortex]) of my TMS9995 breadboard system. Basic specs:

 

-- TMS9995 running at 3 MHz, with no wait states when accessing RAM.

-- 32K EEPROM.

-- 512K RAM accessed through a 74LS612 memory mapper.

-- Socket/interface for an F18A.

-- TMS9902 serial interface, connected to either an on-board or external TTL serial <-> USB interface module.

-- Single-step instruction circuitry.

-- CF card interface for mass storage, with FAT format software driver.

-- Most 'glue logic' incorporated in reprogrammable GAL.

-- Circuit to provide a write-protected area of RAM, for a protected UNIX kernel (I think!).

-- 8-bit CRU output latch, with 5 outputs currently spare.

-- Couple of status LEDs.

 

It will run:

-- Cortex Basic (either from EEPROM or disk).

-- Marinchip Disk Executive (MDEX) - disk operating system for computers based on the TMS99xx processor and ported to the Powertran Cortex in the early 80's. Includes text editor, assembler, word processor, Forth, Pascal, Meta compiler writing language. See [http://www.powertrancortex.com/documentation.html].

-- LSX Unix [http://ruizendp.websites.xs4all.nl/screenshot3.png].

 

In development is a port of the Texas Instrument Network Operating System (NOS), which features:

-- Multiple storage units mounted as Volumes (4 floppies, RAM disk, Hard Disk).

-- Directories.

-- Users, Groups, Access Rights.

-- Interrupt-driven I/O.

-- Time/Clock.

-- Automatic directory and file creation, expansion and fragmentation.

-- Script files.

-- Easier file copying (file/directory/volume).

-- File paths by volume name e.g. MYNOS:utils/source/test.asm where MYNOS is the volume name of, say, a floppy.

 

The best source of further information is probably the Powertran Cortex forum - [http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/showthread.php?15580-Powertran-Cortex]. Go to the last page and read backwards. ;-) It's all being done as precious hobby time permits of course!

 

Stuart.

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