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Showing content with the highest reputation since 11/26/20 in Posts

  1. 11 points
    Very small update for you guys. First prototype PS/2 mini keyboard is in. Note: This is not representative of our colour scheme or keycap artwork. They used a default artwork but we'll be able to get more specific once the crowdfunding starts. But the goal of this prototype is to test the new more ergonomic raised up keycaps and overall feel and design. You may remember our early prototype keys were flatter, more laptop like, and less nice to type on. This feels REALLY good to type on, especially for a good value non-microswitch keyboard. Can't wait for you guys to be able to hold it in your hands. Well... under your fingers... You know what I mean. (And of course the deluxe microswitch keyboard made and sold by WASD remains an option for the most selective of keyboard connoisseurs: http://commanderx16.com/deluxekeyboard ) More updates soon! Your friend in retro, Perifractic
  2. 5 points
    Random, disjointed thoughts... I like the simplicity of the X16 as a platform for learning and exploring assembly programming. All those boot menu options etc on the mega65 just put me off. Also the case is ugly - ew. I don't care about backwards compatibility either - it never works on the one thing you want it for, and if you want to play an old C64 game there are better ways to do it than on a mega65. And anyway, frankly those old games aren't going to be as interesting to play as any new ones that make proper use of the hardware. Breaking C64 compatibility is a big plus and properly focuses the project. Nostalgia is nice, but keep the dial down low. The X16 feels way more accessible, and I can see it being much more successful at introducing younglings to the craft of writing programs. I know you said 'chips aside', but... I don't have a problem with FPGAs as such, but I like that the lack of one makes for a more stable platform. I don't want to have a game that will only run after hunting down some 'enhanced' core that someone made on some forum somewhere. Perhaps an unfounded fear, but there it is (Please nobody make a Vera+). Also, as a developer, I appreciate the sense of being closer to the metal that seeing the real chips gives you. There's something less satisfying about coding for a virtual or emulated platform, and I'd put FPGAs in that category purely for the feeling of abstraction and instability. I think 8MHz is also a great balance between capability and constraints. You could make some really great games for this system, well within those constraints, and treat is as a 'lowest common denominator'. Porting X16 games to the mega65 or zx next would be obviously possible and an interesting project. All that said, I am a zx next KS2 backer, and my nostalgia for the speccy has won out over my fear of forking FPGA cores, and I will absolutely be playing old speccy games on that when it arrives. I'm sure there will be some C64 superfans with the same feelings about the mega65 who will wonder what the point of the X16 is. I won't pay what I was prepared to spend on a zx next on a mega65. I will pay for a cheaper, new, interesting and capable platform like the X16. I will also watch mega65 videos on youtube and have thoughts like "wow, 40MHz", and "holy crap 1000 multiplexed sprites, that's so cool", and "Oh, if only the X16 had an HDMI port too..." For me though, I'm really enjoying learning to code for the 65c02, and the vera chip is awesome.
  3. 4 points
    I actually think it is an advantage that the X16 isn't backwards compatible with the C64. That brings the software we all write into focus. If people buy the computer and want to test some games, it will be the games we make, not just Blue Max, Paradroid and Impossible Mission. This is a retrocomputer but it is also a new computer, with a new hardware design and a new video chip and we write new software for it. I like that, it motivates me.
  4. 3 points
    Hello Commandos, As you know the Mega 65 is another great project and based on Commodore's never-released C65 computer. Obviously the hardware is a bit different as it is FPGA-based, but I was curious, what do you prefer about the Commander X16 (chips aside) and its specifications and software, over the Mega 65's OS (if anything). What drew you here? Your friend in retro, Perifractic
  5. 3 points
    The ”Dave factor” is important for me too. There is a large X16 community already. I just hope people won’t be tired of waiting for the computer to arrive. Besides that I like the balance between limitations and possibilities. As someone mentioned 8 Mhz is perfect, you don’ have to count every cycle but you still have to think about what’s possible. Likewise for the amount of memory and 320x240 is perfect for homemade games. But it’s sad that the 65816 couldn’t be used. 16 bit arithmetics get tedious to implement after a while even if you use macros. I don’t know much about retrocomputers but I have visited the Mega65 site. It looks professional but I wasn’t able to understand much, not even if the computer was ready and for sale. The X16 site is much better. An emulator to download, two reference manuals to read and you’re on your way (still I must admit I struggled with a lot of things in the beginning...)
