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Everything posted by EMwhite

  1. 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.
  2. 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].
  3. So what else can we talk about that is not this topic and not off-topic? {crickets}
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. Replying to @Scott Robison ... Prob only 5% of the fanbase here will be interested but if you look at Day 1 of VCF east (YouTube link), you'll see just that... Ben Eater's worlds worst video card implemented in FPGA by Stefany of C256 Foenix. The hour went by quickly but if you start with the basic of what Ben did in hardware and know what an FPGA is and is not, you can see her walk via verilog, and provide a start into what is required in order to make this wonderful fungible hardware behave in any way one desires. She gets nowhere near what she did with VICKY II (sprites, tiles, various video modes, Gideon SID, and everything else) but it's still interesting. Probably could have used an 8 hour workshop or a week of training/hands on. But in the absence of nothing, it was something.
  9. I hear (have 'seen' vs. read and understood) so much about VERA and about what it is or isn't. My fundamental question is... "is it?" In other words, does it exist in finished form and can it be acquired for use in other projects or was it in the midst of being developed, somehow forked to support this project and was then stricken by malaise, scarcity of supply, or some other problems? I think I remember reading that somebody thought putting it into a cartridge for a C64 was attractive but also that moving data to/from it over a SCI* interface was a nonstarter (too slow). EdIt: As Bruce McF pointed out, it's "SPI"; SCI is the Scalable Coherent Interconnect that I spent a lot of time with in the 90s. it was Sun Microsystems passive, copper based 25 Mbps interface that we leveraged for Oracle Parallel Server (OPS) which was used for their shared global area (SGA) on top of Sun Cluster. If only those skills were still useful today! Too many TLAs.
  10. "Yes" the Maxi is worth it. Especially now that you can get it on Amazon in the U.S. Yes you can save programs but you can also save 'state' of 4 'virtual' machines (I believe it's 4). And you can download any d64 image from the internet and run those programs and games so regardless of what comes built in, you have access to nearly everything. Space Taxi, Spelunker were two that I always liked and I recently got my hands on them. Scott mentioned that Impossible Mission runs 'correctly' if you run it from a D64 image (USB thumb drive plugged into the side). As packaged, the Impossible Mission maze is 'fixed' vs being dynamically generated. This might apply to other games as well. Anyway, this is my opinion. You can mess around with Rasp Pi's if you are looking for science projects and distractions, I suppose there is an element of satisfaction in doing so if that's your jam but if you owned a C64 in the 80s, get the Maxi because it's the same experience. If you are unconvinced, jump on YouTube and search for Robin's excellent reviews and deep dives on the Maxi (8 bit show and tell). But take this test... watch this video for 1 minute and decide if you would rather do that or use a non-standard keyboard (aka no PETSCII characters on the keyboard), or if you'd just rather use a C64. https://retrogamecoders.com/raspberrypi-bmc64-c64/
  11. Depends on your definition of software. I'm pretty sure I'll be corrected in 5.. 4.. 3.. 2.. My C256U ships today (others that beat me have picked theirs up early in the week and shipped yesterday) so I'll be digging in for a first hand view of what I can get to run. I bought an add-on card that adds two physical SIDs and an Ethernet RJ-45 and one of the team created the Ethernet stack so I anticipate horizons opening up (the 'U' does not have an onboard Ethernet unless you add it as I did but the 'K' and the 'Gen X' does). Otherwise, there is an SD card slot as we've all come to expect. Stefany likens these machines similarly to the C64 experience when you (if an early adopter) first got your hands on it. One difference is that WDC produces a C compiler, a Forth compiler, assembler, etc. and there are many many of us that have a lifetime of software development behind us AND owned C64s when they were first released so I expect a good following. I remember well, typing in that basic program to create a sprite of a balloon and watching it traverse the screen diagonally. I expect header files are available for all of the Vicky II registers (tiles, etc) else you can just make them yourself. There is a BASIC interpreter but it's got nothing to do with Commodore. Of the 70 people that purchased the FMX a few years ago, some software was produced that can be (is being) ported. I've also seen a few screens of AtariST TOS GUI in development on the A2560U. Here are two quick vids by Daniel Tremblay (he's got others on his channel). This one starts with Stefany first taking on the project (of the original FMX) and goes up through a few years ago starting with David's intro to 'dream'. One thing that has not changed is the CPU, the clock speed, and the FPGA video capabilities and the that there is still plenty of sound. This guy (below) @PGW on Discord, is writing the Kernel (the original C256 and even todays 'U' kernel is written in Assembly) but he is porting it in 'C' so that it can be leveraged across the full line of Foenix machines. It's a low budget monitor to get a binary loaded and up and running. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMNLxfepc0xAZodcvOlVenQ So on one hand, it's early days, on the other, there are retro style games in the works (pong LOL), utilities, tools, etc.
  12. Likely... there is another blank key next to the chunky Enter key. This is prototype #1 and she is currently working on integrating the 40mhz 68040. If anybody is even remotely considering investing in one, better hurry. Most of what she will sell is likely to be ‘Gen X’ cubes but there will be a window for the next month to get in on these (I predict), before focus changes. As of now, they are all hand built in Canada with piles of surface mount components arduously affixed to the 6 layer board, by hand, by one person. I think the Gen X will be a minimum assembly required ‘kit’ (no soldering) to ease shipping and tariff etc. but stay tuned to her site, discord, and Stefany’s Twitter... things are moving fast.
