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EMwhite

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EMwhite last won the day on July 13

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  1. At least a few of the people over on the Foenix Discord have built this or are in the process of doing so (for use with the "F256 Jr."; prod board just announced) and yes, 3D printed cases seems to be the move. I had 1541, 1571, SFD-1001, and an MSD Superdrive but never the 3.5" variety. I'm somewhat tempted. Peter wrote the floppy access code for the A2560K (the 68K keyboard model) so I feel I owe him. Steve Jobs hated floppy drives : ) but eventually gave in and allowed them on his NeXT; later, he sought and gained revenge against the device on the original iMac platform in the 90s but I do believe that on many of these minus-Ethernet platforms, there is a place even if you just like to hear that occasional clickity-click.
  2. Thanks for that, great resource (the parent, and related directories) and who can deny the Amtek amber font? When I was in College (mid-80's in California), the school had PerfectWriter and the rest; very interested to see if it's the same version, however I believe we were running it on PCs. Shame that "Turbo C" was not part of that lineup. Suppose Borland had to snap the line somewhere and at a certain point only produced IBM PC titles.
  3. On the edge of this topic, what software is the 'killer app' for CP/M? I am fully aware of the history and legacy platforms that ran it and in fact, bought the CP/M card for my Apple II but never bothered to procure software after getting it to boot successfully. Is the thrill to just build the board, get it working and get a command prompt and some light development or are there classic titles (even if classic title = a particular word processor or text based Infocom game or terminal?). Thank you!
  4. I do need to caution that the link above, while useful, is an absolute nightmare of ads. Probably the worst I've seen but it's still worth a quick look, maybe with an incognito browser window : )
  5. The "Programming the..." by David Eyes is over 600 pages, and for a reason; addressing modes and shifting back and forth from an 8 bit to 16 bit Accumulator and X/Y and 'l'ong/far instructions, but mostly compiler errors is a bit much for casual 6502 programmers. David was right to NOT choose the 65816 (since part of his design criteria was to provide a platform for Commodore peeps, some of which were interested in porting code, some of which were interested in coding new games and apps). [I'm generalizing so please be kind]. Stefany Allaire chose the 65816 and uses them on all of her C256 line machines from the FMX through the 'U' and 'U+' to the GEN X (embedded), but chose the 65C02 for the Jr. which is in the hands of about a dozen developers at the moment. The Jr. is very much a 'rightsized' machine, meaning that the video modes, graphics capabilities, etc. are rightsized to match the 65C02 while *816 systems go 'big'. The CPU indeed has a 24 bit adds bus (internally) so you'll need to get used to FF:FFFF addressing. From a hardware perspective, however, you'll note that [in dip form] it's still a 40 pin package, so how does that work? It's multiplexed, so therefore, it's complicated. So HW engineers will have their hands full and that's where people usually give up or opt to pass. This single page covers some of the diffs fairly well but if interested in 65816, grade the 'Eyes' book on Amazon, it's printed on 'white pages' paper, if that means anything you : ) https://apprize.best/programming/65816/23.html
  6. Just published the first issue; whether you are onboard with Foenix or not, if you enjoy vintage, there should be a Crossword that will challenge you, a Vintage advert to amuse you, and some pictures and articles of general tech of interest. You may need to click (through) a warning if your browser has beef with the lack of an https certificate to the link below; I'm currently leveraging my NeXT for part of the binary management workflow and there is no modern means of connectivity from that machine to my AWS hosted instance. In any case, you'll want the first '(full)' copy. And to be clear, this is a 'newsletter' suitable for printing on a minimum of 8.5" x 11" page; not phone friendly though there is no barrier except for eyestrain : ) http://apps.emwhite.org/foenixmarketplace/ Looks like:
  7. The WDCs, since they are 'modern', can easily tolerate a stopped clock or diff clock speeds, of course. The pic above is of the development board which is (I believe) a proof-of-concept that she is putting into the hands of a few developers that will be piecing together the operating environment/kernel, etc. Not sure what form a prod release will take or what the timeframe will be but if successfully released with even 3/4 of the features on that board, it will be compelling.
