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John Chow Seymour

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Everything posted by John Chow Seymour

  1. Those are some impressive collections. Mine is a bit more humble and is mostly old video game systems that my family never got rid of: Vintage: A C64 Breadbin that I rescued from the trash and repaired. (It was literally on the curb in my neighborhood; the house was put up for sale and the real estate company removed everything and put it out on the street for trash pickup.) I'm learning the ins and outs of the SID chip on it. Datassette that I bought on eBay (listed as broken) and repaired. 386-based "IBM Compatible" as we used to call them, branded with the name of a local electronics store that has long since closed. Has a SoundBlaster 16 card. Too low-powered to run Doom, but great for playing Planet X3. Atari 2600 (Sears "Telegames" model), and about 3 dozen games. Been in my family since before I was born, stopped working about 5 years ago. I'll repair it one of these days - I need Joust back in my life. Intellivision, broken, that used to belong to my aunt. It has never worked, not even when I was a kid. I should try to repair that too. GameBoys: While I still have the original DMG I got when I was a kid, I do all my chiptune work on a GameBoy Pocket that I bought at a flea market and then "ProSound" modded. (I didn't want to open up my original one in case I botched the mod!) NES: I still have my original NES, but I don't use it for anything besides playing games. I have plans to get a second one and take the R2a03 out and use it as the base for a breadboard computer, to use for making chiptunes, but I haven't done it yet. It'll be a tough project. I don't want to risk dissecting my childhood one since it still works! SNES, the one I had in my childhood. On mine, the top shell piece faded into yellow while the bottom stayed the original grey. My best friend's, however, ended up with the bottom shell faded and the top shell stayed perfectly fine. The mysteries of SNES plastic. I like collecting 90s-era MIDI tone generators, although I think those are all too new to be 8/16bit. I have a few versions of the Roland SoundCanvas, a couple in the Yama MU series, and a Yamaha QY70. My first computer growing up was an Apple //e, with a "green screen". Alas, we don't have it anymore. I miss it! Retro: I think the only 'retro' computer I have is the PE6502, which I put together from the kit. It's a pretty fun little device. I'm still hoping Jason Putnam will release the sound card. I'm in the Kickstarter for the "Liven 8bit Warps", a modern music synth with chiptune sensibilities. Apparently some of the audio generation is actually done with 8bit processing. They're starting to ship, but mine hasn't shipped yet. (Here's a link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sonicware/liven-8bit-warps-8bit-wave-memory-synthesizer-8 ). Maybe I'll make a post about it (in the off-topic forum) when I get it.
  2. Using a 6502 to make a gaming system that's cheaper than a full computer would be a great idea! ...in 1985.
  3. Would there be an 'assignment' or a theme of some kind, so all the contestants are working on something similar, or would it be just 'whatever you can program in three months'?
  4. I don't quite understand. Is this intentional? If not, is it an issue with the emulator?
  5. Merci pour l'aide! Le diable des étudiants de français, c'est sûrement la conjugaison. Je vais continuer à l'étudier.
  6. A, ça c'est raisonnable - les solutions réalisées par application, et pas au niveau du système. Bien merci pour votre réponse!
  7. A, bien! Si vous pouvez pardonner mes erreurs je peux pratiquer ecrir en Français. Je peux bien le lire, mais ecrir, c'est une autre défi. Ma petite tête est plein d'opcodes 6502 alors je ne peut pas tenir toutes les règles d'orthographe française! L'année dernière, ma famille a fait des recherches sur notres ancêtres. Apparemment, noun avons habitée en Québec depuis 20 générations jusqu'à il y a 5 générations. Mais mon arrière-arrière-arrière-grand-père a déménagé de Québec à Michigan, donc aujoud'hui nouns habitons ici et parlerons l'anglais. Désolé, je ne connais aucun tutoriel francophone du 6502. Si vous pouvez le trouver, mettez le lien ici! En le lisant/regardant, on peux peut-être apprendre le vocabulaire francaise relatif à la programmation. J'ai une question. L'X16 peut montrer les lettres commes "à,ç,ê,é" etc. Mais dans les années 1980, en PETSCII le C64 n'as pas pu les montrer. À l'époque, comment les francophones ont-ils géré cette situation? Y avait-il des cartouches spéciales pour gérer la langue français? Ou peut-être un puce de remplacement du ROM?