  6. 3 points
    For me the X16 appealed more for the following reasons: You will be able to look at the board and kind of "see" how it works. I love that! Memory layout and bank switching is very basic, but also easy to understand. The amount of available memory imposes pressure to optimize. I like that! Graphics is somewhat in between an ATARI ST and the Commodore Amiga, so more 16-bit era like. Which allows for good 2D graphics and I'm very happy what I've achieved so far. The pixelated 320x240 resolution adds to the nostalgic feel. The 8 MHz CPU is fast compared to the C64, but still slow enough so that you have to live with certain limitations, which is part of the fun. But it still allows me to use C for programming with some assembler to get around the mentioned limitations. I'm looking forward to "real" hardware. I'd like to show it to my nephews (now 3 and 6 years old) in a few years, to explain and "show" them how computers actually work. I find it still very important to know about those basics. Even with modern computers this helps to understand why certain things work and others suddenly don't.
  7. 3 points
    The X16 also appeals to my desire to experience some of that 8-bit era of programming, through the rose-tinted glasses of modern programming environments and tools. Personally, I've looked at a lot of the other 8-bit projects, whether based on real platforms or not, as having a high possibility of being vaporware, or else being a cash-in from the IP owners. I don't fault the cash-ins for what they are; my nostalgia simply runs in along different veins. I'd rather see cash-ins than abandonment, and the historical preservation factor is no small part of that. But the X16 has the "Dave factor", which to me brings two important qualities to make me interested: Dave has shipped products before. Dave has an audience and community he can easily promote his project with, which may not exist to the same extent for other 8-bit projects. I happen to also appreciate the goal of implementing the system entirely without FPGAs (albeit with asterisks since certain hardware is no longer available), this makes it feel more authentically 8-bit to me, since it's not emulated magic. I actually somewhat hope there will be some hardware quirks discovered post-launch, as long as they aren't too annoying. :3
  8. 3 points
    The c65 has some design decisions i really don't like: Built in floppy drive --> Those drives already sucked in the 80s and they still do today. Unreliable, slow and noisy. Case is bulkier and the machine becomes more expensive. But hey, it's the nostalgic touch that counts, isn't it? Minor design flaws (e.g. the chosen battery for the RTC. Would be an easy fix, but the c65 is a very academic project approach ...) And both designs do not offer a simple way to use modern peripherals (except the keyboard on the x16, which i really dig), e.g. USB devices, Bluetooth, Wifi, ... And thus i chose the Mister instead of both, maybe the cores of the x16 and c65 get ported some day. The Mister is obviously done by very grounded and experienced people and that shows in hard- and software-design. But the x16 community is great and the barebone approach has really a very nice touch. So i'd prefer the x16 over the c65 :-).
  9. 3 points
    Graphically they aren't too far apart, in terms of the tile maps and so on. This isn't surprising as they are both developments of C64/C65. The Mega65 is probably more powerful but a bit messier and confusing. The X16 is relatively simple, you can figure it out mostly straight off (this isn't a criticism). The Mega65 does not have the CX16's problem of the limiting bridge between the processor and the graphic memory. The CX16 has more sprites but less options for replacing them in other ways. There is one huge difference. (And yes I do know why, authenticity). The 6502 in the Mega65 has several changes. One is to widen the address bus so it can access 24 bit addresses (though it is still basically a 6502). Another is the addition of some 32 bit data operations. The last is the clock speed ; it runs at 48Mhz (not sure but about this but it's this sort of order). This is fast enough to put it in the same box as the ARM system David reviewed a while back ; you can write proper retro style games without having to write in Assembler, and you can run a fast enough P-Code system. Having done it on my own system I've a pretty good idea how much "poke" you need to make it work, and the CX16 doesn't quite have it (by a factor of 2-3) without big chunks of assembler. It doesn't bother me writing it, but it handicaps the beginners. The more the merrier though, why not Robotron in BASIC. Both have similar systems software, basically bodging the C64/C65 kernel and BASIC ROM to provide limited support for the extended facilities and interface to SDCards rather than cassette tape. Sound is much of a muchness. For some reason there's a floppy on the prototype (can you buy them any more ?) The other difference is that the M65 has a huge software base, though to be honest this doesn't really matter. If you just want to play Game X on the C64, you can either buy that Mini64 gadget, or simply run it on VICE or similar. It's easier and simpler. If you want to play a game, you want to play a game. Backwards compatibility is nice but overrated IMO, applies to the Spectrum Next as well. They aren't really that different. The last time I looked, the FPGA was doing all the graphics, the PCM, at least some of the audio channels and the SDCard I/O. This leaves you with the CPU, RAM and ROM (which are external on the M65 I think), possibly some audio channels, and a PIA/VIA for interfacing (the keyboard port may be on the FPGA now, I'm not sure). So basically the difference is that the M65 has a CPU in the FPGA and the CX16 doesn't. And the prototype M65 batch is 1000 Euros. Not sure what CX16 is going tobe, other than way more than Dave's £ 30-40 estimate.
