Retro

    Video gaming and computing has come a very long way from the good ol' 8-bit NES days. From the Atari 8-bit line of computers, to the Sega Genesis, a wide variety of powerful, innovative video game consoles and computers have been made in the past. Like any other computer, these consoles utilize various microprocessors. For the systems/retro computers I own/am interested in, they have the following microprocessors

  • Atari 8-bit computers (Atari 130XE)
  • Sega Genesis/Sega CD
    • Motorola 68k (main CPU)
    • Zilog Z80 (sound CPU, Sega Master System backwards compatibility mode)
  • Sega 32x
    • x2 Hitachi SH-2 processors (in master-slave configuration)
  • Nintendo 64
    • MIPS R4300i
  • Sega Dreamcast
    • Hitachi SH-4
  • Ti 83/84 line of graphing calculators
    • Zilog Z80
  • Ti-89 graphing calculator
    • Motorola 68k

   Due to when these video game consoles and retro computers were released (mostly from the 1980s to the late 1990s), these retro platforms have little to no copy-protection nor BIOS security, making the ability to run unsigned code very easy. By utilizing a flashcart (for cartridge-based systems), floppy discs (for computer-based consoles), or using burnt CD-Rs (for early CD-based systems), these consoles can easily be made to run code. For decades, many young software and electronic engineers have reversed-engineered these simple systems in order to learn how they tick, from both a hardware and software engineering perspective. Not only have these young engineers written their own technical documents on these platforms, but also people online have archived official technical documents. Using all of this information, homebrew development is possible, as well as reverse engineering some of the games to make modifications

   I work currently work with the platforms and microprocessor architectures below in my hobby homebrew development.

The platforms I work with


Sega Genesis CD32x
 

Ti-84+ SE

The corresponding microprocessor architectures I work with:



                               
                        
                                                Motorola 68k
                     Zilog Z80

(This page may be updated as I tinker around with other retro platforms)