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Re: [tlug] OT:dual core CPUs

On Mon, 16 Apr 2007, Stuart Luppescu wrote:

A hard drive? What a luxury! My first computer, an NEC PC-8000 (IIRC)
had a cassette tape drive for storing data. I remember paying an extra
30,000 yen or so to bring the memory up to 64K from the standard 32K.

"When I was a kid...."

Not the first computer I used, but at one point early on we had Timex
Sinclairs, 2 KB of memory, <4 MHz Z80 CPU that spent about half its
processor power just updating the screen, and of course cassette tape
for storage.

But by far the platform with least power available I've ever used (that
actually had a CPU) was an Atari 2600 games console. It had a varient of
a 6502, cartridges with 2K of ROM, and 128 bytes (yes, bytes!) of RAM.
There was no frame buffer, so the CPU would generate scan rows on the
fly from data in memory, with a bit of help from a custom chip. That
left a few cycles per scan line to update the graphics chip for the next
scan line, and the vertical blanking interval (which was not enormously
long) to actually run the game.

The detailed programming descriptions for the 2600 are quite impressive,
if you're into that sort of thing.

Curt Sampson       <>        +81 90 7737 2974

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