  8. Yes, I wonder about that. I don't know exactly what volume the MiniPET has sold in, but it's probably low enough that someone might have arranged those by hand (?) Or has someone developed a machine that will arrange multiple components in a single foam block in a bespoke arrangement? (In any case, while that was neat, I don't need it to be done like that... identifying minimally-labelled parts is part of the fun of the kit experience.)
  9. Nice to meet you Philippe! (J'ai etduié la langue Français au l'ecole secondaire, mais ca c'est il y a 20 ans, alors j'ai beaucoup oublié!) <--- I'm sure I butchered that. It's disappointing to hear that Stefany has halted progress on the Foenix, it seemed like it was going along well last I looked at the project page! The last news update was from a year ago, but it said that they were close to shipping it. I wonder what happened.... I remember I first heard about it when The 8-Bit Guy mentioned it in one of his videos. Apparently they were working together at first but decided their dream computers were incompatible. I still wanted to see both visions come to fruition though... maybe someday.
  10. So, I just noticed that the Spectrum Next Issue 2 Kickstarter has, as a stretch goal (which has been met), the following (see attached image): Now, I'm not saying the X16 should have a color manual - in fact, if B/W keeps the cost down, I'm all for it. But it takes more than mere color to make a great manual! "Brag about having the best 8-bit manual ever" - Them's Fightin' Words. Hey @Perifractic, you gonna take that lying down?
  11. One more thing (sorry for the double post, this occurred to me a few minutes too late, haha). You mentioned that you're not much of an artist so you'll design the game with simple graphics. That makes sense, but the other route would be to find an artist and team up. Not only will the game look nice, but doing so will have the arguably more important benefit of giving you experience working on a game with other people. When it's all done and you begin looking to join an indie studio, your artist friend can write you a letter of recommendation vouching that you're a good person to work with, you understand how to work as part a team, etc., all of which will be attractive to smaller studios.
  12. Lots of good advice in this thread, but I disagree with the idea above. Life's too short to pretend that some of your accomplishments don't matter. Maybe when you're on your 10th game, the first amateurish one won't matter so much. But until then, if what you make is good enough to release, then it's good enough to go on your CV.
  13. Ah yes, my first ever ML Monitor, SuperMon, a type-in program right out of Jim Butterfield's book. I eventually got a more full-featured ML Monitor cartridge for the the C64 (HES Mon), but messing around with ML in SuperMon is how I 'made the leap' from being confused by computers to feeling like I might be able to understand them someday. Big thanks all these decades later to Jim Butterfield. Sorry for the digression; I have no comment on which method of displaying Hex is preferable.
  14. So, in The 8-Bit Guy's latest video on the Mini PET, he mentions his apprehension about releasing a solder-it-yourself kit version of the X16p because of how difficult it can be to solder something as complicated a computer. My heart sank a little when I heard that. Of course, he's right - it is challenging. I've done a number of solder projects now and problems have always come up! But that's part of the fun and challenge of this particular subset of the hobby. And even though there have always been problems, it's also the case that anything I've ever soldered I've eventually gotten working in the end. Most recently I put together one of those Putnam Electronics PE6502 kits and of course it didn't work at first, but troubleshooting it was part of the fun. The troubleshooting took an entire extra day, but it was so satisfying when it finally turned on. I know from other comments (I think on this forum?) that David is concerned about not being able to offer "customer service", i.e. troubleshooting help to those people who are brave enough to try to solder together their own X16p. Again, he's right - support is a valid concern. All I can say in response to that is, I would hope that anyone brave enough to want to try the kit would be understanding of the risks. A big, noticeable disclaimer before placing an order for a kit version should help stave away any potential buyers who were only trying to save money (if the kit is even any cheaper). "Not suitable for a first-time solder project" would be a good start, or even just "not suitable for beginners." And make it clear that no help can be provided or should be expected from the official team. I'll still be buying an X16 even if there's no kit version (though, probably the 'c' instead of 'p'). I'm still excited about the X16 as a platform. I even totally understand his reasons for being wary of releasing a kit. But after the most recent video, if David is leaning toward not releasing one, I'm hoping this thread will politely nudge him in the other direction. Soldering stuff together is fun and challenging and I'm hoping I'm not the only one looking forward to undertaking that challenge with the X16.
