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  1. Hello Everyone! I received the parts for the third Prototype on Tuesday evening and spent a good chunk of that night and a bit of yesterday morning getting it worked out. I had to get my code moved over to the ATTiny861 before the board would even power on. This turned out to be pretty easy now that the I2C header will also work as an Atmel ISP programming header. Of course, I'm pretty much going to make a mistake somewhere on a board of this size, and this time is no exception! Fortunately, they were easy to spot and the actual logic is working as it should. Or at least as I designed it. Two of my mistakes are visible in the pic, see if you can find them. One is just cosmetic, and the other is a bodge job on a chip which I will admit, is next to impossible to see in this photo. The less easy to spot issue is that I used the stand-by power to power the microcontroller, but I put pull-up resistors on the I2C lines (and SPI programming lines) to the system voltage and not the VSB. I did this on purpose as I didn't want to pull these lines high while programming the microcontroller, but need to pull them high for I2C. The net result is that leakage was happening backwards through these resistors when the data/clock lines were high. Enough to power on the LED on the motherboard with no other ICs plugged in. Took me a minute to figure that one out, but I think I will just throw a few more diodes in to protect this from happening. I suspect issues like this are sometimes why you may see a lone crusty resistor on an old PCB after years of use. Easy fixes all around! One last issue is that the parts sourcing scourge which has been affecting the world is also affecting TexElec! Yes, we can't get parts in for some of our products, and as time goes on, it seems like it may get worse before it gets better. And now, it has hit the X16 project! I am unable to get the FPGA and the DAC for the new Version 4 VERA, so we're still running V3. The main difference has to do with hardware deadlocks on the SD card, so functionally, it's fine. However, the lead times are a bit concerning. I'm looking into some other suppliers now, and hoping for the best. For now, here's a pic of the new machine, with no wires all over it! Take care! -Kevin
    35 points
  2. There are only two issues preventing the product from being released right now. One is the keyboard problem, which is being worked on. Even the official X16 keyboard doesn't work with the system. Lots of PS/2 keyboards just don't work, or only work at certain CPU speeds. We have decided to move the keyboard to a microcontroller. It's not a new part to the computer, we already had a microcontroller handling the power management of the system. So we're just giving it one extra function to handle, which is the PS/2 input. The data can then be read by the CPU through I2C. The second problem is the lack of components. For example, the FPGA that we were using for the video chip is now unavailable due to chip shortages. The soonest any distributer has said they can get any supply is March of 2022. Most are saying November 2022. And it's not just that chip, there are 3 others with similar problems. Crowdfunding is also a problem because at this point it is almost impossible to estimate what the parts will cost when they are available. So it's really hard to set a price for a product when you can't get pricing info for the parts. So the short of the story is, the project isn't dead. But it also isn't going to be released any time soon.
    25 points
  3. So, I'm just going to answer a few more concerns about the X8. One person said I was clearly in favor of this, or something to that effect. Well, I made that clear at the beginning. I wanted to release it 6 months ago. I haven't tried to cover that up. Several people seemed concerned about how much money I was going to make from this project and how the X8 might reduce that. I know I have said this before, but I'll say it again. This project was NEVER about money for me. In fact, I've made it clear many times that I never intended to profit from this project at all. All profits made from the X16 would be split between Kevin, Frank, Michael, Perifractic, and a few other people. I have told the entire time many times I didn't want anything. I'd rather my "profit" be sacrificed to help reduce the cost of the system. My main goal was to have my dream computer, and that other people would have it too. Now, if it ends up selling millions of units, ok, we'll re-visit that conversation. But that's not likely. I haven't released the emulator for the obvious reason that if this product is to be buried and never see the light of day, I'd rather the emulator just not be out there. So we'll release that if it is decided to go forward with it. I suppose I could find some time next week to port Petscii Robots to the X8 for demonstration, since some people were asking about that. It shouldn't take long. Petscii Robots doesn't use any banked RAM. After all, it was originally designed for a computer with 32K. However, I was going to be using banked RAM for the new soundtrack eventually. But at the same time, having access to the SD card can compensate for that. I could load each song in as needed, for example, rather than storing them all in RAM at once. Some people seem confused on why I'm in favor of releasing this. So I'm going to open up and totally lay it out here. This is my honest opinion on that matter: The X16 has taken much longer to bring to market that I thought. There were many times where development was halted for 6 months or more because of unsolvable bugs. And even though we are close to being able to release a kit fo the X16, it's going to still take more time to get this out the door and the people wanting fully assembled systems will be waiting extra time. The X16 is definitely happening. The X8 is not meant as a replacement for it. But, I felt like the X8 with it's super-low price-tag and easy manufacturing could help keep interest in the project much like "The C64 Mini" did, even though everyone was wanting a full-sized machine. This would keep development on-going, and most anything made for the X8 could easily be ported to the X16 later. I do not believe X8 sales will cannibalize X16p sales. And sales of the X8 could even help to fund more development on the X16 surface-mount version and eventual X8-FPGA version. And for those people that don't want an X8, it seems like the solution is simple. Just don't buy one. Buy the X16p instead. Or wait for phase-2, or whatever.
    23 points
  4. https://github.com/commanderx16/x16-emulator/releases
    19 points
  5. I work with a bespoke SFF case manufacturer. There's no minimum order, the cases are manufactured ad-hoc. The case could be designed from scratch around the X16 and supplied in kit form or fully assembled. Right at the start, before you announced the official case, we were looking at offering our own product to go with the X16. I'd love to work with you and produce an official case, or if you don't want the hassle of managing a new case project maybe we could just produce our own complimentary product? Hope this post doesn't get lost in the noise, please drop me a PM.
    19 points
  6. For me, the Commander X16 has always been about education. You can look at it and see how it works. The parts are not abstract concepts implemented inside an FPGA. They are physical chips with datasheets connected by higher level block and circuit diagrams. I want the Commander X16 to be my 6 year old daughter's first computer. I've never given her a tablet or a video game console. I want her to understand what a computer is. I want her to see a computer with all its parts exposed. A kit will give her this. An FPGA will not.
