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John Chow Seymour

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Everything posted by John Chow Seymour

  1. So far, when I answer by saying "This call is being recorded for fraud prevention purposes, is that okay?" I get either (A) They immediately hang up. (B) "No sir, it's not being recorded." to which I reply "No no, I'm recording it to prevent fraud" after which they hang up. (C) [BY FAR the most common] the computer-controlled message-spewing system has no idea how to respond to that, and so it cavalierly proceeds to tell me I promised them a $35 donation six weeks ago. I usually respond by saying "It's taped to the back of a tortoise, he'll eventually wander your way."
  2. In these pics, are you attempting to assassinate the tornado?
  3. If he doesn't go for the "there's something on the wing!" gag during the flight I'll be disappointed.
  4. Oh, I think I get it now. It's not about refusing to learn kicad - this designer friend of yours wants his boards done the old(er)-fashioned way as an aesthetic choice. And, that is a very visually appealing board design he has there. I've actually seen some of those acetone board-fab videos before on YouTube, so I know what you're talking about. The process looks quite difficult, but as you say, it's technically do-able (just not at large scales) if you can find someone willing. I hope the designer is able to find someone - maybe try contacting the people who made those YT videos; since they already have an interest in it and have already put time into getting the process down, then maybe they'll take an order, for the right price. Just a thought.
  5. Although my current favorite keyboard is a Logitech K120, that company also makes the worst keyboard I have ever used: the K380. This is the wireless (Bluetooth) keyboard that can switch which device it's connected to; I bought it because it solved a problem I had at the time (lots of computers with small desk space). The connectivity and switching aspect worked great, but the keyboard itself was awful to type on. It would often log two key presses even though I felt like I only pressed it once - on any key. This lead to a lot of doubled letters or unexpected confirmations (if it logged the 'return' key twice when I only intended once). I thought it was faulty so I returned it, got another one of the same model, and had the same problem. I'm assuming the problem lies in the way the keys are made (they're very flat and have a shallow travel distance), but I guess it could be a glitch in the bluetooth connectivity, for all I know.
  6. Neat. What do the three keys on the LH attached module do? Are they custom assignable? Also... no cursor keys? My favorite keyboard was a Dell Quietkey from (I think) the early '90s. I used it well into the modern era, with a PS/2 > USB adapter. Alas, I spilled a drink on it about two years ago and fried part of the traces inside. These days my favorite is a relatively inexpensive Logitech K120 with 'half height' keys.
  7. Ohhhhhh, I finally got it. It took me way too long, but it was @kelli217's trochaic tetrameter clue that finally turned the lightbulb on. Since Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers never had a movie (as far as I know), it must be... Just kidding of course. As you likely know, I got that from xkcd, which also helped with the trochee clue. The only thing that's throwing me off is... I never played any TMNT video game, but I don't recall any magic in the MNT universe, or transformations. So maybe I haven't guessed correctly!
  8. Thank you all who answered. @paulscottrobson's answer happened to be the one that made it the most clear, and after reading that one, I went back to read the other two and they also made more sense. Two last clarifying questions, if no one minds (I hope these questions are helpful to the thread in general)... Why would we need 9 address lines to access a 256 byte window? In my ignorance, that sounds like it's addressable in 8 bits. So when the CPU is writing to the area that is acting as the 'window', it's writing to VRAM instead of CPU RAM? Or the write affects both RAMs?
