The Mark 8 Minicomputer

Ok, so Iím a geek, letís just get that out of the way. Back in the mid 1970ís when I designed and built my own 8008 based computer the Mark 8 had been previously released. It was designed by Jon Titus and published in the July 1974 edition of Radio Electronics magazine. I remember thumbing through the pages over and over fascinated by the Mark 8. Even though the Mark 8 was a really cool computer I was more interested in designing and building my own. It was a project that spanned three years. At the time I made the right decision. Designing building my own computer taught me more that I could have gotten with a four year college degree. I learned about hardware and software design, construction, trouble shooting, and a lot about patience. But most of all I learned a lot about myself!

Today itís nearly 40 years from the time I completed my own 8008 Iíve revisited the Mark 8 by building my own. This project started over a decade ago when I bought a kit of parts and printed circuit boards off eBay. As soon as I got the kit I soldered together the boards, but put it aside because I was torn about the way the boards needed to be wired together. Ten years later I decided to put molex connectors on the boards so they could be plugged into a back plane.

The results are fantastic!!! Brining the Mark 8 to life brought a million memories rushing back in. Itís ironic how much pleasure I get from toggling in a simple program and seeing the lights blink.

My future plans for the Mark 8 include a TTL video card and a 16k memory card. (Yes k, you read that right.)

Source code for my bouncy front panel LED program bounce.asm

Thu Jun 4 11:16:18 MDT 2015