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  1. 27 points
    Just a little tease for all you loyal Commandos of how the machine is looking in the user guide illustrations:
  2. 22 points
    Please enjoy this mini update from @Kevin Williams about the second prototype. A fuller update will follow from David on YouTube soon (when we have a working prototype #3). Happy new year Commandos!
  3. 18 points
    I figured it’s been a while since the last update. So I’m just letting you know where things are at. Kevin has sent me one of the prototype boards in the hopes that we can figure out why certain parts are not working. Timing on the ROM and RAM is stable, the two VIA chips are also stable. There is some odd behavior on the banking latches, and the audio and video are not working. We are certain it’s a timing issue and we will let you all know when that issue is resolved. By sending me a proto board the hope is that we have a second set of eyes since trying to debug it over email and phone calls isn’t very productive.
  4. 18 points
    Hi all, I started developing a game for the X16 last September - coming up on a year ago now! I come from same the 1980s 8-bit BASIC programming vintage as Director-in-Chief Murray and probably most of you lot too, but I've never developed a whole game before. The X16 project has inspired me to learn assembly, with the goal of writing this game. More than a whiff of nostalgia about it all too - fond memories of passing POKEs to schoolmates to get infinite lives in Manic Miner and Jet Set Willy. Loosely, my game is a turn-based strategy/resource management thing with a passing resemblance to the hex-based board game settlers of catan. But the resemblance is only skin deep - this game has a strong story-based adventuring/survival/exploration leaning, all mixed together and served up with a hearty dose of good old fashioned text adventure. Blimey, I'll tell you what - it's been a steep curve. Simultaneously learning assembly; learning the vera / X16 hardware whilst developing how the game is going to work: combat systems - resource / asset / fatigue management - display; writing the code ; creating the graphics; writing the prose. It turns out taking on a game (even an 8-bit style game) single-handedly is a HUGE undertaking. I doff my hat to @SlithyMatt - you sir are a legend I've no idea how you churn out the code with such amazing regularity!! But the great thing about the X16 is - IT CAN BE DONE. It might take ages, but if I can do it, anyone can! It's been a long time coming, but I've got to the stage now where I've finalised the gameplay, memory management, and the overarching story of the game. I've also battered my head against my assembly inadequacies sufficiently (with lots of help from proper programmers - again, hat tip to @SlithyMatt , @StephenHorn, @Greg King , @togster510 and others - sorry if I've missed you out!) such that the code for the main game loop is now (pretty much!) in place. Things I've learned so far: 1. Planning everything out on paper before starting to code ABSOLUTELY VITAL! I was keen to get into the 'interesting stuff' straight away (drawing the graphics, putting things on screen) but in the long run, having the whole game pretty much drawn out in principle on paper first meant I've avoided a number of unpleasantries in the coding thereof. How are you going to address the screen - one layer? two layers? What is going onto each layer? How many bpp will you need for each layer? How many sprites will you need? How many frames of animation? How much vram will all that take? How are you going to encode the various aspects of gameplay? Which memory banks are you going to put them in? Which leads me onto - 2. Plan out your memory management. The X16 only has 40k of low memory + 64 x 8k memory banks to play with (in the base model) plus 128kB of video memory, so you can't just splurge on huge 256 colour graphics all over the place - the limitations of the system require some thought on how much you're going to fit in, and how you're going to fit it in. I've used up three memory banks just storing the hex tiles for the whole game board (64 x 64 hexes in total, although not all visible on screen at once) - made up of 32 different types of hex terrain, each with its own individual replenishing resources, roads, rivers and bridges. 3. Assembly is HARD but not IMPOSSIBLE. I've lost count the number of times my eyes have glazed over whilst looking at what I've lda'd and what I've sta'd wondering why the hell it doesn't do what I've CLEARLY just told it to do... persevere, and post questions on the software support forum. There are kind people out there who will help you (me included, if it's within my power to do so!!) 4. You will probably end up writing programs that help you write your program. This one was a bit of a surprise for me - but I've done it twice so far already. For example, I wrote a bitmap converter that loads up 16x16 pixel .bmp graphic files I've drawn in photoshop, and it spews them into memory as four sequential 8x8 tiles for storing in the vram tile map (my graphics are 16x16 but they need to be placed on an 8x8 tile grid because of how the hexes work). It took me an afternoon to write but it would have been immensely complicated and taken a LOT longer to hand-convert every terrain and item graphic in a hex-editor! 