I have many new projects on the way that are quite a bit different from those I've published in the past.  Here's an upcoming project in honor of 50 YEARS OF CP/M:

A microcomputer system based on the Intel 8080!

I'll be describing the design and construction of the computer and demonstrating various BASIC interpreters from the 70s, how to get CP/M installed and running, and then showing you some of the most popular CP/M applications from the 70s and early 80s.  I'll be attaching everything you need to replicate this project (or one of your own design) including schematics, board layouts, documentation, software, and source code.  This will be a project more suited to the advanced builder but I'm hoping it will be fun to read for everyone interested in retro-computing or considering building their own microcomputer with the 8080 or Z80 microprocessor.  You don't have to spend $10,000 on an old IMSAI or Altair.  Build your own for around $100 that is easier to use and runs the same software.

The microcomputer system shown above has:

  • Intel 8080 microprocessor at 2.2 MHz
  • 64K RAM, 32K Flash ROM
  • Serial console port
  • 128MB Flash Drive (11 logical drives of 8MB each)

Does that sound like I got the units wrong?  Mega-Hertz?  Kilo-Bytes?

I am very surprised how much can be accomplished with an 8-bit microcomputer and only KBs of RAM and MBs of disk: software development in BASIC, FORTRAN, COBOL, PASCAL, and C; Word Processing; Spreadsheets; Databases, Adventure Games.

Below is the output of the SDIR command on Drive A of CP/M 2.2 initially released in 1978 and running on the 8080 microcomputer described above.

If you are a fan of BASIC, below is the 4K version that ran on the Altair 8800 in 1975 and adapted for the 8080 microcomputer.