Hello, World!

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Mark Adelsberger

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Dec 5, 2021, 6:53:43 PM12/5/21
to uKenbak-1
A week or so ago I received my Kenbak-1 replica (if I understand the back plate correctly, it is # 0011 - but I'm not sure if that means 9 or 11...), and I've finally had a little time to start figuring it out.

It works nicely, though it does occasionally reboot or freeze up.  Is this a common issue with these, or should I be looking for a possible loose connection or something?  It isn't a huge issue, but can be frustrating if it happens at the wrong moment.  (I have learned to love the serial interface for backing up and quickly reloading memory when necessary.)

Also one note:  in the manual, the section on Serial Communication points us to the CH-340 serial driver.  I suppose this is a carry-over from the source documentation maybe?  I found that I needed the CP210x driver from Silicon Labs.

Anyway, here is a "hello, world" program; I could provide more detailed notes and explanation, but for now I will leave it as a mystery:

0000,0000,0204,0004,0025,0002,0043,0014,0223,0204,0000,0000,0203,0001,0004,0000,
0124,0201,0103,0027,0125,0001,0357,0001,0055,0060,0051,0123,0010,0051,0143,0035,
0072,0200,0211,0044,0004,0300,0300,0347,0016,0172,0200,0347,0033,0300,0347,0033,
0172,0200,0123,0012,0113,0001,0143,0064,0300,0347,0033,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,
0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,
0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,
0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,
0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,
0000,0000,0000,0000,0252,0146,0351,0272,0177,0176,0275,0133,0337,0333,0233,0247,
0247,0273,0300,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,0000,
s

famousd...@gmail.com

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Dec 6, 2021, 4:38:31 PM12/6/21
to uKenbak-1
Thanks for getting one!  #0011 would be number eleven.  I did not send them out in order, but rather pulled them off a pile, so odds are the lower numbers were at the bottom of the pile...

I am concerned about it locking up.  I have not noticed this issue on any other units.  Does it lock up at any particular time or while doing anything specific with it?  I have one on my bench that has been running with the time display for months, and that never locks up.

Mark Adelsberger

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Dec 6, 2021, 5:15:41 PM12/6/21
to uKenbak-1
Thanks for getting back to me.

I figured 0011 probably meant 11, but with the 4-digit format matching typical octal notation I wasn't sure.

Problems are rare, and it does seem like usually it can run for long periods without incident.

Treating it as potentially two separate issues:

Reboots, though rare, I have not noticed any pattern at all.  One time even I just happened to see from across the room that it replayed the "startup" animation, and so I checked to confirm and it had reset its memory.  That's why I'm wondering if there could be an issue with a power connection or something along those lines.

It did occur to me that lock-ups might be a result of an unintended button press.  (For example, I noted that if I somehow managed to accidentally bump a bitN button and Set the system could seem to be locked up if I weren't really sending data to it.)  I've been keeping an eye out to see if that could be the case, but it happens uncommonly enough that I don't really have much data yet.  I'll let you know whether the problem continues and, if so, what patterns I might discover now that I know to pay attention for it.

famousd...@gmail.com

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Dec 7, 2021, 11:42:10 AM12/7/21
to uKenbak-1
Let me know what you notice, but I think I might just have to send you a new front panel with the electronic "guts" and you can swap it out.
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