|Re: Vintage Single Board Computers - Now I have a mint HP 5036A MicroProcessor Lab|
Message #2 Posted by Chris Bennett on 31 May 2006, 4:18 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Mike
I also have one of these, as well as an Intel SDK-85, which I obtained via Employee Purchase while working at Intel in the early 80's ($499, if I remember correctly -- well more than I could really afford, but I was young and foolish!). Intel sold these as trainers to 8085 developers, and they became quite popular in college computing labs for teaching microprocessors. The HP 5036A is very similar, but much nicer, IMO. It has 1K RAM vs. 256 bytes on the Intel board, LEDs on the address and data lines to visualize logic states, and DIP switches to set different conditions for testing and troubleshooting. Do you also have the manual that accompanied the kit? It's titled "Practical Microprocessors" and is one of the best introductory texts I've ever seen on uP operation and programming. I believe it was written by Michael Slater, who went on to become the founder of Microprocessor Report, one of the most influential newsletters in the industry. The kit I got had both the manual and an HP logic probe, but I don't think the latter was part of the basic kit.
These are a lot of fun to play with, but programming gets tedious after a while without a storage device. There are other trainers that offer tape drives and even more advanced features. Check out, for example,
http://www.emacinc.com/trainers/primer.htm for some SBCs with even more bells and whistles -- literally!