Extremely number of retrocomputing tasks are something other than a labor of love. There is definitely no sensible motive to establish a laptop that is woefully insufficient for just about any undertaking in comparison to even an entry-level Personal computer currently. But the lack of a functional motive to do some thing almost never stops a hacker, as with this nifty modular Z80-based mostly rack laptop.
Really, there’s at minimum a single place where retrocomputers excel when compared to their present day multi-main gigahertz counterparts — and that is nostalgia. That is what [Ricardo Kaltchuk] was likely for with his establish, which started by obtaining a Z80 and an Intel 8251 USART in his components bin. Individuals formed the core of what would grow to be the “Proton” pc, a modular splendor created all-around 7 cm by 10 cm PCBs that plug into a backplane within a rack built from aluminum angle. Aside from the electric power supply and the Z80 CPU, other modules incorporate a RAM card with a zero insertion force socket for an EPROM, a mass-storage module sporting a 128 MB Compact Flash card, plus modules for regular serial and I2C comms.
The match and end are fantastic, and the efficiency is impressive. The Proton operates CP/M and features a ton of old applications that will carry back again some recollections, like SuperCalc and dBase. We’d undertaking a bet that WordStar is in there someplace, or simply could be. The online video under is a tiny rough, but shows every thing off actually perfectly.
In some methods, the Proton reminds us of the RC2014, but its in good shape and complete are what deliver this develop residence. That’s not to consider absent from the function [Ricardo] obviously put into documentation, although. The 62-page guide has each and every element of every module, plus guidelines for building one of your own.