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Scott Robison

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Everything posted by Scott Robison

  1. All good variations on the theme. I think a serial terminal would be a great solution for that use case, just need a little logic (if on the IEC bus) to make it a "smart" device that "just works" with the C64 (or other IEC capable computer). I've seen many solutions to a second screen that used the expansion port, but never anything that acted like a printer (or plotter). A "glass printer" would be nice on device 4 or 5, and a "glass plotter" on 6 or 7.
  2. I was in a conversation at the MEGA65 discord server where someone was talking about other cores they'd like to see made available, as MEGA65 is FPGA and can take on multiple personalities. C128 came up, which is near and dear to me. The MEGA65 has two video output ports on the back, an "IMDH interface" (non trademark encumbered equivalent of HDMI) and a DB15 VGA interface. They both show the same screen in the MEGA65, but since it is FPGA, there might be a chance they could actually support two different output signals if the core supported it. That is unknown, but an interesting thought. Bringing it back to Commander X16, I mentioned that there has been discussion of putting VERA on an expansion cart for C64 or other expandable systems. MEGA65 has a C64 compatible expansion port so it seems to me it *should* be possible to plug such a beast into MEGA65 and have it work, maybe. While we were talking, I had two thoughts come to mind for display expansion. The first one was Commodore 8-bit computers and similar "compatible" systems like MEGA65 & X16, will have an IEC serial bus for talking with external drives and printers. Why not create an IEC serial "printer" that is actually a second screen? It would be slow, yes, but I can imagine ways to use it that would be very useful, such as debugging output while the VIC is busy with the actual application. And since the IEC bus supports daisy chaining, it could support more than one such display if desired: 10 OPEN 4,4 20 PRINT#4,"HELLO DISPLAY DEVICE #4" 30 CLOSE 4 40 OPEN 5,5 50 PRINT#5,"HELLO DISPLAY DEVICE #5" 60 CLOSE 5 Then I had another idea. We know C64 & C128 supported RAM expansion in various ways. 1700 series REUs, GEORAM, and RAMLINK to name a few. What if in addition to that functionality, those devices also had one or more monitor connections such as IMDH, VGA, or some such. My main workstation at home is a four monitor rig with two landscape monitors front and center stacked on top of one another, and two more portrait orientation monitors to the sides. It would be interesting to have such a setup for a C64 or other system.
  3. The biggest problem is that there are two (in general) audiences that use computers. There are the technical people who love to use and understand the internals, and there are those who just want or need to use it as a tool. People who only have an interest in web browsing, word processing, etc, want cheap and fast. The rest of us need them to be secure so that we aren't all paying for their lack of knowledge. Most of the lock down of tech has been security related, though there is plenty of "trade secret" and "walled garden" and other stuff at work as well. In the 80s, the 8 bit computers weren't powerful enough for most people to find them compelling. Now they are and there is far more to accomplish with them. But I am in agreement with you. I'd like to have both worlds: low level access that allows me to do whatever I want with the computer I own, and high level access that allows me to get stuff done. They don't have to be mutually exclusive, even though they often are.
  4. Oh, absolutely there is no comparison to the power of any of those two sets of hardware. It was just a list that amused me.
  5. Excellent point. RPi Pico: KIM RPi Zero: PET RPi: VIC-20 RPi 2: C64 RPi 3: C128 RPi 4: Amiga C16, Plus/4, etc do not exist in this universe.
  6. The difference in my mind is that it wouldn't be an emulator. It would have a kernal written in ARM instead of 6502, and a BASIC in ARM instead of 6502, and would land at a full screen BASIC editor. Direct access to the system with peek and poke, ability to load and run BASIC and ML programs, ability to access the hardware directly. I'm not suggesting it would be easy, that I've started it, or that it will be available soon. Just a fun idea for Qommodore.
  7. I would like to create a native Commodore like environment for the RPi as an alternative. My biggest project for PCBoard was the scripting language PPL. It had peek and poke!
  8. Agreed, though I do think there is a difference to this question. Namely: I infer "has the X16 team considered using an existing hardware platform as a target for their FPGA X16 version?" as being the question. It may be that Cloanto only licenses the code to go with bespoke hardware, since they sell C64 Forever themselves. I posed a similar question to MEGA65 and the impression is that they are only authorized to include Commodore derived ROM with their physical hardware. More to the point, I wondered if one could sell a core that would allow money to be collected to be sent to Cloanto for a licensed ROM, and the answers I got indicated that wouldn't be possible. If that is true, they could create a cost reduced MEGA65 that didn't include the keyboard or FDD or other non-essential pieces of the system and include firmware with that, but they they probably wouldn't be able to sell a binary core that could be installed on MiSTer. Given that MEGA65 has to get the license from the same source as Commander X16, it is probably safe to say similar if not identical terms would apply.
