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This mini forum is intended to provide a simple means of discussion about the Kenbak Computer Company Kenbak-1 computer. If you want to share your own experience or memories, or add relevant information about this system: post a message! For other purposes like sales messages, hardware & software questions or information requests, please use our main forum.

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Sunday 1st July 2007
Julian Skidmore (Manchester, UK)

Although the Kenbak-1's oscillator is 1MHz, it's clock speed was half that at 500KHz and simple calculations show it must execute instructions at an astonishingly low rate 300 instructions per second or less. This is because

1. Memory is 1024 bits of serial memory, so random access will take 512 cycles on average - 1000 access per second.

2. CPU registers are placed in main memory too, and a typical instruction involves reading/writing the program counter, the accumulator and the instruction itself. Thus a maximum 1000/3 = 333 instructions can execute per second.

Having said that, the architecture is impressive. It looks like a typical 8-bit CPU: with several registers, multiple addressing modes including indexed addressing and variable length instructions.

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