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Edmond D

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Posts posted by Edmond D

  1. On 6/20/2022 at 2:19 PM, waspentalive said:

    Anyone remember "CARDIAC" ? (CARDboard Illustrative Aid to Computation) a cardboard you move bits around and do the math computer simulator from BELL LABS?

    Before my time, but the system sounds neat - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CARDboard_Illustrative_Aid_to_Computation

    I hope the you develop it to a working simulation with graphics. The advice from TomXP411 should help you expand the  simple "B" prototype program.




  2. On 6/10/2022 at 7:34 AM, rje said:

    So what sort of operating system did the SuperPET's 6809 use?  Did it have a modified KERNAL?


    There was a switch on the side which allowed one to choose the processor that the machine would use. I'm unsure of the kernel/ROM modifications from the original PET. It did have a dongle built-in which I didn't know about when I sat in front of it. The copy protection seems a little excessive, as the whole machine was effectively a dongle. Perhaps it was designed/included because the machine targeted university computer science students with the assumption that they are smart but criminal. 🙂

    There is a light article here https://www.oldcomputr.com/commodore-mmf-9000-superpet-1981/ which is a good initial overview. The manuals for the system & languages have been reproduced online and can easily be found. 


  3. On 6/6/2022 at 7:12 AM, mobluse said:

    ntel 8088 is also an 8-bit CPU since it has an 8-bit data bus.

    It actual was a 16 bit CPU limited with an external 8 bit bus. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_8088

    But more on the 6809 which was a 8 bit cpu with some 16 bit features - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motorola_6809 

    While many liked the CPU in the few 8 bit machines that it was used in, I don't think it would have the same market appeal as a retro machine based on the 6502 processor. 

    The thread started with considering making a CX16 use a 6809 processor as a drop in replacement. The technical issues I feel limit that possibility.

    However, I could see a 6809 retro-computer being built by taking the CX16 design and adapting it to the 6809. Video (VERA) might have the power to emulate what the CoCo could do. I think fans of that system would be happy to have a redo clone.

    Note that I was a commodore teen and didn't spend much time on the 6809 save for the  high school's SuperPet I was assigned to (one of the benefits of upstage a typing teacher forced to try and teach computers/BASIC which was really out of her depth.)

  4. On 6/1/2022 at 12:57 PM, TomXP411 said:

    What would you do differently? 

    I live on Vancouver island, a location fought with wind storms knocking out power, tsunami potential, earthquake risks and forest fires too. We rarely see any thunderstorms or tornadoes, and rarely a heat wave or snow storm. Anyway disaster prep is rather big here; I'm not prepared and I know it.That being said I've joined my town's emergency communication radio volunteer group - are HAM licences and use of a portable radio. If a disaster hits hopefully I get a shelter bed & food for volunteering - I will get a emergency role.

    Anyway three items that I though of that might influence how you prepare for the next disaster:

    - Candles are discouraged as they now present a fire hazard. I still am going to have some, but both my wife and I grew up with using them. We aren't expecting heat or significant light from them, just more of and emotional comfort item (which has it's own value.)

    - Dishes. A fiend went through a power outage for a couple of days. He had a BBQ and camping stove. He found the bulk of the fuel was used to heat water for washing dishes. He recommends paper plates for his emergency kit - they can be garbaged/burned and save on fuel and time. He also suggest a couple of those evil plastic utensils that probably are in our kitchen drawer for that someday use that hasn't come. the hopefully would be washed and recycled after the disaster.

    - See what your government has to help you be informed for the next issue - https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/family-social-supports/seniors/health-safety/emergency-and-disaster-preparedness If you have the will consider volunteering in your local community, the benefits are great.



  5. On 6/1/2022 at 5:43 PM, Scott Robison said:

    I would never begrudge people running mods on their own hardware if that's what they want to do, but I would not be inclined to support those mods myself. I'd code to the lowest common denominator, which is the base platform usually.

    For this VERA us I think people experimenting with mods is a great thing. Yes it will lead to some potential incompatibilities, but also gains when users discover what's really of value and what is not used (and can be sacrificed.)

    AS for writing to the lowest common denominator/base system, I'd suggest it was one of the killers of the VIC-20 system. Not having a ton of RAM meant that there was few larger programs and therefore less incentive to buy an expander. Perhaps this limitation feedback loop was perhaps a reason for the C64 being a bigger success as the capacities/resources were much greater out of the box.

    I believe that one of the goals for the X16 is for people to be able to experiment and perhaps refine the system. I'm all for that with the understanding there are limits to it. I'm not expecting a shipping X16 to be anywhere near what a iPad/Chromebook/modern PC or MAC can do these days in terms of performance. But I do plan on buying a kit, building it and then having lots of fun!

    • Like 1
  6. On 5/23/2022 at 1:04 PM, rje said:

    Yeah, just a wee bit.


