The Microprocessor  - An Introduction

 A-J E-->

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                                                              Axxxxx J. Dubrexxx

                                                                                        CEO
                                                                                   A-J Enterprises
ReReleased - 7/98 - 'historical'

T A B L E  0 F  C 0 N T E N T S

 1. the CPU - a Historical Perspective  1-1
      1.1. the Birth of the Microcomputer - 11/71  1-1
           1.1.1. Enter the 8-bit Microprocessor - 1972  1-1
      1.2. the Dawn of the Microcomputer Age - 1973  1-1
           1.2.1. a Better 8-bit Microprocessor - 1976  1-2
      1.3. the Dawn of the 16-bit Microprocessor - 1978  1-2
           1.3.1. the 16-bit Processor Family  1-2
      1.4. the Intel iAPX Series  1-2
          1.4.1. the iAPX 186  1-2
          1.4.2. the iAPX 286  1-3
 1.4.3. the iAPX 432   1-3
 1.4.4. S-100 Implementation   1-3
      1.5. Design Requirements for a Basic Computer System  1-3
          1.5.1. Speed  1-3
          1.5.2. Security  1-3
          1.5.3. Reliability  1-3
          1.5.3.1. Software Protection  1-3
          1.5.3.2. Hardware Protection1  1-4
          1.5.4. Expandability  1-4
          1.5.5. Ease of Programming  1-4
 2. the System Bus - a Historical Perspective  2-1
     2.1. the S-100 bus  2-1
  2.2. the S-100 Enclosure  2-1
  2.3. S-100 Advantages  2-1
  2.3.0.1. Expandability  2-1
  2.3.0.2. Upgrading --  New Technology  2-1
         2.20.3.  Upgrading --  Obsolete Board Replacement  2-2
3. Operating Systems - a Historical Perspective  3-1
      3.1. the Pre-Natal Years '73-74  3-1
      3.2. CP/M is Born - 1975  3-1
           3.2.1. Utilities  3-1
      3.3. CP/M-86 - a Late Release - 19BO  3-1
      3.4. More Operating Systems Advancements  3-2
           3.4.1. Multiuser MP/M-86 - 1981  3-2
           3.4.2. Concurrent-CP/M  3-2
      3.5. Advanced Operating Systems  3-2
           3.5.1. Concurrent DOS  3-2
           3.5.2. StarLink - a Work Station link  3-2
           3.5.3. MS-DOS - 1981 - a Brief Word  3-2
 4. Some Conclusions  4-1
      4.1. Concerning the IBM-XT  4-1
      4.2. a System Recommendation  4-1
      4.3. a Personal Developement-System  4-1
           4.3.0.1. Hardware   4-1
           4.3.0.2. Software   4-1
           4.3.0.3. Operating System  4-1
  5. Computer Languages - a Historical Perspective  5-1
      5.1. Preliminary - 'Other' Number Bases  5-1
           5.1.1. an Electric Circuit  5-1
           5.1.2. Binary Numbers  5-1
           5.1.3. the Nibble & Byte  5-2
           5.1.4. Octal & HEX  5-2
      5.2. Assembly Language  5-3
           5.2.1. Mnemonics  5-3
           5.2.2. ASM & DDT  5-3
      5.3. the 'Higher' Languages  5-4
Appendices
   A. Glossary …….A-1
   B. Utilities          B-1
        B.1. DOS Utilities (Required)  B-1
        B.2. DOS Utilities (Optional)  B-1
        B.3. Comparative Clock Speeds  B-1
        B.4. Miscellaneous  B-1
        C. Minimum Configuration - Starter System  … C-1
             C.1. Hardware Requirements  . …C-1
             C.2. Software Requirements  . …C-1
             C.3. Comment  . …C-1

L I S T  0 F  T A B L E S

 1-1: 1971 Advertisement  1-1
 1-2: the MCS-4 Chip Set  1-1
 3-1: the CP/M Modules  3-1
 5-1: Numbers in Different Bases  5-3

L I S T   0 F   F 1 G U R E S

 5-1: a Knife Switch Example  5-1

Original Page References :     <#.#>
(Bottom of Original Page)


