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Everything posted by Brad

  1. Brad

    My X16 Case

    A computer case made out of rolled steel? But think of the children!
  2. Well, I’ve seen FPGA SIDs and isn’t someone currently developing a VICII? Further, VICE implements these chips somehow…obviously they work well enough that converting to ASIC would be possible with little work. I’d guess! The differentiation between hardware and software is so blurred now with emulation, virtualization, containers, etc.
  3. Speaking of ASICs...probably way off topic, but what's the possibility of just burning some that duplicate the VIC? Is there some weird licensing thing going on for a 40+ year old chip no one uses anymore? The intent here being you could completely duplicate a VIC-20 with off-the-shelf parts.
  4. Yeah, no dispute here...the waters have definitely been muddied as this project has proceeded, which is 100% like every single other engineering endeavor I've been a part of. Depends on which angle you're looking at it, I suppose.
  5. What group of students are we talking about, specifically? For a young kid, having individual components that can be visually segregated definitely helps. Once you hit a certain level of understanding abstraction, the physical representation is less important, but foundationally I think it's very useful.
  6. Yeah, and I think that was a mistake. He owes us nothing, yet a lot of people are emotionally invested to the point that they are overreacting to hypotheticals. "Feels" aren't going to pay for development costs, so there needs to be a concrete plan to get the X16 made. Getting bent out of shape isn't helpful, but offering genuine solutions that result in real revenue with a path to a working kit and/or system are. Most likely people are just feeling let down, so maybe everyone just needs to have a couple beers and let reality sink in. That said, I have been following the project since it was first discussed on the Youtube video, and honestly the current X16 has an insane amount of feature creep. The X8 does seem to be more along the lines David initially talked about, albeit non-discrete chips. I'd like to see an X8 implemented discretely, to be honest. Also, I do find it amusing that most of us had "just a toy" for a system in the past and we did all sorts of productive things on them...
  7. Im betting that had the X8 been released months ago and called a “working prototype with reduced feature-set” 99% of this discussion wouldn’t exist. I’m being as nice as I possibly can with my post here, but some of you guys are just whiny. There seem to be plenty of people complaining that they’ll only code for the X16 and won’t code at all if the X8 even exists. So, where’s your contributions to the X16 library? The emulator works. Again, that just sounds like whining. My opinion is the X8 should have been released when David wanted to because it’s his baby. Whoever told him not to made this problem way worse that it had to be.
  8. With the way things are going, FPGA might be the only option when all the fabs are shut down and discrete chips go the way of the dodo. As much as that would suck, it’s definitely a real possibility…
  9. I read that thread so I understand exactly what Perifractic was talking about. Not to be too snarky about it, but I wouldn't doubt we see some cases that look exactly like the X16 case on the market soon, knowing how Chinese companies feel about IP. I'm guessing everyone who posts on this board would donate $5, or more, and David could probably get the $100k he needs just by asking on his channel. Just show our names in the official docs or something.
  10. I don't possibly see how an X8 would dilute demand for an X16. My rationale is this is such a niche sort of product in the first place that anyone interested in purchasing an X16 will do so, regardless of any sort of chopped down version. RE: development, isn't all dev being done on the emulator, anyway? Anyone who wants to make an X16 game can do so, right now, and it will run on the physical hardware when released. While I understand why you wouldn't want to release an X8 from a marketing perspective, you can basically throw all that sort of stuff out the window when you take into account the actual audience for this product. If somehow either the X8 or X16 gain traction and become used in education as Pi replacements, two competing products is a GOOD problem to have, honestly. Opens the door for all sorts of possibilities. Finally, a shipped product in the hands of a consumer is infinitely better than vaporware or something that takes years to materialize. People lose interest when delays pile up, so the X8 would be a good stop gap and allow proper X16 production to take place. EDIT: The whole case thing seems like a blessing in disguise to me. This is supposed to be a kit computer, why not distribute 3D printer models for the case and let people make their own? Hell, when I built my first computer I couldn't afford a case and just used a piece of plywood to mount everything.
  11. Well isn't that the trade-off between general purpose CPUs and ones designed for a specific purpose? You can either do all sorts of stuff at varying degrees of efficiency, or one or two things extremely fast with other tasks being sub-optimal. While ASICs are great when you know exactly what to expect, they are lousy when you start throwing them edge cases or weird stuff programmers like to do to show off. Hence, like you imply, there is no singular solution.
  12. Well if my Apple //c had a 3.4GHz 65C02 maybe it could actually run Flight Simulator 2 at a decent speed. That said, retrospectively the 6502 does things...strangely compared to some of the more modern designs I studied in college (68000 comes to mind), but it was "good enough" to power the most popular computers of all-time. My goal for this year was to learn 6502 assembly, but it's slow going because I keep thinking in a modern context; the entire concept of zero page was alien to me before I realized the intent. And really that sort of stuff is what engineers like to call "getting it done." A theoretical processor that does everything in one clock cycle with a billion megs of registers blah blah blah is fun to think about, but the 6502 was made by engineers with a problem to solve and they did it in a way that was not only effective, but super cheap to mass produce. I digress, but thinking about this sort of stuff really makes you appreciate the old school design philosophy. Shoe string budget, looming deadlines, no such thing as soft patches or firmware updates...it's gotta work or you don't eat. The paradigm of programming has shifted so much over 40 years, anyway. Assembly programmers are a rare breed anymore, which is honestly a shame since it teaches you to understand what you're actually doing on a fundamental level and also allows you to fully exploit a system instead of just crossing your fingers that the compiler takes your crappy code and turns it into something quick enough for the job. It's almost like code optimization is a bad word anymore. That said, I don't think a modern compiler would be able to take advantage of the 6502 in a way that would scale linearly with more speed. Obviously I could be wrong, but honestly running GEOS on my Ultimate64 at 20MHz or so seems faster than using my Macbook, so maybe like 100MHz would be a reasonable limit of usefulness?
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