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Outdated Barcode Scanner Motherboards Stay Once more

Typically, hacking is only for the pleasure of diving into the secrets and techniques of outdated {hardware}. That was very a lot the case when [glitch] and a pal began hacking on some outdated Intel 8080 boards that had been dwelling within the junk pile for too lengthy.

The boards in query have been motherboards from Identicon barcode scanners, operating the Intel 8080 CPU. Hacking on the 8080 is a little bit completely different, with the traditional CPU requiring three separate voltages to run. Nevertheless, with the ability rails discovered and energy utilized, it was attainable to get the outdated boards up and operating.

The boards have been first run with check ROMs which confirmed the 8080 CPU to be practical. The ROMs hosted a easy program which received the 8080 to spit out the phrase “HELO” on to an HP HDSP-2416 ASCII character show. From there, the barcode scanner boards have been put in in a chassis and hooked as much as a much bigger Siemens character show, and the reminiscence was mapped out.

The consequence was that [glitch] and co have been capable of largely reverse engineer the Identicon {hardware}, studying it was pretty just like the Intel MCS-80 reference design of the period. They have been capable of get code operating on the platform, entry the RAM, and match a bigger 8-character show. Nevertheless, with out the unique barcode scanner attachment, the boards weren’t capable of return to their authentic responsibility.

So far as hacks go, it’s fairly old-fashioned. The boards don’t speak to Twitter, nor run the lights or assist with the dishes. Nevertheless, loads of enjoyable was had seeing if this outdated metallic may very well be made to observe directions as soon as extra. Hacking for the pleasure of it’s all the time factor by our e book!

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