1. the CPU - a Historical Perspective

1.1. the Birth of the Microcomputer - 11/71
The 17 November 1971 issue of Electronics News carried an advertisement touting the attributes of Intel's MCS-4 microcomputer. In part, it boasted –
 
Table 1-1: 1971 Advertisement
                 a 4-bit parallel adder   16 4-bit Reqisters
                 an Accumulator   a push down Stack

 The MCS-4 design team was headed by Ted Hoff, Jr.  The project originated as a cooperative effort with a (now defunct) Japanese company (Bisicom) to design a calculator based on existing transistor technology.  The team realized this was a weighty undertaking and sought a better way.  This turned out to be large scale integrated (LSI) chips - the 4000 series.
 

         Table 1-2: the MCS-4 Chip Set
                                     4004                 CPU w/ set of 45 instructions
                                     4001                 ROM 'hard-wired' procedures unit
                                     4002                 RAM user program area
                                     4003                 Shift Register

The MCS-4 was modeled after Digital Equipment's (DEC) PDP-8 minicomputer.  It contained a 19 byte interpreter and could do 100,000 additions of 4-bit operands per second.
 

1.1.1.  Enter the 8-bit Microprocessor - 1972
 Intel introduced the 8-bit 8008 CPU during 1972.  It had a repertoire of 48 instructions, seven 8-bit registers, and could address 16,384 (16 K) bytes of RAM.  It could perform 80,000 8--bit additions per second.  It was NOT compatible with the origin-al MCS-4.
 
1.2.  the Dawn of the Microcomputer Age - 1973
Intel released the 8080 CPU late in 1973. Shina Masutushi, a member of the MCS-4 design team, had designed it.  The 8080 CPU supported the 8008's 48-instruction set, plus an additional 30 more.  It contained eight 8-bit registers or four 16-bit registers. Upward mobility for established 8008 users was possible without penalty.

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The 8080 CPU could address 65,536 (64 K) bytes of RAM.  It could generate 256 input strobe signals and 256 output strobe signals. It was an NMOS chip (N-channel Metal Oxide Semiconductor) with 'fast' clock rates. It could perform 500,000 8-bit arithmetic operations per second.
 

1.2.1. a Better 8-bit Microprocessor – 1976
In 1976, Intel introduced the 8085 CPU with 1/0 added to the chip.  It provided 770,000 8-bit additions per second and was still compatible with the 8008 and 8080 CPU's.
 
1.3. the Dawn of the 16-bit Microprocessor - 1978
Late in 1978, Intel released the 8086 CPU. It was a 16-bit microprocessor, which could address mega-byte (MB) of RAM.  It further provided for 16 distinct user areas.

The next year Intel released the 8088 CPU. Internally, it was functionally identical to the 8086. Externally, it had an 8bit bus, making it 'compatible' with the 8080 & 8085 CPU's.  (This was not always a painless procedure.)
 

1.3.1. the 16-bit Processor Family
Intel soon released two more 'sisters' to the 8086 CPU.  They were the 8087 NDP (Numeric Data Processor) and the 8089 IOP (Input-Output Processor).

The 8086 CPU, standing alone, is somewhat inferior to the 16-bit MC68000.  However, when the three processors are used together, they blow away other 16-bit processors, outside of Hewlett-Packard!
 

1.4. the Intel iAPX Series
Intel has developed three iAPX's : the 186, 286 and 432.  Each higher number represents a vast improvement over each lower number, which began with the iAPX-86 (8086 CPU).  The 186 and 286 are 16-bit microprocessors while the 432 is a true 32-bit microprocessor.
 
1.4. 1. the iAPX 186
The iAPX 186 can address 16 MB of RAM (the maximum supported by the S-100 bus, IEEE-696 standard).  It is designed to use a conventional operating system including privilege levels (to 4 deep) to protect data.

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1.4.2. the iAPX 286
The iAPX 286 has three new registers and several new flags as well as new instructions.  Both the 186 and 286 are compatible with the current 8086 and 6088 CPU's.
 
1.4.3. the iAPX 432
The iAPX 432 could theoretically link upto 256 copies of the same microprocessor, to work together cooperatively yet independently, to form the care of a large computer.  It is a true 32bit microprocessor designed to service a large number of users and also provide a high degree of security for data.  It can address upto one million mega-bytes of RAM! (This is equivalent to 1,000,000 maximized Compupro 816-C's!)
 