  8. With the Flagship A2560K (keyboard model) now shipping and the GEN X near pre-production completion and about to ship in the next month or two, Stefany Allaire announced a new low-cost single-board computer that checks all the boxes. She took a step back from the WDC 65C816 which has been known to scare classical 6502 bods, and is using the WDC 65C02 running at 6.2x Mhz. The pic of the dev board was just released; Based on the capabilities of prior Foenix efforts, I'm guessing this is a capable platform, and employs enough 'standards' to host the X16 with a minimum of arm-twisting. Stefany has her own Pick & Place machine and is pretty good at parts procurement / supply so I don't see the typical cast of issues getting in her way. I heard it will be < $200 for the SBC (bring your own power supply and PS/2 kbd/mouse ... but also it has a 20 pin Commodore Keyboard header and other gifts; see pic).
  9. Some discussion here ... Didn't seem to land anywhere useful (a year ago); whomever owns this part of the dev SHOULD (my opinion only) implement this functionality. Commodore squeezed it into a few 8K ROMs back when, shouldn't be too difficult to emulate or rewrite, clean-room. Of course, the Commander, if it ever materializes in hardware, is NOT meant to be 100% Commodore compatible; but as a platform that might invite some porting of old software, it would be nice : )
  10. Pricing will never be the same. Hate to be Debbie downer but I just had this conversation (argument) w/my wife that Gasoline prices will never get below $4 (for super) again. Opportunism, market adjustment, greed. W/regard to ICs and any crap (or good thing) made in China... The way allies and adversaries are lining up, I can't see trade relations improving anytime soon. Once Intel opens their Columbus Ohio plant (in 5 years) we should have some relief. Until then (for those of us in the states), it's back to erector sets and fuzzy pumper barber shop for creative outlets. : )
  11. @SlithyMatt, you may be beyond your *blaster troubles by now but I can tell you with certainty that the cheap-arse USB Blasters such as the on pictured (which is probably counterfeit) has caused problems for many as they attempted to push to Altera via Quartus; I know this because Stefany bases her C256 Foenix products on Cyclone family and many of us have been maintaining (updating) VICKY II FPGA code with some finding that the lower cost USB Blasters just will not work. The Digikey sold (expensive) Terasic Blaster (P0302) is creeping up in cost but is known to work reliably, I've used it a few times already without incident. Perhaps you found out that this was due to a Linux serial driver or maybe this is a back-burner project by now? curious to see/hear an update if you have one.
  12. You can indeed buy SN76477, just don't buy them from China (as I did); the cockroach style are either fake or faulty; I blew about $60 on qty. 4 and they were all garbage. Instead, check synth-houses. As for the schematic, I'll get you the one I used later tonight when I'm home but had this in my laptop; it's quite similar. I think this was from a cocktail schematic; the standup version depending on revision is slightly different. The line heading East from pins 12 & 13 is the audio output which is mixed with the other discrete circuits... the southbound line hits an inverter cell (on a 7404 between pins 1 & 2). This one uses 5V in to pin 15; some use the built in 9V input on ping 14 which outputs 5V on 14 (confusing, I know). I much rather send regulated +5V into pin 15 as they do here though I recall mine had/has a resistor in line. On this pic, lines 1, 19, and 22 are held 'high'. The inverted pin 9 is simply the 'start' / 'stop' sound which is autonomous and free running at a given frequency otherwise (built in low-free LFO drives the pitch). I can put up a 1 minute video of mine running if interesting to anybody. Alternate revision:
  13. Speaking of SOUND... just for fun, I worked up the aforementioned "UFO Sound" in the foreground on a SN76477 that I had kicking around. It was a masterpiece until I screwed up the layout not realizing that this protoboard had a grid within, but it works now. I also have the schematic above (Space Invaders STEP sound) implemented in the background of the pic (the four buttons) and yes, Ben Eater's clock and 65C02 that you also see in this pic will drive this shortly. Between the UFO and discreet transistor STEP sound circuit is the AMP circuit built up according to the 1980 Williams FirePower Pinball sound board.
  14. Two thoughts (one was yours so I'd like to 2nd it). Thought #1: as you suggested, a forum where we can discuss retro-tubers; not a place to bash them however I see nothing wrong with spirited debate, but a place to call out good pieces of work by said *tuber (LGR for instance, or Robin from 8 Bit Show and Tell; two of my favorites). Not a place to mirror what they produce but if somebody sees something interesting/applicable that will gen discussion, this type of forum would be a good place to point to it with editorial comments, relating info, etc. Thought #2: An 'Events' forum which can be used to announce then chronicle VCF East/West and CRX type meet-ups. Maybe someday some of us can even meet in person (crazy, I know). Point is, "Vintage" or "Retro" is too generic of a topic and sometimes relevant and connected history gets lost over time.
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