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StephenHorn

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Everything posted by StephenHorn

  1. Reminds me of the movie Hidden Figures, about the computers who worked at NASA, before NASA brought in the tape-fed, refrigerator-sized contraptions that people today would identify as computers.
  2. The whole OST that these folks put together is pretty cool. This particular find from the Gigaleak is why I support efforts to preserve videogaming history in all its forms, including (and perhaps most importantly) source code and assets! So I'm very happy that Nintendo has done such a good job of preserving their own history, going back at least this far, that something like this was possible. I know they must've been horrified by the gigaleak -- it probably represents billions of dollars of value, frankly -- but without it, we probably never would have had the chance to hear this.
  3. I guess there was a thing starting to come about a couple years ago called "Minimal Fab", which was a machine, or series of machines, that could do custom, small-scale runs of chips. Still far too expensive for an individual (unless you're Tony Stark), but within reason for a robotics, industrial tools, or tech company that wants to fab their own small quantities of chips. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20657398
  4. Hrrrng... if I didn't have a day-job that I loved dearly, I would be all over both this and offering to help out with the kernal. I mean, I'm continuing to work on the emulator; albeit in my own fork that I haven't formally announced here, but has been named dropped here by others. Suddenly, so many things I want to add to my precious hobby time. And I've previously worked with 2-way communications in microcontrollers for various sensors, so adding a PS/2 communication routine here sounds like fun to me. I hope someone pops up who can help out with this.
  5. I'm glad to see folks respect the difficulty of the kit, as I recall Dave questioning a year or so ago whether folks would be over-eager to buy a kit and then fail to assemble it -- and need extensive troubleshooting support, assuming they haven't simply toasted various components through their molten metal mis-mangement. As I said earlier, I'm also intimidated. Willing to spend money and try, but still intimidated.
  6. Yeah, I'm struggling to find more up-to-date information. If someone comes across it, could they link it here?
  7. You could... edit the title? You know, if you don't want to distract people who don't associate this website with politics, and thus gather the wrong impression. Looks like I can still edit titles on posts I made many months ago. I feel confident that this is within your power.
  8. Whether x16tial intended to insult isn't really the point, though. Personally, I read the title as an insult towards much of the community, and it seems I'm not alone in that assessment. I can't even imagine how such a supposed reference is supposed to be contextual enough on a site like this for most people to read it any other way. That's all I really want to say in this discussion.
  9. Capcom's artists have produced some really great music as well. It happens that as I went looking, the first video result's top comment was "This soundtrack is one of the reasons why i became a musician, true story": But I want to offer a special shoutout to an indie artist going by the name RushJet1. I absolutely fell in love with their remixes when they first started posting on Youtube, and I follow their Youtube channel to this day: Tell me the whole OST isn't absolutely rocking, I dare you: https://rushjet1.com/album/mega-man-3-remade
  10. Well, let's get this started with one of the most famous examples of video game music ever: The Opera Scene. I mean, there were other pieces of videogame music I've enjoyed and felt were very good, but if there was one title that cemented the idea in my head that I would be listening to game music for the rest of my life, because it was fantastic... that would be this. Square had and continues to have fantastic artists. Another master from their history includes Yasunori Mitsuda. The entire soundtrack from Xenogears is a masterwork.
  11. Is this still current?
  12. Those are some shmexy cases, to be sure. :3
  13. The PC market was also always much more heavily fragmented than the X16 would ever be. If the X16 were more of an open, customizable platform, with install bases in the tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands, but with multiple competing standards on many subsystems and components, then X16 developers would be incentivized to write software with multiple hardware configurations in mind. But there will be one X16, and maybe the X8. And the install base will be in the hundreds, maybe (maybe!) the thousands. This is much less incentive for wide support, especially if folks write software to be released for free, as opposed to software they intend to sell. Or, to the extend that wide support is encouraged, it will be by developing to the minimum spec shared between the two machines.
  14. I suppose that's where the ambiguity of text comes into play, because I read it as almost the opposite -- he's open to releasing the X8, and it meets many of his programming/experience goals, but he's hesitant because it still falls short of the full X16e he had envisioned and wants to ship. Edited to add: If bifurcating the community between the two platforms is not a concern, then I think Bruce probably has the right idea. Get crowdfunding going with what can be shipped now (or imminently), and let the market sort itself out.
  15. Because then people would get excited and assume the decision had already been made to release the thing as a product. And if that didn't come to pass, those people would be more disappointed than if they hadn't learned all the nitty-gritty details. There is sausage being made here, and everyone's trying to avoid getting their fingers clipped.
