Sunday, 30 June 2013

My brain is hurting

I'm a bit prone to grandiosity.

The directory I'm working in at the moment is called "OS" - operating system. This on the right is an operating system. Can a watch from the early 80s with 2k of ROM and the equivalent of 64 bytes of RAM be said to have an "Operating System" ?

Well, anyway, I've been writing OS/BIOS type routines for some time today. Having got the Mk2. Indirect write going, I've been tackling the bad 'un that has had be thinking for a while.

The Watchman has three digits (plus an extra '1', plus a colon) in its display area. (So no 24 hour clock ....). These are wired up to six of the segment pins of the SM5 (a1b1a2b2ba3b3) which are multiplexed to with H1-H4 to give 24 possible segment combination of which 23 are used (3 x 7 segments, 1 colon, 1 '1' digit).

The code I've been working on - which now works - does the following - it reads three nibbles from RAM (which are the three digits) and 2 bits from a fourth (one for the colon, one for the '1' digit). For the three digits in turn it looks up the seven segment pattern on for that digit (there are 2 tables, it's a 4 bit processor) and stores it in the correct place on the display.

This is slightly harder than it looks, firstly because of the indirection thing again, and also because the digits are not in the correct order in memory i.e. the digit order is designed for the LCD display not to be coded.

The (hopefully) first and last version is here..... , it has all the characteristics of 4 bit assembler code - the bits of code are in the wrong order (there are four 0,1,2,3 and they are in the order 1,0,2,3), it's incomprehensible even with comments and it's very long winded to do something relatively simple (and there's an entirely different routine which clears the display stuck in the middle of it .....) and half of it is near identical to the other half (the two bits that do the digit->7 segment pattern->write look up)

But it does work :)

So, the next and last messy bit of code is the same sort of mapping, but this one is mapping a coordinate system onto the main bit of the display (the dots and circles). Even this far out, this too is going to be fun to write.

The other main bit is tone generation. Even with a 16Khz clock processor, it's going to be spending most of it's time either doing nothing or generating sound. I would like this too to be automated.


  1. Paul, Is it possible to provide the emulator source-code?

  2. I think it's all in that linked directory if not email me and I'll send you what I think is the latest from my archives.