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Jestin

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Everything posted by Jestin

  1. Wow. This is very noble of you, and I for one am grateful that this community has someone like you in it. It's impressive that you can will projects like the Commander X16 into existence fueled on enthusiasm alone. That said, I was also hoping you would be making a reasonable amount of profit for your efforts. Frankly, you deserve it, but there's another reason as well. Not to get into a macro-economical debate, but one of the benefits of capitalism is that it's supposed to put resources into the hands of those who have proven to best utilize them. You, sir, are one of those people. I feel the retro community would be better off with a wealthier 8-bit Guy who has more resources and more financial motivation to continue taking on inspiring projects.
  2. Thank you, @Perifractic,for this update and clarification. Posts like this give us all insight into just how difficult it is to bring a new product to market, and how much effort and thought the Commander X16 team has already put into the project. I think I speak for everyone in this forum when I say that we appreciate your contributions.
  3. For me, the Commander X16 has always been about education. You can look at it and see how it works. The parts are not abstract concepts implemented inside an FPGA. They are physical chips with datasheets connected by higher level block and circuit diagrams. I want the Commander X16 to be my 6 year old daughter's first computer. I've never given her a tablet or a video game console. I want her to understand what a computer is. I want her to see a computer with all its parts exposed. A kit will give her this. An FPGA will not.
  4. Welcome! You sound similar to myself, in terms of experience. I too, was too young to be involved with C64s and other 8-bit machines, and have always felt like there's several layers of abstraction between the coding I've done and the actual hardware. If you don't mind me asking, where is the "Land of Chocolate". Sounds like a nice vacation idea.
  5. Nice work! I spent the last 30 minutes "just seeing what this looks like". Nothing speaks better of a game than people getting sucked into playing it without intending to.
  6. Does anyone know when all the buttons on the SNES controller are supported? Looking at the documentation and the ROM code, I get conflicting information. First, there's the documentation for the JOY BASIC command. It tells me that only a single byte is returned as a bitmask for the pressed buttons. Since the SNES controller has 12 buttons, it appears that X, A, R, and L are unsupported. However, if I look at the ROM code, I find this documentation on the joystick_get subroutine which is used by the JOY BASIC command: This says that the A, X, L, and R buttons are returned, just in a second byte returned in the X register. A quick test with the emulator shows that you can call joystick_get directly and receive the additional buttons in the X register, so I know for a fact the full controller is supported from assembly. However, with even more investigation, I see that the joystick_from_ps2 kernal subroutine has no support whatsoever for the A, X, L, and R buttons of the SNES controller. It appears that if using a keyboard as a joystick, no buttons map to the additional buttons of the SNES controller. So far, my conclusions are: the full SNES controller is supported from assembly using the joystick_get kernal routine the X, A, L, and R buttons are not supported by BASIC's JOY command the X, A, L, and R buttons are not supported when using a keyboard as a joystick Can anyone here confirm or contradict these conclusions? Sorry for continuing an old thread, but I thought this might be appropriate here for anyone searching the site about joysticks and gamepads.
  7. Jestin

