Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


BruceMcF last won the day on October 14

BruceMcF had the most liked content!


Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

BruceMcF's Achievements

  1. They haven't changed. X16p, "pro", aka "Plenty of chips", is the one you have been calling chiP and diP, X16c is the Cost reduced one, the X16e is the one with the processor core Embedded in the FPGA. Mostly FPGA first, Mostly FPGA alongside the X16p, and Mostly FPGA after the X16p ... aka X16e, first, alongside and after ... are all quite plausible at this point. Just "the FPGA" is a bit confusing since all three will have Vera in an FPGA, it's just the X16e will have more stuff in there alongside.
  2. What I am saying: just take the actual piece of information. Don't go spinning off into speculation not supported by available facts. There are no facts that warrant supposing that we can expect a "new X8" or an X16e before an X16p. Now, if they had a definite plan, they'd announce it. So development work without a definite plan is quite plausibly going ahead in order to find something out which is not necessarily clear until an actual working prototype is available. Proceeding with the (long planned) X16e design could be to sort out hesitation on scrapping it just as much as it is to settle hesitation on going ahead with it. Barring word from the development team, supposing it is one or the other is just guesswork. Indeed, it's just as plausible to have a joint X16e / X16p DIY crowdfund or pre-order campaign, since that would make it easier for the first campaign to hit a target of 1,000+ keyboards in the first keyboard order.
  3. Yes, there is nothing there that pins down what will be done, just saying what isn't going to be done and what the next step is going to be as they work out what to do. So, nothing there suggests are implies looking at a "more compatible" "X8 style" design later ... but nothing specifically excludes it, either. It's just one piece of the puzzle in place ... not going ahead with the X8 prototype as designed ... and a mention of what the next step of work may be as they sort out how they are going to proceed.
  4. Note that there is a false premise here. The X16 is not "turning into more of a simple FPGA board" ... first, the FPGA board "X16e" version was on the "development plan" long before the X8 question was raised in The Megathread, and second, it was quite explicit before and it was made quite explicit in the "Megathread" that the "simple FPGA board" system is not taking the place of the X16p.
  5. tl;dr: "Huh, yeah, the X8 was an interesting proof of concept, even if they decided not to release it to the market."
  6. The thing is, the "unique value proposition" of the two are different. The "unique value proposition" of the X16e is that it is hardware that lets you run X16 software out of the box, if you like, with a complete system costing somewhere on the order of half as much as the X16c. SBCs that can run the X16 emulator are already available in the $50-$100 price range, but if people really press the limits of the hardware, there could well still be some cool demos or games that don't run correctly or at full 60fps frame rate on the emulator. The "unique value proposition" of the X8 is a small, inexpensive board that a single person can understand down "to the hardware specification", a la the C64 or Atari 800, of particular interest to those who already understand 6502 Assembly Language (and optionally also Forth) programming. Relative to the FPGA Speccy+, the X8 is substantially cheaper, the X16e is a 6502 core while the Speccy is a Z80 core. So the X16e vs the Speccy+ (watchamacallit) is more like horizontal product differentiation, the X8 vs the Speccy+ is more like vertical differentiation. As far as what you can DO with the X8 ... well, I spilled likely over 1,000 words on the simple proposition that if it had a spare select line for using the existing SPI interface to access a "hat", and brought select, SCLK, MOSI and MISO out to the existing debug interface pinout, to my mind it would be able to do a lot more interesting things. Also, the value proposition of the X16e depends much more directly on following up the X16p and X16c, which are the anchors for the development of the "interesting X16 software" that drives the X16e value proposition.
  7. My modern games are shooters, wing racers, platformers and pinball games on my OG 2DS, and with the 2DS line out of production, the clock is already ticking down until the time they will be retro games.
  8. It's a moot point for the original X8 prototype, but if they ended up deciding to launch first with a similar board that is more X16 software compatible, they could likely source a quantity of an appropriate FPGA from somewhere and set that quantity as the cap on the initial crowdfund. From the brief comment by David (referred to above), Frank is first working on an X16e prototype (one might speculate about that process leading to a new version of the X8 that is more compatible with the X16, but it would be pure speculation), and on past history, if something comes from that which leads the project team to settle on a new release path, it will be announced when it is settled, and not when it is still under consideration ... ... and the last we heard, Micheal Steil has another project that is taking his time at present, after which he will return to working on the Kernel development, which it seems likely they are going to get finished before considering a crowdfund or pre-orders for the X16p ... ... so until one or the other of those get to an update milestone{+}, speculating on FPGA availability would be premature. _____________ {+ Bearing in mind that ASKING the team about how close they are to an update milestone is asking for an update, and nagging for updates is against the T&C of the site.}
