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Posts posted by xanthrou

  1. On 10/22/2022 at 11:59 PM, Kalvan said:

    Well, I'd say personally that it's missing Atari's POKEY, HARVEY, AMY*, and JERRY^, various Midway and Williams arcade sound boards, and various Ensoniq wavetable and PCM chips.


    *HARVEY is a speach syhthesis chip based on then licensed technology from General Instruments.  It was used in I, Robot, and the first motherboard versions of Marble Madness and Guantlet.  AMY was an additive synthesis chip using either 64 or 128 ocilators and a 16K control ROM, meant to be used in 8 or 16 channel, 8 operator mode.  It was never used, but there's a whole lot of documantation on how it worked on the Wayback Machine.

    ^JERRY was the sound chip of the Atari Jaguar.  It featured 16 channels of 12-bit (64x64) wavetable synthesis, 16 channels of 4 operator FM synthesis, and 4 channels of 8-bit PCM synthesis with a max sample rate of 48,000 KHz.

    And of course, Saturn's sound chip. 

  2. On 9/20/2022 at 9:10 PM, Strider said:

    The GPU space needs competition, and Intel one of the few companies more than capable of being a serious contender verses AMD and Nvidia.

    The Nvidia side of the GPU market just got a bit of a shake up with EVGA, probably the largest of Nvidia's board partners, announcing they will no longer partner with Nvidia, and are leaving the GPU space all together it would seem, at least for now. EVGA cited many of Nvidia's highly questionable treatment of their board partners and anti-consumer practices, claims supported by most industry insiders and other board partners. 

    Now would be a good time for Intel Arc to really push ahead while the rush is on to fill the void left by EVGA on Nvidia's side of the fence.

    In an nutshell, I will always support competition in the market. It forces innovation and helps keep prices in check, and both of those things are excellent for the consumer.

    I agree. I love Intel's design and I really hope they succeed. However, the drivers are terrible, Intel needn't and shouldn't rushed them. 😔   

  3. On 9/15/2022 at 7:47 PM, TomXP411 said:

    We don't actually know, yet. The assumption at the time was that he's going to launch some sort of crowdfunding campaign, but he could choose to just open up orders on his web site, https://www.the8bitguy.com/

    I'm also sure that you'll get plenty notice when the time comes. There will be an announcement on his YouTube channel, his Facebook presence, and here (of course.) 

    Like he did on Planet X, Attack of PETSCII Robots, so yeah. I think this is a tried-and-true method for mr. Murray, so it makes sense to me.

  4. On 6/18/2020 at 8:44 AM, Yuki said:

    Just noticed no one posted anything unrelated to retrocomputing yet so here you go...

    I admit it, the girl in my profile pic is obviously not me (...or is it?). Her name is Yuki and she's the heroine of a rather absurd webcomic I created called Horse Life 98.

    Maybe one day this will warrant an equally absurd adventure game using XCI, but for now, you can read her adventures on this website 🙂

    Hope you like 🙂

    The page is 404 now ;-;

  5. Here's more things I would do as a CEO: 

    For Amiga, I would make few changes:

    Amiga 1000, 2000 and 500 would be released as they did.

    I'll axe Amiga 600/300 and 500+ and instead go full-on on Amiga 1200/3000 (with two Paula chips) in 1990 and Amiga 1800/4000T in 1992.

    Like I said, I would axe the CDTV, CD32 and C64GS, although if CDTV must exist, then I make Commodore sell it as Amiga CDTV from the get-go based on Amiga 1200 (with the Akiko chip and some improved tech from Amiga 3000/4000, so all "CD32" games would still exist) as an advanced multimedia computer. 

    How to rub Jack Tramiel in the face? By making Atari ST programs and games run on Amiga perfectly via emulator and add-on card (via clean-room reverse engineering like VTech did with Apple //). (Business is war, Jack.) 

