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Scott Robison

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Everything posted by Scott Robison

  1. When people focus on what David put in his first video, such as "no FPGA" and claim this is not in keeping with his dream, they seem to overlook the price aspect of that initial dream. We've all subsequently learned (for those who didn't know it previously) that some of those goals are mutually exclusive. You can either spend a lot more time, money, and other resources trying to build a discrete video subsystem that has all the bells and whistles that were desired (which completely destroys the cost) or you go FPGA (which is much more affordable) or you just throw up your hands and say "can't be done oh well". David showed X8 as being possible at an affordable price point but ultimately stated it wasn't enough like X16 on FB, so they're looking at something similar that will still get close to his originally desired price point. I big part of the motivation for this was "how can people get into retro computing at an affordable price". Here is a question for the community at large: What is better for the X16 ecosystem, a kit that only select people will be able to assemble, or a relatively inexpensive FPGA based solution that many more people can afford that won't involve assembly? While the former would be awesome to have (and I plan to buy it when it becomes available) there is far more potential buy in with the latter (which I also plan to buy when it is available). I think there is too much "what do I personally want" and not enough "what is best for adoption so there can be a vibrant community". There are still C64 games being sold today thanks to critical mass of adoption and not nearly as much if any software being released for the KIM. If one simply wants a retro computer to use on their own and aren't worried about a community, and a kit scratches that itch, fine. But if you want to be able to find software to run on it that you didn't write yourself, you're going to get a lot more options if the hardware is more accessible to a wider audience. In that respect, the kit is not unlike a KIM (inaccessible to all but the most hardcore fans) and the complete FPGA solution is the C64 (much more accessible and interesting to a much larger universe of potential users).
  2. I think most of those new posts are mainly by the community, not the team, so it is even less than that. Edit: I should have read everything first, I see this point was already made.
  3. This is the internet. You're being entirely too reasonable in your thinking. You should work on that.
  4. Not unreasonable desires. I think that the comments that happen on FB are far less of the "here is a big announcement" and more of the "oh, here is some throwaway information in a blurb" variety. When David felt he had a big announcement / information to share, he came here and made this post, and referred FB to here. I think part of the problem is that we have many people here dying for a crumb of information, so they latch onto the literal crumbs that appear on FB as life saving manna, when really they aren't "affirmative notifications of progress" but rather "oh, that thing didn't pan out so someone is looking into something similar but better but there is no substantive news on that front yet". I can't "defend" (nor can I "attack") how project leadership is handling communication with the community. For me personally, I look at it as "I would like to know more, as much as possible, but no one owes me more info; in like fashion, I do not 'owe' the project my allegiance". What each of us has to decide for ourselves at this point is "we know how this project is working; when do I reach the point that staying is no longer of value to me". It seems clear that to some people in this very long thread, they have reached or are reaching that point. It is a shame, but I can't blame them. For me personally, and maybe it's partially because I've been in the community for six months or so, I still believe that X16 will happen in one form or another, and I look forward to its eventual release. I felt the same way about MEGA65 and I was recently rewarded for my patience. I expect the same in this case. I'm only investing a little time in this at the moment. I've told David I'm more than happy to help out however I can. If there is a way for me to help the project in a more active capacity in the future, great. If not, I'll stay here and be a cheerleader in the meantime. Others may feel differently, and they have to go where they feel they should in this whole process. I might give up at some point, but I'm no where near that point at this time.
  5. I was telling my wife about this and said "obviously it is impractical for everyone to do this; ideally, the capsule recovery team does it, or at the very least the one who actually opens the hatch."
  6. Seems like there are better places for some of this discussion than this already too long thread. This thread is about what to do with the X8/X16 as they exist. It is not about philosophical discussions about how it should be done. At this point X8/X16 includes FPGA because a certain level of video capability and performance was desired, and that is the most cost effective way to realize the dream. Sometimes dreams evolve and plans change as new information and realities are realized. That's not a bad thing.
  7. Saw this on FB and just had to share it here:
  8. I can agree with this just because of perception. The grave interpretation was I think what was being argued against, not that updates wouldn't be welcome. Just that I can understand why updates haven't been forthcoming.
  9. This. So much this. All the this. I'm 53. I missed certain eras of computing. I wonder if there was as much pushback from earlier generations against ASICs instead of all discrete components? Or if there was pushback against the transistor when it replaced the vacuum tube? It brings to mind the quote from (I think) Arthur C. Clarke that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. My corollary would be "to some people all magic is black magic and to be avoided."
  10. I haven't read anything that says "kit form is off the table". It would be a good idea though to first know that the kit works when properly assembled. That is the reason why we haven't seen a kit yet, because anything else is just sending people a random assortment of parts with a PCB.
