Author Topic: EEVblog #747 - PC Based Logic Analyser Project  (Read 22552 times)

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Offline SeanB

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Re: EEVblog #747 - PC Based Logic Analyser Project
« Reply #25 on: May 25, 2015, 07:38:13 pm »
A shed load of business core is still running that was written in Pascal. Although most of the code is now almost unmaintainable, because the original creators are either long gone, dead or did not write any more comments other than "don't touch this, i don't know how it works but it does" on large swathes of the source.
 

Offline Grapsus

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Re: EEVblog #747 - PC Based Logic Analyser Project
« Reply #26 on: May 25, 2015, 07:45:27 pm »
I come here for electronics talk, and I find that there's not a lot of trolling, people seem happy with different tools and the main question is "what are you going to use this for ?". But man, every time it comes to computers, there are these stupid endless discussions. Last time it was "how can you do any serious work with this OS ?" and now it's "everybody knows that the language X is for noobs", damn.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: EEVblog #747 - PC Based Logic Analyser Project
« Reply #27 on: May 25, 2015, 08:07:29 pm »
There was no web in 1995? sure it was

Yeah but it had bugger-all.
No such thing as online e-commerce, manufacturers with websites and PDF data sheets like we take for granted these days. Altavista was the search engine of choice, not that you ever found much. No such things as blogs or online video, or even modern forums, usenet still ruled that world.
There was basically nothing on there of real worth for a designer at the time.
IIRC companies started to put PDF files with datasheets online around that time (1995/1996). I recall having a list with links to datasheets on my 'homepage'.

Regarding Pascal: been there done that too but the biggest problem is the rigid structure of Pascal so it is hard to adapt the structure of a program to unavoidable requirement changes and Borland adding many C-isms later on. IIRC Borland's Delphi has about 7 different string types and one operation you can do on type A cannot be done on type B so you have to convert from B to A, do the operation and convert back from A to B.  |O After all Pascal was invented to teach people structured programming and not actually being used for any real software. However for many people everything looks like a nail if they only have a hammer...
« Last Edit: May 25, 2015, 09:05:08 pm by nctnico »
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Offline jancumps

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Re: EEVblog #747 - PC Based Logic Analyser Project
« Reply #28 on: May 25, 2015, 08:41:21 pm »
Pascal was very popular in french universities...

...

I had Pascal as the program language in my first year too (late 80's). To learn the principles.
Later we had c, cobol and assembler for the 68xxx.
 

Offline ivan747

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Re: EEVblog #747 - PC Based Logic Analyser Project
« Reply #29 on: May 25, 2015, 09:18:13 pm »
Episode #747 was about something I always wanted insight on!  ;D Thanks Dave!  :-DMM

And it even was in the year I was born  ::)
Sigh... I should publish something  :--
« Last Edit: May 25, 2015, 09:29:52 pm by ivan747 »
 

Offline MartinX

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Re: EEVblog #747 - PC Based Logic Analyser Project
« Reply #30 on: May 25, 2015, 09:27:15 pm »
I remember the internet in 1995 that was the year I got internet, dial up modem of course. Data sheets were not so easy to find and took a long time to download I remember getting CD ROMs from distributors at trade shows , that was a huge relief, I still got some Texas Instruments and National CD ROMs and the Farnell catalogue.

 

Offline vlad777

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Re: EEVblog #747 - PC Based Logic Analyser Project
« Reply #31 on: May 25, 2015, 10:11:29 pm »
I come here for electronics talk, and I find that there's not a lot of trolling, people seem happy with different tools and the main question is "what are you going to use this for ?". But man, every time it comes to computers, there are these stupid endless discussions. Last time it was "how can you do any serious work with this OS ?" and now it's "everybody knows that the language X is for noobs", damn.

I didn't mean to troll, I was explicitly told (in school and faculty) that Pascal is a learning tool. Sorry.

EDIT: I did my final exam for high school in Pascal. It was a file manager with my graphical window system.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2015, 10:21:41 pm by vlad777 »
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Offline Carl_Smith

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Re: EEVblog #747 - PC Based Logic Analyser Project
« Reply #32 on: May 25, 2015, 10:39:40 pm »
Episode #747 was about something I always wanted insight on!  ;D Thanks Dave!  :-DMM

I agree.   What else from Dave's past has he talked about but not made a video on yet?

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #747 - PC Based Logic Analyser Project
« Reply #33 on: May 25, 2015, 10:41:29 pm »
Pascal was a terrible language. Fundamentally broken: http://www.lysator.liu.se/c/bwk-on-pascal.html

Tell that to Altium who built a half billion dollar business out of it.
 