    18 points
  7. I want a development system. Shut up and take my money. PM me as soon as you have one available to ship.
    18 points
  8. Hello fellow Commandos! In my exciting new role as a fan and forum member I've seen many requests directed at @The 8-Bit Guy asking for info about the Phase 1, X16P case, which he has decided to retire so as to simplify the project. Firstly although I was a fan of the case (pun intended) I respect David's decision. The X16 has always been his baby and we're just along for the ride. To be clear, he has stated the Phase 1 official case is now in the past. Having chatted with David about the questions about the case we agreed it's a good idea for me to present this thread as an unofficial FAQ of sorts, to answer those questions, so the community has access to the same info I had. I'd never want to feel I was withholding useful info as I continue my step back. So in no particular order: Will there be a "vendor badge" sticker / stick-on badge available? I shared all assets with the team as part of my handover, so everything is available to them including logos and badge designs. I think it would be wise to give the team at least a few days (or weeks) to adjust to the team member changes. I think if you can be patient, some well formed options will come to light. For any badges I recommend Marco van de Meulenhof aka BadgeMan. Can we have the case designs to 3D print? Sadly not, mainly as I don't have them. As stated from the start, the case was a modified existing design and I chose this path to cut the end user cost by a total of about $100,000 compared to designing and tooling our own case & keyboard. This means the X16 project does not have full ownership of the design which partly belongs to Sohoo. Standard copyright law applies. Also the X16 project signed a standard confidentiality agreement with them. They own the design starting point and will not license iterations. They also never released their own design files to us. The renders you’ve seen like the above were made by Mat Recardo & I, and are visuals only based on my own changes (see below). There's no internal structure for mounting and it's not exact size. Refining that for 3D printing would be a huge task, and that’s if the project had the rights to do so, which it does not. If providing 3D print plans for the case were an easy possibility I would have made sure that was done for you guys a few days ago. I thought long and hard about the options. Unfortunately I had to conclude that it’s a bit of a minefield. Well give us the model number and we'll model it for 3D printing anyway! The model number is public knowledge, available on Google, and this is the link to the manufacturer's case info page. However, again, the X16 project cannot legally condone or encourage recreating or cloning another party's intellectual property. To do so may jeopardise the X16 project. Other important points to keep in mind: Any price you see quoted on Chinese websites will always increase hugely, and excludes the PSU and modifications. The last unmodified single unit I ordered from the manufacturer as a testing sample cost me $139.75 landed - paid by wire only (keep in mind the factory have no PayPal, no store, etc.) despite what you may see online. Some of my mods included the plastic colour, plastic texture, steel texture, removing DVD tray, removing eject button, screen printing 8-Bit logo, butterfly logo badge engraving, 2nd badge creation, button changes, and more. Structural changes inside also. Oh and team autographs were to be embossed inside. Perifractic I actually replaced the front panel with a whole new design. The reason is the standard one is designed for modern vertical use and has a big hole (release handle) on one edge. You cannot remove holes in injection moulds, you can only add holes. The hole is largely hidden at the bottom in the vertical photos but looks ghastly on the left side when laid horizontally to suit retro aesthetics. You can see the wires and columns through it. I'd never have wanted to release a product like that. It’s only fair I warn you about that hole in the Sohoo case (don't fall into it!). But yes, the above linked case was the starting point 2 years ago. New front panel design: Perifractic To help with realistic expectations, if acquiring one unmodified unit at $140, the photo below is about best one could get it to appear without colour and texture mods, and all the other changes. Obviously the retail product would've looked hugely better: Would it be possible to get the case later as separate purchase? No. The only real way to get that case as depicted is for the team to follow the normal practice and order 1000 units at a price I negotiated down to about $32/unit inc. PSU & box, and I had to fight hard to stop that going up to 2000 units minimum with COVID. My plan was for that to be achieved via crowdfunding at this website. But again I certainly understand the appeal of simplifying the project in light of other complications and concerns re parts and order assembly etc. and fully respect the change of direction, as should we all. I believe this case is no longer an option. What about a different 3D printed case design? In my experience the case is too large for 3D printers and would need to be printed in 2 or 4 sections then clipped/glued together. A line could be factored into the design to make that less unattractive. David has said 3D printing of that size is cost prohibitive so I'm guessing it's unlikely that would be offered directly by the team as an option. How about making a case design available at Protocase or similar? This would be up to the team and community. I had liaised with similar companies before and they actually rejected the project due to some of its specific needs, which always surprised me. Anyone is free to upload their designs anywhere and make them available. What is the form factor? The case is a standard Micro ATX "Slim" model, and can house a Micro ATX or Mini ITX motherboard. At the time of writing the X16P motherboard is Micro ATX, and at the time of writing should fit in any Micro ATX case. The team will hopefully update this should that change (unlikely). What about cases for the other phases? The modified case designs for these are all on file with the team and they have my permission to use them. The same basic copyright situation applies as above re the manufacturer base designs. Rotate__[000-150].mp4 X16C/Mat Recardo/Perifractic X16E/X8/Arne/Perifractic As I conclude my one week handover, I truly hope this extra info and clarity is useful to the community going forward! Your friend in retro, Perifractic http://youtube.com/perifractic | http://patreon.com/perifractic
    17 points
  9. Greetings Commandos. With the start of the new year, some changes are coming to the Commander X16 forums. Today, we are here to announce a new management team for the Commander X16 community. As you know, @Perifractic has taken a step back to focus on other matters. As a result, he has handed off his stewardship of the Commander X16 forums to key members of the community whilst ensuring hosting and licenses are safely in place through most of 2022. Likewise, @MattGrandis is stepping back from managing the forum software. As of Jan 4, the members of your new Forum moderation and management team are: Community Manager: @Cyber Cyber will be handling community communication. He will manage the forum moderation, as well as liaise between this forum and all of the other social media where things X16-related are happening. If you have a question about the forum, a suggestion, or need moderation help, Cyber is your new point of contact. Accounts: @JimmyDansbo One of the exciting new things we plan to do in the Commander X16 community is allow you, its members, to contribute to the community’s development and maintenance. Jimmy will be leading this effort and keeping the bills paid. IT: @TomXP411 Tom will be handling the web site and the forum software. So hit him up with technical or web site issues. In addition, we have two new moderators on staff: @VincentF and @Scott Robison Both have been prolific posters here on the forum, and Scott has worked with The 8-Bit Guy on the PETSCII Robots project, coding the Commodore 128 version. As we progress into 2022, we’ll have some big decisions to make. We want all of the members to be part of those decisions, so we will bring you questions and take your input over the coming months. In the meantime, know that all of our efforts are going to make this an inclusive and rewarding space for Commander X16 fans and retrocomputing enthusiasts of all types. So let’s get set for a great 2022 and beyond.
    15 points
  10. It's official! We now own the CommanderX16.com domain and the forum hosting. By "We", I mean I am the primary account holder, and responsibility will be shared between me, @JimmyDansbo and @Cyber. The domain name actually expires in March, so before that, we will work out a donation system to allow everyone to contribute to the system's ongoing maintenance. We'll discuss the specific financial situation, too, and let everyone weigh in on the best course for the future. Until then, have fun!
    15 points
  11. I think your worries about the X8 diluting interest in the X16 are valid. I'd rather development be focused more on one product (the X16) rather than two. It would probably save you a bit of sanity anyways since money and time is tight.
    15 points
  12. Latest video from the 8-Bit Guy includes a small X16 update and demonstration at the end.
    15 points
  13. Big thanks to the new team members for stepping up. We’re excited that the website and community will endure. Happy 2022 everyone!