    Amiga PowerPC would exist under my vision and use something like Amiga OS4 and I'll strike a deal with Silicon Graphics Inc. to licence their 3D RealityEngine tech to the Amiga and Commodore would provide Amiga compatibility for the SGI workstations via an emulator. Amiga would skip x86 or IA-64 and go straight to ARM or RISC-V later on. 

    Amiga laptops? Of course.

    Amiga Walker would exist in 1994, and in 1996, there would be a hybrid of Amiga Multimedia Convergence Computer and A\box.

    Of course, I would license the Workbench to Sony for PlayStation 1 in a similar vein to PS2 Linux project. 

    For additional stuff outside Amiga:

    I would extend the Commodore 64's lifespan up until December 2004 (except in Japan, where it would still be produced up until to this day) and Plus/4 in 1994 and make the SID technology open for anyone to build upon (SidStation would be an official Commodore product). And I would licence the TED chip as a microcontroller to compete with Arduino, etc. with enhancements. The C64 DTV would be an an official product and just as hackable. Same goes for the C64 Mini (as C64 Classic) today.  

    PA-RISC Hombre chipset would be used in the Commodore arcade system alongside the AAA.

    C64 would be a success in Japan under my vision, because of built-in add-on ROM to enable kanji characters without sacrificing compatibility with Western C64s, (at least the NTSC ones, although later models would get a PAL/NTSC switch). 

    Commodore Web.it would still exist, but beige. 

    In addition for Plus/4 being meant for educational purposes, I would bundle it with GEOS from the get-go via REU GEOS cartridge. And later, the C64 too, with an YM2151.

    And provide a capable toy kids' computer (a la VTech Genius IQ 128) as a competitor to VTech's toy computers 

  6. On 9/5/2021 at 9:56 AM, xanthrou said:

    with unique specs such as Intel i980 and Motorola 88000 together, 512KB RAM, 512KB VRAM with 4096 colours at once (16.7 in later ones), a YM2610B+YM2151+ADPCM+DAC+Enhanced SID combo and support for CD format in addition to cartridges, as a Sega CD and Neo Geo CD competitor. Optional support for Roland MT-32 and SC-55, and maybe, just maybe LD-ROM with playback for PAL and NTSC discs. Motorola 68030 with 68882 and Zilog Z280 with Intel i8232.

    Remember those arcade specs? 

    They can also be used for Commodore to make their own UNIX workstation as a successor to Amiga UX.


    Just add a lot more RAM (32MB) and VRAM (4MB).

  7. On 2/10/2021 at 5:08 AM, Kalvan said:

    David Murray's Commander X16 is a perfect slice of computing counterfactual, the higher performance followup to the Commodore 64 the 128 should have been but sadly really wasn't.  The only things it would have been missing would have been if VERA had been fully backward compatible with VIC II and SID code and modes, and the Yamaha YM2151 was replaced by a YM3562, YM2412, or YM2203, since in OTL Yamaha refused to allow Tramiel to put the OPM in the Atari ST for love or money!

    But this is not what this thread is about.  We have a vast majority of fora on this site for this excellent piece of 8-bit computer engineering, and once it comes on sale, I plan to buy one, a VGA monitor, a pair of new Super Nintendo compatible game pads, some sort of LOGO, LISP, or Action interpreter/compiler, some sort of mouse (will the SNES mouse work with GEOS, or are we stuck with a PS/2 mouse?) and give the whole shooting match to my nephew for his 11th birthday.

    No, this thread is for those who wish to share their visions for the sort of computer plausibly from that era that they would have wished were produced, using, if possible, the same limitations that were imposed on the development of the Commander X16.  Specifically, that whenever possible, currently available hard silicon is used for the final product, and FPGAs are kept to a strict minimum.

    Because I'm starting this thread, I'll go first.