Offline donmr

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« Reply #34 on: May 25, 2015, 10:46:57 pm »
We used to say "You need to archive the old software, the old OS, the old hardware and the old engineer who knows how it all works."
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: EEVblog #747 - PC Based Logic Analyser Project
« Reply #35 on: May 25, 2015, 10:47:44 pm »
Didn't you ever come across sites like cdrom.com? That had lots of electronic design material in the mid 90s.

IIRC it had bugger-all in 1995.
https://web.archive.org/web/19961221082532/http://www.cdrom.com/
It was mostly shareware collections etc.
It took quite a few years for the main manufacturers to start releasing PDF's to the point where you went to the internet for info instead of your paper library.
 

Offline zapta

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Re: EEVblog #747 - PC Based Logic Analyser Project
« Reply #36 on: May 26, 2015, 12:27:04 am »
I didn't mean to troll, I was explicitly told (in school and faculty) that Pascal is a learning tool.

Yes, it's also a great learning tool. 

:)

Drain the swamp.
 

Offline hikariuk

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Re: EEVblog #747 - PC Based Logic Analyser Project
« Reply #37 on: May 26, 2015, 04:10:16 am »
I didn't mean to troll, I was explicitly told (in school and faculty) that Pascal is a learning tool. Sorry.

I was told the same thing when I was at college (UK style, meaning 16-18 education).  Although I was programming in C at that point anyway, mostly because - in common with a lot of people back then - I'd started teaching myself to program from computer magazines when I was young(er).
I write software.  I'd far rather be doing something else.
 

Offline zapta

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Re: EEVblog #747 - PC Based Logic Analyser Project
« Reply #38 on: May 26, 2015, 05:59:43 am »
Kernighans comments are about how Pascal is unsuitable as a systems programming language are perfectly well considered. And in doing so he entirely avoids highly opinionated value judgements like "terrible" and "fundamentally broken".

K&R C was terrible,  that's why it required so many extensions over the years.
Drain the swamp.
 

Offline boffin

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Re: EEVblog #747 - PC Based Logic Analyser Project
« Reply #39 on: May 26, 2015, 06:07:15 am »
Borland Pascal 'fixed' most of the things you couldn't do with J&W Pascal like variable length strings.

However, for systems programming you could (alleast in the Borland implementation) do very cool things with sets.  Imagine you had an IO port that controlled 4 lights and 4 fans; you could do stuff like this

type IOPins = (light0, light1, light2, light3, fan0, fan1, fan2, fan3);

var myIO  : set of IOPins;

myIO := [light0, fan0];
Port[1234] := myIO;
myIO := myIO + fan1 - fan0;    (* turn on fan1, turn off fan0 *)
Port[1234] := myIO;

or you could do things like
if (light1 in myIO) THEN


laying out IO ports as sets was completely awesome, and sure beats
Port := Port || _mybit4;
Port := Port && (! mybit2);

 

Offline free_electron

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Re: EEVblog #747 - PC Based Logic Analyser Project
« Reply #40 on: May 26, 2015, 04:09:32 pm »
YAY. PCB 1.61  that's what i started with. i had schematic 2.7 though , not 3.something.
I programmed in Turbo Pascal 3.5 which did not have a text-gui with mouse. just command line. I bought Turbo Assembler as well. Still have the books of that one i believe. That was the bees knees back then. Combine that with Tom Hogans 'the PC Sourcebook' and you could flick any register, and bit and interrupt and interface with the BIOS.  And there was also 'the undocumented pc' that came with 'Sourcer' , and incredble commenting disassembler.

Later on i bought PowerBasic ( used to be Turbo Basic but borland gave that back to its designer ) Powerbasic is still around. It creates very fast code. Faster than microsofts compilers.

I remember writing a TSR ( who remembers those. Terminate and stay resident programs ) that hooked into the mouse interrupt so i had a mouse caret in the dos command line. i coudl select a line of text and cope it from the screen buffer by directly reading video ram.

the first VGA card came and had RAMDACs and palettedacs so you could spin the color palette. you could also upload new fonts . i made an upside down font. kinda fun. stick the call in the autoexec.bat and every character was upside down on the screen.

ahhh . memories...
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Offline hli

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Re: EEVblog #747 - PC Based Logic Analyser Project
« Reply #41 on: May 26, 2015, 09:12:00 pm »
The "error 200" is caused by using the CRT unit. On start up it calculates how fast the CPU is (to time the 'delay' function), which ends up in a division overflow when the CPU approaches 200MHz (and is reported as division by zero for some reason).
See J.R. Stockton's page for more details and patches that might help.
 

Offline SL4P

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Re: EEVblog #747 - PC Based Logic Analyser Project
« Reply #42 on: May 26, 2015, 10:03:17 pm »
... long time ago ( in galaxy, far, far away, off course ) ...
I'm sure George Lucas didn't envisage that...!
Don't ask a question if you aren't willing to listen to the answer.
 

