DD9 Kaypro Edition: Deep Dish Nine goes Retro!

Dd9 title screen 768x576
Via Chrisfenton.com

Sometime in the early 2000s I acquired a Kaypro 2/84 computer (side note: the picture in the wikipedia article with the mis-matched floppy drives is actually my Kaypro!), and I’ve been meaning to do something ‘interesting’ with it ever since. It’s a nice Z80-based ‘luggable’ computer running the CP/M operating system. General stats:

  • Z80 Processor @4 MHz
  • 64KB of RAM
  • Upgraded to use the ‘Advent TurboROM’
  • Upgraded to dual DS/DD 5.25″ Floppy drives (360KB/disk)
  • 9″ green CRT supporting 80 columns x 25 rows (or 160×100 pixels in ‘graphics mode’!)
  • Two RS-232 serial ports supporting speeds up to 19.2Kbps (one of which is tricked out with a sweet Wifi232 module, the other unused)
  • One Parallel Port (currently unused)
  • Unpopulated internal areas to support a real-time clock, and a 300 baud modem!

The TurboROM also adds support for the following (if you can find them, and/or figure out how to wire them in):

  • Up to 2 RAM Disks of 256KB, 512KB or 1MB each
  • Support for up to 4 floppy disk drives (180KB, 360KB or 720KB)
  • Support for up to 2 Hard Drives of up to 56MB each

Kaypro wikipedia

All in all it’s a pretty neat machine, and it’s an interesting example of the early computer world before Apple and IBM-compatible machines killed off all the competition. One of the nice things about a Z80 CP/M machine like this is that there’s actually a semi-viable software ecosystem lovingly archived and available fore free on the internet. You can find lots of ‘productivity’ software (spreadsheets, text editors, etc.), terminal programs, text-based adventure games like Zork and even development software like compilers. My recent forays (1, 2) back into game development got me thinking – how hard would it be to write a ‘graphical’ game for my Kaypro? I stumbled across one or two drawing programs for the Kaypro, but almost nothing else that actually took advantage of its limited graphics capabilities.

See more!

Make a robot friend with Adafruit’s CRICKIT – A Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. It’s an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express, FEATHER and other platforms to make and program robots with CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. Start controlling motors, servos, solenoids. You also get signal pins, capacitive touch sensors, a NeoPixel driver and amplified speaker output. It complements & extends your boards so you can still use all the goodies on the microcontroller, now you have a robotics playground as well.

Join 7,500+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community! http://adafru.it/discord

CircuitPython in 2018 – Python on Microcontrollers is here!

Have an amazing project to share? Join the SHOW-AND-TELL every Wednesday night at 7:30pm ET on Google+ Hangouts.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Follow Adafruit on Instagram for top secret new products, behinds the scenes and more https://www.instagram.com/adafruit/

Maker Business — Despite multiple bankruptcies, RadioShack continues to find ways to keep the lights on

Wearables — Molding with glue

Electronics — A few words on inductor resistance

Biohacking — Running Blades

Python for Microcontrollers — Help bring CircuitPython to other languages!

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at AdafruitDaily.com !

No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.