  10. 3 points
    There have been and are many retro/hobby/oldskool new 8/16-bit style systems in development. They all have pros and cons. I have been waiting for a new computer or games console as an alternative to the current ecosystem. I have a decent PC to play the newest games if I want, but to have a low powered simple easy to use system with new games would be nice. Something cheap, simple and powerful enough to have new fun games. I haven’t considered programming for many years, but the Commander X16 seems easy enough to at least try. The Commander X16 has a powerful enough CPU with a good GPU to make games that should surpass almost any 8-bit system and match 16-bit consoles. If I have read the specs correctly, the Mega65’s CPU is about 6 times faster, but the X16 has a significantly more capable GPU, 16 times more sprites. I know that’s not the whole story, but the X16 should be cheaper and better at games, win win. Also the X16 development team and community are good enough that it might sell many thousands of units, maybe even enough to make it viable for commercial development by pro studios. (Well, we can hope).
  11. 2 points
    For me, the kit form is a huge portion of the draw. At the same time I was learning to program on 8 bit computers, I was also doing a bit of learning to assemble electronics. I reminisce about HeathKit projects, and helped assemble one of their computers. I'm also old enough, with the eyesight to show for it, and suffer a bit from tremors, so soldering through-hole is about all I can do. SMD components, even the larger ones, are essentially impossible. Even if it costs more, the X16 in kit form is a huge draw for me.
  12. 2 points
    I just sprung for the WASK Keyboards $205'er (brown). Hoping to team it up with a C=Key kit I just received to use with my 128 project; maybe this will be the kick in the arse I need to do something useful with the Commander x16 virtual environment instead of watching this forum incessantly for news of the HW actually being released. Regardless, it's beautiful looking. Also bought two CBM logo keys which hopefully will fit.
  13. 2 points
    It's a saying, "everything but the kitchen sink". Just means that they threw everything into it that they could think of. Personally, the M65 does not speak to me like the X16 does. I have zero desire to own a new computer with a floppy drive, and even less to pay more for a cute toy computer than my serious daily driver personal laptop. If I want to play C64 games, there are emulators for that. If I want a cute toy computer, it's either going to be a Raspberry Pi, where I can run modern software and do things like have low-power servers or custom TV dongles, or the X16 where I can have a fun development target for assembly games and demos that won't break the bank. If the X16 was targeting a $1000 price point, I would not be interested at all, but I would still the admire the technical achievement, like I do for the M65.
  14. 2 points
    I will probably end up with both systems. I have experience with FPGA, so that isn't a religious issue for me. I spend my days on modern computers working in modern languages. In my heart I yearn for simpler times. I deal with so many layers of abstraction in my day to day that the idea of a single core with a single address space gives me a sense of peace. I like X16 because I hopefully will have access to the hardware schematics at some point, so I can understand the system soup to nuts. I also like the possibility of creating my own expansion cards. I'm planning to begin playing with developing some simple programs over winter break. The Mega65 has increased memory and processor power as well as network capabilities which opens some interesting possibilities. I would love to have a system that I could use as part of my daily workflow, and the Mega65 might be able to run a simple remote shell, a code editor and a simple mail client. I totally agree with some of the earlier comments that the community is what makes or breaks projects like these. I am excited to be a part of the X16 community and plan to explore the Mega65 community as well. -Luke
  15. 2 points
    I agree. No matter how advanced our main desktop/laptop computers become, it's not like a baby born in 2020 has Ohm's Law, Boolean Logic, and hundreds of other concepts in "factory ROM" or something. You have to start with the absolute basics. If anything, modern computers are near-overwhelming, with no single person able to build one themselves. In a way, it's better to have a much slower computer you can understand/fix than a much more powerful one that is essentially magic. But practically speaking, it's good to have both for different reasons. For me, Dave's goal to keep the system understandable, buildable, hackable (discrete components rather than FPGA) is a big plus.
