Oct 2020
Yoshiyuki Abe   阿部好志
onlineshow #0

Lens to Computer

    Around 1958, watching sunspots on my way home from elementary school was exciting event.   Later, radio science and electronics became my primary interests and my junior high- and high-school life was like that of a radio engineer.   I majored photographic engineering at Chiba University and worked as a freelancer in the film industry in the following decade.

    In 1982, I designed and built an RTTY(radio teletype) terminal unit and keyboard with logic ICs. This digital experience was helpful in the later digital computer projects.

    One computer graphics image changed my life in 1983. That was a quaternion image produced by Alan Norton.   I felt impelled to try this new imaging technology.  It's not shooting a visible object through the lens but rendering nonexistent or conceptual entity by computing.   I started to develop my own computer graphics system immediately.  8bit(Z80A) CP/M machine first in 1984, and 1024x1024(or 1184x884) 4-plane frame buffer and 24-plane frame buffer with DIP DRAMs in 1985. A 32bit(32032) board computer and a 16bit(80186) CP/M-86 platform followed quickly.  Fortunate enough in 1986, I found a bunch of used DRAM modules in a radio parts shop and the 24 bit frame buffer was rebuilt in the small.  On the other hand, I had to develop the system software and graphics software system for my own-designed computer systems. Machine language, assembler, Pascal, Modula-2 and C.   Very busy days had lasted until the time I finished the first version of ray-tracer in 1988.

    In the 1980s, the small computer market was very active.  IC chips, OS's and programming languages as well. When I completed the wiring of an evaluation board of 32032, I dreamed of UNIX but the license was not affordable. In the matter of NS chips, another problem was the fact that the FPU chip 32081 was not supplied to an independent customer and I had to abandon its beautiful architecture.  The best solution for realizing a practical platform was supposed to implement MS-DOS on my unique 80186 machine but this was a daunting and time consuming job, indeed, I spent a lot of time.   In 1990, I imported an IBM PC compatible 80486 mother board from the US and ceased from developing my unique platform.

RTTY terminal unit       1982 Z80A CP/M       1984 with frame buffer       1985 1Kx1Kx4bits frame buffer 32032 board       1985
80186 system       1985 1Kx1Kx24bits frame buffer frame buffer     DRAM bank frame buffer     diagram

(c) Yoshiyuki Abe 阿部好志