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x16tial

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Everything posted by x16tial

  1. No, we're being asked if we want the X8 to be released.(Poll question 1. Should we release the Commander X8?) And your statement of determining how many units to produce assumes the answer is yes!
  2. I asked multiple times on that other thread for the specs, which don't seem to be forthcoming. Sometimes you have to operate on incomplete information, so yeah, assumptions are being made, but to some extent, they're being forced, because the information is being withheld. David will ultimately make the decision of course. Above all, I think 2 platforms is a mistake. If it wasn't a mistake, why doesn't every 8 bit enthusiast develop for the Apple II, and the Atari 2600, and the Vic 20, and the C64 all together, and the others? If you have to code something more than once, that means you're going to code less individual things. I want more Titles, not more versions of the same Title. If it's decided to do the X16, so be it. But both is a mistake, in my opinion, and the X8 sounds like the better idea, but we're not being allowed access, unfortunately.
  3. X16 runs at 8Mhz -- 12 Mhz is better X16 has a TON more RAM -- this doesn't matter with fast SD speeds, that same 8k can be swapped from SDCard rather than switching banks X16 has twice the video RAM -- this might be the worst part, it means only 1bpp for 640x480, but tricks with sprites, charsets, etc would probably compensate X16 has 4 expansion slots - provide an i/o bus on the X8? X16 has a Yamaha sound chip - add on expansion with said i/o bus? X16 has an IEC disk drive port - this is really kinda silly. nice nostalgia, but let's be real, who is going to use this? X16 is infinitely more "hackable" - make the X8 more hackable, provide that i/o bus. and how about tools to make reprogramming the fpga easy? X16 has SNES ports - not needed with the usb port X16 has PS/2 - usb is better As attached as we all are to the X16, the X8 is just the better idea. Even the name X16 is a holdover from when the 65C816 was going to be its processor, I believe. In my opinion we should all bite the bullet, and go with the X8 as the platform. Releasing both I think is a mistake. @The 8-Bit Guy, you do this full time, so developing for multiple platforms seems like no big deal. Most of the rest of us don't have that luxury.
  4. Two points: 1) Is the X8 that dream computer? If it's "close enough" what you should probably do, is go with X8, full bore. Scrap the X16 and have Kevin "work backward" and create a surface mount version of it, and perhaps a through-hole version. Releasing two competing platforms, I think I've come to realize, is foolish. 2) The C64 Mini isn't different other than being smaller, and thus not having a keyboard. AND, The "maxi" still isn't available in the US. I'm really going to try to step away now, and check back in a few days or more and see what's up. Cheers.
  5. I'd accept that, if we weren't being asked if we want the product or not.
  6. Emphasis mine. Wait, what? HDMI? For the love of god, please just release ALL the info about this blasted thing. I just don't understand why the holdback. Now I'm starting to get frustrated.
  7. I don't think the reason is obvious or makes sense, frankly, it being "out there" could drive demand for something you want to release. And couldn't the emulator be presented just on the web like the X16 web emulator, so that it couldn't be downloaded, if that's really what you want? And still, even just all the specs about how the X8 works could be released, a memory map at the very least. But fine, perhaps my current feeling of weariness is much like your own. Mostly because it will help X16 development, but party because it does sound like a cool product, and a little bit because it seems to be the only way to get any solid info on it, sell me an X8. Please, even mark it up to $100 as I've said before, or how about this: $64. Seems appropriate. I should be done posting on this thread, I await the announcement on how to get one.
  8. At the risk of repeating myself (ok, I *am* repeating myself) I just don't understand why we can't be given more information (read: ALL the information) about the X8. And access to the emulator. Also @The 8-Bit Guy, if you really do think it'll take only 1 or 2 hours to port Petscii Robots (or maybe just "get it working"), can't you find that time to give us the lowdown on the experience?