1.4.4. S-100 Implementation
Several S-100 hardware manufacturers have CPU boards based on the iAPX 186 microprocessor.  CompuPro is one such manufacturer.
 
1.5. Design Requirements for a Basic Computer System
This section will use Intel's iAPX 432 as an example of a microprocessor which addresses five major areas central to design considerations.
 
1.5.1. Speed
The system must provide methods for dividing large jobs into smaller, manageable tasks.  This will prevent one job from interfering with other job-executions. Thus, "bottle-necks' are prevented.
 
1.5.2. Security
The system uses an object-based operating system with capacity-based addressing scheme.  This allows a user to modify his own data area. read some other data areas. but not be able to access certain critical/protected data.
 
1.5.3. Reliability
The system must provide built-in protection from software and hardware malfunctions.
 
1.5-3.1. Software Protection
Data is strongly 'typed'. Automatic  (built-in hardware) ‘type' checking is done for each access.

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1.5.3.2.  Hardware Protection
Dual copies of the 432 can run the same instructions together and check each other for accuracy.
 
1.5.4.  Expandability
The 432 allows adding new processors to an existing system without changing the operating system. Theoretically, upto 256 copies of the 432 could work together.
 
1.5.5.  Ease of Programming
The 432 incorporates preprogrammed pieces into the hardware.  It has an extensive set of Operating system 'Primitives' in its hardware instruction set.

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2.  the System Bus - a Historical Perspective

 
2.1.  the S-100 bus
The S-100 (IEEE-696 Standard) is a bus system of 100 parallel/independent lines.  Each line is numbered and has specific signals/information allowed on them.

The origin of the S-100 bus can be traced to the 8080-CPU based Altair 8800 released in early 1975 by MITS. Inc. Many companies made plug-in compatible boards for the Altair 8800. The unit, in kit form, sold for under $400.

Motherboards group several S-100 slots in parallel.  This permits modular special function S-100 boards to be installed perpendicular to the motherboard.
 

2.2.  the S-100 Enclosure
An S-100 enclosure contains a motherboard. an elaborate power supply and a cooling fan.  CompuPro's Enclosure-2 provides a highly reliable 20 slot motherboard and power supply. it sells for about $650. )
 
2.3.  S-100 Advantages
The S-100 derives its value from its modular structure.  The benefits are three-fold.
 
2.3.0.1.  Expandability
First, extra S-100 boards can be added. RAM, Ram-Disk or I/O.  These can expand RAM, RAM-Disk or I/O.

A serious user could begin with a basic advanced S-100 system for under $6.500.  Then, as economics permit, he could add many thousands of dollars in expansion boards.  The final system would be very powerful and less expensive than other approaches.
 

2.3.0.2.  Upgrading  - -New Technology
Second, as new technologies become cost-effective, they can be added to the system.  A hard disk is such a technology

 A 40 MB hard disk with CompuPro Disk-3 controller now costs under $2,500.  A 20 MB hard disk & controller sells for  $1700.  The price may fall even more.

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2.3.0.3. Upgrading - Obsolete Board Replacement
Third, as a board becomes obsolete, it may be replaced.  Thus, only antiquated parts need be replaced, not the whole system.

A computer 'generation' is generally accepted to be only a five-year period.  Therefore, today’s state-of-the-art CPU board is destined to be eligible for replacement within five to ten years.

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3. Operating Systems - a Historical Perspective

3.1. the Pre-Natal Years '73-74
 

 
 
 

Dr. Gary Kildall was a consultant for Intel in 1973 when he developed a disk operating system (DOS) for the 8" Shugart Associates disk drive.  During 1973 and 1974 Intel saw no commercial application for a DOS.

By 1975, many companies were producing computers and other companies were producing disk drives. Original equipment manufacturers (OEM) had to write a DOS for each system they integrated.   (Some companies were known to have shipped systems without a DOS at all.)
 