5. Things change. Roll with the punches. If the gameplay has to change slightly to fit within the limitations, so be it. The people playing the finished game aren't bothered about what you thought the game was going to be like. Deciding on the layout of the main screen was a hassle for me - there's more stuff I wanted to show than there was room for, and I tried various ways of cramming it all in, whilst still getting it to look attractive. Eventually I decided I couldn't do it, so I've split the information across two screens that can be toggled between. The main screen now shows a bar that fills up as the amount of stuff you're carrying increases. A handful of grain fills up one backpack 'slot'; an apple fills up 3, and one load of stone fills 16 slots etc. so you have to be careful about choosing what to carry around with you. But you can toggle to the backpack screen that itemises all the resources and equipment you're carrying so you know for example how many apples you've got and how much stone you're carrying etc. I should add this game is a bit of a nod towards the now legendary Planet X2 - if you've got half an hour spare, David's 'making of' video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NB_VBl7ut9Y is really helpful and has some great tips particularly about memory management - it's aimed specifically at the C64, but a lot of it is pertinent to the X16 too. I hope this is of some help for others considering embarking on a similar coding journey. At the very least, I'm writing all this down now in the hope that you lovely X16 people will hold me to account and spur me on to actually finish writing this blasted game..! The hexes await... in the meantime, have a peek at the notes in the photos below, it'll give you a flavour of what kind of things are included in the game. Also a screenshot of how the game currently looks. Ta ta for now!
  5. 17 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
  6. 17 points
    Hi Everyone, If you happened to see David's video on the Color Maximite 2, then you probably noticed that the new Commander X16 PCBs have arrived! David @The 8-Bit Guy just happened to swing by my house the day they arrived, and he picked them up before I was even able to get all of the parts in. I am still waiting on a few things, so I haven't been able to complete assembly yet. The VERA is also not complete for this reason, but I had to mock it up for the pics! Bear in mind, this is not the correct case, this is from an old tower ATX case I had sitting around. It's a nice platform to mount the board and make sure I have the placement of screws, slots & of course the rear ATX panel aligned correctly. I will likely make a few placement tweaks but overall I am quite happy with the physical layout so I just had to post some photos! So far, it's working but my ATX soft-start circuit is a bit squirrelly. Not only that, I kinda wired it wrong and didn't catch it before the run. Worked great on the breadboard, but I will have to revamp that before the final. There are also a few other little things discovered since this proto was run, but the real tests will be coming when @Michael Steil is able to get the Kernal up and running. (I would write some test code, but one part I'm missing is the ZIF socket for the ROM. Should be here in a day or two.) @Perifractic is also sending me the X16 case, so I should be able to install the board in there later this week. Happy Sunday, and Take Care Everyone! -Kevin Williams https://TexElec.com
  7. 17 points
    Just some further updates. I have finished the assembly of the board along with the patches that Kevin has documented. It’s not working yet, and my schedule has been very full this week. I’ve ordered some parts I need to build a test rig, and I have a logic analyzer that I just got. So not much to report yet. But just in summary my test rig lets me get to the very basics and monitor and control many parts of the system. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  8. 16 points
    Hi again! I've been working for quite awhile to get the new layout complete, and I think we are just about ready to run the second prototype! There are quite a number of changes to this board over the previous version, so I do expect a few, ahem, challenges perhaps? That said, a lot of time has been spent testing on breadboards and optimizing so I think we should be close to the final specs on this system. As mentioned, there are code breaking changes with the system. I will post more for the devs out there in a post below. The VERA has also changed quite a bit. Namely, it now has 32 registers, but I'll let @Frank van den Hoef talk more about that when he is ready to post some updates. Also, I made two proto boards to test the bus and get the alignment right for the final design. Progress is being made, thanks for everyone's patience and have a great day!
