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Showing content with the highest reputation on 10/31/21 in all areas

  1. The TLDR of it is, nostalgia. For me, it's not about being any "better" than what we have today, since that's pretty subjective. I mean, I love modern hardware, Raspberry Pi, and Arduino. I use all of it just about every week for various reasons. I have always been a hardware guy, I wanted to know how it all works under the hood, and I don't mean the code, I mean how was that code actually processed and executed on a hardware level. That goes for all electronic devices, not just computers, I wanted to know how it functioned at it's most fundamental level. That really got it's start for me back in the 8-bit era, back when computers were easier to use IF you understood HOW they worked. Today, everything is so "user friendly" that most anyone can pick up something and use it with no understanding of how it works, even though the hardware itself is vastly more complicated and powerful. That's both good and bad in my opinion, but that's a whole separate topic. It takes me back to a time when I was excited to learn the magic that was computers. These days it's much harder to impress me becasue I know how most of it works, but back then I was honestly impressed with just about every new system I got to see for whatever reason. I was impressed what they were able to do within the limitations of the systems. Also, something like the X16 is a nice bridge between the 80's and today for me. Like I said, I was all about the hardware, not the code. So I never moved much past BASIC, COBAL, and Pascal when it came to "programming", well, unless you consider Ladder Logic, I did work with that a lot back in the 90's on Allen Bradley PLCs when I was working for Pepsi Co. So this is an opportunity to learn some of what I missed back then, just for the fun of it.
    2 points
  2. Nostalgia is of course a big factor. But the other factor is fun, it's fun to develop on 8 bit stuff. Modern stuff can be fun to some extent, but it's a lot more like work, in my opinion. I'd compare it to R/C modeling. Building and operating your remote/radio control airplane/car/boat is a lot of fun. As opposed to building or restoring a full size plane, car or boat. Yeah, there's some fun there, but also, A LOT of work. Not a direct comparison of course, but pretty similar I'd say.
    2 points
  3. During one of David's videos he interviewed several YouTube celebrities when announcing his dream computer. A lot of their answers resonate with me. One reason is simplicity. The machines can be understood completely by one person. One person could program the computer without needing a team of specialists. Another reason is platform stability. If you have Windows 10 or Linux or MacOS you have a moving target of sorts. 8 bit machines were usually made for years and remained compatible through their life. Not that compatibility is impossible on modern platforms, but it is still a moving target. Clearly new systems aren't all bad. We're using them after all. But one can get a lot done with the old systems, far beyond just gaming. The newer technology is just so inexpensive that it is cost effective to write memory hungry inefficient applications. I think there is a certain charm to the look of older stuff, but I think that comes somewhat of being of a certain age. Some people gravitate to old cars or furniture or whatever. We appreciate old tech. When we are gone, future generations will look back fondly at today's state of the art.
    2 points
  4. There has been a lot of discussion in the past about the decision to use a 65C02 instead of a 65C816 in the CX16. I've read on the 6502.org site that dealing with the data/address pins can be difficult, even with the info provided in the data sheet. So it was interesting to run across a series of videos from a guy named Adrien Kohlbecker, who's attempting to design a basic system using it. I have no idea what his ultimate plans are, apart from the rev A specs in the introduction (Bank 0 RAM, some ROM and extended RAM, 6522 for peripherals, and a serial port). But those who like Ben Eater's videos will probably like what he's doing here. I especially appreciate how he's breaking down the timings, trying to visualize each problem that needs to be solved, updating the schematics, connecting everything on breadboards, testing, etc. Videos seem to be coming regularly, and so far he's handled the multiplexed bus, BE and RDY pins. He hasn't actually run the CPU in the design yet, but he's done basic tests of the latch/buffer for the data bus and bank address. The methodical approach he's taking is very promising, and it's been interesting to watch the progress. Apologies if this has already been posted. I tried searching for it and came up empty. Intro video is here:
    1 point
  5. Interfacing the 65C816, due to its common 40 pin package (not enough pins) is not quite as simple from a HW perspective but doable if you know what you are doing. Not the subject of this thread, but here is a pep talk on Assembly. I know it's a topic within the X16 portion of this site (whether or not David should have gone w/65C816 instead of 65C02. The bottom line is that if you don't mind blowing memory and cycles, you can do just about everything on the 65C816 using far/long instructions and yet, take advantage of some efficiencies along the way. You'll need to be familiar with new compiler directives and macros in order to solve for the differences but it's an easy lift. In the end, you'll be way ahead as you'll have access to 4MB of RAM if you want it, run upwards at 14 Mhz. and can claw back in simple ways with new Opcodes such as BRA (branch unconditional, saving a byte versus a [now] short JMP. Of course, and as mentioned, a simple processor instruction will switch the 65C816 into 65C02 mode so a front panel mounted switch could have selected this if the Kernel and BASIC Rom work could have been solved. For that matter, a default of an ALL 65C02 based code base for Kernel and BASIC could have just been dumped in and with the boot-time switch, a micro-kernel similar to C256 Foenix could have opened the doors (assuming general Commodore compatibility of X16 was a design tenet.) I'm developing a tile and sprite based client for a game on the C256 Foenix, starting with a 6502/6510 based C64 Terminal emulator that I wrote in the 80s; it will ultimately talk UDP over the Foenix RJ45 Ethernet, but in 65C816. I have a NodeJS based Express server running out on Heroku already so just need to pull the client together. It will take me the better part of a year to complete; I just don't have the time due to other work obligations. Regardless of how you feel about the splintering of the community and people jumping over to Mega65 or my incessant desire to distract : ), these four videos will walk you through the basics of 65C816; Produced by Peter from the Foenix project, he does not so much compare 6502 or the Commodore 64 to Foenix or even talk much about the Foenix at all, but does a master-class job at explaining: Basics of 65C816: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tw18GG0N2iM Loops: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24P_U-k-aLA Stack, Calls, Macros: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewGCcDQtBKc Calculations: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCYV9J-ZxDo ... across 4 videos, defining a simple sprite which eventually is driven by a joystick in very basic and easy to understand form.
    1 point
  6. Ran across a few more good ones that made me feel nostalgic. haha The "Konami Code", playing Phantasy Star online on my Sega Saturn, the glorious days of loading games from cassette, and how I feel about a lot of modern "retro" games. So many memories. :)
    1 point
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