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Old 12-11-2004, 08:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Anyone here ever built a PC from scratch? Im thinking about doing it again, not talking buying motherboards and stuff, Im talking FROM SCRATCH.Desiging the motherboard and wirewrapping everything.Last one I did was in college with an 8085cpu, had an LED display and keypad,16kb of RAM, and no storage.

Id like to build something like a pentium 100 with video and storage this time around, anyone ever do this?
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Old 12-11-2004, 08:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sounds like to much work with not enough benefits....
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Old 12-11-2004, 09:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Wow, damn you must have a lot of spare time on your hands. I barely have enough time to clean the dust of my pc...
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Old 12-11-2004, 09:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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time ive got, big $$ I dont

its been soooooooo long since ive done anything like this it seems like a sizable challenge

Im happy with hardware I have now, I really dont have any desire to upgrade or any reason to other than just for the sake of upgrading.I do have this desire to create and maybe retrace a little history and scratch build a PC, something about 1 or 2 steps above an apple II.I know it wouldnt cost much, might as well do something with what I learned in college.
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Old 12-13-2004, 05:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Sounds like fun, but don't you have to compile your own bios or something?
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Old 12-13-2004, 05:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Yep, I'd have to write my own BIOS and flash a ROM chip and do everything else too.Ive done that before with a 8085 and a Z80, as an alumni of DeVry I think I still have access to their development lab, dunno for sure.I'd basically have to do everything including writing drivers for the hardware.Its not as time consuming as many would think,just tedious.Its a good learning experience though, nice to know what makes a PC work from the ground up.
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Old 12-13-2004, 06:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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So you even code a chipset or make it too? Can you make powerful computers building them your self?
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Old 12-13-2004, 06:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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No, you take off the shelf chips and use their specs as a basis to write code that makes it work according to the way youve got your hardware setup.You have to do everything, setup the addressing scheme, bus setup, timing, interrupts, everything.

Most CPU's have chips in that family which work together with the CPU to do most of it, 8 bit singleboard computers are available these days all on one chip, have been for years.But you still have to setup the interfaces to things like a keyboard,video,disk drives, etc etc.Last one I built had like 40chips on a perfboard about 10 inches square, but it was primitve by todays standards, things have gotten easier and more advanced since then.

Yes you could build a very powerful computer from scratch, people do it now, its just easier to buy most of it already done for you, like motherboards etc.Surface mount chips has changed things alot too, thats tough to deal with as a hobbyist, and one off custom circuit boards are expensive, wire wrapping is still cheap though.
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Old 12-14-2004, 06:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Wow thats cool. Keep us updated on how its going if you do it. If you can, please take some pics.
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Old 12-14-2004, 10:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I had a technologhy teacher a long long time ago that had built his whole pc from scratch, everything that you had described. It took him a whole year to complete it. It wasnt a powerful machine, but if thats what you are into, its cool. Not many people have done that. I would be intrested in the process and steps.
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