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Title: Retrocomputing: 8-BIT/6502 Era
Course Section Number: CSC-271-02
Department: Computer Science
Description: In 1977, The "Trinity" of mass-produced microcomputers hit the market: the TRS-80, the Apple II, and the Commodore PET. The latter two computers, like the Apple I before them, were powered by the venerable MOS 6502 processor. The 6502 though was not enough; building a computer around it required an array of auxiliary support processors. Thus, each computer of the era had different capabilities for sound, graphics, and storage; each had a different array of peripheral devices designed to work with them. Even today, millions of 6502 processors are manufactured; they are used in everything from industrial systems to the Tamagotchi toy. Fictional characters even use them, including Bender from Futuram aand the T-800 series from Terminator.This intensely project-based class will focus on the 6502 processor and family of supporting auxiliary processors. We'll look at how the family was used in popular systems of the time, such as the Commodore 64 and the Famicom/Nintendo Entertainment System. We'll program in a variety of languages, including BASIC, Pascal, Forth, C, and TONS OF ASSEMBLY, using both modern emulators and real hardware. We'll look at how graphics and sound work, how data is stored, and how the user was able to interact with the system. We'll look at how the limitations of the 6502 and auxiliary processors fostered creative programming and clever thinking. Finally, we'll look at the legacy of the 6502 and its 16-bit descendent, the 65816.
Credits: 1.00
Start Date: January 17, 2022
End Date: May 7, 2022
Meeting Information: 01/18/2022-05/05/2022 Lecture Tuesday, Thursday 09:45AM - 11:00AM, Goodrich Hall, Room 101
Faculty: McKinney, Colin
Requisite Courses: CSC-241 with a minimum grade C-

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