Hardware, Restoration, Software

The Story Thus Far: 2019

By Daniel Seagraves on January 27, 2020 3 Comments

2019 was a year of stops and starts. January 2019 marked my return to work after years on dialysis. Most of the legal wrangling that resulted in Bogodyne’s existence happened in 2019. All of the hardware was examined, ROMs were dumped, and things were documented. The return to “Real Life” consumed a lot of my time, though, and I didn’t make near as much progress as I would have liked.

No progress was made on the hardware restoration of the Lambda itself. A working mouse of the correct type was obtained, so in theory I have all the pieces needed to get one running. An interface was built which allowed the use of the Lambda’s tape drive to dump the pile of tapes that accompanied the machines. Most of the tapes turned out to be related to the CADR; Those bits were given to the CADR hacking crowd so they could try to turn them into something useful. The rest of the tapes were either unreadable, duplicates of Lambda things we already had, personal data related to LMI employees, or the business data of LMI itself.

I was able to get in contact with a former employee of LMI who helpfully provided a large paper binder containing firmware source code and documentation which allowed me to solve the remaining firmware emulation issues. We can now run the V102 SDU software, and installation from tapes works properly.

On the CADR front, the stuck address bits were traced to the BUS INTerface board, called BUSINT in the schematics. Diagnosis of the board is still ongoing; Replacement parts were purchased, tools made, and several potential causes eliminated as suspects, but the stuck bits remain stuck.

Most of the year’s progress was on the software and legal fronts. The existence of Bogodyne gives me a vehicle to ensure my work persists in the event my health takes a turn for the worst, and the (still-experimental) multithreaded fork of LambdaDelta went from theory to existence in a few months. It’s not as stable as I would like, but performance seems promising. A public demonstration it running at Vintage Computer Festival Midwest generated a fair amount of interest – granted, most of that interest seemed to be in the Lambda keyboard and not LambdaDelta or Lisp…

Progress was also made on the development of the ZetaLisp software itself. I hope to make the first public open-source release soon. Development of the future platform made a lot of progress as well. I intend for work on these items to be my primary focus going into 2020.

  1. Robert Swindells says:

    What CADR stuff did you find ?

    • Just the CADR itself, some badly corroded Chaosnet connectors/terminators, and a Chaosnet transceiver. I do not have a disk or console for it, I will have to produce those on my own.

      Edit: Just realized you meant the software; ask ams about it, he was sorting the bits last I knew. AIUI all the useful bits are already in the github repo.

    • Alfred M. Szmidt says:

      It was mostly System 98-era tapes, some of it useful. I’ve managed to get a cold load working with that, but it barfs during QLD. All hackery lives in https://tumbleweed.nu/r/sys99hacks/home — I can setup a user for you if you’d like.

      All my Lisp Machinery stuff lives at https://tumbleweed.nu/r/ .

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