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Blue Skying - A 71B Today
06-26-2014, 08:11 PM (This post was last modified: 11-15-2017 07:29 AM by Garth Wilson.)
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RE: Blue Skying - A 71B Today
Quote:Well, lovely if you ignore the need for line numbers to keep lines in order.

I sometimes wrote without line numbers, in my text editor, also leaving white space (indentation, blank lines, etc.) for visual factoring, and I put a function in my text editor to make a separate copy of the file and remove the blank lines and formatting data and add line numbers and then TRANSFORM it to BASIC. This also allowed using descriptive variable names, then doing a fast search-and-replace with names the 71's could use. You don't get the advantage of its checking everything as you enter it, but with the other freedoms, you tend to make fewer mistakes anyway.

Regarding the multi-line display: I'm sure we will all take all the resolution we can get, but I find that I can also get along with very little, if it is used well. Although I have the 80-column video interface and monitor, I wanted my text editor to be nimble even when I was mobile, without the big monitor and interface box and power supply. Using the 1-line, 22-character LCD is like viewing your work through a keyhole (for those of us old enough to remember the type where you could see through to the other side of the door if the key wasn't in the hole), but it turned out that that really wasn't so bad if you could move the keyhole around nimbly. Something like a tiny trackball would have further improved it, but it worked surprisingly well as it was. One time when I was on a school board, I had a draft of something I had nearly finished writing to the board, and I was reading it to another board member off the 71, at normal talking speed, probably 500-1000 words, and he wondered how I could be reading and reading off that little computer without even touching it. I had to show him. (I had a print-block-to-LCD function in my editor which allowed telling it how fast to scroll while you read.)

Quote:And what would you do for I/O?

HPIL was perfect for so many things, and I used it a lot in the late 1980's for controlling many pieces of lab instrumentation, simultaneously, through the HP82169A HPIL-to-HPIB interface converter. There's no reason HPIL couldn't have been taken to much greater speeds. Later, I considered making an HPIL-like synchronous serial interface loop that would have SPI speeds, but ended up with a true serial bus instead of a loop, compatible with SPI but more flexible, extended in several directions at once. I called it 65SIB.

What got me into my home-made workbench computers though was the fact that HPIL could not give me sub-microsecond control or monitoring of individual bits for things on the workbench. In fact, USB fails terribly there too. USB is ok for consumer items but it's absolutely terrible for those of us trying to set up custom things on the workbench. Even its name is very inaccurate. To go further though, I will refer you to Samel Falvo's excellent short article, "Software Survivalism" from 8 months ago.

The 71 is where I got my introduction to Forth, and I was absolutely enthralled with it, in spite of the fact that what's in the 71's Forth/Assember module is an extremely poor implementatin of it. Fortunately, since it's Forth, I was able to improve and extend it a lot, even without learning the assembly language. (Lots of HP-41 links at the bottom of the links page, )
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Messages In This Thread
Blue Skying - A 71B Today - Les Bell - 06-26-2014, 02:44 PM
RE: Blue Skying - A 71B Today - Les Bell - 06-26-2014, 10:55 PM
RE: Blue Skying - A 71B Today - Les Bell - 06-26-2014, 10:57 PM
RE: Blue Skying - A 71B Today - Garth Wilson - 06-26-2014 08:11 PM
RE: Blue Skying - A 71B Today - Les Bell - 06-26-2014, 11:11 PM

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