Poll
Question: What was your first Micro controller?  (Voting closed: February 16, 2012, 06:18:24 pm)
Arduino Uno - 6 (15.4%)
Arduino Duamilanove - 3 (7.7%)
Arduino Mega - 2 (5.1%)
Another model of Arduino board. - 0 (0%)
Another board made by another company - 12 (30.8%)
I'v been doing this since before you where born! (1998) - 16 (41%)
Total Voters: 39

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Author Topic: Where did you start with Micro controllers?  (Read 6885 times)
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SE USA
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I suspect whatever tech the newspapers are using these days to print their papers is what is state of the art in high speed printing. I suspect the days of setting lead type is long gone.  smiley-wink

last I looked (and this was 10 years ago) they were etching large sheets, wrapping them on a drum and running the presses from that using an offset process (ink on plate transfers to big rubber drum which mashes the image on paper)
« Last Edit: February 13, 2012, 08:14:40 pm by Osgeld » Logged


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I suspect whatever tech the newspapers are using these days to print their papers is what is state of the art in high speed printing. I suspect the days of setting lead type is long gone.  smiley-wink

last I looked (and this was 10 years ago) they were etching large sheets, wrapping them on a drum and running the presses from that using an offset process (ink on plate transfers to big rubber drum which mashes the image on paper)

This looks like a pretty hi-tec printer: http://www.biz.konicaminolta.com/production/c7000_c6000/index.html

Lefty

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Printronix did make one the earliest 'dot matrix' printers in 132 column version. Dec also made an early 132 column dot matrix for their minicomputer systems, the famous LA-36 printer.
The Printronix I'm thinking of was a high-speed lineprinter replacement with an entire row (?) of dots.
The LA36 was a terminal (keyboard/etc), ran at 30cps, and had the more typical arrangement with a single column of dots on a moving printhead...

LA36 Engineering manual: http://www.pdp8online.com/pdp8cgi/query_docs/queryb.pl?level=1LA36;id=522
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Printronix did make one the earliest 'dot matrix' printers in 132 column version. Dec also made an early 132 column dot matrix for their minicomputer systems, the famous LA-36 printer.
The Printronix I'm thinking of was a high-speed lineprinter replacement with an entire row (?) of dots.
The LA36 was a terminal (keyboard/etc), ran at 30cps, and had the more typical arrangement with a single column of dots on a moving printhead...

LA36 Engineering manual: http://www.pdp8online.com/pdp8cgi/query_docs/queryb.pl?level=1LA36;id=522


Here is the picture of the Printronix I worked on a little, but don't recall the exact hammer arrangement, seem to recall something spinning pretty fast inside, but then again there were so many different printers back at the time.

 http://www.google.com/imgres?q=printronix&hl=en&sa=X&rlz=1T4GGLL_enUS373US373&biw=1055&bih=720&tbm=isch&prmd=imvns&tbnid=eq-_kQsJQQiOPM:&imgrefurl=http://www.fib.upc.edu/retroinformatica/exposicio/ordinadors/Printronix-P600.html%3Flang%3Dca&docid=-GQooXnZlvA-7M&imgurl=http://www.fib.upc.edu/retroinformatica/exposicio/ordinadors/Printronix-P600/mainColumnParagraphs/0/image/IMG_2158%252520(Custom).JPG&w=620&h=827&ei=7dI5T_rTIYOZiQKqmZSTDA&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=63&sig=108332181031703398911&page=3&tbnh=167&tbnw=119&start=35&ndsp=18&ved=1t:429,r:1,s:35&tx=52&ty=70
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This looks like a pretty hi-tec printer: http://www.biz.konicaminolta.com/production/c7000_c6000/index.html

Lefty

maybe, reminds me of just a couple months ago I was working a seasonal temp job at a lab that did most of the school portraits in the country, they had a very large room with similar style printers (not that I have an exact count but off of memory 10 of them) which used laser + chemical processes to print on light sensitive photographic paper.

