Sixty-five-oh-two, I’m in love with you!!

Blake was right, and I dearly wish that bloke had lived on my block here on Bleak Street; we could have built stand-alone micro-processor boards together.
” To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower Hold infinity in the palms of your hand and eternity in an hour.”
Ok, more like ‘Heaven in a wafer of silicon, and triumphant Logic in a millisecond’ (Depending on clock-speed)
First off, in this Kiss and Tell post, this ‘My Romance with the Mostek 6502 CPU’ best-seller, I need to profusely thank…
The indomitable Duncan SWH, for jolting me into remembering how much I’ve always (and always shall until cosmic volt-less-ness do us part) love this 40-pin love-of-my-life.
We Jews quote ‘If I forget thee, Jerusalem, may my right hand lose its craft’. A simple substitution is equally apt here: ‘May my soldering iron lose its point.’
And further on the religious theme,; to my mind there are only two choices:
1) Either he knowingly understood that I needed this impetus to refresh my past prowess.. Or
2) He is in fact an Agent of Cosmic Right Mind, a conduit for Good in ways which ‘passeth His understanding’.
Like, um.. Jesus, finding himself riding/ slouching into Jerusalem, and muttering: ‘WTF!, I’m on a donkey?! I hate donkeys! And though this would not be the first time my be-burro-ed buddy has inspired me, I none-the-less lift eyes skyward to decide between the above possibilities. A challenge F-Stop Fitzgerald aptly described as:
“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

  Indeed, my spiritual journey in Life kinda started that cold long-ago morning when I finally, after a good year of failed lonely trials, coaxed an actual 6502 into reading my primitive-test machine-language routine from the lashed-up EPROM and displaying the digits from 0 to 9 on the previously-tauntingly-silent seven-segment display I’d ‘built for her.
Let’s pause a second and analyze the innocent pronoun ‘her’. ok?
If there were ever in human history an electronics-metaphor more evocative of a woman who, after way too many months of thoughtful, respectful attention finally, one fine day, decides that ‘Yes, I said yes, as well him as any other’ (James Joyce, if anyone cares), well (where were we?) um… it’s the moment when you realize you have a Digital Lover awaiting your every instructions. Ninety-plus 8-bit commands: Increment, Decrement, Compare, Add, Roll right, Roll left, Put your lips around my.. Ok, I made that one up, but not completely far-fetched.
Since this is intended as a substantive content-rich post, let’s quickly take a look under the hood: Glance at the much-truncated Guide below. Insufficient to actually get her up and running, but, one hopes, at least somewhat informative. Might get you a first date at least, but you’re on your own after that.

6502 instructions big
Ok, now that you’ve been fore-warned. Here’s a song I wrote a while ago. After enduring one too many eye-roll-inspiring endorsements from proud Moms about their ‘genius’ kid who ‘Works with a computer!’ Me having designed and built the f*cking things chip by hand-wired chip. And also discovering that their ‘idiot-savants’ mainly wheel-horsed the store-bought computers from the loading dock to the display shelves. Really! And what about the endless hours I spent trying to understand the ‘innards’ of the supposedly-logical real-women described above. Enjoy. The ‘geniuses’ have ‘digital examinations scheduled, and my condolences.

He Works with a Computer!
We work for fifty cents a day, building a house, some/
Some joker makin’ 90K playing with a mouse, While we’re/
diggin’ in the dirt, tryin’ to catch a worm, he’s making
Seven and a quarter on a Medium Term…

He works with a computer! (Awesome!) That’s where the money is/
Used to be a Loser… Now he’s a genius. (not!) Jerk with a com- /
Puter, (“Don’t try to take it apart!”)

He’s selecting from the Menu, we’re sinking in the mud/
I can’t believe it, can you? If he’s a Thinker, I’m a Spud, well it’s/
Two bits, four bits, eight bits, a dollar, he’s a/
Little bean-counter but at least he’s White collar…./

And he’s got a secret password.. (“Oh wow! Probably his birthday..)
He’s got a secret Password (Yeah, we could look that up, probably the default setting!”)
He’s looking at the Menu… (From this he makes a living?)
Can’t believe it, can you? (He’s been doin’ it since Thanksgiving…)

Get your Motorola running… Head out on the Bus…
We’re going computer hunting….
Sixty-five-oh-two, I’m in love with you…

Well it’s a discount chip, immitation leather, but/
I can take it all apart, and put it back together, my
Little bean-counter’s still havin’ all the fun, but he’s
Going for a Digital Examination….

He thinks it’s done with computers… That’s where the funny is/
He’ll be crying on the inside.. (Nah, he doesn’t have any ‘inside’)
He’ll forget his secret password.. (What was my password, “**big_shot**?) (Yeah, “B” “I” “H”… I can never remember that) (Try again later..) (I can’t sit down!)