    I wish to turn the graphics concepts from the Atari Advanced Engineering Division and Atari Semiconductor Group into a tangible computing product.  Specifically, I would like to create a hypothetical ca-1987-1992 hardware revision with roughly 32 SILVER Object Generators (from the Rainbow Chipset) and 192 PENNY Sprite engines(from the Omni Chipset), using the HEATHER Display Adapter and VIVIAN Video MMU/DMA.  For the CPU, I plan to use a Microchip Technologies PIC32 (The MIPS R2000 was introduced in 1985, featuring roughly half the transistor count of the Motorola 68020 and Intel 80386 while breaking no new ground in transistor, gate, or switch design.  It was only expensive because it was rare.) clocked at an arbitrarily low speed.  I choose this chip because, while the Atari Advanced Engineering made every attempt to make the design CPU agnostic, it was quite clear that a 65xx architecture chip simply lacks the necessary register count to make efficient use of these chips.  The reason I'm not going with a Motorola 680X0 or 6809 derivative is that Freescale has ceased production of the 68000-based Coldfire and Dragonball microcontrollers, and Renaisis will only sell H8 series chips to existing legacy customers, insisting that new customers buy into their Super H and ARM-based lines.

    For the sound stack, I plan to use either a 65816 or a 65C265 microcontroller as a sound CPU, and for actual sound chips a QuadPOKEY (POKEYMax, with an ASIC version in the final production version), AMY, a Yamaha YM2414, and a Seta X1-010

    Essentially, this is the spec I would like to have:

    CPU: MIPS R3000+MIPS R3010 FPU, 21 MHz, Optional 30 MHz version
    System RAM: 1.5 MB, Expandable to 8 MB, or up to 2 GB via expansion cards
    GPU: HEATHER II (Display Controller/Video Data Selector) + VIVIAN (Video MMU/DMA) + x2 QUARTER (32 SILVER Object generators and 192 PENNY Sprite engines total) Capable of displaying a maximum of 65,536 Colors on screen AT 640X480 out of a master palette of 715,264, With a maximum resolution of 960x720 (256 colors). Optional Texas Instruments TMS32010 DSP+TMS32015 Video FPU
    VideoRAM: 1.5 MB, Expandable to 8 MB, or by video card
    Sound CPU: Western Design Center 65816 or 65C265
    Sound Chip: QuadPOKEY, Yamaha YM2414 (FM Synthesis Chip, 8 channels, 4 operators each, eight possible waveforms)+YM3014 DAC, AMY II (Sixteen Channels Additive Synthesis, Eight Operators Each), Seta X1-010
    O.S. BSD Kernel Based, C and BASH Shells, SNOW GUI

    I'm willing to compromise on the GUI.  Something more like Awesome, DWM, or Xnomad might work better.  And I don't know whether to adopt HEATHER's color encoding scheme (it's based off of the NTSC colorburst cycle) or stick with an RGB or Magenta-Yellow-Cyan method.

    The biggest question is whether or not all of this would fit in a DE Nano for prototyping, or whether I should wait for an FPGAArcade Replay Board2?

    Sorry for necroposting, but for an optional GPU, I would also add TMS34010 CPU/GPU for video.

    For extra sound, I'd also add a YM3812 to enhance the sound and Intel i8232 as a coprocessor to supplement the 65816 sound CPU.

    • Thanks 1
  8. On 5/25/2022 at 7:53 PM, kelli217 said:

    Sorry, oops. I seem to recall having read somewhere that the XP release was originally supposed to have been based on the Longhorn project and got scaled back to being a bunch of interface changes to Windows 2000, thus XP was 5.1 to W2K's 5.0. But my recollection is probably quite muddled at this point, 21 years or so down the road.


    It's fine. Beta-testing Windows OSes ain't exactly easy anyways.

  9. On 11/29/2021 at 9:06 AM, Scott Robison said:

    You should compare Attack of the PETSCII Robots for the C64 vs the C128 port. That extra 64K of RAM, dual monitor capability, MMU, and burst mode can all come together to make a great game. 

    In the interest of disclosure, I wrote the C128 specific code for that port.

    The reason companies didn't make games for the C128 wasn't because they couldn't make a better game. it was because they didn't want to spend more money for the customized version. No more no less.

