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EMwhite

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Everything posted by EMwhite

  1. Ah yes, I remember that kbd. but figured it left the building when then case did (and apparently, the video??).
  2. What keyboard? Have they (or you) cobbled together different packaging options and costs? I know Halloween is coming to the U.S., but it’s been eerily quiet, if not spooky around here.
  3. When Steve Jobs Apple released the very first Bondi blue iMac in 1998 with NO floppy and NO serial ports (Apple never did Parallel), he was public enemy #1 : ) Companies like Keyspan jumped into the game and made USB to RS-422 dongles much in the same way that you can buy a USB to RS-232 cable today for talking between modern laptops and Arduino Uno sans USB. It took a while for printers, scanners (SCSI, yuk) and everything else to transition away from legacy protocols. Ben Eater in his recent vids dives a bit into USB and jokes about the sheer mass/length of the specification. The low level detail is fascinating and without his body of work and his access to a super expensive scope, USB would be more mysterious than it is. I find it quite funny that the Commander project found USB to be Kryptonite to Superman only to cave and [presumably] ONLY look to offer USB and no legacy connectivity, not even IEC Commodore Serial. I'm not sure if USB offers multi-host. OTG (on-da-go) allows something like a camera to be either (aka talk to a PC for xfer but then negotiate to be a host in order to 'print'). If that can be done quickly, perhaps multiple hosts can take turns when they have something to 'say' and address the other machines in a closed network. Anybody ever play nSNIPES on the earliest versions of Novell NetWare?
  4. Wow that spring action is madness. I built two MX based keyboards. One with cheap-o black based on Kevin’s BOM for the PET replacement keyboard and one with Brown which is nice enough but ho-hum. Will live a little next time and go with that recommendation, thanks.
  5. Popular Science mag advertised the Timex/Sinclair in kit form for $69, or $99 assembled. As a child, I could not afford either so never got any closer to one than seeing them lampooned on Commodore 64 commercials here in the states. But that guy and his vision and products were public enemy #1 to Jack and Commodore and many of the design and marketing choices were designed to chip away at Sinclair and drive him off the map. It didn’t work and thankfully, between the BBC Micro, and other legendary machines, many of us got our start on these or successor products, so in a way he is actually royalty.
  6. I know there are other threads about Cherry MX keyswitch types but speaking of the IBM, is there a 'color' switch that most closely resembles the classic? I remember the clang/click of the IBM keyboard and used to like it; I believe (but could be off) that they 3270 terminals had something like that and some keyclick audio tone to boot. That was college in the mid 80's for me; alot has happen since then so maybe I'm remembering it incorrectly.
  7. I went ahead and bought a C256/U Rev B. + the SID / Ethernet add-on. Despite the base having a Gideon SID built in, I'm a sucker for SID and will pry SIDs out of my unused SX-64 and 128 then code a multi-SID tracker using 3 'SIDS' as a first project. Took a very long time to get through the web site / options, Discord threads, Twitter feeds, and many (but not all) of her marathon videos dating back to the earlier products. Stefany is a one-person wrecking-ball with undeniable experience when it comes to HW design, knowing how to get fab done, sourcing parts, etc. She only cares about two things... everything Foenix ("being able to produce cool f'ing sh* that will inspire people") and being able to pay rent a distant 2nd. Commentary about not worrying about where she will be in x years is hilarious and she has a number of really talented people delivering incremental piece-parts code etc. Mostly, she seems to really have great instincts about what not-to-include and why not to go down a particular path, this sometimes paralizes group-think and design by committee efforts. Similar to @John Chow Seymour, I'm still watching what is going on here, but Foenix has already shipped and is going to ship the latest efforts in the next few weeks; it's just too appealing to pass up so if you haven't been there (understandably, it takes a fair amount of time/effort to read it all), have a look at the C256 or the A* if that platform appeals. Based on the experience I'll probably be signing up for the Gen X. also once it gets closer. The 68K and enough resources to code in C "for fun and for profit" will be very appealing down the line.