    14 points
  14. I wanted to address the recent departure of Perifractic and talk about some of the change in direction. This could be a long one, so settle in. The absolute first thing I want to clear up just in case anyone is thinking this, Christian (Perifractic) and I are not mad at each other, we didn't have a fight or a falling out or anything like that. We are still friends. This was a mutual decision and it is really mostly to do with his personal issues as he has already stated. That being said, Perifractic and I often disagreed over certain aspects of this project. And because I respect his opinion and experience, I often gave in to his advice on matters. There were two issues specifically that we disagreed on, which was the inclusion of a case on phase-1 systems, and whether or not the Commander X8 should ever see the light of day. So, now that he's stepped back from the project, I want to talk about both of these issues and a general change in direction for the entire project. Dropping the case, moving to kit sales. One huge issue that Kevin and I have been dealing with (mostly Kevin) is trying to figure out how we can get this manufactured. In order to get the cases we needed a minimum order of 1,000 units. And that in an of itself isn't a problem, but assembling 1,000+ motherboards would be. As I've shown in some recent videos with kit computers, it can take an entire day just to solder one together. So, 1,000 units (or more) means 1,000 days of work. So, the obvious answer would be to have them commercial built and wave-soldered. PCB-Way even offers this. But, this becomes more of a nightmare than most people can possibly imagine. I'm not going to go into the nitty gritty details. It wasn't until Kevin spent hours discussing the issues to me, that I was able to comprehend the enormity of that challenge myself. Here are just a few of the issues involved. Getting them the parts. They have to be shipped to China. Tens of thousands of dollars worth of parts. And they have to get through customs and actually arrive at the factory. If even one piece is missing, then the whole project stalls. Shipping to China is often a crapshoot with packages mysteriously disappearing. Many of the parts are custom or rare parts that cannot be sourced easily in China. And of course, factories like this require parts to be in reels and various forms designed for their machines to do. When you actually look at the BOM on the X16 and realize how many parts we're talking about, it becomes a nightmare to find all of the right parts in the right form factor for their machines, and get them those parts. And everything has to be right the first time. Every single part. And then there's the issue of where to store 1000+ cases, keyboards, and motherboards while it is all being assembled. We'd probably have to rent a space to do that. Somebody has to pay for that. And then somebody has to actually assemble all of this into a box. Thousands of boxes. Incredible amounts of labor here. And to top things off, there is a chip supply shortage right now. Some of the chips we need aren't even available at the moment. And those that are have gone up in price by 50%. This is hopefully a temporary problem. Then of course, we had a sample case from the manufacturer. When Kevin mounted the X16 board inside the power supply died after about 10 minutes. And our board is only pulling somewhere like 10% of the max load of that power supply. So, it was definitely a bad power supply. This made us very concerned about buying 1,000 of these cases and potentially having a bunch of dead power supplies. That was sort of the straw that broke the camel's back. And one last thing I'd like to mention. All of us on the X16 team have spent uncountable number of hours developing this product. And many of us have also invested quite a bit of money. In fact, most anytime an expense comes along, all eyes and fingers point to me. I know Perifractic has already invested a 4-digit number of Dollars towards this project. Myself, that number is 5 digits. And up to this point, none of us have made a dime back. Moving forward with the original plans of full case and fancy packaging was going to require another large infusion of cash (most likely from me) that I just don't have. I have no desire to mortgage my house to fund this project. The risk is just too high, and despite what some people think, YouTubers like me are not millionaires. So, bottom line is we're in over our heads. So, unless there is some wealthy benefactor out there that would be willing to finance this project and take on the high risk, things needed to change. So, after much discussion, Kevin and I decided the fastest and easiest way to bring this system to market would be to take a new approach. As you all know, we had always planned a stage-2 and stage-3 of this product. I always knew those would be the mass market versions because they would be cheaper. But I wanted to have the "real thing" with DIP style chips as the basis for the design. And I wanted it to be available along side the phase 2/3 products for those that wanted it. And we have that now. So, what we'd like to do is just start selling the product we have in two ways. One option is a kit that you solder together yourself. It would include no warranty and no tech support, other than community support here on this forum or facebook. Obviously, we'd be able to supply individual replacement parts if somebody fries or somehow destroys some part in the process of assembly. We just won't be able to help every Tom, Dick, and Harry to troubleshoot why their kit isn't working after they assembled it. The second option would be to build-to-order. So you place the order, we build the computer and add a substantial mark up for the 8-hours of labor to assemble it. But you get a fully working and tested board, which would come with some minimal warranty. I don't have specific numbers for cost. But I'd imagine a fully assembled kit would have a markup somewhere in ballpark of $100 to $200 over the kit version. I know that sounds like a lot, but when you see how much time is involved, it only makes sense. Also both the kit and pre-built machine will come with the custom keyboard. I've already paid 50% down for the PS/2 keyboards, so it makes sense for me to pay the rest and have those included with the computer. So, the bad news is, you don't get a case with phase-1. But on the bright side, this change means the kits could be available relatively soon. However, as you saw in the last video there are still some Kernal bugs that need fixing and our primary Kernal developer has taken a small hiatus due to some other large project that is consuming his time. We're not sure at this point when these bugs would be fixed. However, we could start shipping limited number of "development" systems to people who are already writing code. And hopefully all we'd need is a ROM update to fix these boards when the kernal bugs are addressed. Phase 2, Phase 3, and the Commander X8 So, once phase-1 gets underway, we will consider a few future options based on demand and popular opinion. Phase 2 would be an all surface-mount product. It would still have discrete CPU, RAM, ROM, etc. But it may drop some logic chips in favor of a CPLD to reduce size, complexity, and cost. It should be substantially cheaper. Because it is surface mount, assembly actually becomes MUCH easier on a mass-production scale. In fact, Kevin said he could possibly even assemble them at his own place of business (TexElec) which would simplify the situation a lot. This product could be sold as a board or possibly include a custom case, unlike Phase-1. But, we could potentially skip Phase-2 all together if it seems like people would be more interested in Phase 3. Phase 3 would be a small board like a raspberry Pi where the entire system is basically in an FPGA. I suppose if there were enough demand (like tens of thousands of units) we could maybe get a custom ASIC produced. The Commander X8 - Believe it or not, this product already exists. I've had one sitting on my desk the last 6 months. This is entirely designed by Frank. It's a 100% FPGA implementation. It is sort of a subset of the Commander X16. It has mostly the same architecture, but it has minor differences. There is also already an emulator for it. It's about the size of a Raspberry Pi. So what is the deal with the X8? Frank and I were in favor of bringing this product out 6 months ago due to the delays of the X16. But some team members didn't like the concept, saying it would dilute the image of the X16. And they made some good points. So, we decided not to release it at that time. But now that things are changing, I thought at minimum I should explain what it is and see what kind