  16. My mistake, I'm not sure where I got that from. I'll edit the post.
  17. I'm glad to see so many responses here, hopefully this is representative of the larger community's desires as well. I'll admit that I have real mixed feelings about the X8. I'd ultimately voted in favor of it (in addition to the phase-3), but it tears me. To me, the concept of a feature-stripped X16 is most appealing if the product is specifically targeted at handheld experiences. Instead, the X8 feels like it's trying to compete with the Raspberry Pi, something which I'm not sure it'll be good at without more exposed digital I/O for people to hack with. And with the 50% faster clock speed, the X8 is not strictly worse than the X16, which means there will inevitably be members of the community who will prefer the X8 over even the phase-3 X16. Not to mention the benefits of USB, which are hurdles (small hurdles, but nonetheless) to owning an X16. So I worry that the X8 would ultimately bifurcate the community, and drag the quality of both X8 and X16 software down to run as much as possible on the minimal subset between the X8 and the X16. I think I've talked myself into wanting to change my vote to say "No" to the X8.
  18. A kit of this complexity is intimidating to build. But in the end, my wallet is ready. I'm excited to give it a try.
  19. In addition to the NES, SNES, and Sega Genesis sound coprocessors, and the 1541 disk drive's 6502, the Sega Saturn had something like 6 "stream" processors which each ran their own op in parallel to the others. This wasn't true "multithreading", this was more like being able to run 6 operations simultaneously, and the assembly code files were literally 6 operations per line. I'm not sure how such a design might be possible with 6502s (I thought I'd read somewhere about using a pair of 6502s to mimic 16-bit-like processing, but I can't find the sources and don't even see how that's possible from the pins on a 6502); but even if it were, it's worth noting that the Saturn was famously difficult to program for, which kinda shows this was only marginally practical. I could see a use for having a second 6502 for spinning heavier math processing off to another domain, but I would agree with others that it would probably be more practical to look into a more bespoke math coprocessor, or at least a different CPU for certain math operations, the way some folks used Z80 expansion cards for C64s and Apple IIs, or the way some SNES cartridges had the 3Dfx chip.
  20. Alas, the best I could come up on my own with were 1990s games or later. To supplement your list: Dragon Quest V (1992), the game protagonist marries one of three different women (the player chooses which). Super Mario RPG (1996), an antagonist named Booster attempts to marry Princess Toadstool. The ceremony is broken up at the last second. Final Fantasy X (2001), Summoner Yuna agrees to marry Seymour Guado, but it turns out to be a ruse that goes wrong and she is forced to flee from the ceremony at the last second. And the closest a quick internet search could get me was Phantasy Star III (1990), where the main character can marry one of two women in the game.
  21. Well, there's no rewrite planned that I'm aware of, just modification of the C64 kernal to match the hardware of the X16 and extend the API. Having contributed a bunch to the official emulator, forking my own, and poking with the CPU and memory mappings, my guess is that it's not so much a problem with VERA initialization as that the '816 either has a conflicting opcode with the 65C02 that the kernel is using, or is expecting some new piece of memory to be mapped in a way that conflicts with what the kernel is doing, and the kernal is crashing or entering an infinite loop before it gets to VERA initialization. (I would have guessed a conflicting opcode, but added memory wonkiness because someone on the unofficial Discord server suggested the 65816 has a hardwired memory requirement -- similar to the 65c02's CPU stack from $100-$1FF -- that the kernal isn't taking into account.)
  22. For the time being, that's my assumption, and I assume there are no plans to change that. After all, the project is supposedly close to being finished, the team had even hoped to have something available last year, so I very much doubt there are any plans for a major redesign at this point. If the KB/M interfaces moves to the microcontroller, I expect that means it'll be bit-banged through I2C. I don't know what will become of the VIA bits currently used there, if they'd be left empty or if they'd go to the user port or expansion slots, or what. But I'm guessing that whatever else changes, it'll be small moves.
  23. For my money, this is the most interesting point. Kevin added that there was debate whether going through the microcontroller would be faster or not. I had previously commented on Facebook, but this sounds like the team is experimenting with the difference between having the CPU communicate with PS/2 devices directly, versus communicating with PS/2 devices through I2C. The PS/2 interface requires a fair fewer bits, but the CPU spends a lot of time idling, and queries can take a significant fraction of a screen's scantime. I2C, though a much faster interface, requires a lot more bits. Since both interfaces are bit-banged, the difference may be a wash. Personally, I'm hoping we learn what the results ended up being.
  24. Well, with DDR5 promising 4.8GHz and up to 8.4GHz clock speeds, I guess I could start to believe in the possibility of a high-quality manufactured ASIC hitting the GHz range while running the 6502 set of opcodes, without having to be throttled by memory fetches. Would it run circles around modern Intel and AMD processors, though? Lulz no, we're talking about an 8-bit CPU that can't even do its own integer multiplication, much less floating point, and let's not even start on division. Even if you could clock it up to modern CPU speeds, your programs to compare against would be spending thousands of cycles performing operations that a modern Intel, AMD, or ARM cpu can do in as few as 30 cycles. And the memory efficiency of the program code would suffer greatly, as well, as the 6502 has no opcodes for floating point math, or different type sizes, or vector operations. Sorry, we're all fans of the 6502 here, but there's just no reality where a 6502-circa-2022 is going to remotely compete on performance.
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