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Scott Robison

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Everything posted by Scott Robison

  1. True. There was some evolution of the ideas over time, from his initial blog post to that video and subsequent videos.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. "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.
  6. 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.
  7. I think you've nailed the reasons right there.
  8. 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!
  9. There is a saying that the first 90% of a project takes 10% of the time, and the last 10% takes 90% of the time. Others say the first 90% takes 90% of the time, and the last 10% also takes 90% of the time. I think that is more true during a pandemic when the supply chain has been interrupted to the extent it has been. That is further exacerbated by the fact that the people working on the project are doing it in their spare time, donating what time they can in anticipation of either being reimbursed later or just because they want to be involved with a cool project. Our families need food, clothing, and shelter, so sometimes that means that progress is not as fast as we'd like. Commander is not Commodore: They do not have the resources of full time personnel, a dedicated chip fab, and so on. Everyone has to determine for themselves if they want to keep waiting, of course, or move on. I think it'll be released eventually. In the meantime, my family isn't suffering from my inability to get an X16, so in the grand scheme of problems, it's a good problem to have.
  10. My apologies to all for distracting posts on my part. I allowed interactions with another party to impact the community negatively (I'm primarily talking about a comment I made that was posted to the "Change of product direction, good and bad news!" mega thread). I've privately apologized for that post to the original recipient. I cannot speak to various thread locking that has subsequently happened, as I'm not clear on the reasons for all of it. That being said, I'm an adult, and I am imperfect, and I am capable of admitting to mistakes when I make them. I felt I owed the community an apology as well, and rather than send everyone a private message to that effect, this seemed far easier.
  11. David has said that the X8 is not a plan going forward as it turned out to be too different, and that Frank was looking at something that could be more like the X16. So I think you need not worry about fragmenting the ecosystem in that way. Maybe some other new and improved way, but not that way.
  12. This is all true. I was more addressing the USP for what X16 is today, but you're correct, it could be done without those dependencies.
  13. The primary downside to those other products is that in order to use them, you have to violate copyright law in most cases. They don't have to provide ROM images (maybe they do, but it's not a prerequisite) but someone has to acquire the ROM images. I think a good case can be made that the copyright system is broken and that it shouldn't be an issue, but it is. Actually, I guess it is possible to license the ROM images as an individual by purchasing C64 Forever or whatever it is, but I suspect the number who actually do is infinitesimal.
  14. I think your point is certainly reasonable. I can come up with reasons why X16FPGA has some USP, but whether other people will agree is another issue. I think X16 has the potential to break out beyond those who are into FPGA recreations of classic computers at a much more affordable price point than Foenix (sp?) is making available, for example. But that supposes that people are willing to buy into a niche product. Only time will tell on that one. I know I certainly couldn't do it with my YouTube audience (which is 0.0074% the size of David's). Maybe his dream will inspire others, and maybe it won't.
  15. Oh, a fourth USP: Building on from the Commodore heritage. By this I mean more than just the ROM, I mean the system as a whole. 17M+ C64 computers, 1M+ VIC 20, 5M+ C128. I know there are a lot more of other computers out there at this point, but the Commodore and 6502 lineage is going to appeal to a completely different audience than the Sinclair and Z-80 lineage. That doesn't make one better and the other worse, but I think this is the first time someone has tried to put out something like this (FPGA based actual hardware vs emulation on an ARM or other alien hardware platform) at something like this price point. The fact that the Sinclair inspired models have done as well as they have I think indicates the market might really enjoy something like this. Similar space, similar objectives, achieved differently.
  16. I'm not familiar with the ZX-Uno (I mean, I've heard of it but literally know nothing else). The MiSTer is nice, though it currently costs a lot more than we expect an FPGA X16 to cost (though we're guessing on that based on past information that is incomplete).
  17. From a purely legal standpoint, in a pure FPGA solution, the ROM is what makes the X-whatever unique. It is based on intellectual property from Cloanto (the kernal, as the current successor to Commodore) and Microsoft (BASIC, though I don't know how the initial license fee Commodore paid transfers to Cloanto but it seems it does indeed transfer). As such, these are not free to copy to other platforms. So having a retro-inspired computer with legally licensed ROM that is derived from the Commodore heritage is one USP. While it would be possible to port the HDL that makes the hardware to other platforms, it would be "useless" to most people without the ROM, and that is encumbered in its current state. Having a compact FPGA based design that is not subject to some of the downsides of software emulation is another USP. Software emulation is great, and I quite enjoy my The C64, but it isn't ideal. Especially if you think of a Raspberry Pi form factor, an FPGA solution that behaves as a real hardware solution is going to be superior to porting the emulator to an existing SBC platform. While not directly related to the FPGA nature of the original question, a PETSCII inspired keyboard with symbols printed on the keys is a third USP for the project as we understand it at this time. Given some time and less of a time crunch (I have to get ready to go teach some middle schoolers how to write Python) I may be able to come up with more, but I think those three are significant. Whether they are enough to entice people to buy into the platform is another question.
  18. Welcome Sisko. Where are you attending college and what are you majoring in?
  19. A question original posed elsewhere by@Janne Sirén, relocated here to avoid the appearance of me derailing another thread: While the initial question was posed to @Scott Robison I certainly think everyone is welcome to pose their own thoughts.
  20. I'm going to start a new thread to address my thoughts on this to avoid doing more thread derailing than I recently may have contributed to.
  21. I can only hypothesize as I have no inside knowledge, but as an active participant in the thread: off topic posts that were more off topic than most, and possibly me trying to rail against it by insisting there were better places for such replies and perhaps too snide comments on my part in relation to said posts. While I will feel bad if it is *my* post that locked the thread instead of the other posts that managed to lock it, it is hard for me to view locking of that thread at this point as a bad thing given the state of commentary. But I don't want to derail this thread, just answering the question. Start another thread or message me if I can answer more questions.
  22. The original thread is very long, so I don't blame anyone for not starting it at this point, but I've read it all (I think). There were many people who bemoaned the fact that X8 would fragment the community, because people would only buy the cheapest thing that was available and would never buy the big brother of the X8, leaving it orphaned, effectively.
  23. Good point. You made my mind up for me. I can by an X8 next month and an X16 FPGA edition six months later.
  24. Sorry to hear about the vanishing money, but welcome back to the states.
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