We also had a couple very large format inkjet plotters to print on canvas, massive nasty looking old school photo drum printer things that could turn out a 1 foot tall stack of color photos in a matter of seconds, and their newest machines some HP indigo presses, which in a nutshell were 7 foot tall color plastic film printers.


https://www.google.com/search?q=hp+indigo&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=en&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=r9Q5T9uPG46ctwfm__3dCg&biw=1280&bih=920&sei=sdQ5T9zwNcKItwfagsj3Cg
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A 4040 processor, with a whopping 1024 'bits' of static RAM. Machine language of course. Ended up building the interface to print to a KSR-15 TTY printer, mmmm.
Sad part, I still have some of that crap out in the barn.
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In 1966 the company I worked( aerospace ) designed a package with a Rolm computer.The Rolm was a militarized Data General. I worked in the Calibration Lab and was sent to a school to learn to maintain the beasts. They had 4K of core memory and you load a bootstrap loader by hand and then loaded a tape with the system from the tape reader on a teletype. In class they would start the load and give a lecture while the teletype clunked on and on.

Jim
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Thread revival!  I guess I never answered the original question...
I started out on Mainframes, DEC-10s, DEC-20s, and big iron IBM (summer job during college.)  I lusted after various microcomputers, starting with the Altair 8080 and SWTP 6800, with more significant interest in Cosmic Elf 1802 and 8085.  Later the PIC came out and was even more interesting, plus AVRs and etc.  But it was really difficult to get very motivated to actually do much with them when I had entire ARPANet-connected mainframes to play with...

Eventually the DEC mainframes were dying and I moved (professionally) to high-end microcontrollers like 68000, x86, MIPS, and PPC, where the hardware/micro background was useful for low level infrastructure and driver work.  I still seem to enjoy infrastructure development more than actual projects...
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n 1966 the company I worked( aerospace ) designed a package with a Rolm computer.The Rolm was a militarized Data General
Rolm was founded after DG, and DG only started up in about 1968. Or so I thought.
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I started out with the Z80 and in 1978. First machine was a TRS-80 Mod 1 Level 2 BASIC with 4K RAM. Did an upgrade to 16K for $40. Played around with a number of CPM machines and more recently with a couple of microcontrollers. Arduino is by far, the easiest to get started with and has a good IDE that works better than many you have to pay for.

Printers - Seems like DEC had a highspeed Dot Matrix that had like 4 print heads. All tied together on the same carriage so they moved together. That would be like 33 collumns for each printhead.

Tore apart one of those old drum printers. That bronze print drum weighed like 5 pounds. Had small driver boards, 1 for each printhead. Paper would FLY through those machines.
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Tore apart one of those old drum printers. That bronze print drum weighed like 5 pounds. Had small driver boards, 1 for each printhead. Paper would FLY through those machines.

Yep, the top of the line drum printers would spit out 1200 lines a min or faster of paper movement. This often created a static electricity problem with the paper moving through the printer so fast that special grounding brushes were needed to bleed off the charge on the paper. Also aliment of 132 print hammers so that the printed characters were perfectly flat across the line was a very laborious and time consuming maintenance task, I hated having to perform that check and adjustment. The testing involved firing all 132 hammers at the same time and using a scope to measure the counter EMF pulse from each hammer relative to the first hammer and mechanically adjusting each hammer to match the reference hammer. The lights would dim each time all the hammers fired at the same time and the noise level was deafening.

Lefty
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now that's a printer!
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Yep, you went through a box of paper every few minutes. The trick with doing large reports was not losing a page or two as you changed boxes.

I remember too that you sometimes printed carbon copies, the paper actually had the carbon-paper sandwiched between two layers, to you could get two identical copies in the one run. Then there was a gadget that separated the layers and the carbon paper.
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My first job in aerospace was designing a SRAM card to use in place of UVEPROM so the software guys could download code and not have to keep burning/erasing UVEPROM boards. Whopping 320K bytes. 2nd task was updating that to 768Kbytes and adding 32K of EEPROM.
Also ran on a 20 address-bit ROLM bus with 2910 bit slice processor, 110nS cycle times to receive the address and the read/write control, decode if it was for the card, and have data back out on the bus.  Had 4 or 5 memory cards in the system, plus other cards that responded on the same bus. 21st address bit added later on.
Eventually all the memory was pulled back into a single processor card with an intel processor.
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Z80 and 6802/9, early 80s.

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designing a SRAM card to use in place of UVEPROM so the software guys could download code and not have to keep burning/erasing UVEPROM boards.
I designed a Z8-based EPROM emulator but only 32k IIRC, large enough for most embedded work, had it on the market for some time.

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