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John Chow Seymour

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John Chow Seymour last won the day on August 13

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  1. My goodness, this comes as a shock. He was always an interesting person to chat with on this forum.
  2. Oddly enough, I've seen those (recommended to me by some-or-another online store's algorithm). They do look very attractive. On the other hand, where do those colors come from? Why are some of the PETSCII characters colored differently than others; does it mean something or does it just look cool? It's like the designers got confused and tried to be nostalgic for two different things at once.
  3. My first home console was a 2600, specifically the "Sears Telegames" model. It surely was an odd time in retail history when a company thought they could sell more units by letting the Sears department store put their store brand on onto their video game system. Sears was truly the Amazon of their day, NA's largest retailer; if you could get a product in Sears it was your ticket to success. But the 2600 sold better than even Atari expected; turns out they would have done just fine even without Sears' help. My favorite game was probably Joust, as a kid I played against any neighborhood kid whom I could coerce into playing against me, and when none were around, I played against the computer. Another favorite was Adventure. Most games back then just got harder and harder until they weren't humanly possible anymore. But Adventure was a story with a set of puzzles and mazes to solve, and an ending - you could "beat" the game. And I did! It was the first game I ever "finished." We had Pitfall and Asteroids, both of which I know are famous, but I did not enjoy either one of those. I got an NES for Christmas when I was 6 years old, and set it up next to the Atari - and continued to play both for several more years. I think the arrival of the SNES is what finally caused me to pack the Atari away.
  4. The way I see it, the craziness of the parts market has put a lot of retrocomputer hobbyist projects on hold. The Ultimate C64 is unobtainable indefinitely due to the FPGA price. The Mega65 is taking second-round pre-orders, but I doubt they're immune to the FPGA price problem either. Not sure how this one will shake out. The DE-10 Nano for the MiSTer is available but getting hard to find, and going up in price TheC64 (and mini) are available if you're content with a Linux system running an emulator (most people on this forum, even those who bought a TheC64 for the games, probably also want to work outside of emulation at some point). The X16 is in limbo for a number of reasons not necessarily related to the parts market, as I'm sure you're all aware. But Stefany has specifically designed the Foenix Jr. to be obtainable even in the parts crunch; all the parts are currently sourceable at a price that can keep the system under USD $200; the initial target is under $150. A key part of this is the much smaller (and still sourceable) FPGA, which is possible because (1) the CPU is an actual 65C02 and not in the FPGA (unlike the Ultimate and Mega) and (2) it runs a trimmed-down but still capable version of the "Vicky" FPGA found in the bigger Foenix machines.
  5. And have you bought (or pre-ordered) one of the larger 65C816 Foenix systems? (Just out of curiosity.) As I posted elsewhere, my money's in for a Gen X, production of which is now back on track so I should receive it in a few months.
  6. Here's the link. The bidding ends some time tomorrow. Even you're not intending to bid, (hey, it's only USD $300,000 as I post this)... the write-up is quite thorough (which is rare for eBay, I know) and actually makes a nice read . It's full of pictures from throughout Apple history and goes into detail about this specimen's provenance. I didn't know that there are people who track how specific Apple 1s have changed hands, and have given them nicknames, not unlike the way Stradivari instruments are handled these days.
  7. Don't forget, in addition to the physical keyboard, you'll also need all the 'soft' components: the NES has no character ROM and no concept of a text interface, so your first task after getting that keyboard going would be to draw yourself a font (or steal one) and work out a system for placing characters into both screen memory and file memory, handling line breaks, handling backsapce, etc. With the NES's PPU being optimized for sprite tiles rather than characters, it'll be an uphill battle. That's not to say it wouldn't be a fun, geeky thing to do, as several of you have said.
  8. I'm not sure what the BASIC interpreter would be for - I don't know of any NES games that run on a layer of BASIC. Then again, I suppose there are cases where you could use BASIC as a tool to create resources (sprites, music?) for the eventual ML code to access. Having an ML interpreter right on an NES reminds me of using my PE6502 kit computer. It boots into WozMon, which is sort of a bare-minimum OS, but also has an ML assembler onboard called Krusader (link to the manual). Sine the 2A03 is 6502-based it may be possible to get Krusader onto our hypothetical keyboard-enabled NES. Development in 6502 assembly on a 6502 for that same 6502 is, in my opinion, a fun challenge. You need memory space for the source code, for the assembled version of the code, for any data the assembled version draws on (strings, etc.) and for Krusader itself, all in a single 64k address space; and it's up to the programmer to manage all that manually. Working on the PE6502, I found myself coding low-level utilities that let me do simple things like "create a new string and save it at a given memory address". Once that tool was tested and working, I could delete the source code for it to free up space but continue to use the assembled tool as I continued to work on the project. These additional constraints are not ideal, but that's kind of the point of taking on the challenge of developing on-system. And yes, we could get around the space constraints with RAM expansions (on our hypothetical NES, not on the PE6502). I'm not sure what @Cyber is up to, but good luck! It sounds like fun!
  9. I haven't watched the video above yet, but the last time I read about this, converting your PS2 to a Linux box meant that it could never play PS2 games again. You couldn't really develop "for the console, on that console" in that case, then. But, I guess you could develop for PS2 Linux on PS2 Linux!
  10. Atmel EEPROMs, wow. They're usually like, $11 or $12. And even at the crazy prices below, they're still going fast; look how few are left. The pic is from Digi-Key but it's about the same over at Mouser. Time to take my chances on some sketchy ones from China via eBay. Usually I don't, but I mean, look at the alternatives.
  11. Oh, yes. I really like the 3DS form factor, and I often wish there were good ways to do more with it than play games. Having a 3DS-form factor device that is also a viable productivity tool is a kind of pipe dream for me. I don't even know how you'd accomplish that. I got into SmileBASIC for a while - a BASIC you and code and run directly on the 3DS - but in the end, typing away with the stylus on that tiny on-screen keyboard was just a drag. (There's a version for Switch now; I wonder how that is.) Alas, no USB-to-3DS adapter ever materialized (not even sure what port such a thing would plug into). There was a peripheral keyboard for the DS that went into slot 2 (the legacy game cart slot), but it only worked with the typing tutor game it came with, and of course slot 2 was removed on DSi models and later, long before SmileBASIC was released. You were so close, Nintendo! @Tatwi's idea to have the handheld hook right up to a keyboard and screen for development is great. I'd settle even for just a keyboard.
  12. So, I came across this recently: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROR1NQE-2DY "VisionBASIC", a compiled BASIC for the C64. Note that to write and compile programs in VisionBASIC you need extra RAM - but it's compatible with many forms of RAM expansion, not only vintage solutions like old REUs or the SuperCPU, but also modern ('retro') gear like the Turbo Chameleon or either of Gideon's "Ultimate" producrs (the cart, or the Ultimate C64 itself). Or even just in an emulator. ....but, crucially, you don't need the extra RAM to run programs compiled with VisionBASIC. So you can use it as a developer, but still distribute your work and expect it to run on stock C64s.
  13. It all looks great, thanks for sharing. I see you have some spaces in your space bar! That was probably a good way to handle that, given the circumstances. I actually rather like the look of that 'calculator' style case. I probably wouldn't like typing on it... but visually, it sure looks cool.
  14. Calgary is truly the Ft. Worth of Canada. Both are even nicknamed "Cowtown"! Anyway, I only lived in North Texas for about 2 years... just long enough to get my Master's from UNT. Does that let me be an honorary usergroup member?
  15. Hmm, a moddable pocket system. What kind of mods are you imagining?
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