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So I have been dabbling with programming PCs for several years now, doing it in spurts of about 1-2 months then 4-5 months of not.

I just can't get much satisfaction from it. I'm happier programming a homebrew system using DIP switches, LED's, and toggle switches. It just seems more "fun" that way, interfacing directly with a computer's bus and control lines. Of course the best part is building the hardware from circuit board up.

Right now I just don't have any motivation to program anything for PCs. Maybe its because the weather turned crappy, who knows.
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It's for this reason I like mucking around with my calculator. [smile]
I've wanted to knock together a basic computer (probably Z80-based) to experiment with for some time, but completely lack the tools to do it. One thing I miss about school was ready access to an etch tank and soldering iron...

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For all your hobby PCB needs :)

I can send you some example schematics and custom Z80 symbols for the program that site offers. I don't know how much experience you have in hardware so I thought I would offer :)

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I've never actually done that but it sounds interesting. I'm more of a high-level programmer (actually, most of the programming I do now is in interpreted languages like Python and Scheme), but I like to do some low-level programming for fun on occasion.

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Maplin sell a bunch of etching bits and pieces if need be, but as long as I can get components that'll fit on a piece of stripboard things are good. [smile]
I was more into the hardware/electronics side of things - so have done a fair amount of relevant work (using RAM chips, counters, logic systems etc). As long as you can understand the data sheets, things are usually pretty obvious.

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