3.2. CP/M is Born - 1975
It was during 1975 that several system integrators opted to use Kildall's DOS. (Kildall formed the software company Digital Research - DR or DRI.)  The disk drive manufacturers were ecstatic, an operating system was available to allow their drives to be added to any microcomputer with only minor integration required. Nationwide, 'hackers' touted a common language they could use to exchange programs.

CP/M means Control Program for Microprocessors. It employs a three-module approach to link the 8080 CPU to the disk drive. Two of the modules (CCP & BDOS) are device independent.  The third module (BIOS) must be customized to each microcomputer.
 

            Table 3-1: the CP/M Modules
                 CCP Command Console Processor
                 BDOS Basic Disk Operating System
                 BIOS Basic Input-Output System
 
3.2.1. Utilities
Microcomputer enthusiasts (hackers) responded quickly and positively to the CP/M operating system. Many utility programs were written and placed in public domain.  These facilitated the development of "higher' languages, more acceptable to the human users.
 
3.3. CP/M-86 - a Late Release - 1980
Digital Research released CP/M-86 late in 1980, nearly two years after the release of Intel's 8086 CPU.  (Problems obtaining a prototype processor board as well as a dedication to continued upward mobility

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contributed to the time lag.) This was a 16-bit disk operating system for the 8086 and 8088 CPU's.  It provides for upto 16 disk drives on a system and can address a full megabyte of RAM.
            By the end of 1981, over a quarter of a million copies of CP/M were in use.  Also, over 300 OEM's employed CP/M based systems.
 

3.4. More Operating Systems Advancements

 

3.4.1. Multi-user MP/M-86 ,  1981

MP/M means multi-programming monitor. It can detach from and attach to processes, thus, it can do multitasking It further allows upto 254 operators/users at separate terminals.  These users can be partitioned by assigning them among the 16 user areas.
 
3.4.2. Concurrent-CP/M
C-CP/M allows multi-tasking on single user microcomputer systems.  This allows the system to print file(s) while the operator updates other(s).
 
3.5. Advanced Operating Systems
 
3.5.1. Concurrent DOS
Most recently, Digital Research has released Concurrent Disk Operating System for the IBM-XT (the IBM-PC w/ 10MB hard disk). Concurrent DOS reads and writes both MS-DOS and CP/M-86.  It incorporates advanced features beyond C-CP/M. including upto four windows to monitor multitasking operations.
 
3.5.2. StarLink - a Work Station link
Digital Research just released StarLink for the IBM-XT.  The minimum system required is 512 KB RAM with a 10-MB hard disk.  Four dumb terminals may be added to an XT forming a workstation for five users.  They can share station resources such as printers, as well as the hard disk.
 
3.5.3. MS-DOS - 1981 - a Brief Word
In 1979, Seattle Computer made only two developmental boards using the Intel 8086 CPU and it claimed to need both for its own in-house work.  From 1979 through 1981, Seattle developed 86-DOS to link the 6086 CPU and disk drives.  The first version was called QDS for quick & dirty system.

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In July 1981, MicroSoft bought the development rights to 86-DOS and thus, MS-DOS was born. Later that year. IBM released its Original PC (personal computer) which ran on the MS-DOS, called PC-DOS. Update 2.0 came later to correct inherent problems with version 1.0. Most recently announced is version 3.0.
 

<3-3>
 
 

4. Some Conclusions

 
4.1. Concerning the IBM-XT
It seems that Digital Research's Concurrent DOS and StarLink will be a powerful combination for IBM-XT users.  But - presently, the IBM XT is hindered with an 8086 CPU running at only 4 MHz. Still, the possibility of a work station for those who have XT is quite encouraging.  Most users will not notice the slower speed inherent with the IBM.
 
4.2. a System Recommendation
 A 20-slot microframe using the S-100 standard bus is the basis of a very powerful system.  Start with CompuPro's dual processor  (8085/8088 CPU) board running at 6 MHz and 8 MHz.  Add to this the MP/M operating system, for multitasking and multi- processing; and CompuPro’s Static RAM and M-Drive/H for electronic disk work.  The system should provide Capability for six to eight tasks to run simultaneously without noticeable delays.  Further, upgrading with boards based on Intel's iAPX-186 or 286 CPU's is possible.
 