  16. 2 points
    I think it's fair to enjoy both systems for what they bring to the table. I'm interested in both computers, and I feel the Commander will be more of an experimenter's tool, where the MEGA will end up being primarily a modern Commodore 64 replacement. The FPGA doesn't bother me one bit. In fact, I think the Ultimate 64 has proven that an FPGA system can be highly compatible and still superior to the original. Gideon's $240 motherboard is both faster and more powerful than anything ever made for the C64 with discrete components: The 48MHz CPU alone is a first for Commodore 8-bit computers, for example. So both have their place, and I'm more interested in seeing how both fit into the scene than in picking a side.
  17. 2 points
    I have one myself as have countless others. It's faster than the CX16 and costs a tenner. But there is one important pro that none of the others have, except for three ; a large potential user base - the three are the Spectrum Next, the Mega 65, and the Commander X16. (there are others that have smaller bases, the Gigatron, RC2014, Zx Uno perhaps and so on). Without that user base you don't have software, an eco system, and without that you have another in the long list of machines that were technically excellent but you couldn't do much with. In the 1980s when I was a lad there were many of them. Neither the Speccy or the C64 is a particularly good design, the aim being to maximise profit for minimum design effort. But there were so many of them people worked round their limitations to often spectacular results. In some ways it's an advantage. Without the option of flashy graphics or sound on a Spectrum, people tried new game ideas instead.
  18. 2 points
    I'm not sure if I actually care if it's an FPGA. Functional equivalent doesn't bother me. It doesn't bother me AT ALL to use an SD2IEC card on my Commodores. Sure I have a 1541, but the SD card is more reliable. I ordered a Mega 65 so I'll know more about how I feel about it when I get it. I'm very curious how things like this will be received without at least some of the community driving the nostalgia factor. I use my C64 and 128 all the time at least in part because there's some nostalgia for it. But I skipped over the Amiga in my computer journey in the 90s. Went to DOS and then Linux in 1996. I own an Amiga 600 and don't use it because it doesn't resonate with me like a C64 does. Should be a fascinating thing to study really.
  19. 1 point
    Awesome to see things continuing to move forward ! The keyboard looks great, though I love my clicky keys.
  20. 1 point
    Oooh, nice. Those "half-height" keys are often my favorites. It's going to look great with the color and PETSCII symbols. EDIT: Please consider making blue, rather than grey, the secondary keycap color. But honestly it looks good even with the grey (in that render in the last pic).
  21. 1 point
    Thay is awesome looking. I can't wait for this project.
  22. 1 point
    Once I have disposable income for more than hours in my day I'd love to buy this! Keep up the good work, lads.
  23. 1 point
    Would seem so. Though the M65 is almost entirely FPGA - you can make one out of a Nexsys A7 that is identical except for some of the connectors. As you can with Vera, but not of course with anything on the main board.
  24. 1 point
    New video, now with music and sound effects: As you can see, the 2600 sound is not the greatest to work with, especially when it comes to music. Really makes one appreciate all the options on the X16.
  25. 1 point
    I agree with the general sentiments in this thread so far. The community, the simplicity, the price, etc. A few points to add: I enjoy soldering. The X16 will ("99% sure") be available in kit form; looking at the Mega65 it seems unlikely with all that SMD. Yes, soldering your own computer is impractical. But this is a hobby, it's okay to have fun doing something impractical. I want something really cool-looking on my desktop. (I almost bought a Spectrum Next just because of how great that design looks, even though I don't know Z80 assembly and have no Spectrum nostalgia.) I know the clear Mega65 is only a developer prototype, but I really don't like that beige render they have on their website now, either (with the disk drive sticking out the front!). The X16 is going to look great, though, especially with the custom keyboard with the PETSCII characters. Moving on: Wait, the Ultimate C64 runs at 48MHz? I don't remember that from Gideon's website, so I checked again again just now and I still don't see anything about CPU speed. I assumed it emulated the C64 at the usual speed. Last I heard, SID emulation was not a sure thing in the X16. The FAQ still says there are "3 designs being considered and tested." Or, did I miss some more recent news about that? I'm sorry, what?