  9. I don't know if the rules have changed recently but I got a warning months ago for even talking about such topics. The biggest problem is one of licensing and paying Cloanto for the ROMs used as the base of the X16 firmware. It would be possible to sell a core that came with licensed ROMs depending on the license terms which we don't know. It would also be easier to pirate. But technologically speaking, it is a course the team could consider if they were so inclined. Just a lot of moving parts to orchestrate.
  10. During one of David's videos he interviewed several YouTube celebrities when announcing his dream computer. A lot of their answers resonate with me. One reason is simplicity. The machines can be understood completely by one person. One person could program the computer without needing a team of specialists. Another reason is platform stability. If you have Windows 10 or Linux or MacOS you have a moving target of sorts. 8 bit machines were usually made for years and remained compatible through their life. Not that compatibility is impossible on modern platforms, but it is still a moving target. Clearly new systems aren't all bad. We're using them after all. But one can get a lot done with the old systems, far beyond just gaming. The newer technology is just so inexpensive that it is cost effective to write memory hungry inefficient applications. I think there is a certain charm to the look of older stuff, but I think that comes somewhat of being of a certain age. Some people gravitate to old cars or furniture or whatever. We appreciate old tech. When we are gone, future generations will look back fondly at today's state of the art.
  11. I have that one too, though mine just hangs off of me. My wife bought it for me years ago before gastric bypass surgery. After my weight loss she bought me a couple varsity jackets from Thinkgeek as well. Also not me: I think this t-shirt just came from some Amazon shop. I hate how pasted images size in this forum...
  12. Probably just cost vs demand. I've looked a little at an FPGA core that claims 65816 support that does break it out to non-multiplexed "pins".
  13. I wound up subbing for my wife at school yesterday, so I wore it with a Starfleet command cap and academy T-shirt and varsity jacket. An actual uniform would have been too showy. And I don't have one. Anyway, it works okay. Bluetooth is awesome and the chirps in lieu of ringing are great. The internal speaker is not great, but functional enough in a quiet environment. Would not recommend for a red alert environment.
  14. True. There was some evolution of the ideas over time, from his initial blog post to that video and subsequent videos.
  15. There are microcontrollers built around a 6502 style core, so sometimes you don't need extra chips. Faster and slower varies based on usage. 6502 had a slower clock usually than 8088, but the 6502 was more efficient at memory access so clock speed didn't matter in those types of cases. But with more registers it might not be as big of a deal. So faster clock isn't always better. 6502 was definitely part of David's "manifesto" as he wanted an 8bit computer like unto the C64 or VIC-20. And we can have much faster 6502 style computers today than were practical back then.
  16. Today at school I'm subbing for my ill wife, and came in Starfleet garb (no uniform, "just" an academy T-shirt and varsity jacket) and the badge complements it nicely.
  17. My wife loves Amazon. Rarely a day goes by we don't get a package (or so it feels to me). My job is to bring them in from the porch and put them in the house. Her job is to eventually get around to opening them and putting them away. It is the way of the universe. Tonight she is opening the last few days / weeks / months (it's a blur) of deliveries and calls out "your Star Trek comm thing came!" "What are you talking about?" "Your Star Trek comm thing you ordered." I ordered nothing. She brings it to me. Looks pretty cool. I'm a huge fan of Trek. Even bad Trek is better than no Trek. But I did not order it. "Oh, thanks, I didn't know you'd ordered this." My birthday is Halloween so I assume she is just giving it to me as an early gift and I misunderstood who she claimed ordered it. But she didn't order it. So either I have started ordering things in my sleep, or she has ordered so much stuff she can't remember what she's ordered. I think the latter is more likely than the former. I went to find the original box it arrived in. Box is empty. As I toss it away I notice a little tiny white corner of a piece of paper hiding under the folded cardboard that makes the bottom of the box. I pull it out and see that it is just an Amazon packing slip. Wait! Another tiny white corner bit of paper. I pulled it out and it is a gift slip. Okay, that at least answers part of the mystery. I look down again and find yet another tiny white corner bit of paper. Apparently in a past life this box and packing material identified as Kleenex. I pull it out. A nice note from some friends who sent me a birthday gift. That was odd. I should do an unboxing video on YouTube like all the cool YouTubers do.
  18. "Better" depends on what you are trying to measure it against, and is subjective because it depends on what the individual values most. So by some measures, yes there were better 8 bit processors. But no, there aren't better 8 bit processors.
  19. True, though X16 isn't letting the whole "no new stock" thing stand in the way of sound chips, so hacking an old 6809 or similar chip is doable from that perspective.
  20. I think you've nailed the reasons right there.
  21. I'm from Dallas originally, so we're practically neighbors! I never had an Amiga or TRS-80, but similar story otherwise. Welcome to the community!
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