  9. So, I ordered the C256 Foenix Gen X, which will come with a 65C816 processor. It will also come with a slot into which you can insert cards that Stefany sells that allow to use one of your choice of a handful of other processors alongside the built-in 65816. I have no interest in other processors and have not preordered one. I'm a musician and I have been looking for a way to get into chiptune creation more deeply. I am also an 8-bit era programming hobbyist (not expert, but not a newb either). A few years ago I adopted an abandoned C64, nursed it back to health, was pleased to find that its original SID was still working and have been learning to program for the SID directly onboard in assembly. It's fun, but I haven't yet found a workflow that really makes it practical. I started work on programming my own little compositional utility, when news of the Gen X reached me. The Gen X will include five different flavors of sound chip: SN76489 Two Gideon SoftSIDs in FPGA, and two more slots for hardware SID chips (real or emulated) OPM (YM2151, as a JT2151SA - an FPGA version Stefany designed that also incorporates the amp chip that's supposed to always go with the 2151.) OPN2 (YM2612, as a JT2612SA - similarly, an FPGA version) OPL3 (YMF262, apparently as the actual F262 chip) ...also a piezo "PC speaker" for what it's worth, heheh. And, it has a MIDI input (No Output or Thru). I like MIDI a lot, I've been working with it (even at a binary, programming level) for a long time and know its ins and outs well. So what I'd like to do is program (in 65816 assembly) a program that will let me route the incoming 16 MIDI channels to whichever voices of whichever chips I want, and assign MIDI parameters to whichever aspects of those chips I want. I see this as a do-able challenge. The hardest part will actually be learning to make the graphical interface on the C256, since I'm really ignorant about graphics processing, and the Foenix is not the simplest setup to learn learn on. I'll likely do it in character graphics. There is also a tracker (already written) for the existing Foenix systems which should port easily to the Gen X, so while my own MIDI handler is under construction, or if I can't write it after all, I can fall back on the existing Tracker (I don't care for trackers, frankly, but I can use one if that's what's there.) The five chips and MIDI input are also available on the FMX, but as far as I can tell this is not being sold. The chip shortage would have forced Stefany to redesign it to bring it back to market, and my understanding is that she decided to move on to her next thing, the Gen X, instead. So, I've been mostly ignoring the 68k news because that's not my chip of choice. (Stefany has said, however, that it is her favorite CPU.) I should say, I may have misrepresented the A2560: I don't think it's 68SEC000 is built-in after all, I think maybe it has no built-in CPU but the 68SEC000 is the card that it comes with (swappable for other CPU cards). The Foenix systems have not yet involved a 68k CPU, the forthcoming models will be the first to have any flavor of the 68k series. For this reason, the already-developed software all 65816 based. One big project that everyone's trying to make a push for right now is a C-based Kernel that can be compiled for any of the potential CPUs; there's a team working on that one. There are other works in progress. A member named 'vinz67' is working on porting EmuTOS for any of the supported 68k series. Another user named 'gadget' is working on her own OS, aiming to be usable by any of the CPUs. So I guess the short answer to "is there a fair amount of.." is "No, not yet." Or at least, not specifically by the Foenix crew; how compatible existing 68k homebrew material would be, is beyond my knowledge.
  10. I'm wondering if someone could, very briefly, explain/summarize the difference between these two graphics approaches. (Not necessarily @paulscottrobson, your post was just a handy one to quote that mentioned both.) I'm not a graphics guy at all (all my work in assembly has been SIO/text, or sound), and for either the X8 or the X16 I would have to learn how the graphics system works. For anyone else on the forum here who might fall into that same boat, the briefest of comparisons might aid the discussion. Not a tutorial on how to use the two, just maybe a 1-2 paragraph overview, would be greatly appreciated. (Apparently the 'window' approach requires more pins on the FPGA - why? Does one or the other demand more of the CPU's cycles? etc.) If such an explanation already exists (possibly in another thread) then I apologize and would appreciate a link. Thank you!
  11. The website could be a little more clear about the different models and their releases, but, if I understand correctly: What's shipping in September are two models in the new "A2560" line, an MC68SEC000-based version of her existing Foenix U and U+ consoles, as well as the original (65C816-based) versions of the U and U+ which were unavailable for a while. These will begin shipping in about three weeks (so, late September). The Gen X is still slated for October or November. Apparently there's also an MC68SEC000-based version of the Gen X in the pipeline, called the A2560X, launching around the same time as the Gen X. (Both have the slot for a second processor; the difference is the built-in processor is the 65816 on one and 68SEC000 on the other. Maybe also something different about graphics, I don't know, I'm not a graphics guy.) And, somehow, a keyboard-case variant. We're over here arguing about whether the X8 should be allowed to ship or not and she's over there bringing to market whatever 3 or 4 new versions popped into her head this year. We'll see how these two different approaches play out. Personally I'm pleased to be in both communities. (Also, as a music guy, I'm so excited by the idea of having five sound chips in a system that I can program to work however I want, that I am optimistic about the Gen X. I did indeed put my money in for a pre-order, a few months ago.)
  12. If you get a chance, show us a picture! Even if it's still empty for now. Would be cool to see.
  13. That game looks like fun! And the creator seems very nice. Thank you for sharing it!
  14. Yeah I'd never even heard of the first game, and while I had heard of the last one I'd never seen the box art (and didn't expect it to look like that!).
  15. I haven't yet, but I am looking forward to it. I was sort of waiting for the audio chipset to be finalized, and sort of waiting for real hardware, but mostly just busy with other life stuff. I hear there's already a tracker for it - or for the emulator, anyway. I'm hoping I have time between now and launch to finally get the emulator going and familiarize myself with it.
  16. Here's something a little different. I sometimes watch this one comedy/cartooning YouTube channel called "Drawfee" (Like "Coffee" but with drawing, because they used to only stream in the mornings before work). Their humor is sometimes a little Millennial for me (references I don't get, mostly) but it's usually fun. Anyway! Last week they did a challenge based on old video game box art. One of them would describe the original box art, and another one had to draw it without seeing the original, just based on the description. So we could borrow their drawings for our own little forum game here. I'll show you three of their resulting drawings, and we'll see if the forum can get what the original game was. They actually did four drawings - the one I left out was too obvious, it's everyone's go-to example of terrible game box art, the North American release of Mega Man. If you want to watch the original, it's here. (Spoilers for the answers, of course).
