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posted by LaminatorX on Friday February 21 2014, @05:33AM   Printer-friendly
from the I-don't-care,-I'm-still-free.-You-can't-take-the-garage-from-me dept.

demonlapin writes:

"Brian Benchoff at Hackaday has an ambitious new project: a homebrew computer based not on a classic 8-bit processor like the Z80 or 6502, but on the 16-bit Motorola 68000. It's a backplane-based machine with wire-wrapped connections planned. His first summary post is here. Blinkenlights are planned."

[ED Note: With so much commercially available hardware getting more and more locked down, projects like this are a good reminder of what is possible for a dedicated enthusiast.]

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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by dry on Friday February 21 2014, @08:13PM

    by dry (223) on Friday February 21 2014, @08:13PM (#4518) Journal

    The problem at the time was the price of memory. With 32 bit (actually 24bit with the high 8 bits undefined but unluckily used for other stuff which broke with later processors) pointers, data structures etc you needed at least twice as much memory to do the same stuff as a 8 bit computer. A Mac with only 128KBs of ram was pretty limited.

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  • (Score: 1) by darinbob on Friday February 21 2014, @11:47PM

    by darinbob (2593) on Friday February 21 2014, @11:47PM (#4609)

    While it did not have 8 bit instructions it did have many 16 bit instructions. However for comparison with other CPUs it was considered very compact for its time. 8-bit only machines do often have smaller code, however this is often because the application itself has much more limited use. Ie, to add two 32-bit numbers on an 8-bit machine will take more bytes of instructions than it would on a 68000.

    8-bit computers were really restricted to hobbyists, calculators, peripherals, and stuff like that. Professional general purpose computers at that time were commonly using 16, 32, or even 36 bit CPUs.