  9. 16 points
    We're not posting an official update until we have something more conclusive but just to put rest to this conversation and any speculation here, we have had some fantastic successes very recently and the machine is all but fully working. Just a few little tweaks to fix. So things are looking really great and will have a full update for you very very soon. [emoji4]
  10. 15 points
    Hi all, I've spent that much time rummaging through documentation for vera trying to find how to set things up and which blasted $9f!*'@! did what, I thought I'd make myself a crib sheet with all the info on a single page (well, most of it!). I've attached a .png and a .pdf here for anyone to download and use if you want. I'm working exclusively in tile mode at the moment, so this crib sheet only covers that - I might do another one for bitmap mode when I start trying that. Hope it's useful to someone else! vera register info sheet.pdf
  11. 15 points
    I’m not posting this as an official update announcement as it’s not finished but wanted to whet your appetites. Also big shoutout to @Michael Steil and @Frank van den Hoef. Frank wrote the main driver which was way faster and more complete than the old one and Micheal extended its functionality. The next emulator release has major improvements to the DOS for the SD card filesystem. The main ones are: A lot of progress has been made with the X16 DOS. It's almost feature complete, and almost has feature parity with CMD floppy and hard drives. • Long filename support • You can open files for reading (OPEN2,8,2,"FILE") or for writing (OPEN2,8,2,"FILE,P,W"), read and write data, have four of them open at the same time, etc. etc. • Overwriting files is done with "@:". • You can copy files (DOS"C:BACKUP=ORIGINAL"), concatenate files (DOS"C:ALL=FILE*"), all with wildcards. • You can rename files (DOS"C:NEW=OLD"). • You can delete files (DOS"S:R*,Q*"). • You can lock/unlock files (DOS"L:R*" or DOS"F-L:R*"/DOS"F-U:R*"). • Like on CMD devices, create directories (DOS"MD:DIR), delete them (DOS"RD:DIR), change them (DOS"CD:DIR). • You can use paths everywhere (DOS"C//BACKUP/:FILE.TXT=FILE.TXT", DOS"$//BACKUP/:A*") • All commands and paths support drive/media numbers (DOS"$1:*"), but only 0 (current) and 1 (only supported partition) work. • You can get partitioning info (DOS"GP"+CHR$(1)) like on CMD hard disks. • You can even read/write DOS memory and execute code in a DOS context (M-R, M-W, M-E). Yeah, not that useful. • All error messages on the status channel (just type "DOS") are consistent with 1541/1571/CMD drives, e.g. 01, FILES SCRATCHED,05,00 etc. What's missing: • Open file for appending (,P,A). • Show/change disk name. • mkfs (N) • fsck (`V') • timestamp support What's missing that I'm not sure should be added: • REL files • block read/write API Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  12. 13 points
    Hello all, My name is Frank van den Hoef and I am responsible for the design of the VERA module (the audio, video and storage hardware module), which is part of the Commander X16.
  13. 12 points
    Here is Adrian's video about the troubleshooting:
  14. 11 points
    Hi everyone, while The 8-Bit guys needs no introduction, we thought the rest of the team should properly introduce themselves! I'll start the ball rolling... I'm a husband & father of 3 (furbabies), & actor-writer with a love of retrogaming. You might have seen or heard me at Perifractic’s Retro Recipes on YouTube, and I've been making retro music since before it was retro! For the fantastic Commander X16 project I'm proud to be heading up the design and branding, among other things. Here's what falls under my umbrella, along with the help of some other very talented folks: This website's creation and hosting Case design & manufacture Keyboard design & manufacture X16 Butterfly Logo design & implementation Licensing Commodore BASIC & Kernel "Just the BASICs" user guide Packaging design & manufacture BASIC screen visual design/logo... I'm super excited as David's vision of his dream computer comes closer to fruition and am proud to be a small part of making that dream come true. I look forward to chatting with you all here further! Your friend in retro, Perifractic
  15. 11 points
    The Assembly Environment (V0.8) is released, you can get the beta here: https://sites.google.com/view/x16asmenv/home I've also got a video about this release: https://youtu.be/adohtDGGPbE This release is now the first to be considered "beta", since I believe it to be feature complete (based on original plans). From here on out I'll be fixing bugs and making it rom enabled. Comments and bugs welcome!
  16. 10 points
    I've been working on a simple text editor for some time, and uploaded it to Github today. The editor is heavily inspired by GNU Nano, but not intended to have all its functions. It's just too much work in 65c02 assembly, at least for me At this moment basic editing works more or less, and the program is fairly stable. Text entered by the user is stored in banked RAM. File handling waits until the emulator supports reading and writing sequential files. Check it out on github https://github.com/stefan-b-jakobsson/x16-edit I also include the binary for my 0.0.1 release. It's tested in emulator version r37. x16edit-0.0.1.prg
  17. 10 points
    What do you guys think of the Raspberry Pi 400 complete computer kit?
  18. 10 points
    Right, as I think David said, the only people who get nothing wrong are the people who do nothing. Whilst I can see the perspective of some people about some of the things, with nearly a million people having lost their lives from this terrible pandemic, abusing somebody because of an old metal screw is frankly preposterous. Some people need a reality check.