  9. (yeah, I'm posting a lot on this thread, but this subject has me very jazzed) Something occurred to me, by mentioning the incompatibility between the VIC20 and the C64: you touched on something very interesting. The C64 was a success *because* 1) it was better in most ways and 2) incompatible with the VIC20, an already successful computer (which was the first computer to sell a million units). This is proven out by what happened with the C128. A nice computer, but a roaring success? Not so much. And also to a lesser extent the C16 and Plus/4 are another example. The X8 actually seems better in many ways. Faster clock speed, USB, more efficient video access, as you said, etc. Yes, less RAM, but with fast access to external storage, is this a big handicap? Is it a handicap at all? The X8 seems like a cool product, and at the price you mentioned, very accessible. But should it be compatible with the X16? I'm thinking now, probably not. Why did you make the choices you did with X16? Discrete chips, and everything else. I seem to remember you being pretty dead set against anything FPGA, but now you're arguing fairly strongly for the first product you release to be one that seems to be at cross purposes with all of that. But it is cheap, and it's available now. Cheap and fast does tend to be a bad strategy most of the time, I have to say. These are tough decisions.
  10. Did you not use any of the X16's banked RAM, for resources that you now have to manage differently on the X8? You're asking us to choose or not choose a product we know very little about. We've had years now to familiarize with the X16, and what, a little over 24 hours, and 2 or 3 posts to find out about the X8, pretty lopsided... Reading between the lines, you seem anxious to get the X8 out, what's the hurry? Could we not have more time, more info, and access to the emulator? And then get feedback?
  11. You know, thinking about this, we just don't know enough about the X8. First off, why was it created in the first place? Hats off to Frank for doing it, the guy is just a super genius, to be sure. But was it something like "USB is too hard? Hold my beer." or what? I'm a bit puzzled by its very existence, while still being impressed by it. (12 Mhz!) @The 8-Bit Guy, you said there was an emulator. As part of this feedback process about how to go forward, can't we get access to the emulator? You said 64K of RAM yes? So are the ROMs switchable, a la the C64? How is the RAM vs ROM treated then, if not very similar to the C64? Have you fully ported Petscii Robots to the X8? What were the pain points, if any, in that process? Or were the X16 and X8 versions simply developed in parallel? In all honesty, the X8 does really muddy the waters. Doing both the X16 and the X8 just seems like "too much". The choice, as hard as it is, probably need to come down to: which one do you kill? And at this moment, I for one, am not sure which. Like, would snes controllers be usable with usb adapters, on the X8? Like this: https://www.amazon.com/Tomee-SNES-USB-Controller-Adapter-pc/dp/B00HM3QCT6 Is the IEC port really needed? I haven't done much sound work yet, but is the Yamaha chip critical? And USB is more tantalizing than old, tired PS/2, to be honest. As I think about this more, it seems like we're talking more and more about a VERA ecosystem. It's doing the I/O, the sound, the graphics, and basically the X8 sounds like a VERA ate a 65C02, met a nice USB interface and moved out on its own. So if you basically have the "VERA ecosystem" and it's processor agnostic, then you have the X8, as a standalone, but then you'll want to make add-on cards for C64, the Vic 20, and why not other 65xx systems, like the Apple II, and others? Maybe just embracing the VERA is the way forward.
  12. @The 8-Bit Guy Tell you what, in lieu of outright donating: Sell me an X8 for $100. (This is double your $50 Max you mentioned) Or whatever the equivalent is in the current circumstances, to a $100 X8 when the market was "normal". I'm guessing a lot of other people would pay this. Use the extra cash to wrap up X16 development, and maybe that means scrap the Phase 1 because of the difficulties, and go with a Phase 2 that Kevin can build or outsource, and that can come as a complete computer with 1 or 2 expansion ports (could an expansion plane be developed if someone needed more than 1 or 2 slots?). Let the chips fall where they may. No pun intended. Edit: Maybe keep open the possibility of making the Phase 1 available for the diehard hackers, as a kit only.
  13. Yeah, I said "full version", but should have said "Phase 1"
  14. In the end, I think David needs to revisit his former self: the one that imagined the "Dream Computer". Is the X8 that computer? I think he's indicated that it isn't; not quite. It's pretty neat, but is it the Dream? I think the X16 full version, was, and still is, that dream computer. If so, that should be the focus, everything else is distraction, and when you don't have unlimited time and money, distractions are killers. And it seems they can be even if you do. David will have to decide if I'm wrong, but focus is needed. What would "Dream Computer" David have wanted at this moment?