  8. Unsurprising that hardware assembly and distribution takes a bit more resources and effort than software distribution (stick label on diskette, fold box, add instruction manual, print label, tape box, run to meet mailman). Some of us are disappointed with the reality of this teenage-fantasy gone awry. Expectations of a $99 'computer' was a non-starter. Add the irresistible desire to build a rocket-ship, injected feature-creep, adding a set of spiral-bound manuals, branded/fancy-logo Pantone matched cuff links, tie clip, divot fixer, and an unforeseen time element and here we are. I just received a pile of circuit boards from PCBway for < $2 a piece, Z34 cases from Poland, and a pile of resistors, switches, displays and misc. components and now I will solder them together and give them away to friends. But it's a labor of love and one that is philanthropic intended for educational purposes, not for commercial gain or even to try to break-even. Adding up the time/shipping, real estate on my dining room table (my wife isn't happy with the last part) equates to a fair amount of effort and coordination; All I'm doing is building a bunch of Kim Uno units which is about 1/1,000th of what this project is trying to achieve. Of course (!!!) you need a place to house a thousand of anything or worse, supply chain management and coordination of 100,000 parts. ("oh crap, we ran out of #6 washers to attach the power supply IEC connector") If X16 was never a thing, and somebody did a kickstarter for something called the X8 which appeared Commodore'ish with more video and sound capabilities, they'd probably be able to sell 500-1000 units for $99 assuming it included a power supply, some amount of printed material and a simple case (add your own keyboard). But this is not that and there is too much distance between. If we could just take the 'blue pill' and wait for release, maybe the outcome would be satisfying but too many of us took the 'red pill' and it's hard to go back. Maybe I'll be wrong after all and this is an #APRILFOOLS gag but 6 months late. I'm still onboard to buy whatever they put in front of us and really don't think that there is a major difference between spending $400 and $500 (assuming a 25% uplift on some components). As always, "the technology is 'easy', delivering it is the difficulty".
  9. Awesome amount of detail. Thank you for taking the time. I too have an interest in electronic music but for me it’s a combination of 70’ Moog Modular and a vintage ‘76 mini plus some marginally new (80’s) Early MIDI so I’m onboard and maybe we can collaborate on something. What I’m challenged with is finding a way to place a preorder/order for the GenX so please share. As I mentioned in the other thread, I had a pool of a few hundred $$ that I’ve constantly been draining and adding to, reserved for the X16. At this point, I believe this platform will be a good one while we all wait to see “how is it going to end”, - Truman Show
  10. Not sure about arguing : ) more like we are overwhelmed with options, vaporware, and experts and the group that does the actual work and invested the actual money is stuck like my family is when we decide to go out for dinner (one person wants steak, one wants Veg, one wants Del Taco). If you don't mind me asking (about Foenix) what did you order/pre-order and why? (feel free to PM me instead if you desire). I've always been a 68K fan, still have my original Macintosh (yes, full spelling) and have a Mac 68030 aka "SE30" but never had the $$ for Amiga or ST in fact my Unix and C programing career started just after I said goodbye to the C64 (for a while). Is there a fair amount of software or grass roots OS layer and dev tools for an open 68K platform? Seems to me to be alot more for 65x02 but it's only because I've been paying attention to this space? I dunno.
  11. Site now says shipping Sept 2021 (now). Anybody in on it I’d have any thoughts / feedback / interest good or bad?
  12. Kickstarter is a non-starter : ) when your product is not yet viable aka, show-stopping issues left to be dealt with and/or cost undetermined, etc. To be successful, some amount of mastery of capabilities, cost-of-goods to manufacture, and unit price must be 'knowns'. A good guess at demand is the only variable. I'm not convinced that the crew here is at that point, but I speculate. When kickstarts blows up, people walk away, far away, disappointed. And at this point, it's not just a "let's make something cool and recoup our costs", it's "we've got so much invested AND want to deliver something awesome that we've been talking about for 2 yrs" so that makes it tricky. Robots was a one-man show and I'll guess that 8BG knows what his capabilities are since he had already published a few games..., had boxes and labels produced in the past, sure had some people kick-in music and whatnot but otherwise... different animal. I honestly thought we would see something 'official' in print by now, pictures, list of features, etc. Maybe we will all be surprised on Monday or maybe some other Monday months from now? Every month, I end up spending money on other distractions and I'm enjoying all of them. Hoping for greatness here, not just something that I play with for a month then set aside.
  13. Another opinion on form factor: anything as tiny as a Pi deserves to be velcro'd to the underside of a table... yes it can compute, but it's not a computer. Neither is a set of 32 FPGA / GPU modules loosely coupled into a 'mining rig' zip-tied to a bakers rack. [one] general rule is, anything that you cannot put a monitor on that is thrown around when the keyboard cable moves a few inches doesn't belong on a desktop; unless it's going to be an investment in a semi-custom case (they tried that already and it failed miserably), what's the diff?
  14. What's the ask, to cut and punch some flat panels? I've got a 48" box/pan brake, a heavy Roper Whitney punch (with plenty of diff punch/die sizes including rectangle), and a shear. If you don't need absolute precision, I can easily punch some prototype panels out of aluminum. I don't own a machine shop or anything, just an offshoot of taking Metal Shop in 6th grade (we all did back in the 70's) and wanting to have the capability to fab in my garage which I do from time to time. Otherwise, I've had a number of panels machined via FrontPanelExpress. Their Designer app is relatively easy to use and the output is very good.
  15. This thread has been a lot of fun. After a full week, responses are dying down somewhat but I wonder... are armchair engineer (me) pontification leading to anything aside from mild entertainment? Is the release of something imminent? Spending way to much $$ on eBay crap and would like to pay fwd, not back.
