Re: ROM Dump of Amiga Keyboard controller

From: Ethan Dicks <>
Date: Mon, 21 Jul 2014 13:54:01 -0400
Message-ID: <>
On Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 1:39 PM, Jim Brain <> wrote:
> Is this a problem?  In the US, at least, people can't seem to give working
> 1520 units away.  I pawned a few off a few years ago, but it was not without
> difficulty.

Let me start by saying, well done for all the work!  I was always
curious about how the 1520 did its job but like everyone else before
you, had no way to inspect the code.  I've glanced over what's come
out of this effort and enjoyed reading the source.

> If there is a need for the 1520, it's for that funky gear that
> always breaks.

Indeed!  The motor gears break, the pens dry out, the paper is more
difficult to source than it was 30 years ago...

> Academically, it's possible, but there's little demand or
> challenge.  That's why I asked for new features, as that might make it a
> challenge.
>> But I'm not sure if additional commands would be useful. Even if someone
>> is still using a 1520 in a production environment, the software would only
>> know about the original command set and font.

Sure.  Any new functionality would demand new code to exploit it.

> They were a toy in the 1980's, so I seriously doubt anyone used one in prod.
> I thought adding a few more commands might entice people to dig the unit out
> and play with it.

The fanciest thing I ever did with mine was adapt some code from BYTE
to draw distorted rubber sheet equations and to list out the copy
protection codes for Infocom's "Starcross" below a plot of a "black

With such tiny paper, it's hard to get into something like plotting
schematic diagrams or "serious" business charts - the sorts of things
people used plotters for back in the day, relegating it to "toy"

Here's a suggestion... come up with a new command that tells the
plotter to enter a mode where it draws N characters then changes the
pen color, or to increment the pen color at each 0x20 so each word is
in a new color.  You could do this with computer-side code, of course,
but your host code is simpler if the device knows when to shift.


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Received on 2014-07-21 18:02:33

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