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AndyMt

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Everything posted by AndyMt

  1. No worries, I totally got that from your first post. Thanks for that . This looks better than the mess I created last year . It tells me I'm not the only one having the urge to build something like this. Excellent question! I actually plan to develop software for the X16 - actually I already did (see the download section). Right now this is on hold until we get actual hardware. Then I will use it along with the emulator for the final testing phase for each of the projects. I won't develop the software on the X16 directly... well - actually I might in a sense, because I could include a Raspberry again und use a KVM switch to use that for development. I also use an old 4:3 LCD to connect the retro machines. This is retro enough for my taste. I'm very lucky to have a separate office room (which is my home office now), which also serves as my man-cave. So 2 desks, one for my day job, one for my tinkering. No worries - my wife has her own room. Yes, we are very lucky, I know. When the X16 board will be there I'll put it into a similar, slightly bigger case (to fit Micro-ATX). Then I want to teach my nephews the basics about computers. Because at least the older one now gets interested and wants to know how computers work. And it will be so nice to actually point to a CPU or RAM etc and explain what they do. You can actually follow the traces and kind of grasp what it means.
  2. I agree with this. It's probably not visible in it's current state, but the case is 2.5cm wider on each side than the keyboard and 2cm in the front. That's more than the Atari ST or the Commodore Amiga had. As for ofsetting... no, I'm too much of a fan of symmetry... The cursor key layout already adds enough visual asymmetry for my taste. Thanks . I tried with Balsa-wood and Polyester resin last year, but gave up, it was too much of a mess... Having the printer makes things so much easier. And stuff really fits together as planned.
  3. Never say never... but I have no experience with non-software commercial projects at all. Production, stock, logistics... let me put it this way: unless I find a partner taking care of this, this will be a one-off from my side. I for sure will put the design on Thingiverse - at least for non-commercial use. The parts are split so they fit on a 230x230mm print bed and with that the side pods have to be printed 45° diagonally. Without splits the largest piece would be 380x225mm (base plate). The overall size of the case is 395x240x65mm. You need to find a suitable ten-keyless keyboard to integrate. The stands I've modelled fit the Xtrify K4 keyboard which is available in a retro colour scheme. As this is my first big structure I've modeled and 3d printed probably there are better ways to split parts etc. I already know some awkward corners I want to fix first before publishing it.
  4. Hi everyone while waiting for the X16 to get real, I started to design my own computer case. I want it to resemble the keyboard or wedge-shape cases of the 80ies era. I owned a TI-994A and a Atari ST back then and I wanted to have something similar where I can put the X16 board in. As I just started with 3D printing I fired up Blender and started designing. After many, many hours of sketching, klicking, dragging and swearing I started printing the whole thing. Then I integrated a xtrify ten-keyless keyboard (which I want to lower a bit) and integrated a MISTER, Raspberry Pi (and a KVM Switch). This now gives me the full retro vibe - until the X16 will arrive... So this is how it looks now, what do you think? The frame around the keyboard is still missing, but I'll do that as soon as I have lowered the keyboard.
  5. I've now purchased a Xtrfy K4 TKL with retro colour scheme: I'll dismantle it and integrate it into a wedge shaped case (in the same grey colour, the filament I have is identical) which then will house my MISTER as well as a Raspberry (switchable). This should give me the full retro vibes until I'll get the X16p - which I plan to integrate into a very similar case. I'm modelling the case in Blender right now, I'll upload a preview as soon as it's presentable. I have to split it into at least 4 pieces, not sure how well that will look.
  6. For me the nice package with the M.2 solution was the reason to go with it. There's also an integrated fan, just in case passive cooling isn't enough. The solution with the UASP USB adapter also allows to connect the M.2 SSD to your PC/Mac in case you want to perform a backup etc. just by flipping it over: This is very convenient.
  7. The web based emulator has a white list for file extensions. The music files have to use the .BIN file extension, too. I think allowed is only .PRG and .BIN, maybe .SEQ, don't remember.
  8. That's what I actually do in Brixx, where I use tile mode. In Invaderz I use bitmap mode. But you are right - there I could also use the palette offsets (bitmap and sprites) which would mitigate the issue. So the background images could be in 16 colours, which would probably be fine - and the sprites in 16 colours, too .
  9. This won't work for music, the single sound tracks are too big, which would not leave enough room for the actual game and loading them in chunks would be very challenging without interrupting audio.