  19. 10 points
    David has posted a video defending his actions and why the IBM thing was not "really dumb" as you put it. A vast majority of electronics engineers agree. Please watch your language and remember the group rules you agreed to when joining.
  20. 10 points
    We don't have the final power draw figures as yet, but the plan is to ship without a cooling fan being necessary. Again that is not final, but is the hope. Crucially I have allowed space in the case to add a standard fan should you expand to where that is necessary. The fan can connect to the PSU directly and there is a place for the cable too. The current PSU we are using (photos coming soon) is 180W. This isn't because we need it (though we can't rule out the community's expansion needs) but is the smallest that is available which is also compatible with the board and case. Expansion needs also therefore benefit in future. We could have gone with an external PSU and a smaller case, but I'm not a fan of the external bricks and we love the idea of machines like the Apple ][ where the PSU is enclosed and you just plug in and go. Also again, a little spare space in the case allows for community expansions, mods and hacks. Also some other thing(s) I can't mention yet (nothing to get too excited about). The Picos have some small issues, they were discussed, but we opted for the more solid solution.
  21. 9 points
    Hello Everyone! I know it's been awhile since there has been an update, so here goes: Earlier this year I had mostly completed the "Proto #2" motherboard. It was a mad dash to get the PCB made before we met in New Jersey at VCF. Right at the end, @Frank van den Hoef made a pretty substantial change to the VERA, which required a bit of reworking. April came, the trip was cancelled and life went sideways for a bit for the world. As such, I decided I needed to focus on a few things for TexElec, and took a bit of time off from the project. Last month I picked up where I left off and planned to make minor changes for the VERA and get the PCB made. However, the team had some time to think and oversights and optimizations became apparent. One change led to another, and let's just say, we're gonna break some code. Sorry. I do believe the changes made will not disappoint. I'm not going to reveal them just yet. I am still laying out the PCB and would like to do some testing to make sure it's going to work as designed. I am trying not to release too much of the schematic until the end, as anything is subject to change at this point. The pic below is how I have the expansion bus pinned out. I may well move some the pins around to simplify layout, so again, not in stone yet, but I do think this is pretty close to what pins will be present. This post is majorly TLDR already, so I'll add a comment below with more info on the pins, and the idea behind some of it. Take care!
  22. 9 points
    I'm Matt and I'm helping out with the boring tech stuff behind the scenes on here. My journey began with a VIC-20 in the early 80s, followed by a C64 and an Amiga 500 before being dragged kicking and screaming into the PC era in the mid 90s. And basically, it's all downhill from there, which is why when I saw David's video on his dream computer, I simply sat there with an open mouth, nodding along vigorously. Other than that, I'm the writer and producer of the Blue Skies Chronicles® series of novels and audiobooks. Give them a listen, people seem to like them.
  23. 9 points
    Hello everyone! My name is Michael Steil, and I'm a member of the X16 development team. I am the lead developer of: the X16 ROM the (advanced) KERNAL operating system our version of the Microsoft/Commodore BASIC interpreter our MONITOR the DOS for the SD card the GEOS port the X16 character sets the X16 Emulator the X16 Reference Documentation I'm thankful for any help on these projects, all of which are Open Source projects on GitHub: https://github.com/commanderx16/x16-rom https://github.com/commanderx16/x16-emulator https://github.com/commanderx16/x16-docs (Edit: Or via this website's Support page: https://www.commanderx16.com/forum/index.php?/forum/17-x16-help-support-lounge/) Technical discussions on these projects should happen in the form of "Issues" on GitHub, but I'm happy to discuss more generic topic here in this forum! Michael
  24. 9 points
    You both have some good points, but just to repeat what has been said before, and is posted in the rules at the top of the main forum page: So as of now, we're not discussing open sourcing or ports to other machines. Our machine isn't even out yet. So let's save this discussion for a later time eh? 🕹
  25. 8 points
    Adrian Black is a class act. What a gracious and generous video. I have enjoyed his channel and hope he keeps producing new content for a long time. This is an important step. I hope folks in the community realize how much engineering work remains between "mostly runs on the bench" and "ready for production".