of interest people have in it. On the bright side, it is a product basically ready to be released. But does fall short of some of the cool things on the X16. So let me explain how it differs. Most of these concessions and incompatibilities boil down to using a smaller, cheaper FPGA design. It has 64K of base RAM and 64K of VRAM. It does not have any banked RAM beyond that. BASIC works essentially the same and should be compatible with most X16 programs that are coded in BASIC. VRAM access is fundamentally different. There is a 256 byte window into the VRAM which is mapped to a section of base RAM. You can move the window around. This is actually more efficient than what we do with the X16 and is only possible because it is all inside an FPGA. This does mean software written in assembly language will need to be tweaked to be compatible. The Vera is more or less the same. All of the same registers. Same PSG sound features too. But, programs that use more than 64K VRAM would need to be modified. There is no Yamaha sound chip. However, as we've seen already. The 8-voice sound system in the Vera is pretty darned capable! Uses a USB keyboard instead of PS/2. and USB for controllers (so, no SNES ports) Runs at 12 Mhz instead of 8. So, the big question is, if we were to release the X8, would that essentially replace Phase-3 of the X16? How would this product live along side the X16? Would it have an effect that people would simply code software for the X8, thus making the X16 be sort of like the Commodore 128 or the Plus/4, where all of the software is written for the lowest compatible system and therefor never taking advantage of the full system? So, to explore that, I would counter and remind people of what features the X16 has that the X8 would never have and see if that is enough to justify writing software for it? X16 has a TON more RAM X16 has twice the video RAM X16 has 4 expansion slots X16 has a Yamaha sound chip X16 has an IEC disk drive port (although admittedly that is not implemented in the kernel yet, but should be working at some point) X16 is infinitely more "hackable" X16 has SNES ports. So this product is "really close" to what I envisioned the X16 phase 3 to be like, but not quite. But on the bright side, it could literally be available almost immediately (pending getting a batch produced) if people are interested in this. So, at this point I'm looking for feedback on the future. Should we continue as planned to phase-2, then phase-3? Or should we drop phase-2 and move straight to phase-3? Again, phase-1 would still be available concurrently, and indefinitely for those that want it. In other words, Phase 3 doesn't replace Phase-1. Or, should we scrap phase-2 and phase-3 and release the already finished Commander X8? Or, should we do some other combination of things?
    14 points
  15. I just wanted to chime in about the costs and confusion on the X8. First and foremost, it is really hard to narrow down a cost structure with the crazy chip market at the moment. Hopefully that is a temporary problem. So let me tell you where we would be if the chip market were the same as two years ago. The X8 could be available immediately and be well under $50. I'm not sure how far under $50. I'd say as low as $25 and as high as $50. The Phase 1 system sold as a DYI kit could be well under $300. Maybe under $250. Add another $100 to $150 for a pre-assembled kit. Again, you can't hold me to these numbers because so many things are unknown right now with the cost of chips. But that hopefully puts things in a ballpark for people trying to figure this out. For those trying to figure out what the advantage would be of an X8 versus what is envisioned for the X16 Phase-3 (known as the X16e). Well, the X8 would still be half the price. For example, the X8 might be $35 and the X16e would be like $70. There is simply no way to ever produce an FPGA based X16 as cheaply as the X8 can be produced. And the X8 brings with it most of the functionality and personality of the X16. And it's not an emulator. So, there's that. And there's another more depressing matter to consider. If the X16 doesn't sell well enough to recoup some of the costs we've plunged into it, the X16e will never see the light of day. Where as the X8 could start sales very quickly and actually help fund the entire project. So there's that too.
    14 points
  16. Hey, guys. A thing happened yesterday. Frank van den Hoef, the maker of VERA, has opened the VERA Github archive to the public at https://github.com/fvdhoef/vera-module. However, Frank has not yet placed an open source license on it, this means we can use the source code and designs for our own personal use, but we cannot sell or otherwise distribute products made using Frank's design files or source code. Feel free to discuss the design of VERA here on the forums, but there are some things that we still can't do (unless Frank posts a license): You can legally use VERA in your personal project. Are you making a homebrew computer or a Commodore 64 cartridge? You can legally use his designs and FPGA code to build such a unit. You cannot can make VERA modules to sell or give away. (Including "group buys".) This includes manufacturing the physical board or programming FPGA chips. You can discuss VERA's design here, both the FPGA and the circuit board. We encourage people to talk about their homebrew computers, and feel free to talk about your homebrew computer designs in the Maker forum. However, we still ask that you respect the "no clones" rule and not build a VERA or CX16 clone for sale or distribution. UPDATE: VERA is now MIT. You can now distribute and/or modify Frank's designs for your own use.
    13 points
  17. Off-topic: Just to clarify a little further, yes I am hosting the site still. The site’s creation came about with the endorsement of the whole X16 dev team on Slack, and indeed everyone seemed quite pleased with it initially. It even allowed David to shut down his own forum Murray2 with his brother and move the archives to this one. The team were all encouraged to post official updates here first, and copy the forum url to Facebook. However I think people just find Facebook quicker, and ultimately I couldn’t force the team to keep updates going here without starting to sound like I was nagging them each time Still I think it’s a wonderful site and @MattGrandisand I are very pleased with it, particularly the software library with built in emulator. Don’t see that very often elsewhere! That is why, when there were no other offers from the team to keep the site alive, I financed another year of it recently even though I had stepped back from the X16 project itself. There’s a ton of time and work here that would’ve been lost and disappointed hundreds of people We’re open to passing the baton to the community as long as it is properly maintained and moderated. Feel free to DM @MattGrandis and I in a group message if you are serious about taking it on. I’m already discussing with one member also but we have about 8 months before we have to make the switch so no rush. Thanks for your belief in the site as a cool place to be and a useful ecosystem. Happy new year!
    13 points
  18. Hi everyone while waiting for the X16 to get real, I started to design my own computer case. I want it to resemble the keyboard or wedge-shape cases of the 80ies era. I owned a TI-994A and a Atari ST back then and I wanted to have something similar where I can put the X16 board in. As I just started with 3D printing I fired up Blender and started designing. After many, many hours of sketching, klicking, dragging and swearing I started printing the whole thing. Then I integrated a xtrify ten-keyless keyboard (which I want to lower a bit) and integrated a MISTER, Raspberry Pi (and a KVM Switch). This now gives me the full retro vibe - until the X16 will arrive... So this is how it looks now, what do you think? EDIT: updated pictures with most current version. This is the finished case. Now I have to stuff all the hardware in...
    12 points
  19. I never had any interest in phase 3. A Raspberry Pi running an emulator would give the same experience. I have mixed feelings about the X8. Honestly in some ways it's better for games than X16. Same display modes. Less VRAM but a portable WI Dow means you could work with less VRAM. In the end though, I feel like this would fracture the development community ivy too much. The strongest feature of the X16 is your reach, having over 1m subs. This means the system has a real chance to get a real, vibrant ecosystem going. I just don't think there's enough of an audience to feed both systems. Me, I'm happy to pay the extra to have you or Kevin assemble mine, and will purchase a phase 1 system the very day it's available.
