micro-KIM Pre-orders soon - Commodore PET pre-cursor

Bill Loguidice's picture

micro-KIM: Prototype from Briel Computersmicro-KIM: Prototype from Briel ComputersBriel Computers, the gentleman responsible for the popular "replica 1" Apple I clone and the in-progress "Altair PC" Altair 8800 modern re-imagining is at it again, this time with the "micro-KIM", a modern clone of MOS Technologies' KIM-1, which was originally created in 1975 by legendary engineer Chuck Peddle, and a pre-cursor of sorts to the rise of Commodore and the PET. Visit the Website for full information and to send Mr. Briel an e-mail expressing your interest in a pre-order (and at a projected $99, it seems like a good deal). I know I did!

The latest from Mr. Briel (typos edited):
"The final prototype is being tested before pre-orders begin. Before production can start on a new project like this, we need a minimum of 10 pre-orders. Soon an email will go out explaining this and the expected wait time. If you want to help get this project off the ground help by being one of the first 10 pre-orders. Once there are 10 pre-orders, the order will go into the board house to make the blank boards and that takes about 4 weeks. Once the boards arrive, kits will be made. The goal is to start taking pre-orders no later than June 30th.

If only 5 people pre-order, that probably won't be enough and if too much time goes by, refunds will be given. However, I don't expect that to be a problem."

One of the descriptions from the Website (typos edited):

Introducing the micro-KIM. The micro-KIM is a clone of the KIM-1 created by MOS technologies in 1975 as a development board for the 6502 CPU. The micro-KIM uses many of the same components as the KIM-1 to give it that authentic vintage feel. No custom components are used and the micro-KIM is designed with off the shelf parts. As an improvement to the original KIM-1, the RS232 interface is included onboard to make I/O easier. Some components on the original KIM-1 are no longer available. The 6530 RIOT included a custom programmed ROM and has been replaced by a 6532 RIOT and an external ROM. The custom 23 key keypad is onboard with tactile switches, giving the micro-KIM a compact size. A total of 5K RAM is onboard with an expansion header for future expansion of memory or add-on boards. With a projected selling price of $99, the micro-KIM is one of the most affordable 8 bit computer kits available today. As a matter of fact, the micro-KIM was designed around the student market in an effort to offer students and schools a low-cost 8 bit CPU trainer.

Comments

Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
micro-KIM pre-order have officially begun

micro-KIM pre-orders have officially begun. The kit version is $99, the fully assembled version is $149, plus free USB to serial cable. There need to be 10 for the project to go through. http://www.brielcomputers.com/mkorder.html

======================================
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
(A PC Magazine Top 100 Website)
======================================

n/a
Mark Vergeer
Mark Vergeer's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/16/2006
Nice initiative

This is a very nice initiative, I am sorry I won't be investing in this - too much of a niche for me. But for people like Bill it might be very very intersting. I would be interested in a rebuilt MSX, Spectrum, Amiga or Amstrad system though ;)

========================
Mark Vergeer - Editor / Pixelator
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
Xboxlive gametag
========================

n/a
Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
micro-KIM and Replica-1 justifications...
Mark Vergeer wrote:

This is a very nice initiative, I am sorry I won't be investing in this - too much of a niche for me. But for people like Bill it might be very very intersting. I would be interested in a rebuilt MSX, Spectrum, Amiga or Amstrad system though ;)

It is. I'm getting (already ordered) a micro-KIM (KIM-1 clone), assuming Briel gets the 10 pre-orders needed to produce them, and also a Replica-1 (USB version) Apple I clone with expansion card. The nice thing with this stuff is it really isn't overpriced as these things go (in fact, it's underpriced in comparison) and you get to experiment with newer versions of the same classic stuff. There's nothing quite like operating these kit computers in a way that the original systems were. It's both fun and educational, and it's all but impossible to acquire a real Apple I for these purposes and hit or miss with the KIM-1.

By the time I get these, I should be done with the book. I want to write a major feature on both the micro-KIM and Replica-1 and relate them to the KIM-1 and Apple I they were built to replicate. The KIM-1 was of course what the Commodore PET was based off of and the Apple I was what gave rise to the Apple II. It's really fascinating stuff.

It would have been nice for me to get the kit versions of both of those and build them myself, but I never got around to training myself in good soldering techniques (someday - I have the stuff for training). Considering I can't guarantee sufficient free time, I'd rather get them pre-built so I can get right into the tinkering (and not mess them up and have expensive paper weights).

I look forward to the release of the cassette interface for the Replica-1. I probably won't get the compact flash adapter, as it's probably overkill for my needs (though I do have the Apple II compact flash adapter). I also look forward to Briel possibly releasing the Altair front panel replica for a reasonable price. I love the idea of tinkering with a switch-based computer and not having to spend thousands to get an original (or full replica), which I could probably never afford (justify).

By the way, Mark, wasn't there that relatively recent release of that MSX reimplementation? The only downside to it seemed to be the extremely high price and some operational quirks (and yeah, I guess it was only the architecture - not a full computer with keyboard, etc.). In any case, I think it's easier just to acquire the original hardware in the case of the MSX, Spectrum, Amiga and Amstrad, especially considering that there are usually very reliable methods for transferring images back and forth between those and modern computers. In the case of what people like Briel do, I think they target the far less available and practical to acquire.

======================================
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
(A PC Magazine Top 100 Website)
======================================

n/a
Mark Vergeer
Mark Vergeer's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/16/2006
MSX reimplementation.....

Bill, everything around the MSX reimplementation has become super quiet, as it has been for many years before the recent upheaval. I am still on the reviewers list but haven't had a word in ages. The price is extremely high which will not make it very popular. Then there's the non-compatibility issues with original discs..... But still it would be fun testing it out.

========================
Mark Vergeer - Editor / Pixelator
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
Xboxlive gametag
========================

n/a
Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
micro-KIM just about to hit!

I just got word that production is now going to begin and the production run of boards is being ordered!
http://www.brielcomputers.com/files/mkrev0.jpg

======================================
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
(A PC Magazine Top 100 Website)
======================================

n/a
Mark Vergeer
Mark Vergeer's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/16/2006
Now that is cool news for you Bill!

You'll no doubt keep us posted of your experiences when it arrives on your doorstep?

========================
Mark Vergeer - Editor / Pixelator
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
Xboxlive gametag
========================

n/a
Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
microKIM-1 and Replica-1
Mark Vergeer wrote:

You'll no doubt keep us posted of your experiences when it arrives on your doorstep?

========================
Mark Vergeer - Editor / Pixelator
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
Xboxlive gametag
========================

I should be receiving that and the Apple I replica at the same time. By the time it comes, I should be done with the time consuming work for the book, so I expect to do a feature on both those replicas.

======================================
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
(A PC Magazine Top 100 Website)
======================================

n/a

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.