18 thoughts on “Sixty-five-oh-two, I’m in love with you!!

  1. solberg73 Post author

    Your comment would have been a pleasant ‘perk’ even if you’d pointed out that the ‘Theta2’ clock output pin had been recklessly unmentioned.
    I do enjoy tying my posts to serious-er lit-folks. In fact, F-Stop Fitzgerald himself cribbed the ‘swimming uphill; when will it end?’ quote from Goethe(?) Or some other name-drop player from the past. And I do love Molly Bloom’s deciding, finally : ‘Well, this guy’s probably no sh*tier than the other worthless drunks down at the bar’. (I just toldGreg/ Melfamy/ Village Wordsmity that neither of us seem to be able to finish a sentence without at least one cultural reference. Meanwhile, as you alone know, I’m busy trying to exterminate a bunch of unruly Mockingbirds. So glad there’s a handy handbook for that. Pleasant weekend to ya

    1. promisesunshine

      I cannot believe that you recklessly unmentioned the Theta2 clock output pin.
      (Also you just told everybody about your secret mission that I previously alone knew. Just sayin.)
      Enjoy your weekend.

      1. solberg73 Post author

        Haha. I’m counting on uninterested citizens not to cross-check FB/WP/ and e-mail intercepts.
        Our ‘weekend’ here is 23 hours total when perhaps half of my customers don’t feel right calling. I try to make the best of it/

  2. eleanorio

    My biggest beef about my first computer was that I couldn’t just repair it by jiggling a screwdriver in its innards, the way I fix most things. Maybe I should have paid more attention when I held the hot soldering iron for my big brother when he was assembling all those ham radio kits.

    1. solberg73 Post author

      A good observation, El; Like him, (proud to say) I come from a fairly rich history of expecting to understand, build, and repair devices. And both of us were likely shocked and dismayed at the arrival of the Sticker-of-Doom: ‘No user-serviceable parts inside!’ Today, past the classic ‘Turn it off, then back on’ remedy there is, in truth, not much to do, as a ‘consumer,’ other than to meekly watch the device you consume consummate its pre-ordained journey toward the obsolescence landfill. My dear Father chafed, even more vociferously in his day, at the death of expectations: Cars driven by folks without even your trusty screwdriver in the tool-kit under the seat.
      Yes, one of the lines in the song ‘Don’t try to take it apart’ is apt here.
      And to my mind, the sea-change is deeper than a simple progression of technologies; it goes to the ‘ownership’ of the tools we use. Anyone trying to promote a ‘Use ’em and Toss ’em’ attitude toward, for example, both of my grand-dad’s horses would have been both shunned and shown the road to the nearest Bet Meshuga’im.
      I know, El, none of that generation could have put men on the Moon. Just wistful, I suppose; for the days when astronauts mixed their own rocket fuel in emergencies, and rubbed sticks together to light it.
      Thanks so much for inspiring a longing for what, perhaps, never was.

  3. melfamy

    That would not have been out of place on a Frank Zappa production, Yoni! Terrific work!
    It puts me in mind of hearing someone who doesn’t know I spent thirty years in the wheelhouse acting like they have seen it all in their first five months.

    1. solberg73 Post author

      Glad you enjoyed it! And Bingo; We brothers in this frustration with neophyte-over-confidence. The only scant consolation is the sweetness of saying ‘Told you so’ to a tow -on-the-rocks.

  4. somewittyhandle

    I go away for a week, and come back to see my own face staring back at me! I’m tremendously flattered, but must confess to being more asinine than messianic.

    My first computer dalliance was also with a 6502, but it was a blind date in my case. In 1977, my father bought a Commodore PET, which was based on a 6502. The machine (never taken apart – strictly verboten) booted straight into a BASIC interpreter, so any safe sex with the processor was experienced though the thick prophylactic galoshes. I happily wrote hundreds of little programs, starting with endless loops of dirty words being printed to the screen, then introducing some conditional interactions with the ‘user’. Eventually, I was creating graphical games (poke-ing pixels to the screen) featuring racing cars, and so forth. A favourite creation consisted of 2 players, each represented on screen by a tramp, stuck on respective sails of a windmill. As the windmill sails changed speed and direction, anticipated by changes in the movement of passing clouds, each opponent tried to defecate on the head of the other, by pressing his respective ‘bombs away’ key. This, believe it or not, was a big hit among the other 12/13-year-olds at school. I think I may even still have the original code, which challenged the (then considered vast) 4K RAM.

    Only many years later (as a young engineer) did I renew my acquaintance sans galoshes. I was trying to design a toaster that did something more sophisticated than pop with a bimetallic strip. By that time, a 6502 was old hat, but actually cost less than the bimetallic strip. My lengthy struggles with the machine code required to read a couple of comparator outputs, count, follow a trivial algorithm, and send a single output to a solenoid via a Darlington pair, give me an enormous respect for real electronics dudes like yourself, who can get their digital lovers to make more elaborate breakfasts than toast.