  15. Going to point out that, David and Kevin, you don't need to be the only ones assembling kits, if people don't want to/can't do it themselves. What's wrong with the idea of someone buying kits from you (at a volume discount even?) and running a side business assembling and even casing the X16. They would of course have to warranty their own work, but I see nothing wrong with this idea, you don't have to do it all. Have a section on this website where people could advertise this service. You're either gonna have to be all in on creating "Commander Inc." or you're going to have to open things as much as possible to the userbase to figure out and do. I don't get the feeling that you want to be CEO of Commander Inc, so crowd sourcing is the play, I think.
  16. I'll start my answer with a question: Why is the Phase 3 X16 even needed? Or Even Phase 2? It seems to me, most 8 bit enthusiasts love the openness, freedom and hackability that these systems offer. Condensing all of it down to a single chip (or close to it) seems to me, to be antithetical. Just because it can be done, should it? If someone wants to run their X16 software in a portable way, couldn't a phone/tablet/Raspberry Pi emulator, or all of the above be created? Wouldn't running an emulator on a Raspberry Pi essentially be the same experience? Having said that, I'd like to go back to your Elon Musk/Tesla analogy you started this project with. The X8 is your Roadster: small, fast, sexy. And here's how it doesn't disrupt the X16 market: charge a substantial premium for it. Diehards will want it, and will buy it, and they will fund what you really wanna do: the X16. The X16 is your Model 3, the workaday, every man's model. The more comfortable, and more attainable version, with a lot more practicality. Keep it open (as possible), and hackable, and available. Let people figure out how to case it, customize it, do whatever with it. Oh, and ship it with 2megs RAM, do your best to make sure everyone has the same platform. RAM "Upgradeability" for this system isn't a good idea, in my strong opinion. What's your Model S? Do you need a Model S? I don't really think you do. Edit: Down the line, maybe do the surface mount version (Phase 2). Maybe. But right now you need to get this thing out there, get people excited and doing things on it. Phase 2 will be a nice to have, not a must have. Don't even think about it right now, imo.
  17. As it's said, the only constant in life is change. Condolences and best wishes in your current and future endeavors! And just to say here, for what it's worth, to David and the rest of the X16 team: once the hardware and software are ready for release, if the casing or any other issue becomes a sticking point, please err on the side of just getting the board out to users like us here on these forums, assembled or not. Most, if not all, of us here could handle assembling and soldering our own boards, and would most likely enjoy it. I know others have clamored for doing that anyway. I'm just saying, if there are any substantial problems or delays caused by getting the units fully assembled and cased, just get the boards in our hands, one way or another.
  18. A 1571 would actually make more sense instead of a 1541-II in this prototype thing I sketched. But that's a fair point, and if Commodore ever actually did consider a C64D there were many factors why it would have been scrubbed. Not least of which this was a very dated platform at the time. If this ever would have launched, I think they would have had to count on people selling off their separate components to swap in the integrated unit. Lots of fun to think about for sure: what could have been. But I am inclined to think this was a kit for separating the keyboard and mainboard into 2 units. The keyboard of course gets the worst of it, but I guess that's the price to pay for the convenience.
  19. Be my guest! Or take the idea and make a 3d model.. My name's Mark if you don't want to try to pronounce "x16tial" (existential), if you planned to mention a name, ok if you didn't, either way.
  20. Wouldn't this have been cool: (sorry for crudeness, I drew it in about 10 minutes in MSPaint) A "C64D" but with a separate, stackable, drive unit, containing a 1541(II) and a 1581.
  21. Also.. the 3 slots, that, when it's assembled, are on top, at the back. They look like something was intended to stack on top, with tabs inserted into the slots so that the two units line up and stay lined up.
  22. The seller on eBay said he's seen two of these. Maybe ask where and when he saw the first one?
  23. This is totally a shot in the dark, but it's very intriguing how the cutouts more or less exactly match the cut outs in the bottom of the C64 case. So this was meant to be a cover for the bottom. It was not meant as a bottom for the top (keyboard). What if... ... Commodore prototyped a C64D? Modeled after the 128D? ... a different keyboard was intended, not the kludged up version of the top of a breadbin. What if. I found this: at https://www.lemon64.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5497&start=0 It would sure be interesting to see the drawing he mentions. He said it was supposed to basically have an integrated 1581, which I see no evidence here obviously, but maybe this was just a first proof-of-concept. Or not. But it *is* interesting to think about.
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