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[NOSC] Steamer16 survives contact with the real world

This originally was bounced when the MISC list went "poof":

Dear MISCers,

Steamer16 has just successfully completed a field test of a machine vision
application in an industrial environment. The handwired prototype is
performing at the design limit of 20 MIPS with all of the anomolies
encountered during system shakedown fixed. Even though 20 MIPS is not a big
number by today's standards, it's amazing what can be done in real time by
coupling software with a minimal peripheral set of parallel inputs and
outputs and a 20 MHz free-running timer. This vindicates the original
concept of a microprocessor being used to replace lots of dedicated
hardware. It is extremely gratifying to be running a simple, low-cost
homebuilt system with such performance and 100% reliability. Goodbye Z80,
8031, PIC, and other similar technology that was the previous economic and
performance limit for maverick computer experimenters. I need to be slapped
because I'm having so much fun and can't stop grinning.

The sport of CPLD and FPGA design using low-cost tools seems to me to be the
21st century equivalent of the early days of microprocessor hacking before
the monopolies forsook the needs of experimenters and stampeded towards the
big bu$ine$$ orientation that I have bemoaned ad nauseum in some of my
previous postings. I encourage those of you who are pursuing your own CPU
designs to see them through and publish news of the results via the MISC
list or email direct to me.

Myron Plichota

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