View Full Version : PropComp

04-06-2009, 06:03 AM
Hello, I am new in this forum, but I've been using the resources here for about a month. I am 15 years old, and for my birthday a couple of weeks ago I received a Propeller Starter Kit with a Propeller Demo Board. I've come to find that the Propeller is amazing, much more versatile and powerful than any other micro I've ever used.

I was working on a project for my high school graduation with a friend where we were basically trying to build a computer from scratch using whatever methods we could come up with. Since I've gotten a Prop the entire project has changed course. We have ported all the work we did over to the Propeller, and are now making a device we are calling the PropComp (just a working title). It is a retro-styled computer that has useful applications loaded into an SD card. They are accessed using the beautiful piece of work that Jeff Ledger created, PropDOS, although we are just using it as a temporary stand-in for a future, more intuitive boot loader based off of his code.

The applications follow a certain format that make them compatible with PropDOS and also make them similar in style and feel. They are programs that we think any computer should have. This is a list of the ones that we have working right now, although there are many more still in development:

1. Calculator
2. Calendar
3. Paint (in both ntsc and vga)
4. Piano (really a synthesizer)
5. Text Editor (Jeff Ledger's Full Screen Editor)
6. FemtoBasic

The details and code of the project can be found on our website, here:

No reference to the fish.

Mike Green
04-06-2009, 06:19 AM
For internet access, be sure to look at YBOX2 (www.deepdarc.com/ybox2/ (http://www.deepdarc.com/ybox2/)). It's all open source.

04-06-2009, 07:35 AM
Excellent - just what the Dr ordered. You should also see the ZiCog thread http://forums.parallax.com/forums/default.aspx?f=25&m=332138&p=10 if you haven't already.

Links to other interesting threads:

· Home of the MultiBladeProps: TriBladeProp (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=786418), SixBladeProp (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=780033), website (Multiple propeller pcbs) (http://bluemagic.biz/cluso.htm)
· Single Board Computer:·3 Propeller ICs·and a·TriBladeProp board (ZiCog Z80 Emulator) (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=790917)
· Prop Tools under Development or Completed (Index) (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=753439)
· Emulators: Micros eg Altair, and Terminals eg VT100 (Index (http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?p=778427))
· Search the Propeller forums (via Google) (http://search.parallax.com/search?site=parallax&client=parallax&output=xml_no_dtd&proxystylesheet=parallax&proxycustom=<HOME/>&ie=&oe=&lr=)
My cruising website is: ·www.bluemagic.biz (http://www.bluemagic.biz)·· MultiBladeProp is: www.bluemagic.biz/cluso.htm (http://www.bluemagic.biz/cluso.htm)

Oldbitcollector (Jeff)
04-06-2009, 07:53 AM
Welcome to the addiction.. :) :)

I know you are familiar with my current work, but you might want to add this
bookmark to your list. www.warrantyvoid.us/tiki-index.php?page=PropMICRO (http://www.warrantyvoid.us/tiki-index.php?page=PropMICRO)
It's the start of documenting several methods of creating a PropComp (or PropMICRO)
type computer for those who haven't seen the Propeller yet.

If you don't mind I'll also link to your work for others to enjoy as well.

BTW, Check out Michael Park's ED, I think he did a better job than Full Screen Editor. :)

Edit: Not sure if you've seen this list, but here's some more stuff that should run
on your design. www.warrantyvoid.us/tiki-index.php?page=Software (http://www.warrantyvoid.us/tiki-index.php?page=Software)
Love the PIC, it looks great!


New to the Propeller?

Visit the: The Propeller Pages (http://www.warrantyvoid.us/tiki-index.php?page=Propeller) @ Warranty Void.

Post Edited (Oldbitcollector) : 4/6/2009 1:00:49 AM GMT

04-06-2009, 09:25 AM
I checked your site - what you guys have done is very impressive!

A propeller computer is indeed just what the Dr ordered!

We can start with this images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://classic-computers.org.nz/blog/images/2009-01-18-kaypro-drive-checkout.jpg&imgrefurl=http://classic-computers.org.nz/blog/2009-01-18-kaypro-drive-repair.htm&usg=__dtObjM-RSsz1KIZqDrRbwftSa7Q=&h=480&w=640&sz=170&hl=en&start=47&um=1&tbnid=tzxRlagck_3cSM:&tbnh=103&tbnw=137&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dkaypro%26ndsp%3D18%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN %26start%3D36%26um%3D1 (http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://classic-computers.org.nz/blog/images/2009-01-18-kaypro-drive-checkout.jpg&imgrefurl=http://classic-computers.org.nz/blog/2009-01-18-kaypro-drive-repair.htm&usg=__dtObjM-RSsz1KIZqDrRbwftSa7Q=&h=480&w=640&sz=170&hl=en&start=47&um=1&tbnid=tzxRlagck_3cSM:&tbnh=103&tbnw=137&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dkaypro%26ndsp%3D18%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN %26start%3D36%26um%3D1) which shows the innards of an early '80s computer.

Shrink it down to this hackaday.com/2009/03/04/n8vem-computer-with-a-3km-wireless-link/ (http://hackaday.com/2009/03/04/n8vem-computer-with-a-3km-wireless-link/) which shows a N8VEM talking to a propeller PockeTerm and driving both a standard vga monitor, and also a little 20x4 LCD display.

So ok, the vga monitor is still big, but you can certainly write small programs and run them etc using just the keyboard and the 20x4 LCD. And the wireless link means you can log into remote boards wirelessly, and those remote boards may not even have a keyboard or a display.

But even that can be shrunk further. I'll second that link to the zicog.

The hard drives from the early '80s are now on a micro SD card about the size of a little fingernail. The propeller is handling both the display and also another prop is doing the emulation of the Z80.

Text editors and multiple languages already exist for CP/M. Choose your language - mbasic, sbasic, C (BDS C for instance), fortran, forth. Or spin/PASM if you want to get inside the innards. Save files, load files, run programs. Compile programs on the computer itself rather than needing a PC.

And over at the N8VEM group we have been experimenting with wireless mesh protocols for multiple machines, and also links to the internet via ethernet to serial devices.

There is something great about making your own computer. For the N8VEM you can start with a pile of chips and be writing a letter on a word processor in under an hour. Cluso's triblade prop has less components and will be much quicker to download software and it might end up being only half an hour.

Like OBC says - welcome to the addiction. I'm off now to get another fix...

Post Edited (Dr_Acula (James Moxham)) : 4/6/2009 2:43:13 AM GMT

04-06-2009, 07:54 PM
Thank you so much for all this new information. I've seen the YBox2 before, and we are definitely going to use the code from that for internet access. My partner is the one who is going to be working with that, along with the IRC client. The PropMICRO is a great resource. Almost all of those apps will probably end up in our final product. The HMU player will probably be replaced by the wav, hmu, and video player that we have in development.

The prop definitely is an addiction, but one that I'm not sad to have http://forums.parallax.com/images/smilies/smilewinkgrin.gif.

Update: I can't seem to find a working link to the ED text editor. The other applications work great. I was also wondering what other applications that you guys think we should develop for this computer.

No reference to the fish.

Post Edited (SciNemo) : 4/7/2009 1:13:02 PM GMT