The Z80 Desktop executive toy

I am currently building an executive toy that is a small 1970's style looking computer (with the exception of the 2 line 16 character display).

The computer has 2K ROM, 8K RAM, hopefully a paper tape reader and several IO ports. Interestingly this computer is easy to adapt and therefore i think it would be useful to someone with an interest in Z80 machines who want to make hardware.

So far it has a binary input keyboard consisting of switches and D flip flops to act as toggles. (the compliment output is connected to the data input and by pressing the clock line it toggles the latch).

I'm using a PIC18F45k20 as an LCD driver, connecting the z80 to the display just was not working. So far so good and im currently working on connecting the driver to the z80 to allow the z80 to display text.

The OS on the computer uses one im currently writing called Kiwi (apple, blackberry, you get the idea ;D). It is a basic system that allows one to enter data into memory, view the contents of memory and one day, save memory to serial device, dont know how im gonna do that :S

Because of the limited space on the display i have come up with yet a brilliant idea for the menu. I cant display all the menu items at once, so here is what will happen. The binary data from the keyboard is scanned constantly and depending on what it is shows up a different option. When the enter key (a special key) is hit it selects the option. Done!

The computer is very small and compact so it will sit nicely on a desk. Personally if it has any market value i would like to make these one day for hobbyists and people with a love for computers.

The computer would have a manual included which looks at every part of a basic computer, the interface, the IO ports, just everything.

What do you think?

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Robin Mitchell
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