Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Four-bit microcomputer trainer in Scratch

When I was a kid, I had a Radio Shack Microcomputer Trainer. This device was programmable in machine code, and was a 4-bit system with 112 nibbles(!) of RAM. It actually ran as a virtual machine on a more powerful TMS-1x00 4-bit processor. These days, kids learn coding with much higher level languages than machine code, including graphical languages like Scratch. So I had some fun over the break and bridged the gap between then and now by making an emulator (or maybe more precisely simulator) of the trainer in Scratch. For computations (though probably not for I/O) it runs in the browser (shift click the flag to get Turbo Mode, though) faster than the original did according to my benchmark.

[Scratch link.]

[Instructables link with usage instructions.]

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