RCA COSMAC VIP. Processor flight to Jupiter




# Fiction | RCA COSMAC VIP. Processor flight to Jupiter March 2, 2013


1977. Computers are not yet widespread. Moreover, many still do not even know what to do with them. And no question about any Internet and, especially, social networks, where you can sit for long days and nights. But there are fans that pleasant fact of owning a computer. So fans and was addressed to RCA COSMAC VIP. Relatively inexpensive and very compact, but not very functional, even for his time. But first things first.


First of all, our readers are interested in, of course, technical characteristics. So, the model was named No. VP-111. The central processor RCA CDP1802 boasted a clock speed 1.76 megahertz. RAM is 2048 bytes, and read-only memory (ROM) – 512 bytes.

Input Interface: 16-key “hex” keyboard, you have a device to enter the hex codes. Display: composite video, resolution 16 x 32 pixels. Ports: audio, video, cassette to and parallel. Served as a cassette tape drive. Accordingly, the drive – tape recorder, the price of which, of course, the cost is not included. It can be purchased separately. The role of the operating system, programming language interpreter played «CHIP-8″ to RCA.


All this happiness was worth $ 275 U.S. (in the form of a kit to build). Therefore, the user RCA COSMAC VIP could only be experienced ham or the person that was lucky to count such a master of all trades in the circle of his closest friends.

Among the advantages of this model should highlight its compactness. Any special performance metrics RCA COSMAC VIP could not boast. And not waiting for miracles from him speed. It was intended for amateur and had all the characteristics: cost much, was easy to use, extensible, and was able to perform a variety of uncomplicated tasks.

It was a high-tech toy, which could enjoy the whole family: from the ham to its schoolchildren. However, we should not forget that during the past many students and the students themselves were sufficiently advanced radio amateurs.


COSMAC VIP was a computer, collected on a single board. It was enough to add a power supply, to make connection with a video monitor or home TV and you can start working. That is programmable. In volatile memory containing the operating system and a set of simple instructions that allow users to begin creating their programs.

You could use to create their programs CDP1802 microprocessor machine code or introduce programs supported language CHIP-8. This language contains 31 simple guide that is ideal for use with a computer video displays.


Input-output interface allows you to connect your computer to a color display and music devices as well as use it for a variety of other tasks.

In addition, COSMAC VIP is compatible with a set of modules:
VP-114 – RAM module for 4096
VP-550 – Super sound card Super Sound. With the help of recorded music is quite professional
VP-560 – Fee reprogrammable (erased) only memory (EPROM)
VP-565 – Payment of programmable read-only memory (EPROM)
VP-570 – 4-Kbyte RAM module
VP-580 – Keypad
VP-590 – Colour card (Color board)
VP-595 – a simple sound card
VP-700 – Fee-only memory (ROM), containing «Tiny BASIC», simplified dialect of BASIC for the small amount of memory
VP-711 – VP-111 (VIP) in a beautiful blue plastic casing

In fact, «COSMAC» is a family of early simple PC based on RCA 1802 (known as «COSMAC»). «COSMAC» is «COmplementary-Symmetry Monolithic-Array Computer», that is, be combined monolithic computer.

This family includes: the earlier build kit RCA COSMAC ELF, we considered COSMAC VIP, Netronics ELF and Quest SuperELF. But that’s not all. This processor is used by NASA in the project “Galileo» («Galileo»), in which studied the largest planet in the solar system, Jupiter.

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