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Everything posted by EMwhite

  1. Just watched the Fuzix video. It’s no joke. As a Unix SA for 10 years (before it became commoditized), this appears to have the looks of being complete from a user point of view. I hoped to see vi exercise the curses package but it didn’t get that far. The GeckOS demo I saw showed multi user, pushing processes into the bg, inter process communication etc but due to extreme memory constraints, couldn’t even produce a proper ps -ef. Heavily limited by screen real estate, I’d have to think that the availability of > 256k, SD card based virtual disk, and quicker clock speed can make this fun to noodle with (and ADVENT) on the Commander Platform.
  2. GeckOS looks(ed) interesting but struggles due to limited ram of the 64 (feels weird typing that) Could be great if an X16 port leveraged bank switching.
  3. Some of my favorites: 6502 Assembly Language Programming by Lance A Leventhal Inside the Commodore 64 by Milton Bathurst Allied's Electronics Data Handbook (2nd printing 1956) The C Programming Language by K&R (first edition) Digital Computer Electronics by Paul Malvino Compute's First Book of Machine Language Mapping the Commodore 64
  4. Oh yes. Understood. I was proposing kind individuals buy a full system state-side, pull and pack the board and ship to somebody in need (in UK or other Europe) as 'parts' or 'components'. Then at a later date, attach a handle to the case, make believe it's a stylish European briefcase, and bring it onboard as carry-on during next business trip to deliver the rest.
  5. I'm going to have to break-out my Apple Newton MessagePad from 1993. I don't have any other devices with Gopher clients : (
  6. I've dealt with modular analog synth makers in Germany, Portugal, and the UK for many years and if you want 'it' that bad, you have to pay the piper (shippers, settling Vat issues and tariffs not to mention PayPal and currency conversion costs). Every party along the way uplifts and often you spend +25% or more just to acquire a product. BUT, somebody will probably unofficially work out a way to ship a partial/kit board as a favor without the fancy case, etc. I wouldn't call it a deliberate attempt to skirt tax authorities, just a friend helping out a friend on a one or two-off basis. AT cases can be had locally for cheap, then on the next business trip to London (as an example), drag it onto the plane as a fancy piece of futuristic carry-on luggage (it will have detachable wheels and a strap?)
  7. Somewhere in a closet around here I have a notebook sized Epson LCD screen'd machine with a full mechanical keyboard (and I think a thermal printout) but it's probably not worth digging out because I've seen the two extremes already posted in this thread. Amstrad being one. But the other... oh my... I remember two things about the Coleco Adam; a good friend had one. 1. It played Donkey Kong 2. It had a Daisy Wheel printer. The winner (loser) has to be the company that invested so much $$, engineering, and licensing into a full end-to-end line of support (as demonstrated by the collector I that video) only to fail so miserably. I'm both shocked and amazed to see the other 128 things that Coleco Adam had and did. Thank you for posting that and bringing back the memories.
  8. This thread has been around for a while but I just now read it end-to-end. I had an account on bnl.gov (Brookhaven National Lab) hen I was. teenager (a friend of a friend's Dad was a physicist on site and gave me a Unix account). I was 16, he was crazy to have done it. I'd get fired at my current company for 1/10th of that act. One of my favorite motd's was "Beware of programmers with screwdrivers". I used this as part of my signature when I was on Panix in NYC in the 90s. It directly applies to David, I think. Once you get to even 100 subscribers, one of them is going to object to something that you say or do. Adrian from '*basement' often says "if you didn't like this, you know what to do..." and many others say "I know, I know, before I get dozens of commenters say xy-zed...". My view (I'm old enough to live in an active-adult community so...) is that David is an uber-talented SW developer and has a passion for history, curating 8-bit everything, developing content... but (here it comes), hardware is not his thing. I've seen him solder, use a dremel, etc. HW is just not his thing and I'm literally laughing as I type this. But he gives so much to the community that he's bound to have a misstep. With full disclosure, I did not watch the video in question or the response (I don't have that much time left so have to pick/choose how I spend my time). : )
  9. I am a Mac and, yes via Vice so your explanation makes sense, thank you. I chose Brown switches just based on what I read. Pretty happy, I suppose. My only experience with Cherry was the set of Blacks I bought while building up a TexElec Pet keyboard for which I used flat, china-made crap [flat] keycaps. It's about as horrible as the four or five Mac devices that I have with keyboard efforts that are downright embarrassing. At some point, laptop makers striving for thinness and style-istas took over the world. $210 is too much for this keyboard but having the Petscii keys represented make it worth it. Thank you for the reply.
