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Posts posted by StephenHorn

  1. I recently enjoyed playing through Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight, a small 2D metroidvania title. In fact, I enjoyed it enough that I don't mind being a bit of a shill for the game, which is on sale on Steam for $4. That sale is an absolute steal, in my opinion. It's also available on other platforms, but doesn't appear to be discounted everywhere.

    The fourth entry in the series, MRUM took me about 5 hours to clear, unassisted, getting the "true ending". The game has a bit of a "Dark Souls" feel to its difficulty, with limited health between save points and bosses requiring some amount of pattern identification to defeat, but I personally weigh it as feeling more like a metroidvania, especially once you acquire one of the items that can restore health with each enemy kill.



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  2. I wouldn't be surprised if this gets nipped by admins for coming too close to "asking for updates". But I, for one, appreciate that it can be discouraging when there are long periods without new information.

    The X16's development has been much longer and fraught with unexpected setbacks than anyone had anticipated, not least of all because of the pandemic and subsequent logistics shortage. But to the best of our knowledge, the X16 is not dead. Dave still wants to see this platform released, and he or another member of the team will post when there is something of value to post about.

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  3. On 10/20/2021 at 7:44 PM, Oldrooster said:

    If you can post sufficiently hi resolution photos of both sides I'll tell you how to connect up a power supply.

    Worst thing that can happen is you'll be barbecued in a massive electrical fire, so may as well give it a go. No, seriously, post up some pictures.

    What is the part number, it may have obvious ques to the type. For example, you'd pick a name like TR-1201 for a 12volt AC 1 amp transformer, so when customers refer to it, you are prompted to know what it is.

    I've since lost the kit, and the instructions, but as I recall this transformer was intended to sit between raw mains power and potentially expensive audio equipment, so uh.... I didn't want to guess. It was one of those old kits for driving banks of lightbulbs to music, based on several basic filters. Not a great loss, nor that complicated of a kit, but... I wasn't going to guess. Thing was probably unsafe anyways even in an enclosure, as it took mains power on one end and expected to put filtered mains power on an array of A/C sockets on the other end. My original plan to test it was to clear out my garage, plug an arduino into the audio input to provide a sweeping test tone, plug the A/C output into some work lamps, and the A/C input into a surge protector, then toggle the surge protector with a long stick. 😛 Also would have been my first finished kit to work on mains power, everything else I've done works at 12v or less and I can easily provide the power with batteries or my rinky-dink bench supply.

    I don't recall the name of the company, but when I went looking for them, I learned that they used to be a significant seller of radio kits, until their warehouse and/or headquarters was raided by the FBI. Apparently, government suspicion and legal battles over whether they were allowed to sell "radio equipment" was why they stopped selling electronics kits. But again, while they still seemed to be in operation, my queries went unanswered. Ah well.

  4. My dad found an old electronics kit in the garage and, not really having much use for it anymore but knowing that I was more into retro electronics these days, gave it to me. Sure enough, I went to solder it. Couldn't test it, though: It turns out it was missing a transformer, and the accompanying documentation only listed a part number from the company that made the kit. Alas, while the company appears to (technically) still be in operation, it didn't respond to emails inquiring about the part. Not even to say "we can no longer provide support for that kit", it was simply a black hole. Ah well.

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  5. 13 hours ago, Cyber said:

    Just a bit sloppy. It's a fun fact, when I try to think about this: most common people refer the word "computer" mostly to desktops or laptops - generaly to a "home computer". But the word "computer" actually has a much-much broader meaning. And right beside it we have a casual meaning for a word "computer", which appeared, well... casually. )

    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.

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  6. 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.

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  7. 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.


  8. 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.

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  9. 2 hours ago, rje said:

    I guarantee that at least one person on this forum is a coder who would be terrible at getting an X16 kit working.


    14 minutes ago, BruceMcF said:

    Wait, how did you know that I ...

    ... OH! I get it ...

    ... make that two.


    7 minutes ago, Scott Robison said:

    I'm willing to give it a try, but I suspect I would make three.


    5 minutes ago, James Anders Banks said:

    Number 4 already making a mess with solder over here ... !


    2 minutes ago, VincentF said:

    Five with me, my poor soldering skills will probably make a fried potato instead of a computer !

    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.

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  10. 1 minute ago, Snickers11001001 said:

    Not as of Proto 3.    I think they changed to a 60 position slot and rearranged many of the signals and added quite a few extra ground signals. 

    Yeah, I'm struggling to find more up-to-date information. If someone comes across it, could they link it here?

  11. 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.

  12. 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:



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  13. 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.


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  14. 3 minutes ago, Carl Gundel said:

    Most games in the 80s and 90s supported multiple audio and video standards.  Some of 8BG's games also do this, so why can't developers be encouraged to write games that work on both machines? 

    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.

  15. 16 minutes ago, Snickers11001001 said:

    Judging off 8BITGUY's posts in totality, I sort of feel like the decision was made before the poll went up.   He wants to push out the X8 and is looking for community endorsement of that direction.     

    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.

  16. 1 minute ago, x16tial said:

    just release ALL the info about this blasted thing. I just don't understand why the holdback

    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.

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  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.

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  18. 11 hours ago, rje said:

    While thinking about the 65c816, it struck me that, because 6502s are relatively cheap, a board could be made with two of them.

    i tried to imagine WHY one would want to do this, and I’m not sure.

    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.

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