  26. 1 point
    I've been interested in the Commander because it's built from the ground up with a nod to the heritage in terms of design decisions and even the inherent limitations; has a modest MVP, and is a what-you-see-is-what-you-get platform. The video modes are reasonable and appealing and I won't spend 1/2 my time trying to get old sw working at a specific clock rate, with a given video config, via utilities and hidden menus. Commander should be extensible from a HW perspective and I'm hopeful that sw dev efforts don't die out between now and when the platform is released. In short, the 65 looks awesome, but too-awesome. It's not cohesive, it is utter madness in it's design running in every possible direction simultaneously. It's the cat-dog of computers if that means anything to anybody here. Just too schizophrenic for me. Having said this, I have tons of ideas and some old code that I will port to Commander, but not until I can do so on THE hardware. It's just how I'm built.
  27. 1 point
    I just watched the video about the M65 by Nostalgia Nerd. It absolutely seems to be an impressing technical achievement and I understand the goal of the project better. But it is not for me, it is far too complicated. For me it becomes a computer for experiments with all key combinations, different startup options, menus, configurations screens and possible hardware adjustments like changing the CPU speed. I like the simple experience of turning on the computer, seeing a few lines of text and a blinking cursor. And that’s just about it. A builtin machine code monitor is ok though. But I am not sure I like that GEOS is included but I can live with that. [emoji4]
  28. 1 point
    To be clear, the MEGA 65 isn't going to cost $800+ when it goes to retail sale. Based on the hardware in it, I'm betting it will cost $400-500. Still not "inexpensive", but actually not far off what it would cost to build an Ultimate 64 with all new parts.
  29. 1 point
    Hi Dan, I think you might be able to find free PDFs on the interwebs that talk about programming on the C64; that might be enough to get you started. I certainly know that the Commodore 64 User's Guide and Programmer's Reference Guide are out there free, and will teach you Commodore BASIC just fine. And yes, I think that would get you well on your way to understanding Commodore BASIC. For assembly language, there are also online fan pages devoted to 6502 assembly, Commodore and other flavors. That might also do the trick. Ah, I see Matt beat me to the answer. Still, I agree with him. Regards, Rob
  30. 1 point
    The original C64 programmer's guide will go a long way to help you understand how the Kernal works, and there are copies in many languages across the web, like here: http://www.classiccmp.org/cini/pdf/Commodore/C64 Programmer's Reference Guide.pdf The X16 programmer's guide on GitHub is pretty good at explaining what has been cut out from there and what has been added: https://github.com/commanderx16/x16-docs/blob/master/Commander X16 Programmer's Reference Guide.md There will be a complete user and programmer's guide that ships with the X16, but between these two docs and support from this forum, you should be all set.
  31. 1 point
    VolksForth X16 View File VolksForth Readme VolksForth is a 16bit Forth System produced by the German Forth Gesellschaft e.V. The main repository lives here: https://github.com/forth-ev/VolksForth Major development of this system was done between 1985 until 1989. The VolksForth Project was revived in 2005 with the goal to produce a managable Forthsystem for computer systems with restricted system resources. Some modern Forth Systems were influenced by or were derived from VolksForth (GNU-Forth, bigForth). The current Version of VolksForth is 3.81. Version 3.9.x will be interim versions on the way to sync all VolksForth targets and move towards compliance with the 2012 Forth standard. Version 3.8.x is based on the Forth 83 standard, Version 4.00 will be based on the current 2012 Standard (https://forth-standard.org). At this time VolksForth is available for this Systems: VolksForth MS-DOS (Intel x86 architecture i8086/i186/i286/i386/i486 etc) VolksForth 6502 (Commodore 64, Commodore Plus 4, Commander X16, Apple 1, Apple ][, Atari XL/XE) VolksForth Z80 (CP/M, Schneider CPC) VolksForth 68000 (Atari ST, Amiga with EmuTOS) Copyright The VolksForth Sources are made available under the terms of the BSD Lizenz - http://www.opensource.org/licenses/bsd-license.php The Handbook is Copyright (c) 1985 - 2020 Forth Gesellschaft e.V. ( Klaus Schleisiek, Ulrich Hoffmann, Bernd Pennemann, Georg Rehfeld, Dietrich Weineck, Carsten Strotmann). (most of the Information is still in german. We are planning to provide future versions with englisch documentation) Have fun with VolksForth the VolksForth Team Submitter pzembrod Submitted 11/14/20 Category Dev Tools  
  32. 1 point
    Stumbling across this is one of the happier moments in my life. I'm a professional web/app dev for 3+ years now with no computer science background (I went through a coding bootcamp) and I've been struggling to find different ways of "teaching" myself computer science. While I've found lots of great resources and have started toying with the idea of fiddling with assembly on the raspberry pi, I've been jealous of everyone that "got started" on all these old systems from the 80's where you "had" to use BASIC or assembly. This is literally a dream come true for me!
