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EMwhite

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EMwhite last won the day on December 17 2020

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  1. Foenix has landed. Here is mine mounted to my 'wall of doom': Close up of the hand soldering/baking quality; the connector is for an IDE hard disk (but I'm not using that); it has an SD slot on the bottom left of the board, a USB debug port for pushing in code as well; as a cost cutting measure, Stefany dropped the floppy interface that is present on the FMX via SuperIO IC. On the left, you can see the Yamaha OPL. On the right you can see the expansion connector and I have the 2 x SID + Ethernet RJ45 on order; it will ship with my A2560K. Here is the boot screen; it takes about 2 seconds to display the banner and the text below it scrolls out in TTY type fashion. If you don't know the people involved, Stefany owns the project and design/builds everything from concept to 3D modeling, FPGA development, and HW Peter Weingartner wrote the Kernel and other tools and is actively engaged in ongoing development; he is "Tail Recursive" and you can watch his 65C816 series and FMX related vids if interested. Daniel has written a fair amount as well including some of what I posted above. The first thing I did after getting it installed and running was to type "Monitor" from basic and enter some VICKY II register changes to 'light up' my first sprite. If you've done C64 development, you'll be comfortable with Sprite pointers including X and Y positioning (both of which have L_byte and H_byte due to resolution). Also, no faffing about with memory windows, you've got full 24 bit addressing in the 65C816 so you'll note the two additional significant digits "AF" in the monitor which are the 17th-24th bit (if you count from 1). In this case, I merely set the video mode which is a bit mask of Sprites + Text overlay on top of Bitmap, etc., enabled Sprite 1, and set the location on the screen of 128, 128. (of course the # of sprites and color palette etc is vastly improved). Next up, 64 Amiga bouncing balls : ) So many differences between what is happening on Discord in terms of the style of communication and who is doing the talking and posting versus what is happening here and I know this is a polarizing topic for some, but I urge anybody sitting on the fence to have a look at C256 Foenix. It's legit. If 68K is more your thing, you can get the same exact hardware and experience but with a genuine Motorola 68K onboard. The startup is different due to the use of a microkernel which is still under development but this platform and the code base will eventually merge since it's written in (primarily) C lang. I think I mentioned prior (or somebody else may have) that some of the community have Atari ST software in mind for porting to this platform. The C256U and A2560U set the groundwork for the C256 Gen X (cube) and the A2560X, each of which have many many more ports and in the case of the Gen X, an option for a 2nd processor which will be selectable at boot time. This platform is due to ship in the next month or so, I believe. Then there is the A2560K which is the all-in-one keyboard based design posted above which is MC68040 based.
  2. Yes. That ‘locked in megathread’ offering was an awesome imaginary product. (Cue the Fyre-Festival/Theranos highlights reel.
  3. I paid $220 for my 65C816 based C256U and it comes with the equiv. of a VERA but I might be insulting one or the other by saying that but indeed it's FPGA implemented video, glue, etc. Also has a real Serial port, real working PS/2 (what a feature !!!) @ 14.x mhz. tons of audio capabilities and some people excited and working on it. (arrives on Tuesday so I'll post something in the off-topic underground forum where cigarettes are currency, the way I don't get in trouble and cause more threads to lock. But you are correct, the A2560K is pricey @ $995 USD. But you get what you pay for; I won't go on and on except to say that it's a rocket ship and everything they (she) makes is made by her; design, hand built, custom modeled, all of the core FPGA coding that makes it special. I wish it had a breadboard area that I could solder to but in actuality, the 'U' has an expansion connector off to the right of the board that is currently leveraged for either a C100 or C200 add-on; one adds an RJ-45 Ethernet jack and two SID sockets; the other adds the Ethernet and a 2nd DVI-I adapter for 2nd monitor; I'm pretty sure the pinouts are published but I doubt it's a simple as a Commodore Cartridge port where all lines of the CPU and other is brought right to the edge, but maybe it is. So maybe I'll be able to solder something if I can breadboard something if I can attach a connector and get docs and have the motivation and time. Mostly, it will be software adventure. I'll test my theory of shelf-ware to see if, even if I don't build it that it's interesting enough to keep my attention for more than a few weekends. I've been watching Tail Recursive's excellent videos on 65C816 assembly in the context of the Foenix and Vicky II sprites. But back on topic, I wanted to add that I bought one of those high-end hand-held desoldering pump irons last December from Amazon, really makes recapping a pleasure. And one of my prize possessions is an Army issue Weller with all of the tips/attachments including the DIP attachments.
  4. I’ll build anything, but prefer thru-hole. My body isn’t as forgiving as it used to be and I struggle to read cap values and resistor colors; but I’ve built small (MiniPet), medium (Corsham Kim-1) and large projects (crOwBX); the latter is a synth DIY. If the X16 ever materialized in kit form, I’d be early to buy one or two. I’ve always (only) been interested in the expansion slots and ability to connect my stockpile of Commodore peripherals. If an SBC, not interested. Not that I’m against single board computers, just that they need a purpose in order to be anything other than flash-in-the-pan shelfware. Otherwise, it’s an appliance like the pasta maker or the bread machine that was the rage but now...? Maybe it’s the personal interest in ‘owning’ something that you built that makes it seem more special and maybe if I didn’t think it was special in the first place, I wouldn’t have bothered buying and building it. X16-lite or X8 or whatever “on a chip” it may someday be is of zero interest; that’s been done to death. Foenix is a much better and more interesting platform due to capabilities of HW, availability of compiliers relative to the power of the hardware, and design in general. Also the kernel/kernal is being built from the ground up to be multi-platform (65C816 and MC680x0) and is open source with lots of collaboration and good will.
