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VIC-2020

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Everything posted by VIC-2020

  1. Ha, I can relate. I love my 1981 VIC20 and like my 2020 TheVIC20 (despite the TheVIC20's hacky memory expansion issue). I can program the VIC in Basic (with a book of PEEKs and POKEs flopped open nearby) but once hex and assembly come into view my eyes glaze over. Basic 2.0 programs running at the 8-12Mhz speeds of this X-project might make assembly unnecessary in a lot of cases. I program the old-fashioned way: tapping away at the petscii keyboard and frequent checks of ?FRE(0). No PC or modern PC tools involved. I find it to be almost as engrossing as it was 40 years ago. I only wish there was some way to output TheVIC20 listings to a tractor-feed dot-matrix printer so I could reproduce the full 1980s programming ambiance. The C128's Basic 7.0 was a thing of beauty. That was a Basic that really opened up access to the computer's capabilities. Note to the 8BG: I demand you implement the X16 project with my pet preference of Basic 7.0 or you will have failed the project and proven in front of the entire world and for all time that you are a terrible leader! Wah-wah-wah!
  2. No offense intended, and certainly not in any way personal. Your comment is not the only one in this long thread to imply that the X8 is emulation on a Pi, when it clearly is stated by T8BG to be FPGA.
  3. I can't tell if comments along the lines of "I don't want a Raspberry Pi" are facetious or exaggerations, or if there's a genuine mistaken perception among some that the X8 is nothing more than an emulator of the X16 on a Pi board, but above is how the man himself describes the 100% FPGA X8. Sounds good to me. I'm probably not going to drop $400 on a hobby computer. I want the low cost Jack Tramiel "for the masses" machine. But I'd be much more likely to buy that $400 machine when it eventually becomes available if I was already invested time and knowledge-wise in the X-family ecosystem. The saying goes, Less is more. I say, More is more. The more X8's are sold, the more X16's will sell. Also, with the Covid-throttled parts supply situation, it may actually be 5 years before the X16 can be realized. If selling the X8 brings in a big infusion of cash, that could only help to accelerate release of the X16.
  4. WWJ(ack Tramiel)D? Would Jack release the X8 now to bring in cold hard cash? Is there any doubt the answer is a pounding-the-table yes? Would Jack cripple the X8 in order to make it somewhat more compatible with a planned future product that's still years away? Haha, no. You know who would? The clueless marketing division at CBM, after Jack rage-quit and had poached all the engineering talent. Would Jack allow the X8 and the X16 to find their their own loyal and fervent audiences? He would. Jack didn't try to dictate how his computers should be used; he left that up to all the software and hardware developers who thanked him over the years for the awesome and affordable machines he released into the wild. Would Jack sell the X8 to the masses, not the classes? Yes. Take my money. Sell me a cost-reduced keyboard with petscii keycaps, too, thank you. Nerds outside the US especially will line up by the thousands, probably tens of thousands, to buy a product that isn't loaded up with expensive import duties, high shipping costs due to weight, customs inspections and delays, etc. The X16's killer apps are just waiting to be programmed by X8 buyers around the world.
  5. Hello fellow 8-bit junkies. Quite excited about the design goals of this project and the possibility that it could turn into a big deal, considering the community of well-know, well-respected, authoritative, and authentic geeks bringing it about. I'd love to see a massive worldwide community spring up around a love of (addictive) BASIC programming and off-the-wall game design concepts, similar to what the C64 engendered in its heyday. To paraphrase Han Solo, I got a good feeling about this. After scraping together every penny I had plus raiding the couch cushions I bought my first computer, the Interact Model 1: http://oldcomputers.net/interact.html but the less said about that the better. Just kidding. It was mind-blowing to own my own computer, even if the hardware was slow and the hard-plastic-buttons-on-top-of-a-membrane "keyboard" was atrocious. The BASIC language (loaded from tape) was actually pretty good and I was able to get very comfortable with programming in BASIC. My second computer was a VIC-20 with 3K memory cart, purchased by money order and snail mail from Protecto Enterprises in the Spring of 1981. I still recall with great clarity the sense of wonder I felt on unboxing the VIC and seeing for the first time those petscii characters stamped on the front of the keys of the REAL keyboard. I was immediately enamored. Soon after I was unpleasantly shocked by BASIC v2.0, after having used the Interact's BASIC with its full set of drawing commands. Where the heck were the all the commands I would need for drawing on the screen? Bogus! Thankfully the VIC came with an amazing user manual that quickly got me past that initial shock at the spartan nature of BASIC 2.0. Also the wonderful full-screen editing with the cursor keys was a big step up. And being able to redefine the character set into castles, aliens, and rockets was the best thing ever. I skipped over the C64 (though a housemate at University had one that he let the rest of us use when he wasn't working on his degree) and bought a C128. Again, mail order. I remember sending off payment as soon as they started taking orders and then waiting like 6 months for it to arrive. BASIC 7.0 was incredible. Loved the built-in sprite editor and the wealth of IF-THEN and LOOP statements, not to mention finally having a good range of drawing statements once again. I programmed a number of titles for the 128 and actually got a few of them published by Compute!'s Gazette back in the day. Years later I picked up a Plus4 at a thrift store and fell in love all over again with the full-featured BASIC 3.5 on that system. My favorite case in both the form-factor and the color scheme of all the 8-bit CBMs. The Plus4 feels like a deluxe VIC-20 successor. Anywho, that's my 8-bit saga in somewhat condensed form. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on the Commander X16 and sharing BASIC tips and tricks and creations. A round of applause for David Murray and friends, everybody.
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