Offline Stonent

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Re: EEVblog #747 - PC Based Logic Analyser Project
« Reply #43 on: May 27, 2015, 01:21:49 am »
How many Davids are there in your world?
Old Protel runs fine in DosBox emulator under W7.
Windows 7 and up doesn't run 16 bit programs.

64-Bit Windows Vista and higher do not have a 16 bit subsystem.  I believe the 32bit versions still do.
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Offline CatalinaWOW

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Re: EEVblog #747 - PC Based Logic Analyser Project
« Reply #44 on: May 27, 2015, 02:36:47 am »
Borland Pascal 1.0 was a game changer.  I was writing commercial software for CPM machines at the time as a hobby, and had copies of Microsoft's language studio of the day.  Included Basic, Fortran, COBOL and one other language I can't remember now.  I was proficient in FORTRAN, OK in Basic and the unremembered language.  No contact with Pascal.  The developers window and the really fast compile time completely overcame the limitations of the language and my lack of familiarity.  I was able to port my program to Pascal, correct errors due to translation and have it running in less time than one compile cycle took with the Microsoft languages.  This was on a 2MHz homebrew Z80 machine with 8" floppy drives.  The compile cycle for the MS languages took about half an hour while it was a few seconds for the Borland Pascal.  I think it took about fifteen iterations to get the stuff working, but it still beat whatever MS was doing.  I immediately switched, and stuck with them until OOP took over, and Phillipe Kahn apparently got wealthy and disinterested.  Still have and occasionally use the language.
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: EEVblog #747 - PC Based Logic Analyser Project
« Reply #45 on: May 27, 2015, 02:45:28 am »
Before Turbo (Borland) Pascal, Pascal was used to teach proper procedural and well structured programming.

I went the Turbo C and later the Turbo C++ route since the later wasn't even on the curriculum but Fortran and Cobol where mandatory (so was the report writer part of Cobol which I really hated, at least it put me off for going to work for a bank or the like), I did take VAX assembly as well, not sure that was mandatory but heck I was a sponge back then (and so I'm now), but I took all the electives I was able to get into, including C++ which was introduced into the curriculum later on, and C was pretty new even if it was around for a while, Fortran was still king.

 

Offline boffin

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Re: EEVblog #747 - PC Based Logic Analyser Project
« Reply #46 on: May 27, 2015, 02:50:06 am »
Before Turbo (Borland) Pascal, Pascal was used to teach proper procedural and well structured programming.

I went the Turbo C and later the Turbo C++ route since the later wasn't even on the curriculum but Fortran and Cobol where mandatory (so was the report writer part of Cobol which I really hated, at least it put me off for going to work for a bank or the like), I did take VAX assembly as well, not sure that was mandatory but heck I was a sponge back then (and so I'm now), but I took all the electives I was able to get into, including C++ which was introduced into the curriculum later on, and C was pretty new even if it was around for a while, Fortran was still king.

I thought I was the only person left on the planet that did VAX assembly. 
The ultimate complex instruction set with instructions like MOVTUC, POLYD and ACBL
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: EEVblog #747 - PC Based Logic Analyser Project
« Reply #47 on: May 27, 2015, 02:56:57 am »
Before Turbo (Borland) Pascal, Pascal was used to teach proper procedural and well structured programming.

I went the Turbo C and later the Turbo C++ route since the later wasn't even on the curriculum but Fortran and Cobol where mandatory (so was the report writer part of Cobol which I really hated, at least it put me off for going to work for a bank or the like), I did take VAX assembly as well, not sure that was mandatory but heck I was a sponge back then (and so I'm now), but I took all the electives I was able to get into, including C++ which was introduced into the curriculum later on, and C was pretty new even if it was around for a while, Fortran was still king.

I thought I was the only person left on the planet that did VAX assembly. 
The ultimate complex instruction set with instructions like MOVTUC, POLYD and ACBL

What impressed me the most was the Queue instructions manipulating a circular double linked list, very powerful.
I did never used Vax assembly professionally, and funny, my teacher was Canadian, forgot his name long ago.

 

Offline SL4P

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Re: EEVblog #747 - PC Based Logic Analyser Project
« Reply #48 on: May 27, 2015, 03:36:23 am »
Aargh... does FORTRAN on VAX count?
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Offline GonzoTheGreat

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Re: EEVblog #747 - PC Based Logic Analyser Project
« Reply #49 on: May 27, 2015, 06:39:08 pm »
I thought I was the only person left on the planet that did VAX assembly. 
The ultimate complex instruction set with instructions like MOVTUC, POLYD and ACBL

What did these instructions do?
How many were in the instruction set?
 


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