    I recall one of the courtesies of courtship in those days was that I had to wear a bracelet, connected to the same copper pipe buried in your garden as her VSS. Accepted wisdom would be that she would have a headache every night henceforth, if this ritual was not performed. Over the years, I became much lazier about this foreplay, and eventually gave up on it altogether. Nothing seems to have exploded yet as a result (although there have been other catastrophes). Here’s a question: why do the dudes who design these little beauties always put VCC and VSS on opposite diagonals, so you can very easily fry if you put the IC into the socket the wong way round? Why don’t they make each in a different spot, and each rotationally symmetric to an NC pin?

    “He works with a computer” is truly brilliant! The target of the mockery is legitimate and real.

    1. solberg73 Post author

      I’ll start by declaring, as you must already guess, that this substantive Comment is,( no slight on any other,) a blogger’s wet dream. Also hits me over the head how absurdly parallel our experiences are. What playful god or goddess could have found the time to so ridiculously ‘god-in-the-machine’ these coincidences?
      One time-like difference is that , in my case, and after having built mainly RF devices with which to chat in Morse to Russians, etc, I fell into an electronic sleep, possibly explained by puberty. Awakening Rip Van Winkle style in the early ’70s, I discovered the digital world, a party already in progress. My first and only ‘store-bought’ machine was a Commodore-64. As you likewise recalled, I pretty much Basic-ed the crap out of its limitations, using the same ‘sprites’, etc. (Love to see a screen-shot of your ‘Poop or be pooped-on’ precocious romp)
      But therein lies the issue: To what extent is preservation of the artifacts of the delightful learning curve a requisite for mature perspective? (As opposed, of course, to the cynical view of my older son Ira, who never misses a chance to mention the velocity at which the ‘train moves on’.)
      I don’t know, guy. I’ll append an example-routine for time-delay which I coded into every 6502 stand-alone board I ever soldered into solidity. Fifteen lines which shall live in infamy.
      And sharing it here reminds me so much of that fabled group of old friends for whom every time-worn joke was simply mentioned as a number.
      Somehow I see you, well into the post Pentium multi-core current all-the-rage, still reading ‘A9 FF’ and instinctively holding out your right hand Accumulator, to grasp 256 whatevahs.
      Grateful for no avalanches while I awaited this treat/ JS

      1. solberg73 Post author

        Somewhat shortened, since memory is the first thing to fail at age 67:

        A9 FF: Load A with the value FF
        85 0E: Put the number into Zero page slot 0E
        A9 FF: Load another FF
        85 0D : Put that cash in zero page slot 0D
        C6 OE: Dec zero-page command- ‘Steal a penny out of 0E’s wallet. It’s ok, he’s got (had) 256 of ’em
        D0 FC: ( Branch Not Equal) Check if the sucker’s still solvent. and if ‘yes’ go back a few instructions and keep Decrementing the guy until he’s broke
        While you’re at it, take a buck out of ‘0D’s wallet, just to keep track of how many bankruptcies 0E’s declared.
        Keep chiseling 0E down incrementally to zero, repeatedly, until he’s gone broke 256 times. (That’s when 0D will also say ‘zero’, since we’re counting down backward.
        60 RTS (implied command) Um, get back to me as soon as you finish this silly ‘make-work’ job. And continue doing my bidding ,with the instruction right after the 20 JSR ‘Jump to Subroutine’ command that interrupted anything productive you might have been up to.
        Note: this routine, at a 1 Mhz clock, was good for almost a full second of peace of mind. Useful, inter alia, for ‘debouncing’. She spots a ‘shiny object; you remind her ‘All that glitters is not gold’.

      2. somewittyhandle

        Another coincidence: I sometimes use Molly Bloom as a nickname for Z: her maiden name was Bloomer, and we have celebrated Bloomsday in Dublin (with me as Leopold, naturally) in character on several occasions.

    1. solberg73 Post author

      Hmm.. I give the song away (gladly, by the way) for free, lose the fabled fortune it was rumoured to provide, but, as they say ‘make it up on volume’. 1000 X 0? that’s gotta be serious cash, right?

  5. somewittyhandle

    Just spotted from your pinout that I have been unkind in my recollection to the 6502. VSS is rotationally symmetric with itself, which also makes good sense! I was tarring her with the same brush as other some other silicon flibbertigibbets we could mention.

    1. solberg73 Post author

      Ha, even as a pharmaceutically-inspired youth I always re-checked the indent in the top of the chip before hitting ‘Like’, or whatever. Manufacturers have an obligation to save us from our sins, but only to a point. (Ex: this coffee may be HOT! Spill it into your stupid trumpian lap, ; scald your worthless little penis, and yippie; 2 points for Darwin!


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