    12 points
  20. This may sound weird, but I find the X8 more interesting than the X16, at this point. The compact form factor, FPGA design, and USB connectivity all mean that it actually fits what many people want to do better than the X16. All the people complaining about PS/2 keyboards and mice... there's the X8. The only downside I can see to the X8 (aside from the 64K RAM limit) is the lack of I/O for serial devices, so no using this as a BBS terminal or terminal for my Altair. Regardless, I'd love to see the X8, and if the price is right, I'd buy an X8 and an X16 - the X8 for BASIC hacking and assembly language development, and the X16 because of course I want one. And the X8 being available right now may give you an infusion of cash that you can put toward finishing the X16 project.
    12 points
  21. The activity here on the forums has been increased as of late, and the Discord server is particularly active. Anyone not participating there may not be aware of the rapid advancements that are going on with the recent collaborations there. Overall, I'd have to say that things are starting to feel much more positive with the X16 project and community, and I just wanted to take a moment to recognize a few individuals who I think have really helped make this happen. A huge thanks to M. Steil for getting the Github Repo active again and being so approachable for patches and PRs to improve the kernal and emulator. Thanks to Tom, Scott, and all of the others who have picked up the ball in maintaining this website and forums! Thanks to Frank for opensourcing the VERA code - this has helped the emulator/kernal devs tremendously, and has even helped identify and patch a bug in the FPGA's sprite rendering Wavicle and Jeffrey H. have both been producing their own home-brew X16-on-a-breadboard projects, which have also helped in the general debugging of issues and brought new insights to the community and dev team. There are many others active on the Discord, and it's quite an upbeat place to be these days, and I just wanted to share my excitement for the state of the union, so to speak.
    11 points
  22. Hello everyone, I wanted to discuss an issue we have been struggling with, and that is PS/2 keyboard and mouse support. This is probably not a secret to anyone watching the videos on the X16 as most of the time we are running at 4MHz or 2MHz. This is completely due to PS/2 timing issues. I've spoken with Michael Steil about this issue many times and he has taken several approaches to get it to working stably. After adding the microcontroller to control the ATX power supply, I proposed the idea of adding a few more pins to also control the PS/2 ports. Like many in the community, he would perfer to get it working as it stands, so I proposed adding jumpers to select between the microcontroller, or the 65c22. So, I did just that on the third prototype. With tiny revisions, this will become our development board so it will give folks the option to try either approach. I initially thought about writing the code for the Arduino myself. I've messed around with Atmel microcontrollers going on 20 years now, but the truth is, I'm probably not the best one for this task. The code I wrote for the ATX power control is working, but I can't seem to get my reboot function to work for some reason.... Anyway, I digress, I guess the real reason I'm making this post is to ask for some help from the community! We are not committed to one approach or the other necessarily. IE, we are still planning to work on the 65c22 'bit-bang' approach (heck, we maybe could use some help here too), but alternately I wanted to start working on the microcontroller code to at least evaluate it before the final version of the board. If you're interested, here are some details wrt to how I have the HW setup on the current prototype. The attached pic shows U18, which is the ATTINY861 microcontroller. I really wanted to stick with no more than a 20 pin IC if possible, to make it look like it matches the board. This chip can run at 8 or 16MHz without an external crystal, but I gather the 16MHz mode may not be as stable. Not sure if this will be an issue later, but I wanted to mention it. I sort of just guessed the chip would be fast enough to handle both the mouse and the keyboard. There are certainly plenty of keyboard libraries out there, and at least one mouse library I'm aware of, but I'm not sure if they have ever been combined. I am running the microcontroller as an I2C device with the 6522 acting as the host to this IC. Right now, it is only listening for commands to power-off the system, reboot, reset, NMI & HDD LED control. I also hooked a line up to the 65C02 IRQ, so it could be polled. (Just as an FYI, the real-time clock is U10, which is read via I2C. J16 is the external I2C header to drive other devices if desired. J16 will also work as a 6-pin ISP header to program the ATTINY861. J6-J9 toggles the clock/data line for each PS/2 port from 65c22 to the ATTINY861.) In a nutshell, I'd like it to maintain the existing functions which should be taking next to nothing in terms of CPU, except maybe the I2C library. Integrate IRQ driven PS/2 mouse and keyboard routines and make the code as clean as possible for easy editing. If we do wind up going this route, your work could be part of the open-source library at the end of the rainbow for the system. Clearly, there will need to be some interaction on the kernal-side to process the data from these interrupts. This will take some coordination too, but I suspect the Arduino-side could be tested with another Arduino reading the data for the time being. Keep in mind, we could also wind up not using it too, just fair warning. Keep the responses on this thread for the time-being. I know this is a big ask, but I really want to make sure we have a nice solid library, so I decided it would be better to get a rock-star developer out there. Assembly is fine too, if you want to do it the hard way , but I suspect C will be fine. I also attached the code which is running on the proto for now. Please let me know if you have any questions, I'm looking forward to testing this out! Thanks! -Kevin X16_Power-current.zip
    11 points
  23. Thank you all for your enthusiasm and making sure that the Commander X16 community will continue to thrive in 2022 and beyond!
    11 points
  24. I will be uploading the demo files to the forums in just a few minutes...
    11 points
  25. I must admit the only product I ever actually wanted was the phase 1 product and would be ok if phase 2 and 3 were never released. The DIP dev board would be a dream come true and opens a world of possibilities. The idea of a market for expansions cards and other products is incredibly exciting. I was also never interested in the case, however, the keyboards are nice. I don't see the value in the x8 and would recommend sticking to the x16 line for now to build one consistent ecosystem and then diversify later as you learn more on where the ecosystem goes. I can't wait to buy one! Great work guys despite the challenges. Thanks!
