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TributaryHouse last won the day on September 30 2020

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  1. Hi. Forgive my manner, having seen the Arduino and RPi forums, I'm reluctant - they're just mean! Anyways, my age is 37-38. Older I get, the more I measure in decades. Might seem weird to someone in their 50's but you see, I've spent a number of years studying Philosophy and History (even got the snooty credentials) so I've developed a 4000 year perspective to most things. It's kinda messed up stuff. I also spent some time in the service, and most of my bread has come from industrial trades - construction, cabinetmaking, machining. I "own" my company Tributary House Ltd. The quotes are because I pay the LLC fees, and have made about $300 in five years... I am not a businessman. I also "own" my research lab - MERLInc - wherein I tinker and think about all the neat stuff that was supposed to have become commonplace by the year 2000. Remember that feeling? When Fusion energy was only 50 years away - and still is? Had a patent once, I learned the hard way that nobodies don't get phone-calls returned. Patent expired. Anyways, I got sucked into the likes of 8 bit guy, LGR, Tech-Connect, etc... and the nostalgia mixed with the sad (I am disappointed with how we've gone - but that's another rant). I got my start in GW BASIC on a 386 Epson Equity II+, with DOS 3.2 in sixth grade. Moved on to QBASIC and ended up making a LORD clone in QB45 before life did what life does - that was in '96 or so. One summer semester, about four years ago, I took C++ and it was horrid. In many ways, I miss DOS. I did not know there was any such thing as a Commodore 64 until that YouTube video "Gates v Jobs" came out. I thought the 8086 processor was the first from Bell Labs for years - and before life went all sideways, I visited the last of the BBS's on my HP 150 touchscreen (running windows 1.0 and PAM!) - before playing Castle of the Winds on my Tandy (something or other) running windows 3.2 - my Highschool had thrown out that Tandy, so I major scored. I do not come from a world conducive to childhood programmers. One forgets a great deal of BASIC in 20+ years, but I still remember what a good day it was when I learned what GOSUB could do, and it was cause for celebration when I first OPEN "filename" for INPUT as #1.... (or something like that) - because now I could make player stats for my LORD clone . My purpose on the forum is primarily because David's review of the Maximite 2 Color showed me a BASIC run microcontroller. Sure, I can use ArduinoIDE to flash my 3D printer, and if I really sat down to do it, I'm certain I could make Python make my RPi do stuff, but C++ and Python just... I don't enjoy them. My other purpose on the forum is more ethereal. I've had to explain to one of the little ones (who is turning 13 soon) that after school ends, making friends and finding people only gets harder. I have an R&D laboratory, a Master's Degree, and basically nobody to tinker with me, or to bounce ideas. - How about a GPS including topo-maps, but use an electrophorescent display, with a resistive overlay for outdoor use?!!? - stuff like that. I ask the pertinent questions about stuff like that in Arduino or RPi forums, and frankly, they get mad. It's a real thing - the rudeness to the noobs. I don't even bother asking them anymore because it's so off-putting. It's all Wiki products now. You guys seem much nicer - possibly because 8-Bit computing has no practical-ambitious dimension, and you all seem to understand why I fondly remember learning GOSUB... That, and I imagine you guys would understand if I said "Good software is designed to run well on a 286 - then you give it an i5 and watch it fly..." Anyways, I hope the X16 flies - that I can afford one, and that maybe I can make some friends who would be willing to entertain and even try crazy ideas. Afterall, you're all here to build David's "Dream Computer" which is, aside from a little weird, pretty cool friendship in my mind. Sorry to be weird. When in doubt, honesty is the only fallback. I hope I haven't broken any server rules!
  2. My two cents isn't worth a hay penny, but I relate enough to reply. I'm nearly 38, have an MA with extensive industrial trades, I'm studying Criminal Justice (graduate level) and I just dropped too much money on machine tools (I'm a former machinist). Reliable income is simply not part of the world I live in, so I adapt. If you're really looking to program something that makes something (as-in quit your dayjob) - either go with 4D minecraft and sell it to Google or: Provide the answer to Fusion 360's recent totally-foreseeable-decision - that embittered a great deal of their possible customer base (but not likely their market share). A full-suite integrated CAD-CAM with a decent interface (Repetier meets Sketchup on steroids) - that isn't riddled with the dirty tricks that huge companies play (seriously, MBA's, what is up with the $1000.00 subscription business model? Profitable until someone does something clever... that someone could be you ) Ultimately, as I said, unless a person can afford a recurrent - and rather exorbitant - fee, there is simply no decent OFFLINE STAND-ALONE CAD-CAM utilities. Even Autodesk leaves much to be desired. I could build a psychotically awesome CNC, but I can't program a program to program it - and my soldering is terrible. Machinists with an MA in History don't have many tinkering friends to involve in schemes... Anyways, there is a real gap in CAD-CAM that is obvious, and not being well addressed - convoluted work-flow and rather jerky business models by the two companies that dominate. And if that doesn't get you giggly, there's always LCARS32x - which really needs some project management, and needs to ditch the Windows Shell idea and just pull the trigger on the 24th century already - and run it all on an EEPROM Anyways, I know I'm late and off topic, but related somewhat to your post, so I posted.
  3. Something about a tile based tank game - and some PETSCII robots come to mind - almost seems mandatory to be honest. Actually though, I wanted to throw out that using it as a microcontroller is really attractive. I started in GW basic, then Q, and ended in QB45 before having a bad summer with C++ once - and other than making a LORD clone in QB45 (twenty years ago), I was never really able to get to the real goodies - making BASIC DO stuff. Blink a light, move a stepper, read a thermistor... My point is, while it appears that is easily done with simple BASIC commands (vis. David's review of the Maximite Color, moving a floppy read-head), a more refined GUI-ish utility that sneaks in teaching the appropriate commands for digital/analog I/O - perhaps with sparkfun type parts callouts... That's the secret ingredient to the Pi and Arduino - they DO things. Forgive my ignorance - life took me away from the boyish hobbies - but I didn't see GPIO, but one of the expansion slots or that pin-header is where it's at no? Anyways, might consider such a utility to ship with the gizmo - doesn't need components, just a shallower learning curve program to make the X16 hardware-interactive. Considering how fast David's coding is, I doubt it would be too much of a stretch. Don't be mad at me, it's just a feature that would make me question my budget when this thing is actually for sale :)
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