    That's not to say they made the wrong decision. 15M C64 + 5M C128 means you can potentially sell to an audience of 20M with a C64 version. Investing more money in a C128 specific version "only" gives you an audience of about 25% of that size. So I don't necessarily blame them for making that decision, but the technology definitely existed to make better versions of games for those who were so inclined.

    Then you ported C128-specific graphics to the C64 via REU expansion. No hate though, as REU retro gaming gave the C64 much needed extra gaming horsepower, as evidenced by Sonic on C64.

  10. On 5/24/2022 at 5:53 PM, Scott Robison said:

    Did I write something about this? I don't understand the quote and response in context.

    My bad, accidentally quoted you.


    On 1/6/2022 at 12:31 AM, kelli217 said:

    ME was released when they thought that the big plans they had for XP (then 'Longhorn') would take too long to bring to market, and they needed a stopgap version. But then XP came out the very next year after they scrapped a lot of their more ambitious ideas.

    Then they proceeded to sell XP for six years while working on Vista.

    So I would never have made ME in the first place.

    Was supposed to be for him.  As I reiterate, XP was codenamed 'Whistler', Longhorn was for Vista, eventually at least. 

  11. On 1/6/2022 at 3:03 AM, Scott Robison said:

    I'll just go on record saying that ME wasn't as bad as people remember it. That does not mean it was great, but as someone else already said, Win98 Third Edition / service pack would have been a better idea.

    The biggest problem with ME was trying to be all things to all people. Trying to allow legacy drivers to still work in a new driver model I think was their biggest mistake. That led to more instability than anything. The problem was largely legacy drivers that didn't do things right, and their decision to allow it.

    Still, I'm sure they made money on ME. Maybe not much or any from business or upgrades, but a lot of computers wound up being sold that year with an ME license attached. It did what they wanted by keeping the cash flowing until they could get XP out the door.

    XP was codenamed 'Whistler' though, Longhorn was for Vista, eventually at least. 

  12. On 10/4/2020 at 7:01 AM, Perifractic said:

    Right, as I think David said, the only people who get nothing wrong are the people who do nothing.


    Whilst I can see the perspective of some people about some of the things, with nearly a million people having lost their lives from this terrible pandemic, abusing somebody because of an old metal screw is frankly preposterous. Some people need a reality check.



    And things get even worse as Russia starts an invasion on Ukraine, yet some people are still angry at David for a mistake that's repairable. 

    Yeah, some people do need reality check.

  13. On 10/6/2021 at 1:08 AM, ZeroByte said:

    The only portion of this music that is not currently supported is the PCM drum track. The way Sega Genesis PCM works is insane already (imagine VERA PCM but without a FIFO), and the way it's encoded in VGM is even more crazy to interpret and extract properly, so for now, pretend Sonic only gets drums whenever he's riding Yoshi. 😉

    I fully intend to clean this importer up to more useful standards for sharing it with the community. As it stands now, it's full of special cases, etc - but it can import lots of types of VGMs to X16. It exports into my own music stream format which is also still not quite finalized.

    More to come!

    The X16 does what Nintendon't, jokingly said.

  14. On 1/5/2022 at 11:05 PM, SlithyMatt said:

    They should have just called it another special edition of Win98 (which it was, under the hood), made it a free service pack for existing Win98 users, and saved all the marketing money and public embarrassment, then put out XP when it was ready.

    Perhaps 'Windows 98 Millennium Edition'.

    • Like 2
  15. I would honestly hesitate to remove real DOS mode, which has caused instabillity, as well as creating compatibility issues. 

    I would also bring the Watercolor (or Watercolour; specifically the 2419 one) and Mallard/Sample Test Visual Style from Whistler. In addition, it would be nice to add the firewall, Activity Center, Fast Boot and the login screen from Neptune, add some notification system from PocketPC 2000, plus having quite a few of Plus! features (95, Kids and 98) built-in, finalising with adding Flight Simulator (moreover: Space and Train Simulators too), the entire Microsoft Entertainment Pack and perhaps an exclusive game for Windows ME as preincluded games for the OS. Security from Windows 2000 is also important, so I would make sure that would be added.

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