  10. I'm have a issue with mine... does anybody with one of these have an intermittent issue inadvertantly getting the Petscii '+' graphic symbol (normally on the tic key of this keyboard normally or on the original pet squad bracket key) when typing quickly within VICE x64 on this keyboard? Also, while I have you, in what circumstances does the 2nd LED (non-caps lock) illuminate. Is there a magic scroll lock combination? I would have thought that the 40/80 Display key, since it's non-locking, would be this key but on mine, it is not. Finally curiosity for Tom, which Cherry switches did you choose and how do you like them? Thanks.
  11. @TomXP411 what version of Ultrix are you running or are you a VMS?
  12. This reasonably sized lcd has 'all' the inputs and a pretty good review by Chris Torrence (Apple ][ guy). Might be suitable for the "> 10" but not huge" use case. See here: Here is the link to ReActive Micro: https://www.reactivemicro.com/product/reactivemicro-12-lcd-display/
  13. In one video the person running the demo changed the cursor/text color but the poke for background color immediately was forced back to black. Probably a ROM revision to keep the would-be student from ending up with a combination of text and background that doesn't play well on green monochrome. Or protection from reverse burn-in. I don't see an internal speaker on any pictures and don't see wiring for an external speaker (so it would either require the video/audio I/O DIN; five pin midi type or nothing). I did see Space Taxi running in a pic and the color showed up as reasonable grey (green) scale, so something resembling color
  14. Check out this eBay listing (or just the single pic below) of a 4064. Commodore dared to pair a C64 with a monochrome screen in PET packaging for non-U.S. markets. Maybe there are many of these in the wild in the same way that there are C16s all over Hungary or maybe I'm just not paying attention and am the last to know. On one hand this is impressive; on the other, crazy. Does anybody know, did they strip the C64 of the SID and VIC-II or is it just the RF Modulator that is missing?
  15. A few thought on OS vs. living from a Basic command interpreter: If a modern-ish GEOS style can be optionally banked in/enabled for those that really want that [not me], than both camps will be satisfied (one that wants a contiguous memory map without banking business and one that is willing to manage RAM and forfeit some always in ROM code/OS). I'm nowhere near well-read/informed when it comes to how MMU type functions will manage the banking of the memory north of the 64K boundary; Maybe the team here has already worked that out or maybe it's roll your own e.g. plug a number into a single memory location to determine which bank of 8 or 16k overlay a portion of the contiguous 'main' memory. But as a recent Apple II convert, I'm struck by the difference of environments, capabilities, product ecosystem, longevity, and market value of Apple products. Built in monitor that Commodore for some reason dropped after the PET is awesome Zero disk capabilities without booting into "DOS" is nuts. Makes you really respect the afterthought of a command channel to IEC serial devices Applesoft Basic with plenty of extensions for graphics and what not, mixed mode screens, etc. but nothing other than sluggish bit mapped graphics with PET style 'sound' and fake color = madness But on the other hand, I bought an Apple II+ with a language card, drive, Disk ][ drive, Epson printer interface for less than I can buy a C64 with a broken keyboard. Since picked up an 80 col card and a SuperSerial adapter. My Commodore 128 (mounted to the wall in my STEM Lab as me and our 11 yr old call it) had sprite editor and a bunch of other tricks that I never even bothered to use. So in short, do include the xtra niceties of some extended Basic commands and disk utilities, a ML monitor and an image, char set, and tile editor if that could be omnipresent and allow a rom banking (probably too late) for fancIER GEOS. Would love to see the MVP, EPICs, and jump in on your Sprint planning PBR and demo sessions; because scope creep coming from guys like me must be fun, considering : ) Everything else is awesome. Looks like the machine is ticking all the boxes ... but please hurry : )
  16. Odd that whomever wrote the code/doc chose to buck the convention set by Commodore code and go with printable ASCII characters only to reach into the awkward range of special symbols; '?' is an especially bizarre choice (my coloured opinion, only). Would a 'DOS"P"+CHR( {channel} + 48) + CHR$ ( {low byte} ) + CHR$ ( {high byte} ) + CHR$ ( {higher-order-byte} ) + CHR$ ( {highest-order-byte} ) work? Interesting that as high as 32 bits can be expressed (4GB max file seek is potentially possible. Maybe dump the entire Encyclopedia Brittanica into a single file and allow an 8 bit Commander app to provide a browse/search, just as the early 90s IBM PC CD-ROM titles did. That was amazing !!
