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  2. For that price point I would expect high-quality PBT keycaps for Cherry-MX keyboards.
  3. I can buy 8x11" sheets of plastic sticker paper for use in our laserjet for less than 30 cents each. That guy... wow! No need to circle the wagons. We're on the same team here. For a project like this to reach critical mass, where the userbase is sufficiently large as to make it worthwhile for developers to create software for the platform, the "big picture" must be considered along with the wants of a minority of extremely enthusiastic specialists. Unfortunately, the community on this forum appears to be comprised mainly of people who, due to their very specific desires and their fear of not getting what they want, lack the objectivity that is required to see the big picture. I will do my best paint the image, but if you still can't see it afterwards. I am not going to arguing with you. The public facing project on the whole is comprised of: David's fame. David's goals of creating a modern 8 bit computer that is easy enough for one person to understand, while being inexpensive/accessible to anyone (note his non-profit statement in the first dream computer video). A platform that has the capacity to host really fun games. A platform that comes with all the tool required to create said games using the platform itself, including excellent documentation. Hardware that has a nostalgic look and feel, while also having its own identity that resonates with David's audience. A reliable, responsive hardware platform that is "instant on" and as easy to use as the Commodore machines. A hardware platform that has lots of potential for modification. Points 1 through 6 are the aspects of this project that are the most import to reaching the critical mass of users and developers and all of them are also 100% able to be brought to life using the small board FPGA-only design. Furthermore, this design is the least expensive manner in which the hardware can be manufactured (and physically shipped). As such, it objectively makes the most sense to launch a 100% compatible FPGA-only X16 before launching the much more complex and costly "chips and dip" version. To the vast majority of people, the Commander X16 is nothing more than a toy. No one needs one for anything, yet plenty of people would be happy to pay a reasonable sum for some fun. See the sales volume of the Gameboy (118 million) vs. the XBox One (51 million). Given that profit isn't a consideration with this project, the popularity of the platform itself is the primary measure of its success. Selling affordable FPGA-only X16s first would put real live X16s into the homes of real live X16 users, from curious everyday folks right on up to hard core hackers. This momentum would build upon itself as more games become available and more learners become developers. That same momentum will cause even more people to buy the full sized X16 when it becomes available, which in turn will increase the platform's popularity as the community sees the successes of the hardware tinkerers. Success builds upon success and that's great for everyone! This is the objective reality. I know many of you here are emotionally invested in the full sized hardware and that's completely OK, your reasons are your own. However, I implore you to take a step back and consider how your protectionism towards your own personal desires harms the success of the project as a whole, because what its of the utmost importance to you is in fact only a small portion of the project as a whole. Take from this what you will, but please know that I don't have a horse in this race; I don't much care either way if the X16 becomes a viable long term successful platform. However, many of you folks with clouded objectivity do care, deeply. I sincerely hope that I have helped you see more clearly the path towards the overall success of the Commander X16 platform, a path that will help you get exactly what you want.
  4. "To down that much alcohol, every person on earth would have to drink 300,000 pints each day—for one billion years." I'm not sure that much alcohol is good for you, but I'm sure someone, somewhere is willing to try. I wonder what Shatners crew had in the way of food. In space, your taste does not work very well, Cosmonauts love onions on the ISS and fresh food, anything fresh. They love it when the robot ships arrive with fresh food and mail. There was a deal done on a political level way back which saw a free trip to space for a malaysian, and you'd be like, what would they want in space, and his primary scientific task I believe was outlined as testing out Malay foods in zero-g. Not to be outdone by the later shuttle crews who spent so much time phoning home to boast they didn't get much work done at all.
  5. Space is a frontier of resources on an astronomical scale, harvesting from asteroids is easy and landings, samples, preliminary steps towards that have been taken already. China just launched their second crew to their third space station yesterday. Russia is on it's twelfth station or thereabouts, I've forgotten exactly, and China has real ambitions to harvest resources on a Chinese-industrial scale. Shat-news as you call it 8-) is fun, but I'd like to see travel to space on a mass tourist scale and living permanently in space in rebel colonies for real, and real soon too, before I die. Not sure if that will happen, but if it does, I guess it may have to do with Russia and China allowing and assisting civilians to do so, much as the USA has done with Elon and so on. I wouldn't go into space as Shatner did, on any American rocket, their safety record is lack-luster. Whereas the last time a manned Russian rocket failed the cosmonauts were like "well, now we have to go back to Moscow and await the next rocket' and so they did. I prefer their tech, and would take comfort knowing that when things go wrong, it's Russian tech and I'll probably be alright. I wouldn't go for a joyride, I'd like to settle there.
  6. It's good to have site online. Thank you!
  7. @ Tatwi ”Anyway, the low price point, compatibility with the X16, and a simple "plug and play" setup, when combined with being The 8 Bit Guy's computer, there is the potential that the userbase would grow from a small number of people with a specific interest into a large group of people who have all manner of interests and capacities.” I think it’s dangerous for the project to pursue price out the gate. The X16 community and dedication to building a new non compatible platform is what makes it special. If the pursuit was cost differentiation then the team would have reduced the X8/X18 FPGA to just be a “compatible” 6502 project like the MiSTer. Instead what we have seen is a dedication to the platform and it’s unique quirks. The development on the X16 emulator alone is one hell of a thing to take note of.
  8. There is a guy on eBay selling PET keycap stickers for $79. How does that sit with a community that doesn't want to spend more than $49 for a full blown computer. (don't answer). Case wise, yes; but unless somebody gets hopping with a 3D printer, anything does not fit in a standard size is a non-starter. Christian's (Peri) work was so nice and the spiral bound manuals, designer pantone matched pencils and boondoggle keychains will be missed. I believe here is 'an' answer out there somewhere but 1/3rd of the people want what I want and 1/3rd want everything for nothing; it's the middle 3rd that is tough and risky. That's the problem.
