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Hardware

Preserving Great Tech For Posterity — the 6502 290

Posted by timothy
from the double-secret-reverse-engineering dept.
trebonian writes "For great old hardware products like the MOS 6502 (used in the Apple II, the C64, the Nintendo NES), the details of the designs have been lost or forgotten. While there have been great efforts to reverse engineer the 6502 from the outside, there has not been the hardware equivalent of the source code — until now. As Russell Cox states: 'A team of three people accumulated a bunch of 6502 chips, applied sulfuric acid to them to strip the casing and expose the actual chips, used a high-resolution photomicroscope to scan the chips, applied computer graphics techniques to build a vector representation of the chip, and finally derived from the vector form what amounts to the circuit diagram of the chip: a list of all 3,510 transistors with inputs, outputs, and what they're connected to. Combining that with a fairly generic (and, as these things go, trivial) "transistor circuit" simulator written in JavaScript and some HTML5 goodness, they created an animated 6502 web page that lets you watch the voltages race around the chip as it executes. For more, see their web site visual6502.org.'"
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Preserving Great Tech For Posterity — the 6502

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  • Re:Not so fast... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 07, 2011 @12:14AM (#34787370)

    You mean Balasz' schematic. That's actually also reverse engineered, and has quite some mistakes in it.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Friday January 07, 2011 @04:50AM (#34788708)

    Go ahead and do it, it's not like you're not allowed to.

    Aww. Can't do it? Boo-hoo. But pooping on someone else's effort is much easier, ain't it?

    Sorry, but it pisses me off to no end, every time someone accomplishes something, someone who obviously CANNOT has to stand up and go "What a waste of time, why couldn't they have done X?" Well, maybe because they don't give half a shit about X? And considering the crappy state the Creative-official one for Windows is in, I'd guess it is not trivial to write one without all specs available...

    Can't people appreciate what others do even if it ain't their pet project?

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Friday January 07, 2011 @04:55AM (#34788724)

    You should have moved on to Amiga and its Motorola 68000. That processor sure was MUCH easier to understand than the segment/offset mess the X86 architecture was in.

    The 68000 was the last processor I truly understood. It was pretty straightforward too. Very streamlined and quite powerful.

For every bloke who makes his mark, there's half a dozen waiting to rub it out. -- Andy Capp

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