  17. VICE implemented it just fine... why not just reuse or is there a thorny licensing issue that does not seem to bother the VICE crowd but is an issue here? (made more challenging still because nobody knows what it is : ) Did the x64 developers actually start with nil and build up the entire legacy Commodore drive DOS but skip REL and USR portion of the code? Jim Butterfield (RIP) would be most disappointed. My BBS User and Message manager can be rewritten but the catalog of TPUG PET Recipe and VHS cataloging programs have now died their 2nd death : (
  18. It's a random access construct (drive seeking) for fixed length 'records' with variable data held within with zero overhead required by the Commodore deivce. With one command (via a 15 command channel), you can instantiate file of [as example] 192 characters per record; once created, you can open and close a file via simple open command without describing the structure; then via command channel, seek to any 'record' between 1 and 65535 with an offset in the record from 1st to 192nd character. Each record can have a varied structure (like a MongoDB document) and once open and positioned, you use typical "input #2,a$,b$" in order to read data. Again, zero overhead to the computer, all done within the 1541 (as example) drive. Anybody know?
  19. Does/will X16 support REL files; assumed that the hardware will be happy to allow pushing 15 command channel commands to an IEC device, but does the emulator support it today and will the hardware support the emulation of code on an SD image? I dusted off an old program I wrote in the 80s and have been enhancing it under VICE x64. Wondering if I should bother to continue; I read somewhere (here) that SEQ support was added specifically. Thanks all
  20. Can you provide a snippet of code, just so we can marvel at how complex it is. It doesn't have to work by itself, just curious to see it (I too had a PostScript book in the 90s and recall 'throwing' code at our AppleLaser printer, but nothing like this!). Well done!
  21. Ah, Spy Hunter, forgot about that game...switch weapon... could very well be. I've got a few Mame type machines and joysticks are a touchy subject. On a bastardized Atari Millipedes machine that I have (w/60:1 board), I installed a 4-way PacMan style stick only to find out that one of my favorite old 8-bit arcade games (Scramble) required two fire buttons and an 8-way stick. Meanwhile, games like Crazy Climber, Robotron 2084 (both dual stick type games) require very different feel in order to mimic authentic gameplay and best chance at dominance! Again, the EPYX stick if you can find it is great for the sport type suites or impossible mission but definitely look into attaching a gamepad if you want a good general controller for Mario style games.
  22. That's a tough one as it comes down to a) preference then b) availability. I have 3 and they are all vintage. One is a Suncom TAC-2 that I had since I was a kid which I wired a 2nd button into it (2nd joystick port for a game that I suppose I really liked at the time and can no longer remember; One is the Epyx 500XJ which is ideal for Summer/WInter games (track and field) type fast movement, very short throw and leaf switches, I believe. One is the terrible Commodore T-1341 which has DIN connectors and was made specifically for the Plus/4 Commodore 16 machines. I bought the latter two off eBay w/orig boxes; one was near new, the other dirty and nasty. If you want a modern gaming experience, maybe try that SNES interface that was mentioned here and on the Petscii Robots Facebook group. I don't know anything about it other than what I've read but that will open up options for gamepad type controllers. You'll need native support via a userport type interface to gain access to all of the buttons/switches which you will not be able to easily support in games that you don't have source for, however but as you are talking about vintage games, this might be a good option. One other option, is to buy modern joysticks parts from x-Arcade and wire your own to a DB-9. These are simple switches based units so very easy to work with.