    Ok - just recompile the release and set it to be a nine bit system. An extra wee bit should resolve the issue. 🙂 Consider it a parity bit!

    Jokes aside, I'm encouraged by 3 new emulator versions released in the last little while. Hopefully others are encouraged to take on items that would make a shipping X16 possible. Thanks to those who are moving the project forward!

    PS - I've not gone to the new emulator as of yet because of other pressing computer issues. 😪 I hope to get at it soon.

    • Haha 1
  7. On 5/17/2022 at 1:59 AM, Ed Minchau said:

    Sonofagun, I've been using those terms backwards. Good thing it doesn't come up often. 

    I use this trick to remember it: Little Endian - the "Little" byte comes before the "End" byte. For the Big Endian the "Big" byte comes before the "End" byte.

    Of course that doesn't stop me from making mistakes. 🤐 

  8. On 5/8/2022 at 6:16 AM, AndyMt said:

    You can convert mine, too. You could give everyone a DM notice and those who want can delete whatever they don't want to be converted, right?

    Having a notification of when the DMs will be ported would be ideal. I'd go beforehand and archive/delete items saving some space/cpu power. Actually I should just do it now...

  9. It will be interesting to see how (and how long) it takes for things to get normal, if ever. I'm sure most of us lived through the epoxy shortage in 1993 just fine - https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1993-08-06-9308060189-story.html 

    I've just got my first Ardiuno; I hope to treat it well as I go forward, as its a great rapid prototyping/hobby system. My heart is with older microcontrollers such as the 68HC11, but putting together a system is more work especially for one-off play projects. 

    As for the commercial world, I'm not so sure what will happen. Automobiles ran without chips for about a century, but now an electric vehicle probably has more silicon than my desktop system. With gas prices changing and societal changes I think driving will be come a luxury for the rich like it was when the car first appeared. Supply chains are something the average person doesn't think about or know much about, but when they deviate significantly the public hears about it, usually in a simplistic version. 

    • Like 1
  10. On 5/5/2022 at 10:18 AM, svenvandevelde said:

    There are obscure dialects in domestic Wallon regions which probably would increase the likelihood of fluent communication between Belgians and Quebecians 😉

    I found that Belgians appreciated my attempts to communicate; Parisians wanted to communicate a few choice words AT me. 🙂

    Anyway, I think having multiple language for keyboard layouts is going to help the X16. 

    Perhaps someone has a list of how many different languages the C64 or Atari had back in the day.


  11. On 5/5/2022 at 8:34 AM, svenvandevelde said:


    Rarely heard in my experience with speaking Quebecois. I've heard other "choice" words, none of them should be said in public, plus my horrible spelling (any language) would prevent me from writing them here.


    • Like 1
  12. On 5/2/2022 at 9:05 PM, kelli217 said:

    Maybe someone could write an APL interpreter and/or compiler, and thus of course an APL keyboard would be a necessity—not to mention that the APL character set would also have to be supported...

    There is a APL for the old Super PET, however it was written for the 6809 processor and not the 6502. I'd love to dabble with it on the X16, but that's perhaps a big ask. Related is that there are several languages for the X16 that aren't basic or assembly, which give the X16 some appeal beyond what one could do with a VIC-20. APL hasn't made it there yet....

  13. On 5/1/2022 at 11:21 AM, Michael Steil said:

    That said, keyboard layouts don't have to be in ROM, can can be (auto-)loaded from SD card as well. I could decide against shipping more than 12 in ROM, and ship a few extra ones as files for the SD card instead.

    Thanks for the explanation Michael. I do like the idea of shipping in ROM, as it's one less item to go find. Having good notes on how to use a profile on an SD card perhaps would help those who want to use a different layout than what is built in. I'm guessing many are happy that this feature is in the X16.

  14. Plain old 00000409 US despite being Canadian. While I occasionally speak Quebecois, I don't use the multilingual or "French" Canadian keyboards.

    What's the impact of adding more keyboard layouts? I'm not against them; I think more users having support for their preferred language would be great.

  15. Welcome! 

    I gave a read of your BoxLambda FPGA project. It sounds intriguing and I hope you achieve your goal in designing & developing it.  

    As for the X16, I hope that the first ones ship this year. It will be a great post pandemic project.


    • Like 1
  16. I'm still working thought TNG thanks to Netflix (on the last season!) It seems so "retro" now that I'm watching Discovery, since my preference is for a season long story. I prefer that to the somewhat stand alone episodes where the plot line follows the same arc timing every episode with only the planet and aliens changing each show.  I've kinda dabbled in Picard clips (thanks Youtube), but alternate universe time travel conspiracy theory really seems to be an amalgamation just of too many things. 

    The video trailer above seems to be a good collection of special effects/CGI of the ship just flying about, rather than the human element and interaction that really drives any story.

    Another Star Trek sounds  nice, perhaps I'll get to it when I'm in a retirement home. 

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