    Woz

    I think Wikipedia has a photo of that (look at the background): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bil_Herd#/media/File:Bil_Herd.jpg
  8. I recommend this approach, especially if you ever plan on developing with others. Choose whichever editor you like (I use vim, so am obviously deeply offended by the mention of emacs here), but keeping the building separate from your editor is the key to working well with others. Makefiles are tried and true, and you can find editor plugins to run them for you, if that's what you want. This way you can switch out your editor easily if it doesn't suit you, but your build system remains the same.
  9. Both videos are great! I'm looking forward to the follow up CC65 videos. I've been learning 6502 by doing a project with acme, but I feel like I'm outgrowing it. Meanwhile, cc65 (or really ca65) feels very intimidating since I've never defined segments before. With acme, I just have a big `main.asm` where I import other files in the order I want them assembled. It's very peasant-level, but it's been working so far. I'd love to hear you explain how you structure your binaries, rather than just trying to divine it by looking at the XCI engine source code. Keep up the great work!
  10. Welcome! I don't think you'll find anyone here who will laugh at a MiniPet laptop. You will, however, find people asking for photos and details when it's done!
  11. This more or less sums up my real reason for being here. I want my kids to learn to code, and as stated previously, kids NEED graphics to get them interested. Meanwhile, the reason modern languages need the layers of dependencies and libraries is because the operating system and hardware have gotten so complicated. Placing a pixel on a screen isn't actually a thing that is allowed. Instead, you need to use a graphics library in conjunction with a windowing toolkit that runs on your window system which calls the OS to communicate with the graphics hardware's pipeline to put that pixel on the screen. It's really not the fault of modern languages; the computer is too complicated. When teaching kids graphics on a modern computer, you have to just hand wave a mountain of boilerplate code and ask them to just trust you that it is needed. You can't provide them with an explanation why it's needed because the explanation is simply too much for a beginner to take in. I'm probably among some of the younger members of this forum (got my first computer in 1997, running Windows 3.1), and I dealt with a lot of this hand waving. It was extremely frustrating, and I don't want my kids to deal with it. I'd like to show them how to put a pixel on the screen, and when they ask how it works, I want to be able to explain it in less than a minute. The Commander X16 will give me that, whereas a modern computers won't...no matter which language I use.
  12. @SerErris I had the same sticker shock. Since @Perifractic has stated that only a small amount goes to the the x16 team, it makes me question whether I will bother with this keyboard at all. Ideally, I'd prefer a set of keycaps that I can put on the keyboard of my choosing. I own several mechanical keyboards, but only one has hit even the $100 mark. Unless this keyboard is really something special, I'd feel like I'm paying $200 for a set of keycaps.
    I was just googling the z-machine file format standard when I stopped and thought "maybe I'm not the first person to think of this". Super excited to see this already here!
  13. The first is what's really required to do the second. Other than gVim, vim can only specify codes for terminal colors, so your palette within vim is completely dependent on the terminal it's running in. There are some vim plugins out there (mostly syntax highlighters that attempt to do the same thing with CSS hex codes) that do a best guess approximation for the terminal. When looking into it a few weeks ago, this seemed like the best option. I just haven't had the time to dive into it yet.
  14. It was a fun exercise. If I have time, I'd like to expand it in two ways: Add code to do a "best guess" approximation of colors from the palette. Right now it's just my own fiddling with terminal colors Add a command to set the colors from one of XCI's palette files Full link: https://github.com/jestin/vim-xci
  15. Hello, from just north of you in Everett! Feels like there's a lot of Seattle area people interested in the Commander X16. Maybe someday when the hardware is out, and the pandemic has eased up, we can all meet up!
  16. Welcome! I'm just north of you, in Everett. Glad to hear of local people being interested in this project.
  17. Yeah, no joke. I've been following and even submitting PRs for the docs and emulator projects as well, and it seems like he's running all of them. I'd love to help out however I can, but I'm not audacious enough to ask for maintainer permissions. I'd also hate to steal his attention away from the ROM and the emulator. I may see about merging the outstanding PRs into my own fork of the project, just so there exists a working fork of the demos out on github.
  18. Yep. This tripped me up a lot when I started trying to learn layers, especially since I was starting after r34 where the change was made. I've had a PR sitting out there to update the basic layer demo since February, but it hasn't moved and likely needs to be updated as of VERA 0.9. Does anyone know who maintains the demo project? The pulse has pretty much been dead all year, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who references this project for learning purposes.
  19. This is actually what I find the most exiting about a project such as the Commander X16. What would devs have come up with in the 8-bit era had memory restrictions not been an issue? I'm curious to find out.
  20. I've a had couple PRs accepted for fixing up the docs in https://github.com/commanderx16/x16-docs, but as @StephenHorn points out, they are accepted in batches. Maybe I've been stepping on toes and not knowing it, but I typically assume that open source projects are open to pull requests, so long as they conform to any document they have out there outlining contributions. That said, I believe only the x16-demo project has any process of contributing outlined: https://github.com/commanderx16/x16-demo/blob/master/CONTRIBUTING.md Perhaps adding a similar doc to to the other repositories would be helpful as the X16 project grows in awareness and popularity. I'd put out a PR to add them, myself, except I don't think I'm really the right person to define how contributions should work.
  21. I've been using acme, simply because it was the easiest to get started learning 6502. As for my development environment, I just use vim and a simple Makefile with build, clean, and run commands. I use vim at work all day (I'm one of those guys), so this feels the most natural for me. Shameful secret: sometimes just for kicks, I run vim from cool-retro-term and feel super nostalgic.
  22. I've been using ACME for a project of mine, but I agree that I'm starting to outgrow it. As was said above, it is dead simple, so for getting started it's a great option. I plan on diving into ca65 at some point too, but I haven't had a good reason to just yet. I think the main hold-up is having to rewrite my macros.
  23. Nice. I'm actually a bit closer, since I live in Everett. I've been known to take my daughters to Birch Bay on a whim, so Anacortes isn't too far. Maybe someday.
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