  17. What was the Japanese storyline like? The 'too controversial' one.
  18. So, here's another way of looking at it. The goal of the project was always to make cool stuff for the people who share this hobby (8-bit computing). Frank came up with this X8 thing because he was doing what talented hobbyists do: making cool stuff. And so, the Commander project resulted in two devices. The community is already enjoying that result: in this very thread people are discussing hypothetically how to port from one to the other, how to program so that things will work on both, etc. In other words, we're already doing exactly the kind of stuff this community likes doing. It looks like, if you release both, there will be more for the community to enjoy. I don't know that you have to worry about 'fragmenting' the user base. In particular, the idea that people will now only program for the X8 as the 'lowest common platform' doesn't really apply in a situation where the software isn't being made commercially anyway. (If people only wanted to code for the bestselling platforms in order to make money, they'd code for Win/Mac/iOS/Android.) My guess is that people will code for both the X8 and the X16 because they're both fun to code for. If the community is split between the two, it's not necessarily bad, it's just the community enjoying more cool stuff. (So, keep the X8 as awesome as possible and leave at full speed!)
  19. Aww... don't do to the X8 what Jobs did to the Apple II line... throttle the speed just so it wouldn't compete with the Macintosh line. (Did that actually happen or is that an urban legend?) (Sorry to pick out @Fabio, several other people in this thread also suggested it.)
  20. Thanks for all the clarification. With that last pic, are you trying to pay tribute to Arne's art style? Especially with the pokemon scribbled in the margins. Or did he actually contribute that sketch for the Commander project?
  21. I just mean, let's say they estimate the production cost at $275, so they set the sale price at $350 (because of course, there should be a profit margin). Then, due to the unstable chip market, it turns out they cost $500 to produce. The team loses money on every pre-order, ouch! Or the opposite: sell pre-orders at $500 but then it turns out you can source them for $275 and so the general public is charged $350. In this situation, the people who were nice enough to show their support and pre-order got punished for doing so. (Although, maybe some wouldn't mind, and would see it as a the cost of supporting the project...)
  22. Preorders are a really good Idea... Maybe some Numbers of Dev Boards to a slightly higher price Like the mega65 did it. Yeah, but with pre-orders, this problem remains:
  23. If I'm going to buy something to help get some cash into the project, then given the choice between an X8 and a caseless Phase 1 kit (which you mentioned might be sellable soon), I'd take the X16p kit. I enjoy soldering and was always going to get the kit anyway, plus (as @Snickers11001001 mentioned above) the X16 is the system we've all been preparing for. That said, the extra speed of the X8 is a little intriguing. I'd still like to know how much more difficult the USB inputs will be to program for (say, in Assembly). Does the hardware do most of the handshaking work or will we have to implement that by hand in our assembly code?
  24. Here's an idea: So, the trick with Kickstarter is setting the price. If you have a good idea of the eventual price of your product, you can offer it to backers at around that price. With the uncertainty of the chip market these days, though, it's surely hard to get even a ballpark on what an X16 might cost. Start a Kickstarter now, and you run the risk of locking backers in at a price that's too low (which hurts the dev team) or too high (which will anger some backers). So, how about this: take donations in exchange for a discount off of whatever the eventual price of the X16 will be. A backer donates $5 now, they get $5 off the eventual price of whichever model of X16 they decide to buy. This way, you're not locking into the wrong price too early, and whatever the price turns out to be, each backer's investment will still count toward their purchase. It could even be graded: donate $50 now and get only a $40 discount... backers will understand that the extra money is going to support the development, and the amount that their 'overpaying' is fixed ahead of time and not a gamble on the chip market.
  25. Two Questions: (1) Up until now, every time someone asked for (or, usually, complained about the lack of) USB on the X16, the answer was that supporting modern USB devices is complicated not only from a hardware standpoint but also from a programming standpoint. SO my question is, will the X8 be harder to program for becasue its keyboard, mouse, and controller inputs use the more complicated USB? (2) I've never bought a case separate from the computer before, so maybe I have the wrong idea, but wasn't the Phase 1 board designed specifically to fit into a standard case size? I thought "ATX" was like a standard size, made by a variety of different manufacturers. Is it actually just one company's proprietary size? Setting aside the logos and color scheme, only the jackfield on the back panel needed to be customized (to fit the X16's specific I/O assortment)... right? aaaand, one comment: EDIT: I removed the comment, the 8 Bit Guy himself already said it, while I was writing, and there's no need for me to repeat it again.
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