4.3. a Personal Development-System

                                       COLOSSUS-0

4.3.0.1. Hardware
        CompuPro 816B     20 Slot S-100 Enclosure the 'boat anchor'
                                        CPU 8085/8088     6/8 MHz 8/16 bit CoProcessor
                                        4 RAM-16/10-MHz Static RAM --  256 KB total
                                        M-Drive/H  512 K  RAM-Disk
                                        System Support I Clock. Calendar, etc.
                                        Disk I Controller for upto 4 drives
                                        Interfacer 3       8 Serial Parts
                                        Interfacer 4       3 Serial, 1 Centronics, 1 Parallel
               Mitshubishi        Dual 8" Disk Drives 2.4 MB total
               Liberty               Freedom 100 (in TeleVideo 910 emulation)
 
4.3.0.2. Software
                                         SuperCalc 86 Spread Sheet Program
                                         dBASE II v2.4 Data Base Management System
                                         WordStar v3.0 Professional Package -- Word Processor
                                         CB-86 Compiler (CBASIC)
                                         Final Word v1.15 -- Word Processor
                                         Hyper Typer -- Typing Practice
 
4.3.0.3. Operating System
                                         MP/M-86   Multi-user,  Multi-Tasking
                                         w/  10 Consoles max,  3 Printers max.

<4-1>
 

5. Computer Languages - a Historical Perspective

 
5.1. Preliminary - 'Other' Number Bases
 
5.1.1. an Electric Circuit
An electric circuit has just two states. It may be closed, carrying a current, but having no potential difference <voltage>. Or, it could be open, not carrying a current, but having a potential difference <voltage>.
 
        Fig. 5-1: a Knife Switch Example
 
               Closed Circuit      (+)-------o--------------o-------(-)
                                                0 Volts
                                                                                                                                                            O
                                                                                                                                                                    \
                                                                                                                                                                        \
                                                                                                                                                                            \
               Open Circuit                                                                                                    (+)-------o                    o-------(-)
                                                                                                                      5 Volts

This suggests a binary  <base two>  system.   Such a system allows the digits zero <0> and one <1>.
A 'bit' is a BInary digiT. { 0, 1, }

All numbers could be represented by a sequence of zeros and ones.  However, physical constraints have limited actual application.
 

5.1.2. Binary Numbers
The base ten system of numbers <'our' number system> starts with the units digit just to the left of the decimal point.  The next place left represents tens (1*10), the next place is ten times larger (1*10*10), and so on.  This is the nature of any base system of numbers.

In the following base two example, each pair of angle brackets '<>' represents a place value base two <binary> :
                       <1*2*2*2*2*2>   <1*2*2*2*2>    <1*2*2*2>    <1*2*2>    <1*2>    <units>

<5-1>
 

5.1.3. the Nibble & Byte
Intel's 1971 MCS-4 was a 4-bit microprocessor.  It was able to 'nibble' at large numbers.

A 'nibble' is defined to be 4-bits.

 Intel's 1972 8008 CPU was an 8-bit microprocessor. It could take a big 'byte' out of large numbers.

            A Byte is defined to be 8-bits.
 

5.1.4. Octal & HEX
 A byte of binary digits can represent the decimal number 255,  but it is cumbersome.
1111 1111  <==>     255

The octal <base 8> system was adopted to simplify entering binary numbers.  The only requirement was that someone first build a keyboard decoder to translate the octal number into binary for the chip.  377 <octal> represents 255 decimal.

The octal place value ‘< >' :
                          <1*8*8*8*8*8>   <1*8*8*8*8>   <1*8*8*8>   <1*8*8>   <1*8>   <units>

            The octal digit set is :  { 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 }

            As the microcomputer industry grew, the octal system was replaced by the hexadecimal <HEX> system. This is the formal name for the base 16 system.  The place value and digit set are shown below.

                          <1*16*16*16*16>     <1*16*16*16>      <1*16*16>     <1*16>     <units>

            The hexadecimal digit set is :   { 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, A, B, C, D, E, F }

The characters A, B, C, D, E & F have been 'drafted' to represent the base ten two-digit numbers 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15, respectively.  This is necessary since base sixteen must allow for upto 15 units before moving place value.  The first five upper case characters of the alphabet were available.  The decimal number 255 is FF <HEX>.