  26. 8 points
    Maybe I am too old, but I don't see the big deal. I see tech videos all the time (modern and retro) that do things differently than I would. Sometimes it works, sometimes not, we all live and learn. As far using a paperclip to power up a PSU or jump a connection, that's common, even today on modern hardware. Similar to firing up a build outside of a case with no switch, just shorting the power switch pins on the MB with a screwdriver. Cutting proprietary or uncommon screw heads off, I have done that as well on old hardware. Eventually, all hardware needs servicing, one way or the other. Personally, none of this changes how I feel about the X16 or David. He had nothing to go on with that computer, other than his experience, and as he said, he's done that sort of thing many times with no problems at all. As have many of us. I didn't even know this was an "issue" until I seen this post.
  27. 8 points
    Hi Commandos (is that the right term?), I'm the guy writing the Assembly Environment / Super Monitor. I've been posting releases on FB and Murray**2. I'm still plugging away, and will be posting new updates here, too! In retro, Mike Allison
  28. 8 points
    Just fooling around with C64 BASIC and the new X16 BASIC commands! Code is too simple to share compared to some other games and demos you guys made! It's been a while trying to use variable names with only 2 unique characters! "PALETTE.BAS" "MANDELBROT.BAS" - Took forever to generate this 150px by 150px by 16 greyscale. 6502/200MHz please!
  29. 8 points
    Just a small clarification: When David mentions a Kickstarter he's using the word in the generic sense, meaning "crowdfunding". We're not yet decided what the home will be for the campaign. It may well be done within this website. Kickstarter is great for unknowns but The 8-Bit Guy brand carries some value and trust already that may make that unnecessary and help keep the end user price lower without Kickstarter's fees. More info when we have it!
  30. 8 points
    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...
  31. 8 points
    On the real hardware, there will be a way to reprogram the FPGA image if necessary to fix any bugs that are discovered after release. (This involves putting a jumper on the VERA board to enable access to the flash chip from the CPU.) So yes, if you would like to hack around you can, it is (will be) your hardware. Also the FPGA does have a feature where it can store up to 4 FPGA images in the flash chip, which could be nice for hardware hackers to allow the original image to be present in addition to their own creations. Do note, that this will not be officially supported and normally users are expected to run original firmware. So if you mess up, it is on you.
  32. 8 points
    A bit late to the party, glad to see the forums live! So I hope this is the official post advertising Aloevera! Marketing spiel follows: Aloevera is a command-line tool that facilitates the development of graphical assets for use with the Commander X16. In a nutshell, Aloevera transforms images created with modern editors into formats that can be directly imported into your X16 development project. It aims to be a simple, easily integrated tool that: Outputs resources in a variety of formats ready to include or import into your X16 project, including: CA65-Compatible Assembly Statements (Which should also work in any assembler that supports a .BYTE statement) CC65 Header files BASIC DATA Statements .BIN Files (for use with the VLOAD Command) Assists your resource creation pipeline by validating your input data and ensuring that your source images match the format expected by your target VERA layer mode. Provides helpful information to help you fix problems when your image data cannot be translated into the format expected by VERA Gives you complete control of how and where assets are exported, allowing you to build a shippable 'Release' image Integrates into your preferred build system or development process as a simple command-line tool with minimal overhead. Supports all VERA modes and types, including: Text Tilesets Tilemaps Sprites Bitmaps There's also a usage guide that I hope serves as a half-decent introduction to VERA coding: https://github.com/yeastplume/aloevera/tree/master/docs Thanks everyone! I hope Aloevera can become the go-to tool for X16 projects. And if you're at all interested, I'm always looking for people to help with the effort. PRs very welcome!