    11 points
  26. We've always been open with you about the Commander X16 project's progress, and today I'm sharing my decision to take a little step back from the project. When David kindly invited me on board, I accepted on the basis that approximately a 1 year prototype development process was envisioned for a cased computer, after which I would refocus on my own projects. However, of course I understand these things often do become much more complex, and so I have been happy to give an additional 1½ years to such a cool project. Over those 30 months I've been honoured to be able to give my time overseeing parts of the jigsaw puzzle including the "X16" name, logos, keyboards, manuals, box & cover art (I hope one day you will see it!), social media, factory negotiations, Cloanto ROM licensing, slogans, draft crowdfunding video, 3D renders, X16P and X16C case designs, and of course the website & software library ecosystem for the project to hopefully someday flourish within. I’ve greatly enjoyed working with some very talented contributors in some of those areas - thank you so much Anders Enger Jensen, Charles Paek, Gaz Marshall, John McDermott, Lorin Millsap, Matt Grandis, Mat Recardo, Trevor Storey, and more. However during that time my little YouTube channel has continued to grow beyond expectations, associated writing for ZZAP! 64 has increased, I've started projects of my own such as the forthcoming PETSCIIBOARD™, and have found my available time for prolonged outside projects reduce. Then, sadly my mother passed away very recently, which is now absorbing an unanticipated amount of my time and emotional energies, and I am needing to focus more intently on family matters. I always wish to do my best for everyone, be it fellow X16 fans, supporters, or family, and by spreading myself too thin for too long, I can't be my best for you guys. So, with much of my X16 work recently completed, now feels like the right time to pass the baton. David and I remain friends, and I have wished him the very best of luck with whatever shape the X16 takes post-Peri! He and the team have my agreement to continue to use as much or little of my contributions as he chooses including the case designs (should that be "the case" ahaha), and I remain available to hand over and tie up loose ends. [Edit: Case FAQ] I will continue to follow the X16's progress as a fan alongside you all, and I am sure the project will endure. Thanks for reading my new novel here, and for your understanding with a difficult decision. Long live the Chickenlips 16! Peace out and cheerio! Your friend in retro, Perifractic P.S. If you're not already, feel free to come follow me elsewhere and we'll continue to have fun together keeping nostalgia alive one video at a time. You can find me at: The Tube of You: http://youtube.com/perifractic Facepoke: http://facebook.com/chrisimpsonline Instaface: http://instagram.com/perifractic Interwebs: http://perifractic.com PETSCIIBOARD™: http://perifractic.com/petsciiboard Patrón: http://patreon.com/perifractic
    11 points
  27. Paging @Kevin Williams! Heya! Sorry to be that guy, but not all of us use FB for whatever reason. I heard the 3rd prototype board has been announced over on the FB discussion board. Any chance the passionate and devoted fan base here can get some info on it as well? I've only heard about it second hand but would love to get the deets from the source!
    11 points
  28. I've been making mentions lately about my work-in-progress sound tools for X16 which I call Zsound. After getting it to the point where it currently stands, I've hit a little bit of burnout. I haven't made much progress in the past few weeks, so I've decided that it might be a good time to go ahead and unveil the project in its current form so that the community may begin making use of what is already there, and possibly writing more programs to go into the intended ecosystem that i hope to engender with this project. Zsound is intended to serve two main purposes. The most important one is to provide a set of audio routines and tools that make it easier for developers to include audio in their projects without having to learn the ins and outs of the chips themselves. The second goal is to create a standard data format for music and SFX on the X16. In a green field environment such as the X16, you have to do everything yourself from scratch. Lots of people are having to invent the wheel for themselves. It would be more beneficial if there were an agreed-upon format for audio on the system so that various projects can benefit from each other's efforts. The format and routines were inspired by the way iD Software handled sound in Wolfenstein3d. This is strictly a playback-oriented system and thus it is not a synth and does not have ADSR enelopes, etc. It's just include, load data, start playback, and call once per frame. I will post more information about the tools and library shortly, but in the mean time, if you're interested, I've also created a Discord for discussing the project. Discord Invite: https://discord.gg/EmQ6TXQc4s I hope to see you there!
    10 points
  29. https://github.com/commanderx16/x16-emulator/releases
    10 points
  30. As one of the official team member I will say first. David has not thrown his hands up at all and if that’s how your are interpreted it, that means only that you concluded that first and are only hearing what you already believe and not what he said. Secondly David is really not that directly involved in the technical aspects of the project. Micheal who is handling the KERNAL development has been very busy. For example the PS/2 code issue. I’m not a code guy, but I was aware of the issue and a solution was proposed. But due to tight schedules, hardware changes, etc. the fixed code was never merged so the current KERNAL is using the incorrect code. The reason it doesn’t work with the faster CPU is because the timeout runs faster too and it reaches the timeout before the keyboard gets ready. The code needs to be updated to prevent that. As to other issues, we are dealing with supply chain issues which are not unique to us. You have cargo containers sitting on ships for weeks, you have factories halting production on all but a few lines, the global chip shortages, etc. And another point, for a project that as of now isn’t a crowdfunded project, how many are this transparent. We have ongoing tests with the existing boards are a trying to get enough parts to complete a few more boards. Fingers crossed if it goes well there will be only one more board revision and the project will advance to the preorder stage.
    10 points
  31. Version 0.9

    93 downloads

    Modplayer Plays audio files that are stored in Amiga tracker module format. Usage when running via emulator, increase the audio buffers by starting it with: x16emu -abufs 32 LOAD "MODPLAYER.PRG" RUN type file name, e.g. "D1.MOD" (you can change or correct it by using the "del" key) press "enter" enjoy! Features supports standard 4 channel mod files supports mod files with size up to 504 KB or higher depending on CX16 memory configuration user interface shows each channel with tone, instrument number and effect mod file name can be set via keyboard Known issues and limitations sample rate is set to about 18 kHz, 8 bit, stereo to fix timing issues with channel mixer volume is reduced by half to avoid clipping no finetune for instruments only supported effects are: "slide up/down", "set volume", "pattern break" and "set speed" "set speed" effect doesn't support BPM setting player speed can be slightly off as it is based on 60 Hz vsync signal wheras many mod files are based on 50 Hz PAL signal first 2 letters of song name are missing due to the way how the kernal load routine is implemented no control unit yet License Some sample mod files from different composers are included with this application. All included mod files were downloaded from [The Mod Archive](https://modarchive.org) and are licensed under Public Domain or Creative Commons. The original file names were changed to work around file name problems. List of included mod files and its original file names: D1.mod source: [songerson_-_dog39.mod](https://api.modarchive.org/downloads.php?moduleid=189675#songerson_-_dog39.mod) by [Songerson](https://modarchive.org/member.php?90970) is licensed under [CC BY 3.0](https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/) D2.mod source: [musix-retrospective.mod](https://api.modarchive.org/downloads.php?moduleid=65133#musix-retrospective.mod) by [m0d](https://modarchive.org/member.php?69141) is licensed under Public Domain D3.mod source: [music-jump.mod](https://api.modarchive.org/downloads.php?moduleid=53213#music-jump.mod) by [m0d](https://modarchive.org/member.php?69141) is licensed under Public Domain D4.mod source: [evil_minded.mod](https://api.modarchive.org/downloads.php?moduleid=170000#evil_minded.mod) by [Zilly Mike](https://modarchive.org/member.php?69027) is licensed under [CC BY 3.0](https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)
    10 points
  32. Hey Everyone, Sorry for the delay on an update. It's been a hectic year once again and there never seem to be enough hours in the day. I'm not a huge FB fan either, but the reality is with our business, it's pretty key I keep on top of FB & the even more dreaded Twitter. I meant to post the same day, but for the brief second I tried, the site wouldn't let me login, and I just forgot to come back. However, I just posted a video of Attack of the Petscii robots on the X16. It's still the second proto, but I have it wired as the third board is designed. I did this for testing the new design before running it of-course, and David just wanted to make sure the game was still running ok. I am catching up on the thread and I will answer some questions here in a second. For the moment, the PCBs are 100% complete and should be shipping tomorrow. This means probably Friday or Monday they will be here and I should have all of the parts in-hand too. We're still not done with the Kernal, so this is not the end of the story by any stretch, but it should be pretty close to the end of the HW specs. Attack of the PETSCII Robots on the Commander X16 Prototype 3 - YouTube Thanks, -Kevin
    10 points
  33. https://github.com/commanderx16/x16-emulator/releases
    9 points
  34. M. Steil recently ran my demo on real HW and uploaded a video of it to the Discord server, so I thought I'd repost here. FYI the scroll speed is faster because I changed that value in my source at some point after uploading to the Demos repo here. sonic.mp4
    9 points
  35. Ok, I think this topic has honestly been talked out as far as it can go. I'd rather not see this come up in another 11 months...