  33. 1 point
    Just for practice with the Cx16 I'm writing a small text editor for the system, I'm just wondering what I can do to make a c file smaller. I'm open to answer any questions. Thank you.
  34. 1 point
    Having just watched a pretty thorough walk through of the 65, I'm pretty impressed. Sure it was expensive, but it'll get better. Maybe. A couple things that are interesting to me: GO 64 - I can have my cake and eat it too They have shipped 100 units, so it's real(ish). The software development is already pretty mature
  35. 1 point
    But is it ? I agree with you on the root concepts idea - I've always said people should do something like program a PIC16C84 or a C64 or something like that so they know at root what's going on (some PHP programmer told me "Boolean Algebra's not a thing" any more ...). Not sure we're there. Might be better off doing the Ben Eater design , or something similar to do the basic stuff.
  36. 1 point
    @pzembrod and @mobluse Inspired by you, I have made a romable version of X16 Edit. It's published in the downloads section. Sources on Github. It's a bit fiddly to set up for testing, but a proof of concept that the editor ROM version works as expected. I had three main issues to solve Bridging Kernal calls. I seems that I could have used the built in JSRFAR, but in the end it was very easy to implement my own specialized bridge. This was the easy part. There was quite a few variables embedded in the code section that I had to move to RAM. This was not hard, but took some time to do. The hardest part was to get interrupts working. Very frustrating before I found a solution. I looked mostly on how the built-in monitor had solved this, but it's always hard to get to know code you are not familiar with. I have also changed the way line breaks are encoded. If the editor is in PETSCII mode, it uses CR as line break If in ISO mode it uses LF as line break Internally it still uses LF as line break in all cases. When reading a file into the buffer it converts all CRs to LFs. If in PETSCII mode, all LFs are converted back to CRs when you save the file. I guess you're right that this is the most likely setup to be play nicely with other programs from the C64 era. After all Commodore 8 bit computers didn't have the LF control character. If you would like to save an ISO file with CR line breaks or a PETSCII file with LF line breaks, it's still possible. Edit the file in the preferred mode. If you want LF line breaks, change to ISO mode before saving or to PETSCII mode before saving if you want CR line breaks.
  37. 1 point
    Well, I don't know this for sure, but I'd assume it's because it's meant to mimic mouse support from the old days, and mice back then didn't have a middle button. On a more technical level, I think it's mainly because the mouse support is code pulled directly from the GEOS code, and since GEOS was written back when mice didn't have scroll wheels, it didn't support it.
  38. 1 point
    Thanks Johan - Yes I'm currently using the line interrupts but was curious about the above. Cheers.
  39. 1 point
    The language does not use line numbers, it has an Editor and Monitor interface. The Editor is a nice text editor, and the Monitor is where programs (from disk or the Editor) are compiled and/or run. The output of the compiler is executable 6502 code which can be saved to disk. One real nice feature of the compiler was that it had directives and the INCLUDES statement to include text files on the disk in the compile process. (think frequently used functions, shareable modules, tool kits, etc) Code could be compiled to run at any address. Of course a lot of it was tailored to the ATARI system it was designed for, but the Editor/Monitor (AKA Debugger) idea should be compatible with any OS.
  40. 1 point
    I don't think so, but as you might know you can have an interrupt triggered at a certain line as described in the VERA's Programmer's Reference.
  41. 1 point
    It depends. You can create an assembly program that runs entirely within Raspbian userspace, just like you would with C. But if you are looking to get all the way down to bare metal, you can do that, too, but the platform is not meant for that, so it will be an exercise in frustration more than anything, unless you were actually trying to create your own custom kernel. Either way, the experience of writing in ARM assembly for a complex (it's small but INVOLVED) system like the RPi will be a far cry from a simple system that's meant to be an assembly programming target like the X16 or any other 8-bit system.