  33. 8 points
    Y'all know PCB stands for Potentially Could Be Blue. Or is it? PCBWAAAAAAYYYYYY Sorry, had to do it. In any case, it looks pretty cool
  34. 7 points
    I created this image for converting a classic mechanical PC keyboard into an X16 keyboard. You can print it on inkjet-printable sticker paper, and cut out the stickers. It works with the "print then cut" mode on my wife's Cricut cutting plotter. BTW, Although the graphics are obviously inspired by Commodore's work, I created this image from scratch by hand-editing a PostScript file in a text editor, so there shouldn't be any copyright concerns. Edit: The image should be printed at 600dpi, with a size of 6.5" x 3.125"
  35. 7 points
    Simplest Sound Effects Library for BASIC programs View File Usage Because of its simplicity the library can be stored in a 1K space below basic programs, starting at $0400. Save the EFFECTS.PRG program in the directory where your BASIC program is stored, which would typically be in the same directory from where you are running the emulator. Load library with LOAD command: LOAD”EFFECTS.PRG”,8,1,$0400 Since this routine after the first run adds a new interrupt handler it is good practice to only load it once. It is therefore recommended to do a simple check: IF PEEK($400)=0 THEN LOAD”EFFECTS.PRG”,8,1,$0400 And that is it. Now you only need to call the needed sound effect from the BASIC program with a simple SYS command. We have four different effects so four different addresses can be called: SYS $400 PING Is designed for events like picking coins or rewards. SYS $403 SHOOT Effect that can be used for shooting the gun or other weapon. SYS $406 ZAP Electricity zapping or perhaps a laser gun sound. SYS $409 EXPLODE Long explosion for when we successfully blow something up Alternative binary named EFFECTSHI.PRG that loads into memory at $9000 can be downloaded. Of course calls are then $9000 for PING, $9003 for SHOOT, $9006 for ZAP and $9009 for EXPLODE. Full source code and walk through is available at my blog: https://www.8bitcoding.com/p/simplest-sound-effects-library-for.html Demo video: Submitter DusanStrakl Submitted 08/12/20 Category Dev Tools  
  36. 7 points
    Part of my thinking as I’m the one who pitched the ZP banking feature to Kevin was that by making it a ZP feature it speeds up all banking operations. This includes many KERNAL functions since those are often in banked ROM, as well as user code that uses banked RAM. Admittedly in theory using ZP for VERA makes some sense for speeding up access, the added circuit complexity isn’t desirable and you have to be aware that the more memory decoding you add the more potential it has to add unwanted timing delays which could result in stability issues. On this I suppose I should clarify how the latches basically work and to do that I need to explain how the normal IO space works. So as you know there is a RAM and ROM in the base 64k memory map. By default the RAM is selected with exclusions. If the address lands in the ROM memory range the RAM is excluded and the ROM gets addressed instead. The same is true for the banked RAM range. This also applies to the IO range. This allows any of the chips in those ranges to be addressed correctly without any bus contention. However how the zero page latches work is a little bit different. The latches “shadow“ the ram. Basically the latches themselves are write only. When you write to $00 or $01 you write to RAM and the latches. The RAM is not excluded the way it is for other address ranges. When you read $00 or $01 you are reading from RAM. Now if you wanted to move VERA to zero page you would need to add exclusion logic to the RAM so that it doesn’t conflict. But every bit you add does 2 things. Firstly your part count goes up which drives up cost, but also you add propagation delays which if you get enough will cause unstable operation or non operation. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  37. 7 points

    Version 0.6.0


    This is a space invaders inspired game. Use the mouse to control the player ship. The shield segments can take 2 hits each. Now with 7 playable levels, only basic sound. Requires emulator R38! Roadmap: more diverse enemy formations enemy attack raids over the sides power ups (shields, double cannon, disruptors etc.) boss enemy joystick control music Different enemy sprites. done Sprite animations. done for player sprite and enemies fade in/out of palettes and backgrounds. done more levels with more backgrounds (all planets of the solar system), done sound effects basics done title screen How to use with the local emulator: Unpack ZIP file into the same directory as the emulator. Start the emulator, then enter LOAD"INVADERZ.PRG" RUN
  38. 7 points
    I too have been a bit concerned about the lack of updates, just because there's some clear momentum happening in the community and excitement that I think is important to the cause and shouldn't be overlooked. But I do understand folks are busy, and it's a pandemic! I quoted the above just to point out some of us have fled Facebook and no longer wish to use that platform. It's certainly a good community over there, but I think all the work done on this site should be celebrated and be really the first place information is posted. Just my $0.02 - I think ya'll are doing a great job, particularly given how much of a dumpster fire 2020 has been and look forward to things yet to come! Now, back to the question at hand. I've been keeping an eye on the Mega65 too though I don't know it's ins and outs. I'm definitely excited about all the New-Retro enthusiasm! I rather liked the C256 Fenix as well, though for different reasons than the X16. In brief, what draws me