  11. In the past I've setup a pristine virtual machine for scammers to log into and "fix" so ... I have no problem taking time to play out the long game. Today, however, I didn't have the desire to go to great lengths. Normally I do get a better reaction from them though.
  12. Thank you Lorin. Not being team members, it doesn't matter how much I, BruceMcF, or others make similar statements, we simply cannot fight the disinformation as effectively as you and others on the team can. I mean, it's not like anyone can truly stop disinformation / fake news. It takes on a life of its own. But I appreciate your effort.
  13. There are far more people who've done a better job than I, but a few years ago I uploaded a series of videos called "Messing with Scammers" to my YouTube channel. I generally didn't go seeking them out, but I'd take their calls, pretend to fall for whatever crap they threw at me, and just generally waste as much of their time as I could. I think my record was about 110 minutes. Even though I haven't produced any videos for 5 years now, I still mess with them when I have the opportunity. Just got off a phone call with one, in fact. {phone rings} Robot call: "This is Apple Support. We have noticed suspicious activity on your Apple device. Please press 1 to be connected to Apple support." Note: I do not own any Apple equipment. {presses 1} "Human" (I'm feeling charitable) agent: "Apple Support, how may I help you?" "I just received a call warning of some suspicious activity?" "Yes, our automated system called you. I see that there have been two attempts to make a purchase with your Apple ID. Have you been travelling?" "No." "According to our records, most of your activity comes from Utah." Note: Good job figuring out my area code meaning, scammer! "Yes, that is correct." "The two suspicious activities came from Nigeria. Have you travelled to Nigeria or do you know anyone from there?" "No. I get spam messages claiming to be from Nigeria, but I don't know anyone there." "There is a $1200 and a $2400 attempt to purchase iTunes gift card, have you attempted to order these?" "No, not at all!" "Okay, you will need to reset your password. Please open your Apple device and go to settings." {time passes} "Okay, I'm there." "Next you need to tap {something I don't remember}." {time passes} "Okay, done." "Do you see two transactions for $1200 & $2400?" "No, I don't see anything like that." "Did you tap {something I don't remember}?" "Yes, of course." "Okay sir, what do you see." Note: At this point the game is up; I have no experience with iPhone devices to bluff my way through what I should see at this point. "I don't see anything, because I actually don't own any Apple devices, I've just been trying to waste as much of your time as I could and" {click} Kind of disappointing. I was only able to waste 4 minutes including the robocall at the beginning, and he didn't react at all, just hung up on me. Oh well.
  14. Acme is a cross assembler, so the source code you write to feed into it uses ASCII (more or less from the 1967 standard that has been modified slightly over the years). The Commodore 8 bit line uses PETSCII (an extended form of ASCII 1963 standard that is similar to what we know as ASCII today yet different, and all the extensions on top of that). So !PET is used to convert the ASCII encoded source code into PETSCII encoded object code. If you are porting code to a Z80, likely using CP/M (though not necessarily), you won't want to convert ASCII to PETSCII for the main ASCII characters. Any extended ASCII that a platform might use is going to require a custom conversion. !SCR is used to convert the ASCII encoded source code into screen codes that can be written directly to screen memory, as they are not compatible with ASCII or PETSCII. Any Z80 based system with video hardware might use ASCII for its memory mapped video (if it has such a thing) or it might use something completely different. There is no universal way to say "this is how !SCR should be translated to another platform".
  15. You're probably far closer to being right than I am. I just saw the opportunity for a joke that suggested I was worthy of a Nobel prize.
  16. I want all the toys. Commander X16. MEGA65. MiSTer. Tesla. List some more, I probably want them.
  17. And I already have a Nexys 4 DDR. For me the value proposition of the MEGA65 is fueling my interest in learning more about FPGA, and for that the MEGA65 should serve a valuable purpose to me. The fact I can use it as a C=65/MEGA65/C=64 out of the box is great as well. Also that I can connect it to HDMI with all the compatible devices I already have.
  18. Right, my comparison was in no way "MEGA65 vs Commander X16". It was "MEGA65 vs Nexys A7 / Nexys 4 DDR + all the stuff necessary to bring it up to the level of the MEGA65 offering". I don't see any way to make an "apples to apples" comparison between MEGA65 & the X16. I love them both, or at least I will someday when I actually have both in hand. Just like I love my RV and my electric commuter car. They are both great at what they do, and I expect MEGA65 & X16 will serve great niches as well, even though neither is likely to replace Intel Windows / BSD / Linux based systems.