  16. He's been messing with PS/2 and USB in his last 3 or 4 videos. Pretty sure he will be able to solve this in 30 minutes or recommend a different, yet elegant approach. I wasn't joking when I suggested somebody get the guy that did the "C=key" on the line. It maps PS/2 to traditional Commodore style row/column scanning; in a worst case scenario, just get it over with using something that works even if it costs an additional $1.29 per unit.
  17. Is there an official or quasi-official place that details the various codename / product names that are being discussed here with a one-line description of what is at play. For the longest time, forum members have been asked to not talk or ask about release dates or push for features but it appears that the lid has been blown off now and the detail is overwhelming in both good and not-so-good ways. Between the original proposed list of products and those that I see that appear new, it's a dizzying array. Forgetting about specific capabilities, a simple list of ranked (least cost to furthest from release/assumed highest cost) would be helpful. I don't think I'm alone but maybe I am?
  18. As impressive as core memory of the day was, the actual CODE was 'hard coded' / hard wired bit by bit; Today we call it ROM but there was a block on Apollo that WAS the code that in 6502-land, we enter via hexadecimal and a keypad. Pure luxury. If you have 70 mins to be absolutely amazed, watch this presentation by a Robert Wills, Cisco Engineer that has been studying the flight computer, discusses the capabilities, what really happened during the Apollo 1201 and 1202 alarm codes. Then and only then, listen to the song linked below ("GO" by Public Service Broadcasting) with headphones LOUD. It helps if you know of and know the voice of Gene Kranz, Apollo flight controller, or may you've seen Ed Harris play this historic character in the Ron Howard / Tom Hanks 'Apollo 13' movie. I know I'm asking for alot : ) but if you are a fan of the U.S. Space Program or retro tech in general, this will kick your appreciation up a few notches. There's also a very good book on the Apollo flight computer that can be picked up on Amazon. It's NOT an easy read but nice to have on your shelf. Enjoy
  19. I just re-watched the Part 1 and Part 2 of 'my dream' and saw that $50 was one of the initial price point targets, or upwards of $100. Then later, David was talking about scope creep and showed a board design that looked nothing like the initial 'must haves'. I think he said $250-$300 at that point. So maybe $50 is a price that people will buy and just give up Starbucks for two weeks? I'll throw $100 at anything (or in a pot for the project principals to deliver what they stated, if that is the ask) but it will be a supreme bummer to have it be 'yet another' single board computer (no power supply, no manual, no case, no included keyboard, no compatibility with 9 pin joysticks or IEC peripherals etc). The next great thing was to be something that any hobbyist would be happy to dedicate the majority of their 'free' time to. Hopefully whatever they decide to do is a) available soon and b) allows something that harkens back to the past besides just Basic 2.0.
  20. It’s a nice ‘machine’. I bought two, one to keep for a rainy day. Be sure to watch all 3 of “8-bit Show and Tell” (Robin’s) YouTube videos. They (and it) are very good.
  21. Been trying to figure out how two major show-stopping technical problems (PS/2 kbd. and SD access) lead to as discussion on how it would be expensive to build a through-hole machine and suddenly X16 is out the window. The answer is probably buried in one of the hundred+ posts that landed in the last 24 hrs.; I'm not a facebook or twitter user for a reason; it's just too much. [redacted - keep comments helpful please] It is now clear that a "hurry up and sell something" approach that would leverage a case-less (probably documentation-less) kit and might throw lots of software and tool chain development out the window; definitely NOT what was sold to the many interested that have been following the project. Also, I already bought PETSCII Robots twice and while I like playing it with my 12 year old and do view it as a great piece of work, it's not exactly MacDraw/MacWrite that made the first Macintosh appealing. Grabbing a microwave popcorn and cracking open a 25 oz. Budweiser to see how this ends. I'm still interested, but less so. (I didn't see a way to express this view in the poll)
  22. Even Ben himself struggled with (or pretends to in order to make vids more dramatic w tasty teaching moments) timing diagrams and issues. Quadrupling the clock speed doesn’t lend to improved tolerance. Before architectures drastically changed in the 90s, wait states were necessary and while I’m no expert, it’s clear that some of this isn’t as simple as it looks on TV. Whomever is left should throw in the towel and just release a 2mhz version so people can get their grubby hands on something. OR slow down to snails pace during SD card IO and revert to a non PS/2 kbd. Wouldn’t be the first. Or off-board it to a C=key. I think the Vera working right (sounds like they already have this?) is the important part. In summary, take my f’ing money already,‘good enough is good enough’. We already lost that cry baby guy that left a month or two ago after making a stink in the retro forum, and now Christian has jumped.
  23. Maybe start your storage history here: 9-track tape; 20 Megs capacity
  24. ... but why did the home page graphic get pulled? It was hopeful and cheerful.
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