to the X16: It's own platform, granted with some compatibility with Commodore, but not an enhanced C64 compatible machine - it has departures in design which I like External keyboard Expansion Slots (for MIDI, Network, etc.) The RAM/ROM banks are a really clever way to manage larger amounts of RAM It doesn't seem to have some the complicated bagged of the C64 and is easy-ish to learn on (more VERA tutorials might be nice though) Nearly 16-bit graphics, but overall it's not too powerful and still largely will require assembly which I have found incredibly fun to learn (haven't touched it since college when it was LC2 and MIPS). I'm not too interested in writing in other languages as I can already do that on a modern machine Limited use of FPGAs Potentially different default sound solutions (I the SID a ton too but I thought at least evaluating FM and trying to use real chips is an interesting approach) Basic kernel/OS and full direct access to the hardware Offline-first. It might be a great machine to do computing on without distractions (I'm looking forward to tracking music, maybe using it to write blog posts offline) But could be online capable (excited to see if we end up seeing any X16 BBS's pop up, for example), but only if/when I want it I know it's debated, but I don't like the all-in-one design of the Mega65. I know many do but I never found all-in-ones good to type on and they are an odd form factor to store. I do like the floppy though, maybe in concept if not practice. I do have a wishlist of things I would like to see but given the goals of the project are unlikely, but overall I'm extremely excited about the direction of the X16. I think it hits the concept of a modern Retro computer perfectly without going too far overboard. I feel like it's less about nostalgia and retro and more about simplicity and approachability whereas the Mega seems more about nostalgia first. Not trying to take away anything from them by the way! But the X16 seems like a great computer to learn how a computer works in more ways than an Arduino or Pi can. I know assembly can be scary for some but it does really help in learning, on an intimate level, how computers work - including modern ones, and it's nice to see a compelling computer which, in a way, celebrates it by necessity? Simplicity is maybe the wrong word here, but so is Retro. "Retro" games on modern hardware pays homage but often I find it awkward as they're imposing false limitations that are of their own making that don't actually exist. Some games have done it amazingly well (Shovel Night comes to mind) but overall, the X16 will have games the X16 is capable of without sort of "faking it." and the limitations will be inherent to the platform rather than wishfully invented. I dunno, I'm not articulating that well but it's the thing I find most compelling about it. I don't feel like the X16 is paying homage to retro computer or looking backwards. Rather it's, well, David said he wanted a modern successor to the VIC20 and that's essentially what this. Modern creature comforts, enhanced designs, but still a computer of fundamentals.
  39. 7 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.
  40. 7 points
    If you are trying to get started developing for the X16 with C and/or assembly, I've created this video to help: If you just want to get the "Hello, World!" repo and start hacking, you can get it from my GitHub: https://github.com/SlithyMatt/x16-hello-cc65
  41. 7 points
    We appreciate the excitement to know more. As per those boring ol' rules, please don't ask for updates as it puts unfair pressure on David and the team. Bear in mind you likely aren't the only one, including emails, Facebook posts that get removed, comments under videos, private messages, etc. Updates will come every time there is something worth updating. When a day passes without an update, it means there is no major update and we are working behind the scenes. Thanks for understanding.
  42. 7 points
    I'm excited to be here. I can't wait for the X16 to bring out the inner child in me. My life in retro-world only started a year ago, inspired by Perifractic and the 8-bit Guy. But I also dabble microelectronics, mostly microcontrollers, as a hobby. Hence my alias Micro Hobbyist.
  43. 7 points
    r38 of the X16 emulator and ROM have been released.
  44. 7 points

    Version r38 ("Kyoto")


    Precompiled emulators for Windows, Mac, and Linux. This is the latest version. Older versions can be downloaded from the GitHub releases page. (Note: To run on Mac use "Ctrl-click/Right-click > Open" instead of "Double-click" due to security protocols)
  45. 7 points
    Hi everyone, I've just had this project pointed out to me, and boy am I pleased about that! I wrote extensively for the Commodore machines back in the 80's, especially the 264 series. Some of you may remember my games like Icicle Works. I just released a new title for the Plus/4 - The Pit, so I am very much back in retro mode! I can't wait to get my paws on one of these and do some serious damage! A turbocharged 6502, coupled with awesome sound and graphics - what's not to love? Cheers, Doug
  46. 7 points
    Thanks for the help guys. I was totally oblivious of the discussion going on here. I did notice yesterday that Try It button was not there and saw it is there now and working perfectly but had no idea what was happening in the background Of course I uploaded it late yesterday and today I was totally under water with work so that is my excuse. Next time I will make sure to upload BASIC encoded files. Cheers, Dusan
  47. 7 points