  42. 1 point
    These are excellent ideas! I fly the Baron about 250 hours a year, so I'm looking forward to having this Zenith to just play around with.
  43. 1 point
    Very true. As a programmer I got used very much to just compiling and running my code only to see if there are any errors. Even simple ones. But when I got into electronics and burned a few chips, I realized how careless I am. I have to double check everything before turning it on. Also I learned that in old times (around 70s) people wrote their programs on terminals without possibility to run, compile or even syntax check. Instead you postponed your code in a queue and waited hours for a server to run your program. And only then you will either receive program output or an error.
  44. 1 point
    Programmer: "What an outrageous attitude you hardware guys have! It's important to take care with these things!!!!" {Runs new assembly language code, it crashes the first 16 runs until all the typos and incorrect logic has been cleaned up.}
  45. 1 point
    Yes, that is possible. The usual way to compile an application with VolksForth is to compile the application code on top of the base Forth system, and then use SAVESYSTEM to store the compiled code together with the underlying Forth system into one file. There are a few hooks aka deferred words, pre-populated with noop, e.g. 'cold, that are called during system startup. They can be used to start an application on Forth startup. As for how BASIC in ROM bank 4 jumps into the KERNAL in ROM bank 0: This is implemented in https://github.com/commanderx16/x16-rom/tree/master/kernsup. I haven't fully grokked (yet) how the code works in detail, but it seems pretty clear that the essence is that the kernsup_*.s files assemble a jump list at the end of the BASIC or the MONITOR rom that mirrors the KERNAL jump list and implements it via cross-bank long jumps. I could imagine that replicating this mechanism at the end of an X16 Edit ROM could work. I wasn't suggesting to use the BASIC ROM; I may have caused a misunderstanding there.
  46. 1 point
    Just a little tease for all you loyal Commandos of how the machine is looking in the user guide illustrations:
  47. 1 point
    @Strider Well Entropia Universe is real cash economy mmo. You can exchange game currency to usd. Its like Oasis from ReadyPlayerOne.
  48. 1 point
    First, you don't need to use POKEs to change colors. The Commander has a COLOR command. (You have read the CX16 Programmer's Reference, I hope.) So to change the background to white, you can use COLOR 0,1. However, that only changes the color of newly printed characters - as you have already figured out. The way way to re-color the whole screen at once is to clear it. COLOR 0,1:CLS "But what if I want to change the background without clearing the screen?" You designate one color index for your background, then you edit the palette directly. Here is an example that sets the background to white with red text: 10 P=$FA0C 20 R=15:G=15:B=15 30 COLOR 2,6:CLS 40 VPOKE 1,P,G*16+B : VPOKE 1,P+1,R Line 10 sets the pallete address. $FA00 is the first color index; add 2 for each color after that. The default background is blue, which is 6. So $FA0C would select the "blue" index. Line 20 is our color values. Each color can be 0-15, and you can mix colors. Yellow, for example, is R=15:G=15:B=0 Line 30 sets the foreground color to 2 (the red index) and the background to blue. Line 40 updates the palette entry for blue, changing it to white. If you want to change color 6 back to blue, you can update the value directly: VPOKE 1,$FA0C,$0F:VPOKE 1,$FA0D,0
  49. 1 point
    BASIC's COLOR statement prints PetSCII color control codes to the screen. Kernal decodes them, and sets its private color variable. (Pssst, you might want to poke $376. But, you didn't hear it from me.)
  50. 1 point
    Hello everyone! I live in Kalmar, in the southeastern part of Sweden. As a kid I dreamed of making my own C64 games in assembly code. But I didn’t really get anywhere. I found it hard to learn the language, lacked the necessary books and had noone to ask. With the CX16 it feels like I’ve got a new chance to fulfill my dreams. It sounds a bit silly, I know. I am a minister in the Swedish Church and I can truly say that there are few people I know that understand and appreciate retro computers. Actually there are quite few people interested in computers at all. Therefore I really appreciate this community, it is inspiring and motivating, and I have got help more than once from some of you knowledgeable and helpful experts : ). I hope that I can - at least in the long run - contribute with some software. Programming is really fun but I have sometimes hard to find the time for it. Keep watch for Rally Speedway 2020 this fall though, I hope for at least v 0.5...
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