N. B.
The reader may have noticed 'upto' being typed as one word, sans the usual space.  This was intentional, as many computer commands must be typed without a space.  For example, the 'end if' command is written ENDIF.

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        Table 5-1: Numbers in Different Bases
HEX     Octal       Byte Binary         Nibble Binary      Decimal

00         000         0000 0000             0000                     0
01         001         0000 0001             0001                     1
02         002         0000 0010             0010                     2
03         003         0000 0011             0011                      3
04         004         0000 0100             0100                      4
05         005         0000 0101             0101                      5
06         006         0000 0110             0110                      6
07         007         0000 0111             0111                      7
08         010         0000 1000             1000                      8
09         011         0000 1001             1001                      9
OA       012         0000 1010             1010                     10
OB       013         0000 1011             1011                     11
OC       014         0000 1100             1100                     12
OD       015         0000 1101             1101                     13
OE        016         0000 1110             1110                     14
OF        017         0000 1111             1111                      15
10         020         0001 0000             <END>                  16
11         021         0001 0001                                            17
       . . .          . . .                                 . . .           . . .
FF         377         1111 1111                                           255
                             <END>
 

5.2. Assembly Language
 
5.2.1. mnemonics
Programming long routines using only numeric representation for commands, is more than tedious, it is horrendous!  Often, even the original programmer cannot decipher his own code a few months after he has completed a program.

A mnemonic code for 8-bit microprocessors was developed.  A mnemonic is a 3-character 'abbreviation' for a computer directive.  Some examples - LoaD the Accumulator is LDA, MoVe the Immediate byte is MVI, Jump for flag Not equal to Zero is JNZ.

A programmer would write his code in assembly, a more 'friendly" approach than staring at numeric codes.  When the program was completed, he would use a look-up table for the numeric codes to enter into the microprocessor.
 

5.2.2. ASM & DDT
When larger capacity micros became available, the look-up function was done by the computer. This was a two step process.
A program, written in assembly language, is first translated into Hex code by the Assembler (ASM). Then, a LOAD program translates the Hex code into computer level Binary code for executable program.

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Finally, a dynamic debugging program (DDT) had to be written.  This program allowed the programmer to correct coding errors, which are inherent in any program longer than a few pages.

The assembler, loader and Dynamic Debugging Tool provided the 'tools' programmers needed to write long programs.  Programs - in excess of 1,000 lines were not uncommon.
 

5.3. the 'Higher' Languages
Assembly language (one step up from Hex Codes) was employed to write the CP/M utilities.  Gordon Eubanks used this code to write E-BASIC. an early version of a 'high' language.

E-BASIC was the forerunner of the 1977 CBASIC.  In 1978, CBASIC version 2, a pseudo compiled BASIC, with extensive file" handling capability was released.  This provided the foundation to permit application programs, such as the General Ledger family (including Accounts Payable & Receivable, etc.) to be written.

Other 'high' level application software was written in assembly language during the late 70's.  WordStar, a word processing program from MicroPro has been widely acclaimed as an excellent program.  SuperCalc a spread sheet calculator program from Sorcim, is a formidable program. Both were developed in the CP/M-80 environment.

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 A. Glossary

        ALU      Arithmetic Logic Unit
                          bus communication lines w/i the computer
        CPU      Central Processing Unit
        CRT      Cathode Ray Tube, a monitor, screen, etc.
        DMA     Direct Memory Access
        DOS      Disk Operating System
        I/0          Input (a keyboard, disk, etc.)
                          /   Output (a CRT, printer, disk, etc.)
        OS         Operating System
        RAM      Random Access Memory - read/write memory
        ROM      Read Only Memory          -  programmed into a chip