  19. I was listening to the latest GeekBits podcast yesterday and the topic of "bad science in fiction" was being discussed. One of the topics had to with an episode of Star Trek The Next Generation called "The Next Phase". Simply put, two characters are involved in a mishap and now their physical bodies are out of phase with the rest of the universe so they can walk through walls, push their hands through desks, etc. Yet the characters never fall through the floor. And of course being out of phase they cannot be seen by anyone else. They are ghosts for all intents and purposes. In thinking about it, I now realize why we haven't yet discovered dark matter, which seems to make up the majority of the universe but we can't see it or detect it other than via gravity. Clearly dark matter is just matter that is out of phase. Out of phase matter interacts with other matter gravitationally, so some aspect of the artificial gravity on a starship keeps the out of phase people from falling through the floors (graviton resistance, I'll call it). But because it isn't visible, we can't see it. At least we can't see it until we learn to flood space with anyon particles which were ultimately used to "rephase" the characters. Summary: I have now come up with the perfect explanation for dark matter. Someone please nominate me to the Nobel prize committee, it will look good on my resume.
  20. That's the way it works to you. That is your intuition talking. You could be right! I could be wrong. I don't think so. This is not a black and white situation. There are shades of gray, and the fact that you are so convinced that this is the only possible explanation I think continues to demonstrate why one would be cautious to share information that might be misunderstood. As for "investors" ... I think there are a few people who've invested actual funds in this, primarily David himself and a few trusted associates who are helping to bring this to life. The time people have spent learning the platform, using the emulator, writing software can't be completely disregarded, but this is not a situation where David has taken money from investors and thrown his hands in the air and said "oh well". I pledged to a kickstarter that ended that way: https://www.slashgear.com/superscreen-kickstarter-fails-takes-2-5m-down-the-drain-11549706/ $2.5M gone with nothing to show for it (except for probably some nice stuff for the guy who ran it). No one here that is opining has lost money on this. Perhaps some opportunity cost, but this project was never going to be one that made people fortunes. It exists to fill a niche for a relatively inexpensive retro-style platform that people can use to get into retro without having to pay exorbitant prices for 30+ year old hardware that might die at any time. Heck, I just on a lark bid on a lot of three non-functional C=64s on ebay a few days ago for parts / repair. I said I'd pay up to $50 for the lot. It's up to $120 (plus $60 s/h) with days left. I can't even buy a broken C=64 for a "reasonable" price. I do understand where you're coming from, but I think your black and white thinking on the subject is out of line with reality. I guess perception is reality to the perceiver, but I think to most of us it's not as dire as you think.
  21. I guess the way one reads the Aug 19 announcement depends on one's philosophy: It the glass half full or half empty? Certainly you are correct, for some people, news is necessary to have confidence. Other people have different ways of viewing a lack of updated information. "No news is bad news" or "no news is good news" or "no news is simply no news". If one can't satisfy everyone, that's another good reason to wait until you have concrete information to share.
  22. I missed that part before. I think you may be confusing "logic" and "intuition". Until David reveals a reason why he hasn't provided more information here, in a thread with going on 700 responses, you can only suppose why. Anything else is guesswork.
  23. You can't say that you are rightfully making a supposition unless you have 100% knowledge. I certainly don't have 100% knowledge. I suspect I know more about it than you do (I don't have 100% knowledge on that, just a guess), but I'm not a member of the team or a spokesperson for the team. And whatever I *do* know is a drop in the bucket. Would having more information be nice? Yes. Would some people twist that information? Yes. Is it worth it to the person who would provide that information? Only that person can say. I know for myself, it might not be worth it when I didn't have anything concrete to provide yet because the last public information I provided was that the VERA designer was looking at making something closer to the x16, and that has been less than two months. The MEGA65 project has been in progress for what, 5 or 6 years? Maybe 7? And they are only just getting their first "released" version out at the end of this year (I hope). They've also not shared info as often as many would like. Didn't keep them from finishing. As for the cost to post an update: If you only look at the incremental amount that must be paid to make a post, then I guess you are technically correct. The opportunity cost of "do I spend several hours trying to craft a post that cannot be misconstrued or misunderstood when I don't have all the facts yet, given the number of people who are already misconstruing or misunderstanding previous posts" or "do I work on videos and merchandise and games while other people who have expertise work to solve problems" seems like a easy choice from some points of view. You go ahead and think whatever you want. If you want to believe the sky is falling, that's fine. I'm excited for the x16 whenever it happens. As for the reason why no new posts from David here I think it's simple: He is a busy guy who has a lot of irons in the fire. When he has info to share, he will gladly share it. Until then he focuses his time and energy on productive tasks.
  24. I might event point out that this is an excellent example of why someone in David's position might not post every thought: People who, for whatever reason, do not understand the point and read more into it than intended.
  25. You make a supposition that I was trying to disprove a point. I was trying to explain why more information wasn't forthcoming. If you want to take that as a "win" you can, but the point was not "comparing to bankruptcy" it was "if you don't have solid knowledge to share, you don't share, because if you do, people start making suppositions on how bad things are".
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