  23. Thanks all. Do you recall how much it consumed (8K I suppose?). Not interested in any circle/line draw nonsense : ) Just wary of being able to fit and test/debug my code while that cart is in mem. I've seen so many ultimate/final/super/dooper etc. will look for that one specifically. Re: X16, the funny part is that after losing about 2 hrs of typing in VICE when it crashed after an audio issue, I started in with r37 only to become overwhelmed with fear that the SYS calls would send me on a wild goose chase until I reacquainted myself with my own [damn] code. BBS's aren't in demand in 2021 but for me it's been quite a ride, typing it in. 1st, being impressed with complex string manipulation that I was able to pull off back then, the way that I implemented a data-bus (retaining x # of messages with recoverability in rotating fashion), preserving state information for system and users in case of power-outage and other matters. Also that I somehow backed into sharing of data between BASIC variables and 6502 code without any way to research. But then there is the part where I was completely disorganized having only taken Pascal in high school and no advanced dev classes yet, spelled "aloud" versus "allowed" in text, and had so much trivial nonsense in the BBS's menus (thinking it would actually be tolerable or interesting to callers; it wasn't, they just wanted to head to the D>ownloads section since I ran @ 1200 baud and support 'new' Punter). Will see how far this gets... But just for fun, here is a remnant; the first two pages of the 7 page doc that I wrote (for some reason). The user agreement is pretty funny (written when I was 18 yrs old).
  24. It's quite appropriate that I spend much of my free time messing with 8 bit gear because my memory is failing constantly and limited to 64K. Can somebody remind me of the options for the Commodore 64, pertaining to a BASIC extension utility to do line renumbering, possibly a search (and or search/replace if such a thing ever existed), and maybe a built in wedge. I finished (last evening) typing in 700+ lines of BASIC from a program I wrote in 1986 and found several places where I ended up running line numbers into single digits. Have numerous SYS and even some USR calls, and just plain need help. Next, I'll try and reverse the 8K of assembly that I wrote, armed only with my documentation and no source, I need to back into what the routine does based on how my BASIC code called it and interpreted the results. Stretch goal... are there any utilities out there that allow up/down scrolling similar to how a machine language monitor allows you to scroll up/down? (taller order for interpretive BASIC). Preferably, looking for something that is either fully relocatable (uses all relative addressing) or is happy to sit in the cartridge memory space. Really though, renumber is they key thing that I'm after.
  25. On the subject of screen blanking and performance, recall that even the VIC/VIC-II based CBM machines run quicker with screen blanked. Ben Eater could have 'easily' squeezed more perf out of that circuit by adding ICs and [wince] more wiring but it could be, it would have been too much for a breadboard without a full redesign. The '8-bit computer' series was modular from the get-go and based on the Malvino/Brown book so that modularity was always in the plan. I too wanted to see him implement a few 6502 asm routines, a mini kernel of sorts, to do line draw, circles, etc. He still may but the fact that he just published the 'breadboard tips' video hints that he may have considered the video-card chapter closed and moved on to other things. Doubt he considers himself a YouTube star, content with ad revenue and niche' fame. Rather, he has a passion for teaching and probably has a day job. His Patreon supporters (I'm one) probably contribute to a nice boost per video but producing these have to take a considerable amount of time/effort and there are only so many hrs. in the day. I like being wrong so welcome the next round of awesomeness, it's been an inspiring body of work so far and yes, 'worst audio' will probably be enjoyable but will enter the world of analog circuits unless he simply interfaces a Yamaha IC or something similar which will be pretty far from 'worst'. Modern vortrax would be fun also.
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