Friday, June 8, 2018

Happy 40th Birthday to the 8086 uProcessor!

YOW.....I remember when these things were cutting edge. My first real, hands-on exposure to "Programmable Stuff" was when I was working as an Industrial Controls Engineer for McGraw-Edison Company. We had built several systems using a Texas Instruments 5TI Programmable Logic Controller to take inputs and produce outputs using "Ladder Diagram" logic.

After that, we started using the newest, latest, greatest thing; a fully programmable, uProcessor-controlled, industrial-rated, controller made by Sylvania, and programmed using "SYBIL", or the SYlvania Basic Industrial Language, customized version of BASIC running on an 8086. The required development system consisted of a NorthStar Horizon S-100 bus computer, dumb terminal, and a serial PROM programmer. I later built a Heathkit dot matrix printer so we could have hard-copy to play with.

Really good article over at Extreme Tech.


  1. Those were good days, when you could fit an entire 4 wheel ABS program into an 8K masked ROM. Before the days of offshoring development to incompetents.

    Before that I did controls work with A-B PLC2's at an AC Rochester plant in Flint. Good times, when we still made stuff here.

    1. I've worked with most of the PLC's that were on the market in the late 1970's~early 80's, and relay logic things that were made in 1910, so it was fun to see things evolve.


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