    9 points
  36. I'm glad there are people to step up and take managing this community on, and there is time to figure out a way forward. To me the site IS the product at the moment. While we patently wait for a shipping X16 there is so much here to enjoy: the forum with all its users who have posted from the technical to the social (with their own wit, insight and opinions) the library of software available, and the ability to run a web emulator. I believe the majority here will gladly become consumers because they are part of the community. One the hardware ships I hope there is an explosion of more free software here, rather than spread far and wide on the interweb. Finally, this site has the best forum implementation I've ever seen. Kudos to those who built it, those who will manage this community. and those who contribute content.
    9 points
  37. Hey! Author here I'm not a regular user of this forum but I just want to say thank you for recommending my channel. Staying motivated to keep producing videos is hard, but this keeps me going, so thank you Calculon!
    9 points
  38. @The 8-Bit GuyI don't know how much work would be involved/ if Frank could quickly turn this around, but it seems to me that it would make TONS more sense to make phase 3 the new phase 1, and make the "real" computer become phase 2. Take the X8, put in a beefier FPGA, and add the missing cores like 2151 and make it fully X16. Have 512K Hiram, etc. Then you can push out an easy-to-distribute product that doesn't split development efforts into supporting two parallel architectures. Use that time and income to finish ironing out the kinks in the proto 3 board/Kernal. I say this without vitriol or resentment: Like it or not, the X8 WILL complicate development efforts for the ecosystem if it ever sees the light of day. Even if it only takes a couple of hours' effort to port between X16 and X8, that's still a divide. I think that estimate is optimistic though. Petscii Robots benefits from having been designed to run on weaker systems like the PET. Even with X16 enhancements, it's not the same porting this to X8 as having to strip or severely scale back features from programs originally designed with 128K VRAM + 2MB HIRAM in mind from the outset. Even for projects that CAN be easily ported, this still represents a cascading headache. If a project ever gets maintained after initial release, there are now 2 forks to maintain in parallel. The biggest strength of the Commander X16 is the size of its community. Projects like this are 100% community-driven on the software side as far as the software ecosystem is concerned. Don't forget that this community is largely composed of Gen-Xers who have day jobs and family commitments. I.e.: development effort is largely done as a hobby in people's spare time. Therefore, many if not most folks are likely going to find it too much of a hassle to maintain 2 forks of their projects. This means they're going to make stuff for one or the other system but not both. Thus both computers will have less software than they would otherwise. That's maybe not such a huge deal for the intermediate/advanced users who're more Interested in making their own stuff anyway. The group this DOES hurt are the novices who would be mostly interested in getting their feet wet and in playing with programs made by others. Less stuff available means less reason to get either one. Sorry for the lengthy post, but I felt it necessary to elaborate on this issue. Many have said "The X8 will fracture the community" but I haven't read anything explaining why that's likely true and what that means to the ecosystem. Consider what the C256Phoenix would be if Stefanie had your reach, community, and fan base. Your system has more potential in my estimation than any similar project exactly BECAUSE you have the ability to make so many people aware of it. It truly has the potential to hit critical mass. This is why I chose to join the X16 fan club. I truly expect some day to be playing a high-quality game on it as a user, and enjoying a good selection of supporting apps like tool chains and API libraries as a developer. I don't foresee this on any other retro-inspired platform currently in existence or in the works. I'm not saying the X8 by its very existence would wreck all of this, but there's a real risk that it could. If the Commander brand is destined to exist first as an all-in-FPGA system followed later by the premium all-retro board, much better that it's the same system I.e. the X16 "phase 3" and not a project-forking "Commander Gaiden"
    9 points
  39. Regardless of whether a crowd funding platform requires something or not, I have a reputation of integrity to uphold. The last thing I want is people saying that the 8-Bit Guy took their money and didn't deliver on a promise. However, I have been considering doing some sort of crowdfunding where it would literally just be asking for donations to keep this project alive. An infusion of $20,000 with no requirement to repay it would go a LONG way to pushing this product out to the public. $100,000 would guarantee a successful launch. But that's a lot to ask. I know there are several thousand people interested in this. If everyone just donated $5 that would probably be an incredible help.
    9 points
  40. Absolutely. I had already planned to bundle Petscii Robots with the X16. And it can certainly run on the X8 as well.
    9 points
  41. I have clicked the poll. I hope it is the last one. Here are a few of my thoughts for what they are worth. 1. Decide SOON and stick with it. Shifting sands cause people to stop working on projects that are the life's blood of an ecosystem for this thing being a success. Beware of poll-based decisions. There are people (not me, I'm just a johnny come lately) on these boards who have hundreds of hours of time and effort on your platform. Their voices ought to count louder than just poll clicks from drive by internet denizens. Message them privately. Get their phone numbers. Have a discussion. Listen. 2. Spend money on people instead of stuff. Sure there are dev costs, but why keyboards need to be ordered already I can't quite understand. Speaking of People: Once hardware is locked down to what it will be period, then I would gladly drop $$ into a crowd-fund if needed to provide a pool of compensation to induce Michael to put finishing the kernal and basic as his top priority. If you look at the things other projects are getting stuck on, and just read through the GitHub and see what he's done, I think you will have to realize he's not just the 'kernal guy' -- he's possibly one of the internet's preeminent experts on the Commodore kernal. Just look at what WORKS, and works right without any issues, on the emulator so far is a testament to that. Do NOT lose his participation! He's an MVP. And the sooner you get the Kernal and BASIC to a final point to where people can document not just the official kernal calls, but have the FP library addresses set in stone and all the important stuff like "VARTAB" and "TEXTTAB" set in stone (or close!) the better for development. 3. The 'X8" is in my opinion a cop-out option that you seem to be tempted to put out and wash your hands of this whole episode moving forward. I urge you not to. The Plus/4 died in part because of the Commodore 16 and even Commodore handicapping things well below the Plus/4 capabilities so it would work on the lesser machine. Don't spend all this time only to submarine everyone's work with a lower common denominator. 4. Consider bringing in someone to be a project manager to drive the project with deadlines and decisions that don't amount to internet bike shedding etc. I'm not sure how a youtube creator could have the time to take that role, but I think it would help.