  9. My overall thoughts on the X8 (now that the Megathread which started to metastasize into Yet Another Why This Project Should Be A Different Project argument in its last few pages has been locked): I did not worry about "Osborne effects", but thought there was was a risk that if released before the X16 comes out in some physical form, there was a risk it would set the broader concept of what the X16 system is. If the team wanted to release the X8, I favored releasing it alongside the X16p DIY and a capped number of X16p built boards I also thought that the X8 design needed whatever tweaking was workable to open it up to making extension "hats" for it ... with an SPI bus already used for loading the Basic/Kernel binary on "reboot" and for micro-SD card access, only one pin and a register bit somewhere in the address space would be required to make one external SPI device available, and with a single external glue logic chip, 2 external select lines could be readily selected. (Two is as many as you need, since one can be used to define a set of extended selects in a GPIO extender or serial shift register, and the other to select output of the currently defined select). In any event, I'd get an X8 kit including keyboard if I could, but I'd be more likely to use it for tinkering with things on a breadboard if it had the option for a hat that let me add more GPIO. The X8 wouldn't have been a through-hole kit, it would have been a small board made with surface mount parts and produced in batches by a producer equipped to produce boards like that efficiently. The FPGA they are using seems to be a fairly popular part, but it's not in stock at Mouser ... they have 27,000+ on order, with two September 2022 delivery dates.
  10. No, because the shipping & logistic crisis just ate up all of my money. But if I can get some work going now that I am back in the US, maybe sometime early in 2022.
  11. In other words, you have a fundamental philosophical disagreement with this particular project, which is being pursued by people who appreciated the stable development platforms represented by the 8bit systems like the Vic20 or C64 or Atari 800 and wanted to create a new system that would offer a similar stable development platform. The ongoing element in those systems was the ongoing exploration of what is possible within the constraints of that stable development platform. As far as projects which are not stable development platforms, but are, instead, always temporary way-stations before "screwing the whole page up and throwing it into the trash" ... there really are quite a lot of those. It seems as if there will continue to be, even if the choice of building a stable development platform is not outlawed in the name of pursuing hobbyist hardware development as an ephemeral art form. As far as the question in the OP in this thread, can we take it your view is you are against the X8 being released first, you are against the X16p being released first, and you are against them being released simultaneously, because you are fundamentally opposed to some of the goals of the project itself, and wish to edit those goals into goals more to your liking?
  12. I had once been under that impression, but AFAIU, no, the system clock is on the board, and the bus interface is not synchronized with the internal Vera clock. I believe that driving the system clock from a countdown from the internal FPGA clock may have been one idea for handling the problems with interference between bus interface they added to the Gameduino and the actions of the J1 coprocessor that the Gameduino included, but that since Vera doesn't have an embedded processor core, it doesn't have the same problem.
  13. It was a project idea, with a prototype offered when David put out the call for something that fit the desires of the project better than the FPGA based Gameduino, then developed as part of the project, it went through a couple of changes in feature set, including a UART backed by an input FIFO buffer being added and then stripped out again so the register address space could be expanded from eight to thirty two bytes ... and then the word was passed through from the team that the features were considered locked down, so people could stop posting "how about adding this to Vera!" threads. So the module that we can see plugged into the most recent prototype boards are, as far as we can tell from the outside without a definitive declaration, finished. The original Gameduino C64 card used for early prototyping several years ago now was bit banged SPI (not SCI), and, yes, that would be too slow. If I was guessing, I would that Frank is going to let the Commander project be the initial release of Vera, and releases for other systems ... either the X16p subsystem, or system-specific designs (like my wish-list C64 cartridge with Vera and geoRAM compatible 512KB RAM memory expansion) ... will come after.
  14. One interesting point is whether it's timing as designed will play nice with a 16MHz Z80 bus, since a 32byte register address range fits well with the 256byte I/O address space of the Z80. Use a 2->4 decoder to select Vera on I/O (a6,a7)=%00, select tri-state hex latches on %01 and %10, tie the Vera SPI select to the output enable of the %01 latch to select from four SPI devices, tie the other latch to select a 32K memory bank on a 512KB SRAM, and it could make a really cute little CP/M Plus system to play with ... two SD cards, one UART and an I2C bus master for parallel port, keyboard, etc.
  • Create New...

Important Information

Please review our Terms of Use