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Author Topic: TRS80 as serial console terminal?  (Read 2218 times)

tetsuharu

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TRS80 as serial console terminal?
« on: February 28, 2013, 11:55:52 AM »
We have collected a number of TRS-80's at this point, and even those of us who didn't grow up with them think they're endearing. They're as "FamiLAB" as blue tape.


A couple of us want to turn the big working one, the Model 4, into a terminal connected to a raspberry pi, but we're not sure how to go about doing it. The most we've been able to do is launch VisiCalc.


We have a couple other TRS80 models, but we're shooting for the Model 4 right now. I've heard that some models have a built-in 300 baud modem connected to the db25 on the back that you can use as a serial console by calling the SETCOM command. The SETCOM command doesnt show up in the help menu, and tells me there is no COM/DVR.



Has anyone ever done this before or have advice?




We want to bind it to a linux TTY and write a silly text console program to provide lab services, like change the text on the LED sign in the war room, make famicam take pictures, leave messages, get a list of upcoming events, and other easy stuff. "Sign in" for open houses.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 11:57:48 AM by tetsuharu »

Lensman

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Re: TRS80 as serial console terminal?
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2013, 12:11:41 PM »
Hmm, I think all you have is a Centronics parallel port to work with -- You'd need to fab an adapter to talk to the Pi.  Writing a terminal program in TRS basic should be trivial.

willasaywhat

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Re: TRS80 as serial console terminal?
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2013, 02:27:00 PM »
I like this idea. Can you build in a "Lost" mode where you have to put the numbers in very 108 minutes?

digitalman2112

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Re: TRS80 as serial console terminal?
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2013, 02:56:33 PM »
Yep, I'm old enough to remember when serial was an ADD-ON.

I suspect you'll need something like this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/TRS-80-Mdl-IV-26-1069-RS-232-Controller-Board-/150955426695?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2325a50387

Swinden Von Fappergiest

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Re: TRS80 as serial console terminal?
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2013, 03:59:59 PM »
I want to see the confused looks of visitors as we ask them to sign in or register an email address on the TRS-80. This project also shows that though computers are vastly more powerful these days we still use them largely for data entry and data storage. It is one of those examples of "the more things change the more they stay the same"

Also we might need to make a familab text adventure game.

digitalman2112

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Re: TRS80 as serial console terminal?
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2013, 06:27:15 PM »
If this thread interests you and you have not yet read "Ready Player One" - do so immediately.

(Awesome book, text adventures and TRS-80s are a part of the story...oh, and Tennis for Two, another FamiLAB classic is mentioned too...)

Yes for text adventure. What if each (willing) member had their own room in the virtual FamiLAB that they could "program"...






Lensman

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Re: TRS80 as serial console terminal?
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2013, 08:03:24 PM »
OMG yes!  I'm totally in on a FamiLAB MUD....

Perhaps this server code base?

http://evennia.com

tetsuharu

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Re: TRS80 as serial console terminal?
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2013, 12:10:38 PM »
I made a text-adventure clone of Hunt of the Wumpus where you play as Abyssknight hunting down Waterbury with a 9v battery

https://github.com/tetsuharu/Hunt-the-Wumpus