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MLDL2000, Clonix/NoVRAM/NoV32, PILBox ... Users/Owners? New stuff? - Printable Version

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MLDL2000, Clonix/NoVRAM/NoV32, PILBox ... Users/Owners? New stuff? - Vieira, Luiz C. (Brazil) - 10-23-2009

Hi, all;

I have two MLDL2000 (building the second one these days), one NoVRAM and one NoV32. I think these are some of the (if not THE) best devices available to the HP41, mostly because we can emulate almost every module available to it. Some 'weird breed', like the X-Functions, Time Module and any other with something more than ROM data, have not yet been cloned. But it seems to be a matter of time and dedicated people. So far, HEPAX with additional RAM are two major features these two marvelous hardware can emulate. Now we have the PILBox which bridges the HPIL to the rest of the USB world.

These 'guys' share the use of new technology to emulate ancient (30 Y.O.!) technology, and if we stop to think of what HP was doing at that time, we just reason about the fact that many of us still use this ancient technology with a bit of pleasant surprise when we find out that these old dogs still can learn new tricks. And I mean, for example, Ángel Martin having fun and amusing us all with a double ROM dedicated to complex arithmetic and stack manipulation. I stand amused!

Well, the best places to test Ángel are these new devices or the original ones who served as models (lucky you who has any...). So, which of us here are doing something more than storing ROM images in their MLDL2000 or Clonix/NovRAM/NoV32, etc? I have an idea but I must acquire additional background to start thinking of a feasible design.

And what about the existing ROM images? TOS has many, many of us know that some rare images exist somewhere, but are there anything new apart Ángel´s 'Complex with Stack ROM' (Sandmath 5, right?) I found two or three recent, new ROM´s at TOS, and also some listings to initialize HEPAX RAM, but I am not aware of any other sources nor news. Any new info about these, too?

I do not intend to start a deep thread, but I would actually like to be updated in relation to these subjects.



Luiz (Brazil)

Edited: 23 Oct 2009, 11:59 p.m.

Re: MLDL2000, Clonix/NoVRAM/NoV32, PILBox ... Users/Owners? New stuff? - Ángel Martin - 10-24-2009

Hi Luiz,

As you well say the new devices are instrumental (and the only real way) to put the new software to work on real 41's. I have sound copies of both the 41Z and the SandMath modules running on my MLDL2k and NoV32, as well on the V41 PC emulator. I don't have an iPhone but I must admit having been tempted to get one just to run them on it as well :)

There are other new modules, with fantastic features and intriguing possibilities. Peter Platzer's Multi Precision Library is a good example, and Doug Wilder's DISASM and BLDROM roms are a must-have on every serious 41 user. And there are many others I'm not using or just forget about right now... even a TCPIC rom! (How about " Control your fridge over the internet with your 41" ?? :)

In fact this is perhaps the success of the 41 platform, being an open environment where people can extend and expand things as they need or just feel like. By releasing the VASM to the open public HP allowed this sustained loyalty to the system, and was the trigger to establish the 41 as something worthwhile using 30 years later... a remarkable move, bold and not exempt of risk those days.

Unfortunately that was also the end to the hope for "revival editions" of the 41. I've been reflecting on this lately, and have come to the conclusion that we'll never see a 45S machine similar to the 35S building on the 35. Besides, what's to be revived? Certainly not the HP-IL bus, which remains as one of the finest examples of clever and ingenious engineering from HP. Not the SW either, as the programming examples amply demonstrate. But the speed of a new CPU of course that'll be a superb gift, not to mention a more capable display... Beyond that, I'm not sure.

And this is letting aside all the other real-world considerations about what companies are like these days, compared to how things (the world, really) was 30 years ago. I don't mean to sound nostalgic (hey, I'm the one programming MCODE versions of NPR and NCR on the 41, remember?) but let's face it: HP is not a philantropic organization, and arguably they shouldn't be!

But (and this is the saddest part of all) even if they were, I very much doubt they could do it nowadays. I know this will sound foolish but I'm convinced they've lost the capability to reproduce something like the 41 system in all its splendor. I don't even believe there are archived copies of the source documents anywhere to be found anymore... let alone people left who could do anything with them. Of course you could run emulations over simulators over replicators over... you get my point, but would that be consider a feat? Let's face it: a quantum leap occurred from the 67 to the 41, but that's just impossible to replicate.

Enough said, of course just my own opinion and probably not valid to anyone else. Sorry it's kinda long - hope it strikes some good discussion as your message has already.

Best wishes,

Edited: 24 Oct 2009, 2:25 a.m.

Re: MLDL2000, Clonix/NoVRAM/NoV32, PILBox ... Users/Owners? New stuff? - Monte Dalrymple - 10-24-2009


... be aware that it's a large (~3MB) file

OK, now you have my attention... - Vieira, Luiz C. (Brazil) - 10-24-2009

Hi, Monte;

thank you for causing me some catatonic moments... I loved it! c]8^D

I remember reading about the Newt processor some years ago, and I also asked about it (don´t remember if it was in a post or an e-mail), and I tried to relate the 41CL (3MB picture) to it. Also, I remember the layout of the Systemyde homepage as somehow familiar.

Can I (we) have a few words about the picture?I found no specific links to anything I thought was related to the picture. I also tried a hotlink (http://www.systemyde.com/images/) but apart of the 3.3MB picture you showed us, all others are small GIF´s.


Luiz (Brazil)

Re: OK, now you have my attention... - Monte Dalrymple - 10-25-2009

Hello Luiz,

The home page for the project is at http://www.systemyde.com/hp41

You'll find the manual there... the last few pages of which have
some more details about what's in the photo.

I'll start populating and debugging the board this week. I'm
hoping the bring-up of the board goes smoothly, as I've just
realized that it's going to be a pain to reprogram the flash
memory if there's anything wrong with the cpu. We'll see.

I've had a magazine article about the project accepted, so I'll
post a notice when that appears in print.


Re: OK, now you have my attention... - Paul Dale - 10-25-2009

Awesome, thanks for the pointer.

Looks like a very interesting project.

- Pauli

Re: OK, now you have my attention... - Ángel Martin - 10-26-2009

A new ray of hope has just crossed the obscurity :)

It looks quite under way, hope it sees the daylight soon!