From: Richard Erlacher <>
Date: Thu Aug 10 23:20:27 2000

It might be worth noting that ABEL and Palasm, though functionally similar,
are different languages. Palasm was the most popular and widely used, but
that was because it was free from MMI and AMD (after they acquired MMI) The
FPGA division of MMI was spun off to produce a new company called XILINX but
they took MMI's FPGA software (XACT) with them.

ABEL and PALASM are like 'C' and PASCAL, they're different enough, but are
still basically programming languages. ABEL and PALASM are both hardware
specification languages used for specifying the configuration of field
programmable devices.

As with all seeming small programmers of the early '80's, the Model 29 had
lots of options and accessories that were really difficult to get by without
if you had a significant repertoire of programmable devices that you had
become accustomed to using. These were very capable devices, but the
software maintenance cost and the occasional firmware upgrade would cost on
the average about $500 per year.

----- Original Message -----
From: Joe <>
To: <>
Sent: Thursday, August 10, 2000 9:05 PM
Subject: Re: Palasm?

> I've missed part of this thread so I may make some wrong assumptions here
> but I'll throw in what I know about this stuff.
> DataI/O has both a software PALASM and a hardware PALASM. I have both
> of them and the docs for them. They appear to do the same thing and I
> what the differences are but there probable are some. I just got this
> recently and I haven't had time to learn all the details about it. The
> software versions are called Abel and the was available in PCDOS, UNIX and
> VAX VMS versions. I have the Abel PC DOS version ($895!) The hardware
> PALASM is called a PALASM Design Adapter and is PN 303-100 ($395). It's a
> unit that plugs into a DataI/O model 29 programmer and the unit with the
> socket for the PAL plugs into it. There are a number is different PAL
> socket units. Some of them only work with a few PALs but the one that I
> have is a DataI/O model 303A-011 and it seems to work with most PALs. I
> also have the manuals for it and the model 29 programmer. I also have a
> DataI/O UniPak EPROM socket adapter and LogicPak adapter and I THINK I
> the manuals for them. I also have the manual for the 303A-002 P/T adapter
> (one of the PAL sockets) but not the hardware. You MUST have the manuals
> use the DataI/O stuff since the manuals contain the codes that you have to
> enter into the programmer in order to tell it what kind of device you're
> using. I can make copies of what I have for the cost of copying and
> if anyone needs them.
> Joe
> At 09:11 AM 8/10/00 -0600, Dick wrote:
> >Please see embedded renarks below.
> >
> >Dick
> >----- Original Message -----
> >From: John Honniball <>
> >To: <>
> >Sent: Thursday, August 10, 2000 4:34 AM
> >Subject: Re: Palasm?
> >
> >
> >>
> >> On Wed, 9 Aug 2000 12:51:23 -0600 Richard Erlacher
> >> <> wrote:
> >> > A plug in module for PALASM? What would give you that idea?
> >>
> >> Well, as I recall, that's what written on the module :-)
> >>
> >> > I've seen only
> >> > one place on a model 29 for anything to plug in, and that's the
> >programming
> >> > site. (there are several different ones)
> >>
> >> That's right, it's a huge plug-in module to go in the
> >> programming site socket. It has another plug-in module on
> >> top to accept the PALs that are being programmed.
> >>
> >It's been a while but the site does, in some cases have an optional
> >adapter for differing packages. Unfortunately this type of adapter was
> >needed in some case while other required an etirely different site to
> >accomodate a given package, i.e. you might need several site/adapter
> >combinations to handle all the different packages in which a given part
> >available.
> >>
> >> > The data was typically fed to the
> >> > Model 29 via a serial port, and in JEDEC form. The model 29
> >the
> >> > jedec file into whatever signals were needed to program the device.
> >>
> >> As I have no manual, I can't tell how this thing was
> >> supposed to work.
> >>
> >There was software, in my experience, running on a PC, that told the
> >programmer what to do, specifically how to drive the device pins and how
> >process the JEDEC file. It also sent the JEDEC file once that was set
> >but these were separate steps. At the time I seriously began using
> >field-programmable logic devices (once price came down) there were
> >sufficiently inexpensive programmers from second-rank independent vendors
> >that the model 29 was unrealistic for someone not programming in a
> >environment and whose needs involved a wide range of devices.
> >
> >It's not unusual to see these model 29's at distributors' sites. Perhaps
> >one of your local electronic distributors' technicians can help you out.
> >The way to do that is to contact someone you know and tell them what you
> >want is to find whatever documentation there is on the model 29 and
> >examine/copy it. The guy at the will-call counter will probably be more
> >helpful than the phone-sales person.
> >
> >> > The last time I used a model 29 was in '85. They were already pretty
> >old
> >> > back then and wouldn't program the then new Altera parts and Lattice
> >parts I
> >> > was using. That was later fixed, but too late for me. I bought a
> >cheapie
> >> > that still works . . .
> >>
> >> I've since acquired a Stag PPZ Universal Programmer.
> >> 6809-based machine with built-in CRT.
> >>
> >> > Is there a feature that plugs in the intelligence to compile Palasm
> >files
> >> > into the JEDEC? I'd be VERY surprised to learn that.
> >>
> >> I'll have to pop up into the loft and fetch this thing down
> >> for a closer look (info in this e-mail is from memory).
> >> I'll post model numbers, etc, in case anybody can identify
> >> the module and tell me I've got it all wrong :-)
> >>
> >> --
> >> John Honniball
> >> Email:
> >> University of the West of England
> >>
> >>
> >
> >
Received on Thu Aug 10 2000 - 23:20:27 BST

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