Retro Computing and Video Games

Rooming & Equipment
Ideally based in a computer room.
A huge collection of retro video games consoles are supplied by Computerteacher.
-Binatone TV Master (Pong)
-Atari 2600 & Philips G7000
-NES & Master System
-SNES & Megadrive
-N64, Playstation, Saturn
-Gamecube, PS2, Xbox, Dreamcast
-Wii, PS3, Xbox 360
Also some 8-bit microcomputers :
– Sinclair Spectrum
– Acorn Electron & BBC Micro
– Commodore 64

CPU types & speeds, Memory & Storage Devices

Students will investigate the technical specifications of the machines and see how that influences what they are capable of.

  • CPU types, Speeds, No of Cores
  • RAM & ROM
  • Optical, Magnetic & Solid State Storage
  • Bits, Bytes, Kilo/Mega/Giga/Tera

Students can learn plenty of Computer Science from retro games consoles & microcomputers. The 8 bit era in particular lends itself well to understanding how simple computers work at a hardware level.

CPU speeds & storage media have evolved over the years so students can see the implications of increasing processor speed, extra memory and different storage media.

When looking at the machines in more detail, the simplicity of the 8-bit consoles makes learning about concepts like the ‘Fetch Execute Cycle’ nice and simple.

Other topics that are covered by this 2 hour workshop are as follows:

  • Von Neumann architecture
  • Memory Addressing
  • Fetch Execute Cycle
  • Connector.

    Name

    Super Nintendo (SNES)

  • Connector.

    CPU

    Ricoh 5A22 @ 3.58 MHz (16 bit, Single Core, CISC)

  • Connector.

    GPU

    Super FX (RISC)

  • Connector.

    Storage

    ROM Cartridge


  • Connector.

    Name

    Sega Dreamcast

  • Connector.

    CPU

    Hitachi SH-4 @ 200 MHz (32-bit, Single Core, RISC)

  • Connector.

    GPU

    100 MHz PowerVR2

  • Connector.

    Storage

    Optical Disc (Proprietary GD-ROM)


  • Connector.

    Name

    Microsoft XBOX

  • Connector.

    CPU

    733 MHz Intel Pentium III (32-bit, Single Core, CISC)

  • Connector.

    GPU

    233 MHz nVidia NV2A

  • Connector.

    Storage

    8 GB, 3.5 in, 5,400 RPM hard disk


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