        Accumulator      register through which all 1/0 is handled
        Flag                   a 1-bit on/off switch for CPU control
        Register             memory location w/i CPU
        Stack                 reserved registers for program control

        bit                BInary digiT Base 2 digit { 0, 1 }
        nibble           4-bits Original width of Intel's MCS-4
        Byte             8-bits Original width of Intel's 8008'CPU
        Octal            Base 8 Digit Set { 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 }
        HEX             Hexadecimal - Base 16   Digit Set:
                                 { 0,  1,  2,  3,  4,  5,  6,   7,  8,  9,  A,  B,  C,  D,  E,  F }
        ASCII           American Standard Code for Information Interchange
                                 Characters use lowest 7 bits - 8th bit free or 0
                                 { Wordprocessors , spreadsheets & DBMS's use the eighth
                                  bit to encode information for program use. }
        BASIC          Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Information Code
                                  A 'high' level language written in assembly code

        dBASE II       Data Base Management System from Ashton-Tate
                                   Written in assembly language
        FORTRAN    FORmula TRANslation 'high' language for engineers

         KB                kiloB            1-thousand (1024) Bytes
         MB               megaB          1-million Bytes
         Hz                 hertz cycle per second
         bug                (descriptive) name for microprocessor chip
         chip               Silicon based electronic device
         IC                  Integrated Chip - cascaded transistors on a chip
         LSI                Large Scale Integration

        w/ with 'avec'                            \ \   many    'boucoup'
        w/i within 'dans'
        w/o without 'sans'
        NB nota bene ( L, mark well )

<A-1>
 

B. Utilities
 
B.1. DOS Utilities (Required)
        DIR                 DIRectory List of files on disk
        ERA                ERAse Removes files from disk
        FORMAT       prepare a new disk to be written on; cleans 'old' disks
        PIP                 Peripheral Interchange Program
                                  File transfer program w/ 'beaucoup' options!
        REN               REName Change file name
        STAT             STATistics Stats on files, drives or system
                                  Has 'beaucoup' options
        SUBMIT         a program to run a series of 'tedious' DOS commands
        SYSGEN        places DOS on freshly formatted disk
        TYPE              list contents of ASCII files to screen or printer
                                  Can have 'beaucoup' options
 
B.2. DOS Utilities (Optional)
        ASM         ASseMbly language ASseMbler
                              Translates assembly file to a HEX file
        DDT          Dynamic Debugging Tool
                              Aids programmer to clean up the assembly program
        LOAD       Converts a HEX file to a runnable COM file
 
B.3. Comparative Clock Speeds
        8-bit

                  8080          .7 MHz
                  8080A        2 MHz
        16 bit

                   8086          8, 10 MHz
                   8088          8, 10 MHz
 

B.4. Miscel1aneous
        MS-DOS MicroSoft Disk Operating System
        PC-DOS         MS-DOS on the IBM-PC & XT
        TRSDOS Tandy Radio Shack Disk Operating System
 

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C. Minimum Configuration - Starter System

 
C.1. Hardware Requirements
N.B.
            0sborne-01;  OK, three years ago            /            recommended 1984

        CPU                               4 MHz Z-8OA                           8 MHz 8088
                                               8-bit                                         16-bit
        RAM                             64 KB                                      128 KB
        Bus                                  8-bit                                        8- & 16-bit
        Monitor                           5" built-in, 12"ext.                     9" built-in, 14"external
        DSK Capacity               90 KB each                            180 KB each
        1/0 Ports           2 RS-232C Serial, IEEE-696 Parallel    <=='ditto'

        Dual Disk Drives and a detachable Key Board are a must!

        Printer Dot Matrix w/ 15" Carriage & Tractor Feed
 

C.2. Software Requirements
        Word Processor                 WordStar v2.3            /           WS v3.0 &  Pro Pack
        Spread Sheet                      SuperCalc                   /           SuperCalc 2
        Operating Sys                     CP/M-80                     /          CP/M-86
                                                  + Full Utilities

        Programming Lang              CBASIC-8O               /           CB-86 Compiler
                                                  MBASIC v5.3
        Data Base Mangmt                                                 /            dBASE II v2.4
 

C.3. Comment
 The above system (left side of cost under $2,500 in the fall of 1982.   It is composed of an Osborne 01 "transport-able' microcomputer,  an external Zenith monitor and an Epson MX- 100 dot matrix printer.

Today, the 8-bit, CP/M v3.3 Osborne Executive meets most of the above requirements (right side of '/').  Including Personal Pearl (a DBMS); the Exec now goes for $1,600.

A new Exec revision is due from the restructured Osborne Corporation.  It should better meet the specified requirements.  A KayPro 2 or 4 are other alternatives in the same price range.

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