  10. For the games I've released so far (Brixx and Invaderz) for the X16 I would see the following impacts if I had limited them to the X8 specs: No music soundtracks. I use Deflemask to compose and to export VGM and then convert this to a similar condensed format. Without the YM2151 I would have to use a different tracker - which doesn't exist - at least not one usable on a PC. Also my friend who is the composer of the soundtracks won't use anything different than the Deflemask. Graphics need to be nerfed down to 16 colors instead of 256 for the title screens and background graphics (Invaderz). Which maybe would be ok for Brixx, but: for Invaderz that would mean that the background needs to share it's 16 colors with the sprites as well. That might leave around 4 colors for background, 4 colors for player sprite, 4 colors for enemies and 3 colors for explosions/phasers etc. (1 color is the black background color). It won't look nice. Actually I'd rather remove the scenic background images then. Probably less levels in both Brixx and Invaderz. At least there won't be more - which I had planned. The same for my jump & run platformer I had in development (halted atm). Bottom line for me is like this: Had the X16 specs been the X8 spec right from the beginning, the platform would have been less interesting for me and I would not develop for it now. Comparing the different X16 variants the X16e (FPGA) would only offer 512K of RAM and cannot be expanded (the others can). That's a limitation, yes - but it would be plenty of RAM for what is meaningful to do in most cases. Everything else is identical, software will run on all variants. Making the X8 mostly compatible with the X16 (VERA adressing, memor map, I/O adresses, ROM etc.) would leave it as a X16e with less RAM and VRAM... I'd suggest to just go for the X16e (FPGA) directly, to get some cash in. I'd buy one - and the kit version as well.
  11. I have one, too. Very impressed by it. I run my smart home setup on it. This machine is actually overpowered for this purpose, but I like how snappy everything is....
  12. It's also Shift+2 on a Swiss-German standard keyboard ...
  13. I know where you are coming from: I intentionally used the 320x240 pixel mode in my games - in order to get the chunky look. Brixx for example would have been easy to do in 640x480, but I didn't want to... If you want it even chunkier: design your sprites by using 2 pixels at a time... Yes, this will waste VRAM, but as you would also probably not use 256, but 4 colours instead, that should not be an issue...
  14. The K70 TKL variant was on my shortlist, but unfortunateley at the time it wasn't availabe in a Swiss-German layout. It's media keys have a much better feel as the G915 ones.
  15. My favorite right now is the Logitech G915 TKL (Tactile Switches): I never thought a keyboard could make such a great difference. But it does! I now sometimes look forward to typing on it... But of course the IBM Model M is unmatched...
  16. I tried to get box16 to run, but have failed to compile my own compatible rom.bin (don't get the toolchain to work on Windows, despite the instructions being pretty clear). I then used a rom.bin from an older R39 release I had lying around, but of course this doesn't work, too. Any ideas?
  17. Indeed - you are right, thanks for pointing this out. It would also mean we actually have much less memory available as there seems to be no way to access the other 8k (bank 1)? That makes me even less enthusiastic for the X8 now. I'd really prefer it to have the same memory layout and banking mechanism as the X16 and also it's same access mechanism to VERA.
  18. Yes, that might be the issue then. Oh well. All the more important to get actual hardware.
  19. Wait! Im confused - because I don't do this in my games and music works nevertheless. I write as fast as possible to the YM until there is a KEY_ON command - or I have to yield because of a delay. This then is synced with the vsync interrupt. So yes, for sure there is more than 144 CPU cycles between each KEY_ON command, but not between each write.
  20. I fully agree on this! The X8 then would be a X16 light... The effort to support both would be minimal. Actually all X8 software would run on the X16 unchanged - no recompile required. That should be the goal.
  21. That's a valid point. I personally would have been perfectly fine with the X8 specs in the first place. My issue with it is the incompatible memory layout and access to VERA compared to the X16. If the X8 could be made 1:1 compatible in regards to memory layout and VERA access - I would be tempted. That's a very valid point, too... Maybe going for phase 3 directly would be the best option. I mean the emulator already achieved some if this effect, but didn't result in a cash injection.
  22. If you stick to 320x240 in 256 colors - yes that's possible - but challenging. I've done it in Invaderz for the background graphics, which all use around 200 colors (the rest goes to the sprites of player and enemies). Thing is - in the emulator, loading the bitmaps takes almost no time. But it will be slower on real hardware, roughly 2 seconds per screen when loading from SD card. Using compression techniques might not mitigate this, as unpacking will use CPU time... Unpacked, each screen takes around 76kBytes of data.
  23. Yes - it definitely had an impact on my motivation already. Probably I'll regain it when the decision is made, let's see . I don't want to be too negative on the situation. I already learned a lot with the X16 emulator. Maybe developing for the X8 will be another fun journey. As I said earlier: if the VERA interface for the X8 will be made compatible with the X16, then I'll develop for both. Otherwise probably only for one of the two.
  24. I'm thinking about something similar for the mATX board:
  25. If the Phase 2 will be a thing, then I'm thinking about this one: https://myretrocomputer.com/product/my64/ I really want to have the X16 inside a all-in-one wedge keyboard. For Phase 1 I'll probably have to design my own case...
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