Monday, May 25, 2009

Computers and Micro Processing Unit

My inaugurate experience with computer was the Sinclair ZX81, a present from my aunt during my primary school days.

It displays a green screen on home TV. It was also the first time I actually learn something by reading instruction manual. Manged to write simple BASIC language program to occupy the screen with numbers and alphabets, make them blink, change color and make some beeping tone... etc all the usual big hoo haa at that time. I was never successful is saving any programs on tape recorder as described.... Also we can play Pong with it.

At the end, I annihilated it in the search for higher wisdom.

My next "serious" encounter with computer was in my polytechnics days when the syllabus requires CAD drawing on a Prme Medusa system, FORTRAN77 and 8051 mcu programing. The 8051 is a populated PCB baord and a 2 x 7 segment display and a input keypad which we used to punch in HEX machine code. We happilye blink some LED, excitedly make the Knight Rider running light and a traffic light as course work. Frankly, I didn't learn anything from here as my attention was on those sweet young thing around.

I then used WordPerfect in the uni's computer lab to write my final year project, the great graphics features and lovely spell check made my life much more bearable.

Then came the windows, the internet, Netscape, IE, the dot com bubble... and I was happily going along with the flow.

Until a few years ago, a fellow audio diyer built a NOS (Non-OverSampling) DAC with 3 DAC chips, namely the TDA 1541, 1543, 1545. He used a mcu to control relays for selection of chips for AB test. Another made source selection with mcu controllered relays. This sparks some interest.

For the pass 4 years, I'd been trying to start tinkering with mcu but some how it didn't happened. Firstly, I don't know where to start, and when I did, I don't have a programmer, then then training kit was too expensive and I'm too lazy to built one, one hurdle after another.... consequently, a netural death...

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