  15. That custom case looks so good... but I'm sure it's part of what's making the price so high. I know there are people who wanted a keyboard-computer style case for the X16 as well, but I agree with the decision to go with the Micro ATX if it keeps the cost down! That said, that Spectrum Next design looks so cool... I don't even have any Spectrum nostalgia, and I still want one.
  16. When comparing the X16 and the GBC, don't forget the rather limited 160x144 pixel screen resolution of the GBC vs the 640x480 of the X16. That's ultimately an advantage of the X16, but it also means that, although the X16 has more VRAM, it also has a bigger screen to have to generate with it. Whether the increased resolution will also take up more of the X16's processing power and time, or whether that is more than made up for by the Vera, is not something I'm able to predict and might depend on the situation.
  17. Very interested in that as well. I'll have to read up on what exactly they did on that Apple ][.
  18. I like the shape of the acrylic case better, with the disk drive tucked away in the back. But that clear plastic look has always irritated me. At that price, I can't afford a DevKit, as much as I would love to support the project. I can't find anywhere on their website that gives even so much a ballpark about how much the production machines will cost... I guess they're not sure yet. I guess I'll just keep an eye on the project.
  19. I've often wondered about CP/M; I've never used it, so I guess I never knew what I was missing, and it was really nice to hear people who like it describe what it is they like about it. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts about it, even if it might never end up on the X16. In particular, I had no idea about all those supported languages; neat.
  20. I really love the Nintendo DS form factor and I've always wished that I could use it for more than gaming. I get a homebrew setup working for my DSiXL and had productivity software on there, but with no keyboard it was just not practical. The Pyra looks exactly like something I've always wanted! But would it be useful enough to warrant the price tag? I'll have to really think about that...
  21. Oh, I have seen some of these! They are really fascinating. My favorite was the one where he talks about mixing four channels of sampled audio on hardware that was only designed to allow one. Truly genius. (Alas, all the technical wizardry was done in the service of a rather forgettable piece of music. Technically impressive regardless!)
  22. This is excellent news! Thank you for taking the time to educate us about this.
  23. I love PETSCII, and I know it's on the X16 because of its legacy and especially all the graphical characters it supplies to facilitate for character-based graphics. However, it'd be a shame if, in our increasingly connected, international culture of the 21st century, we couldn't somehow get at least Scandinavian or Eastern European characters on the X16 (let alone anything non-Roman). However, my 'feature request' is not for the dev team to make an extended character ROM. Instead, I am suggesting that if the users can easily design their own characters somehow, then the user base will likely develop support for all sorts of languages, as needed, on its own. Someone in the community with enough time and inclination might even tackle Korean or Japanese characters - and yes, that comes with major input issues, but it would be easier to begin to address those issues if the system already easily allowed for user-defined characters. I'm not sure how that would be implemented, though. I know on the C64, it's technically possible to copy the entire character ROM to RAM and then override whatever characters you need, but this is challenging and kind of hacky; it's not something the system is designed to allow you to do easily. I've also read that on a Spectrum there is a much easier built-in way to make 'user characters', but I have no experience with this, and no knowledge of how it's implemented in the Spectrum architecture. Maybe on the X16 it would be as simple as some built-in subroutines to allow this kind of thing more easily? This would also have added advantages for people making games with character graphics. Thanks for considering it.
  24. Hi, I'm John but my longtime nickname has been "Chow." Professor of Music (PhD), 8-Bit Hobbyist. Some 8-bit things I've gotten up to: Last year, I rescued a C=64, literally out of the trash of a house in my neighborhood (owners had moved), and nursed it back to health. Trying to learn Assembly with it. Last month, I built a Putnam Electronics PE6502 kit. It's a fun a little device sorely in need of a sound card. In my spare time, I occasionally make chiptunes on a GameBoy (with mGB, not LSDJ). Dabbled in NES assembly, but only in an emulator. I really want to make a breadboard computer with an R2a03 (hopefully cannibalized from an otherwise irreparable system), just to be able to write chiptunes on actual NES hardware. I love doing sound stuff but I'm a total dunce when it comes to Graphics. I look forward to sharing, learning, and teaching with all of you.
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