In 1971, RCA engineer Joseph Weisbecker was prototyping his ideas for an 8-bit microprocessor. In August 1976, he published plans for a low-cost CDP1802-based computer in Popular Electronics, the COSMAC ELF. In between, Weisbecker developed and evangelized a concept he called FRED, for “Flexible Recreational and Educational Device.”
COSMAC ELF forum member Paul Robson contacted the Hagley Museum and Library about some archived FRED-related documents and, with their blessing, has made them available in the Files area of the COSMAC ELF forum (Yahoo account needed for access). The documents currently posted contain everything from prototype schematics to hand-coded software to random notes and doodles. They offer a rare and interesting peek into the minds of the engineers from the early days of microcomputing.