    Looks like we're quite a few people here from Denmark My name is Michael Jørgensen, and I started programming when I was 12 years old, first on the Sinclair ZX80 and then ZX81. I quickly learned BASIC, and started looking into Z80 assembly. But my first true love was the Commodore 64, which I had from the age of 15. I had a printer too, but not a disk drive, so all my programs were stored on cassette tape. I learned 6502 assembly on the C64, and made my own Turbo Loader. Most of my learning came from manually disassembling other programs (typically games), and trying to figure out how the game behaviour correlated with the disassembly. I also mod'ed my C64 with an additional 8 kB of static RAM. This was connected to a separate battery, and could therefore keep the contents even when the C64 was powered off. The RAM functioned like a cartridge (except it was writeable), and the C64 would boot up from it. The RAM contained a welcome greeting and my Turbo Loader program. That was so much fun, and gave me a real sense of success! In high school I teamed up with my classmate Morten who had a Z80-based Memotech MTX 512, We studied the disassembly of the builtin ROMs of both our machines and were frustrated over how slow the BASIC interpreters were. Together, we built a BASIC+KERNEL from scratch: our own TOS (= Tape Operating System), ported to both machines. Morten did most of the BASIC interpreter, while I did the floating point arithmetic and graphic routines. We never did finish the project past the prototype level, but we had a lot of fun. I've submitted a Pull Request for the X16 ROM with some faster floating point arithmetic, based on my ideas from back then. At university (Master in Electrical Engeering) I learned myself to program in C, mainly small programs doing numerical simulations for my thesis. I completed a PhD in mathematics, and a PostDoc in quantum mechanics, but finally gave up on the academic career path and went to work in industry as a software developer, despite no formal education in computer science. Most of my professional work has been developing drivers in small embedded systems using C++. I initially found the language hard to learn; the compiler errors were particularly obfuscated as well as learning the more high-level programming paradigm. But now I'm very comfortable with C++. Later in my professional life I got a chance to work with developing FPGAs, i.e. designing chips, and I've been doing that ever since! Most of the work has centered around squeezing out every ounce of performance from the largest FPGAs. I really enjoy the fun challenge of optimizations: pushing against the limits of speed and size. I had a brief period of 8 years as a high school teacher, teaching math and physics, and programming. I enjoyed it very much, but it was way too much work I have an FPGA board at home for my own personal projects. Initially I only made were simple stuff, but then a few years ago I saw a video series by Ben Eater about how he made his own 8-bit computer on a breadboard. I got super excited and decided to re-implement his project on my FPGA board. Once that was done, I got all ambitious and wanted to make a re-implementation of the complete Commodore 64 on an FPGA, but then found out that the guys behind the MIST project had already done that! Nevertheless I began designing my own 8-bit FPGA computer based on the 6502 processor, and I even wrote a tutorial about it (https://github.com/MJoergen/nexys4ddr/tree/master/dyoc). I wanted to write a complete operating system, but the project lost steam once the hardware was complete; I couldn't decide on what I wanted to make. That's when I saw David's video about his dream computer. I resonate with David's ideas about the X16, and am very eager to help out as best I can. So far I've written a tutorial on making games in assembly for the X16 (https://github.com/MJoergen/x16-assembly-tutorial). On a side note, I'm working on making my own clone of the X16 on my FPGA development board, but that is all still Work In Progres, and not publicly available. I really like this project and being part of this amazing community! facebook : https://www.facebook.com/michael.finn.jorgensen/ linkedin : https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaeljoergensen/ github   : https://www.github.com/MJoergen/
  48. 7 points
    Hello I've been slowly trying to learn 6502 assembler by building an X16 game engine. But better than that - you can watch me do it on twitch as I stare confused at my screen whilst mumbling to myself next to a microphone! Please visit the channel and say hi or follow
  49. 7 points
    Agreed! In future we'll try to only make announcement posts here, then paste the link into FB (which will generate a preview of the post anyway). The website will be the go-to #1 source.
  50. 6 points
    I want to plug a new Youtube channel called Coding Secrets, done by Jon Burton of the Traveller's Tales videogame studio. He's worked on quite a few games over a career that dates back to the Sega Genesis, and has put together several videos discussing how various effects were created within the very finite and unforgiving limitations of the consoles he was working on. Coding Secrets started as a series of videos on his original Youtube channel, Gamehut, itself a fascinating collection of videogame history from his career. Anyways, if you're potentially interested in retro games programming and haven't yet discovered his videos, give his channels a shot. Now's a great time, too, because he's re-exporting his Coding Secrets videos in higher-def and a higher framerate, so be sure to check back as he catches up with his back-catalog of content. Speaking for myself, this is one of my favorite videos from what's brought over to the new channel:
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