  13. If there was an opportunity to rent a suit like that and form a circle around then capsule as it landed, I’d gladly pay round trip transportation out of my my pocket to make it happen. btw, launch is 9:30am Eastern on Tuesday I believe.
  14. If you are anti-twitter, here is what it looks like:
  15. If anybody is interested, C256 Foenix released the A2560K (keyboard version) today. 68040 goodness in an Amiga 600 style looking case with so many ports, well .... Watch he VCF East vid for the unveiling below @ 2:30:00 into the video. If you want the full Foenix update, backup about an hr. Here is what it looks like: https://twitter.com/StefanyAllaire/status/1447232100478775299 And here is the vid (again, ffwd to 2:30:00 if you are not interested in the other parts)
  16. Haha, no sorry needed; I’m not an official but didn’t see the actual posting until now. Whomever is the official can probably shut this thread down while we wait for an actual announcement.
  17. Probably everybody but me knew about this (3 days ago) but maybe some of you are not on FaceBook so also. missed this 'news'... David himself said:
  18. Odd that I didn't see anything about this. Luckily, they are very good at posting replay/YouTube of the live proceedings. Here is/was the agenda: https://www.crxevent.com/CRX2021_Schedule.html Here is the live YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCM-pwz9yoNIAuIyLs_BG5dw and from here you can access prior days (and last year's vids) Lots of very cool PET and related [otherwise] Commodore and Retro content posted to Discord; here is some of what has already occurred; people like Jim Drew, Chris Abbott, Radolfo Fernandez, Stefany Allaire, Chuck Hutchins, Chris Zimmerman and others. C64 Keycap campaign Complete tear down, cleaning, and rebuild of the Commodore Datasette Part 1 The Little Topic of Sound Chips Setting up a Raspberry Pi Amiga The processes of creation of the C256 Foenix C64 productivity software overview Stupid PET Tricks New Bitfixer products A Kernal ROMance What's new in the Ultimate world! Reconstructing Habitat’s world from backups PET history The Runic Commodore 64 Here is what is in store, starting in moments:
  19. His README suggests that, however there is a Gerber folder under 'Board' that appears to have a full set of files. (I'll probably get around to cloning the repo this weekend and see how much it costs... maybe I'll buy 5 must for fun). Anyone? Also, PCBway (hate to even mention the word) offer an Eagle -> Gerber single click convert utility built into their site (or used to). Haven't tried it.
  20. Ah, my mistake. I thought he was part of the design team, in the know, and quietly leaking that something was happening. nm
  21. Are you saying that X16p is “IN PRODUCTION”, meaning that a quantity are being produced for sale? If so, that’s great news!!
  22. Looking for 40 char PETSCII or IBM era 80 col color fare? If the latter, there are BBSes still online via telnet tunnel, some very impressive. If you are after some sweet CBM ASCII, I recorded two images awkwardly into a terminal emulator I developed 35 yrs ago and during the early days of the lockdown, I pulled them off am old Verbatim floppy. (lo-budget though... so low, it’s ‘lo’)
  23. In yet other parts of the world (Bournemouth, UK), fuel is unavailable with some petrol stations closed. Shortage of truck drivers as many are from Euro countries that left at Brexit or otherwise went home during Covid shutdown/slow downs. In some parts of the U.S., a shortage of school bus drivers are putting pressure on contracts causing rising costs. It’s going to be this way for a while longer.
  24. There is also the"Mystic Seer" Twilight Zone episode aka Nick of Time where Shat loses it in a luncheonette waiting for his car to be repaired. The Mystic Seer itself (see eBay for knock offs) is a combo napkin dispenser, fortune dispenser. "Will I go to space when I'm 90" ?! How about if they fill the Blue Origin capsule with all of his greatest hits and he can go around the horn for a full retro of his life's work? Forget about Tom Cruise beating Russia into space, Shat doing THAT would be entertainment !!
  25. Not sure if it will be broadcast live (if not, probably post event) but Stefany is giving a ‘class’ on how to create a rudimentary video controller on FPGA at VCF East on Friday Oct. 8th. As you may be aware, she owns C256 Foenix and her VICKY II and III components are built on Altera Cyclone 10 (and now IV) FPGA. I expect the class/talk to start with the basics (problem statement) of needing to take text or image in memory and manipulate clocking and data sync to fit the SVGA spec as Ben Eater’s Worlds Worst Video card did, but instead, leverage rocket fuel to take this to the next level. VICKY has all of the bells and whistles (sprites, tiles, scrolling, dual head output and more) but this talk will probably just cover basics. Should be interesting. Between some maniac (Ben) throwing graphics from ROM to screen without a CPU to the MiniPet, which uses an Atmel to emulate the CBM PET video circuitry, to SIDs and VICKY / VERA, it’s an amazing thing we are witnessing. About 15 years ago, the company I worked for bought FPGA tech to process and route virtualized namespace storage network packets at [then] line rates and it was expensive as hell. Today, you can buy an FPGA Dev board on Amazon for about $150 or less and produce your own!
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