  5. Some "shake of {insert random middle-eastern country]..." booked a ride on the Shuttle some time back and hung out at the Space Station. I think they told him not to touch anything. Not to be confused with the civilian teacher that sadly blew up with the rest of the crew on launch. The recent orbital tourism was indeed four people and it was a SpaceX flight, 3+ days I think; fairly impressive but they had problems with the Space Toilet (those things never work). As impressive as all of the early adopters may be, they were beat by a Monkey, a Dog, lower order mammals, Tom Hanks playing a Hobo; no wait that was a beloved Christmas Character drinking hot baked beans on top of a train. Good thing this is an off-topic channel, else this thread would be toast. But one good thing about the Blue Origin [umm...] landing is that it's akin to being in a minor car crash like the Soyuz so the kick-in-the-arse sensation can be had by all; except I think I saw Shat laying down with some sort of inflatable whoopee cushion as lumbar support so maybe it's more like being dropped from 10' in the air onto a middle school gym tumbling mat. (I don't know, it's still early here, I save my better material for later) EDIT: it was "Sultan bin Salman Al Saud" better known as سلطان بن سلمان آل سعود in 1985 - our administration made believe he was a payload specialist, I guess.
  6. Here's a pic of Shat and Michael Tomczyk from Commodore; this is during the Vic20 photo shoot for their advertising campaign. Michael recounts the story and says that he had the honor of being the first person to teach Shatner how to use a Computer because "... of course, all of the computers on the Enterprise were fake" LOL. He said that he was a genuinely nice guy, very personable. Michael hands these out @ speaking engagements (I met him at VCF East last weekend and he gave me that picture when I mentioned Shatner and the launch). During his talk/presentation (it's on YouTube if you are interested), he mentions that he was in touch with Shatner's 'people' recently and he was kind enough to have William sign a few of these pictures which Michael treasures; has one framed in his office and a few for safe keeping. Of course this one is signed by Michael for me. He's an awesome guy also.
  7. When I lived in Berkeley, CA, I knew Bryce Nesbitt. He went on to work @ Commodore on the Amiga and I believe also worked on the CDTV at some point; I saw some YouTube clips of him being interviewed for one of the Amiga retro documentaries; he wasn't the most flashy of engineers but was one of the smartest and really cared about doing the right thing. In the early 80s, Jack just happened to slip on a banana peel and into luck when Michael Tomczyk basically begged him for a job @ Commodore; Michael fostered a no-nonsense marketing prowess that powered Commodore through the formative years... after, Jack vanished and Commodore lost the plot. It happens to the best of companies (Digital Equipment was one, Silicon Graphics, Sun Microsystems, others, the list is endless). But with chip-fab capabilities and many innovations in the Amiga days it is possible that in an alternate universe, people have Commodore televisions hanging on their walls (instead of LG) and comPhones instead of iPhones. Here's the clip. If you are interested in Commodore history, this 'raw' footage might be interesting. I haven't seen the full movie but would like to: Bryce looks and speaks exactly as I remember (35 years since he was over my place when I lived just off campus); genuinely nice guy and really wears his heart on his sleeve...
  8. Here it be: https://vala.supply/products/gmk-electric Luckily for everybody here, I have an expert background in store, fwd, search & retrieval. If you don't know how I did it, ask me about "that one trick that single mothers use to whiten teeth" and I'll show you 52 vintage photos that will make you hungry for solar panels.
  9. There is a guy on eBay selling PET keycap stickers for $79. How does that sit with a community that doesn't want to spend more than $49 for a full blown computer. (don't answer). Case wise, yes; but unless somebody gets hopping with a 3D printer, anything does not fit in a standard size is a non-starter. Christian's (Peri) work was so nice and the spiral bound manuals, designer pantone matched pencils and boondoggle keychains will be missed. I believe here is 'an' answer out there somewhere but 1/3rd of the people want what I want and 1/3rd want everything for nothing; it's the middle 3rd that is tough and risky. That's the problem.
  10. Isn't there free methane (all you can drink) on some moon somewhere up there? Sure, it's damn cold and so the gas is in liquid form but still. We are in a race against the Chinese and against the Russians to harvest it. Or maybe that was FPGAs? I'm weary from all of this FPGA-chatter. But I actually have some shat-news that I'll share once I find a light bulb to fix this blown out dining room light [types whilst sitting in the dark].
  11. So what else can we talk about that is not this topic and not off-topic? {crickets}
  12. You just said a lot of 'things', but good things where good = this -> that and since -> therefore. So, barring an October surprise it's probably safe to check back in 3 months which seems fair. As prolific as 8BG's YouTube career is (the backyard shack that YouTube built), an update "Here's where we are..." and an official announcement / update each quarter would probably go a long way but that's just me talking. Thanks for that reply.
  13. Such as shame, those pics above were "right-perty*" and had 8 out of 12 people sold. Now what? (Also, what happened in the mega-thread? did somebody drop an F-bomb? I see the mod-squad shut down the show) *a Tex Avery - Southern Wolf reference as voiced by Daws Butler
  14. I see you just got here from FaceBook. Welcome, but have a look around. I think a few hundred people have by now said “no” to X8 in the Mega-thread in the official announcements forum.
  15. When X16 is an FPGA or better said, when all of the capabilities of the virtual X16 is squeezed into something that used to be called VERA, what will it be called relative to the original roadmap? Was there an X16e or something like that was to originally sell for $99? If the original X16 is not viable because of unsolvable technical, supply chain, or economics issues and X8 is similarly not happening, is the elephant-in-the-room that the project is going to fast-fwd to what was originally the mass-market, low-cost consumer product but bundled with an inexpensive* keyboard and a robot game? (no snark intended, just being direct) *ref 8BG’s $6,000 kbd video
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