    9 points
  42. Hi David & crew, I work for an electronics manufacturing company in Tennessee that has the capability to do through-hole and SMT manufacturing. Also, we may be able to help with the power supply issue, as our primary line of products are all power supply-based. I know PCBWay has done a lot to support this project, and I'm not looking to step on any toes. But I thought I would extend a greeting just the same. Send a PM if we can be of assistance. In any case, I'm looking forward to seeing the project through and getting a kit myself.
    9 points
  43. I created a pair of tools that I've been using to create and edit tile sets, tile maps, and bitmaps for the Commander X16 (or anything else that uses the VERA). The purpose of these tools is to allow you to use GIMP and Tiled for creating your graphics. The first tool is a GIMP export plugin that can output VERA compatible tile sets and bitmaps. This eliminates the need for post processing like is needed when exporting a raw indexed file that the GIMP does out of the box. It can also go a step further by generating a Tiled tile set file (*.tsx) that can be used to draw tile maps. Best of all, the plugin supports non-interactive mode, meaning it can be called from a command line or makefile, treating your GIMP project file (*xcf) as a source for your resources. https://github.com/jestin/gimp-vera-tileset-plugin The second tool is a command line converter from Tiled's tile map file format (*.tmx) to a VERA compatible tile map file. This is also intended to be called from a makefile, so you can just edit your maps in Tiled and rebuild. I've figured out a simple way to use Tiled's automapping feature in combination with a command line argument in my converter to generate collision maps based on the layers you export. These collision maps wouldn't load into the VERA, but rather the Commander X16's main memory, and you'd have to write the code to make use of them in your game. However, once all that is complete, collisions (as well as map interactions) become a by product of your map design. https://github.com/jestin/tmx2vera I've created a quick demonstration video of these tools, so you can get a feel for what they offer: To keep it short, I didn't go into collision maps, but I'll likely create a follow up video to cover that topic in depth.
    8 points
  44. From @Michael Steil (Discord: @mist64) over on Discord: -------- Hi! And I'm back. For real now. * For now, I'll mostly work on the ROM, mostly on bugs (not features), to target an r39 release. * I am very happy that @StephenHorn has offered to help me with the emulator. He has already done lots of great work in this field. There are many open pull requests, as well as fixes and features in his own fork that should make it into the main repo, ideally also in the context of an r39 release. * I have also started trying to make the GitHub issue tracker as useful as possible. I am creating bugs for everything I can think of (or I have notes for) that would be necessary for the release and I'm tagging them accordingly, to have a better understanding about which bugs really need fixing before hardware can be shipped. How anyone can help at this point: Please add issues to GitHub! If you find anything weird, or read about a bug in the forum or in Discord, please create an issue on GitHub. It doesn't have to be well worded, it's enough to link to the forum post, or cut&paste the Discord discussion. I'll take care of it from there. If you don't have a GitHub account, DM me here. -------- And the Github repositories for the emulator and ROM, and documentation are here: https://github.com/commanderx16/
    8 points
  45. Version 1.0.0

    118 downloads

    This demo is made from original game assets and translating the VGM tune into YM2151 + VERA PSG. I made this demo because I think too many people forget just how great the graphics can be on the X16. I also think the FM music is vital to the 16-bit era of gaming, so this demo shows how the Commander X16 can deliver the goods if you like a 4th-gen experience.
    8 points
  46. I've bit-banged the PS/2 protocol by inhibiting the clock and checking it periodically (15 times per second). I tested against a wide range of keyboards and found it can take up to 4000us for some keyboards to respond when the clock is released. And I would say it is often the case that a keyboard will respond fast (within 100us) and then take a while (>2000us) on a fairly random basis. I have the Perixx keyboard (the same model planned for this project) and it tends to be more on the temperamental side. I think that's why bit-banging with the 6502 has been abandoned and the plan is to now use the AVR processor for the keyboard interface.
    8 points
  47. I was driving home from work, and I started to hear music, somewhere in the car. It was very, very faint, and I though it was coming from a car next to me on the road. But then I pulled off the freeway, and I could still hear it. I thought "is that my iPad?" So I pulled my iPad out of the bag. Nope. It was silent. My phone was likewise silent. And I was becoming very concerned about my mental health. Am I hearing things? I asked myself. Do I need to see a doctor? Finally, I pulled into the Wal-Mart parking lot (I needed a new coat, some screwdrivers, and a gift bag. Don't ask.) I listened closer, and I realized the sound was coming from my Bluetooth headphones, in my bag. My Bluetooth headphones had been triggered by accident, and a song from @Perifractic's "Insta: Mental" was playing. Apparently Perifractic's music lives up to its name. I was pretty sure I'd gone mental during that trip home.
    8 points
  48. Just bringing over some related fun from a Discord channel:
    8 points
  49. I am coming late to this, from the facebook group, but I wanted to say for whatever its worth, the X8 sounds exactly like what I was hoping for when this project first began. I think if the price point is low enough, this really would be useful for teaching as well. If it sells in numbers you can get a much broader base of people wanting to develop for it. Someone mentioned slowing it down so that it would not be faster than the X16. That strikes me as a terrible idea that's been tried before.
    8 points
  50. So, I just wanted to address some of the questions/concerns about the X8. Just to reiterate, BASIC code should be compatible unless it uses a bunch of pokes and peeks. You could literally take the SD card out of the X8, stick in in the X16 and the code should run. For machine language programs, as for the differences in how the Vera is accessed, it's not nearly as many here are thinking. I saw one person who seemed irate over the idea that we'd be throwing away all of the coding work people have done. It's still the same features, the same registers, and same behaviors. The sprites, the layers, the PSG, it's all the same. The primary difference is how you copy data to VRAM. I suppose with some software this could be a major problem. But in most cases, I suspect it would be less than an hour worth of work to convert a game from X16 to X8 or vice-versa. I haven't actually ported Petscii Robots yet (since I don't know if this product will see the light of day) but I suspect I could have it running on the X8 in maybe an hour or two. It's nowhere nearly as difficult as porting between something like the VIC-20 and C64 which have very different video/audio systems. The reason it has USB, or more specifically, the reason it CAN have USB is because this is all handled by the FPGA. There was no way we could handle USB on a 6502 system due to the enormous complexity of USB. However, the USB support would be limited to keyboards and controllers. For the person that asked why on earth you would want this and compared it to a C64 and then saying a C32 instead. Well, the main benefits are: half the price and immediate availability. As i've mentioned before, the X16e might never see the light of day because it is going to be dependent on the X16p being a success before that gets developed. But we could have this available now. And it will be so darned cheap, there's no reason you couldn't have this along side the X16p, or use this to develop on and wait for the X16e or whatever. For those asking where to donate. I haven't set anything up yet. I've already seen a few paypal donations come in. But I'd rather people wait until we have some official account for the X16 development.
    8 points
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