About Me

Hello!   My name is Daryl Rictor and I've been working (ok, hobbying) with micro-computers since 1979.   Here's a little background about me:


My first computer was a kit called the "COSMAC ELF."   This little jem sported the RCA CDP1802 processor.   It had 256 bytes of RAM, 256 bytes of PROM, and a two-digit hexidecimal display and keypad.   I cut my teeth on machine language with that one and still prefer machine language/assembly over higher level languages for the simple tasks.   You can learn more about the COSMAC ELF here: http://home.wi.rr.com/ruske/cosmacelf/


I later moved up to both Commodore 64 and Apple ][ computers.   I found them easy to program and fun to experiment on.   I wrote several utility programs in assembly on the Commodore, including a touch tone dialer and a game I called Mortar Fire, which was basically two cannons facing each other. Each player took turns entering in the angle (accounting for wind and different heights).   I later ported it to the Apple II and also wrote a few trigonomitry & graphics routines, experimenting in 3-D generation.   Then came the PC boom, and I took up programming in Quick BASIC and later "C".


More recently, I had the urge to build some specialized controllers and decided the 65C02 would be perfect for the task.   I wanted to be able to develop software on my PC and decided to write a 65C02 Simulator to simplify design and debugging.   Not wanting to re-invent the wheel, I searched for an existing simulator.   This led to me to the AppleWIN emulator.   This is an Apple ][ emulator that runs under Windows.   It's source code was made available in the public domain so I took it, stripped out the Apple ][ specific references, added some more features, and released my "65C02 Simulator for Windows". While I am no longer maintaining it, it can be downloaded here -> 65C02 Simulator For Windows.   I have converted the Simulator's source files to be compatible with the freeware "LCC" C Compiler. You can download "LCC" from here -> LCC C Compiler This makes it easier for those who want "play" with the source code.

I used the Simulator to create a simple monitor and miniassembler for my future SBC's.   This program was adopted from the monitor written for the Apple ][ computers.   It's size is approximately 6K and sits in EEPROM from $E800-$FFFF.   It includes RESET initialization of RAM based interrupt vectors and also has a simple BRK handler. The SBC-2 uses this monitor.


My next task was to design and build a simple Single Board Computer (SBC) to run my software on.   Simplicity and a small footprint were my primary design goals.   I constructed my first SBC, now called "SBC-1", in March 2001.   I had the board manufactured by expressPCB.com at a cost of $62 for three boards. I am not longer supporting this board.


After spending time with SBC-1 and building some simple I/O devices for it, I discovered that it was under-equipped.   It lacked RS-232 communications and needed more IO ports.   Thus, the birth of "SBC-2 v2.3" in April 2002.   SBC-2 was designed to provide more I/O and improved expandability via an expansion port.   It's size was kept as small as possible but large enough to provide as many options as I could. A minor upgrade resulted in SBC-2 v2.5. Check it out here -> SBC-2


My next project expands on SBC-2 and the 65c02, using it's big brother, the 65C816 16-bit processor.   SBC-3 has 512k of SRAM, two 65C22 VIA's, and custom Video and SPI interface chips.   It can display 320x200 color images with 8 bits per pixel.   The SPI interface creates a gateway for many off-the-shelf peripherals, including real-time clocks, mass storage, expanded I/O, and more.   It's all wrapped up in a 6.5" x 4" PCB.   Check it out here -> SBC-3


My latest project takes a modular approach to building an SBC. SBC-4 has a base board with CPU and terminal communications along with system decoding. All other I/O can be added using daughter boards.   The daughter cards can be attached via ribbon cable or stackable headers.   Currently, there is a 65816 manin board and a more basic 65c02 board is in the planning stage.   Check it out here -> SBC-4


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All info provided "as-is" and is Copyright 2010.
Last updated on Mar 12, 2012.