  9. Thanks for the clarification. I like Chip & Dip because it’s easy for me to associate the FPGA variant vs the Physical (PRO) model.
  10. Maybe Frank will find a way to give the X8 1MB of RAM, thereby making it half of an X16! Seriously though, that would be nifty. Heck, even if it were only possible to have 128KB of banked RAM on the X8, that would be enough to be useful while also allowing programmers who only have an X8 the ability to learn/use the RAM banking system (which is an integral part of the X16 design). To answer the unique value proposition question, I think an X8 built as a 100% compatible X16 with less RAM has the following benefits: A low cost device that almost anyone around the world can afford, given disparities in economies, etc. 0 input lag and other issues created by software emulation (no OS to install/manage, for example). Feature rich programming environment and tools that are built into the machine. A nice, unique community to create, learn, and play with. If they sold a set of PETSCII stickers for a dollar or so, then a person could easily use any USB keyboard without much trouble. Similarly, some kind of cheap case would likely help folks who just want to use the machine as a retro game console. Anyway, the low price point, compatibility with the X16, and a simple "plug and play" setup, when combined with being The 8 Bit Guy's computer, there is the potential that the userbase would grow from a small number of people with a specific interest into a large group of people who have all manner of interests and capacities. In short, a cheap and easy to use option may lower the barrier to entry to the point where the device and its ecosystem really takes off, just as it did with the C64.
  11. They haven't changed. X16p, "pro", aka "Plenty of chips", is the one you have been calling chiP and diP, X16c is the Cost reduced one, the X16e is the one with the processor core Embedded in the FPGA. Mostly FPGA first, Mostly FPGA alongside the X16p, and Mostly FPGA after the X16p ... aka X16e, first, alongside and after ... are all quite plausible at this point. Just "the FPGA" is a bit confusing since all three will have Vera in an FPGA, it's just the X16e will have more stuff in there alongside.
  12. Bruce, with the different tiers “P,E,C” I honestly don’t know what’s what anymore. I dunno which X16 variant ties to the Chip & Dip but it’s pretty clear what the Chip & Dip is vs the FPGA.
  13. What I am saying: just take the actual piece of information. Don't go spinning off into speculation not supported by available facts. There are no facts that warrant supposing that we can expect a "new X8" or an X16e before an X16p. Now, if they had a definite plan, they'd announce it. So development work without a definite plan is quite plausibly going ahead in order to find something out which is not necessarily clear until an actual working prototype is available. Proceeding with the (long planned) X16e design could be to sort out hesitation on scrapping it just as much as it is to settle hesitation on going ahead with it. Barring word from the development team, supposing it is one or the other is just guesswork. Indeed, it's just as plausible to have a joint X16e / X16p DIY crowdfund or pre-order campaign, since that would make it easier for the first campaign to hit a target of 1,000+ keyboards in the first keyboard order.
  14. And that's the frustrating bit when i comes to deciphering what's next. We don't know if they decided to completely abandon the X8 but it seems like the end goal is the X16 FPGA. Regardless it seems clear that we can expect an FPGA solution before the chip & dip
  15. Yes, there is nothing there that pins down what will be done, just saying what isn't going to be done and what the next step is going to be as they work out what to do. So, nothing there suggests are implies looking at a "more compatible" "X8 style" design later ... but nothing specifically excludes it, either. It's just one piece of the puzzle in place ... not going ahead with the X8 prototype as designed ... and a mention of what the next step of work may be as they sort out how they are going to proceed.
  16. Isn't there free methane (all you can drink) on some moon somewhere up there? Sure, it's damn cold and so the gas is in liquid form but still. We are in a race against the Chinese and against the Russians to harvest it. Or maybe that was FPGAs? I'm weary from all of this FPGA-chatter. But I actually have some shat-news that I'll share once I find a light bulb to fix this blown out dining room light [types whilst sitting in the dark].
  17. Exactly. You have to recognize genius when you see it. The VERA / X8 FPGA is an incredible work of art by @Frank van den Hoef. What an excellent gift to the community.
  18. I think its really cool that Frank used STM32F7 MCU in the design to act as a programmer for the ICE40UP5k FPGA. Really clever design. I used STM32F7 MCU's in my racing drones but it is still really cool seeing it used this way. Major Components from BOM: U1 FPGA: ICE40UP5K-SG48ITR50 U2 Flash - NOR Memory IC (16MB): W25Q16JVSNIQ U3 LDO Voltage Regulator (1.2A): LDL1117S33R U4 LDO Voltage Regulator (250mA) U5 Microcontroller: STM32F070C6Tx U6 Wireless Module (802.11 b/g/n): ESP32-SOLO-1 X1 Standard Clock Oscillators: SG-5032CAN Y1 SMD GLASS CRYSTAL: 7A-8.000MAAE-T
  19. Same. Whatever hardware they can get out the sooner the better.
  20. I even made a conceptual PCB Front for the X8 hoping it would be released. just to be clear, I did this in MSPAINT.
  21. I dunno if they have actually abandoned the X8 and dedicated fully to the X16 FPGA. Assuming you are referring to this screenshot from Facebook:
  22. Yesterday
  23. Note that there is a false premise here. The X16 is not "turning into more of a simple FPGA board" ... first, the FPGA board "X16e" version was on the "development plan" long before the X8 question was raised in The Megathread, and second, it was quite explicit before and it was made quite explicit in the "Megathread" that the "simple FPGA board" system is not taking the place of the X16p.
  24. tl;dr: "Huh, yeah, the X8 was an interesting proof of concept, even if they decided not to release it to the market."
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