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Tatwi

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Tatwi last won the day on October 22

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About Tatwi

  • Birthday 02/04/1978

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  1. Oh yeah, I totally agree that porting existing software to another platform is a great way to learn. It's just not really all that interesting for everyone else, because they can already use that software on the original platform. Now let's say you port Asteroids to the X16, but instead of a ship shooting asteroids it's a magical butterfly shooting birds that are trying to eat it. The programming would be nearly identical, but flavor would be unique to the platform. That's a nifty middle ground. Probably a decent starting point for a tutorial on how to use the development tools when they're available (whatever they happen to be). The magical butterfly from Paper Mario for the Wii is the vision I had for an X16 mascot. Sadly, it's the magical butterfly from Paper Mario, so that's probably not going to fly, so to speak. What caricature hasn't already been trademarked or copyrighted, eh?! Ultimately people are free (and welcome!) to make whatever they want. No harm in that.
  2. I'd bring my VIC20 out of storage if I could get an 80 column display and memory expansion for it. Just can't live with 22 column BASIC 2.0. It would be neat to make new stuff specifically for/with a VIC20 with a VERA cartridge. PS. Frank, you rock!
  3. I think that from an end user perspective, ports of existing games aren't the least bit interesting, for the simple fact that the originals (and their many ports!) are already so easily accessible. Sure, it may be a fun project for an enthusiastic programmer, but it's hardly compelling content for everyone else. Such is the world we live in, where even a $35 computer can emulate systems that can play thousands of games. So... I think it would be cool if the Commander X16 had its own handful of amusing characters, goofy lore, and whatnot that the community of content creators could build upon. Nintendo has some really neat secondary characters who have whimsical and entertaining game play mechanics, Kirby being the main one who comes to mind, but there are others too. Other platforms have their own mascots and iconic characters too, even the various Linux and BSD distributions. It's "a thing", I guess. Who are your favorites and why? Also, I think it's worth going back and playing the 8 and 16 bit games and taking not of all aspects of their game play that's truly fun and then compiling a list of mechanics and observations that can be distilled down into a simple set of guidelines for what it means to be a "Commander X16 Universe" production. It doesn't have to be strict or anything, just clear so that creators have a well defined starting points. I think this identity is the primary area where the X16 can set itself apart from all the other things. Similarly, a comprehensive set of development tools, from editors to reference art, would greatly assist in the creation of new Commander X16 specific content. I'm definitely on board for assisting in the creation of tools and partaking in the creative process for the characters and lore. Bringing folks who know the physical capabilities/limits of the machine together with the other creative types to build a real vision for what is possible could be a lot of fun.
  4. Stefany remarked in her A2560K video that 50 out of 70 of the first devices that she produced were sitting around doing nothing and it pissed her off. She's not putting all this effort into hand crafting doorstops and trophies. Her perspective on the purpose of her work is admirable, but it's probably lost on most people who will buy her products; Devices will sit on shelves, hang on walls, teaching little more than consumers will consume.
  5. I'm not getting any sound in this demo in Firefox or Google Chrome (Win10 Home 64bit). I check some other demos and sound is working on them. REALLY COOL DEMO though!
  6. Heh, I considered getting a Pi4 and both the Retroflag NESPi case and the Argon One M.2 case at different points. Functionally, I it's probably a toss up between which one is better, but Argon One might win with its access to the GPIO pins. However, I think I would buy the NESPi, because it's just so adorable and nostalgic for me. That said, I only have a Pi Zero W, because I just haven't really found a reason to use a Pi rather than my laptop or desktop (and my Arduino UNO). I thought about the whole low electrical use desktop, but then I was like... wait a minute, when my laptop is operating on battery for several hours, that uh... yeah...is probably plenty efficient, no? Darn that practicality for getting the better of me, because I sure do like that NESPi case! When you say "daily driver", what kind of desktop stuff do with it? Is it decent for 1080p Youtube playback? What about scrolling a C, Lua, JavaScript, or Python file in Geany with syntax highlighting enabled? Any screen tearing or lag? I get a some tearing in Windows version of Geany on my laptop, never the Linux version though.
  7. Alrighty, I think I will back out of the X8 discussion, as it's clear that I understand neither the jargon nor the details of the device. I appreciate your efforts though! I just want to use the $50 8 bit computer David talked about nearly 3 years ago.
  8. @AndyMt Perhaps when using an X8 that is limited to 512K of banked "high ram" as it's ONLY functional difference from a full sized X16, the programmer could use a routine that loads data from disk as it's needed rather than all at once in the beginning. Taking this approach would allow the vast majority of software to run on either a 512K or a full 2MB system. There might not even be a noticeable difference for the end user, given the speed of SD card storage. Obviously I know this data management paradigm isn't new and it wouldn't be compatible with every manner in which one might organize a program. However, if not using banked ram in chaotic ways was made a standard "best practice" by the community, I think the concept would work out well. I agree that having significant differences between the specific capabilities of the two machines would suck. You've listed some excellent examples that demonstrate the downsides for all involved, programmers, creators, and end users alike. I'm of the mind that the X8 vs. X16 should be like the difference between a stock VIC20 and a VIC20 with a 3.5K memory expansion cartridge - same device, but with more RAM for more better bigs!! Going the C64 vs. Plus/4 route would not be worth doing, because it would just be a pain for everyone.
  9. It's funny, Isaac Asimov wrote about that problem in his Foundation series, decades before the Internet. In his story there was a database containing the entire history and knowledgebase of humanity, compiled over hundreds of thousands of years. In order to find anything useful within it, people had to study complex algorithms, psychology, and history at university for several years, if not decades. After only three decades the signal to noise ratio of our database is astonishingly poor, so yeah, I could see it being nigh impossible to use after a few thousands years. "what is toilet paper" - Toiletpaper, the surname of a family dynasty who ruled over the Americas from 2314 to 2786. - Toilet paper, the leading cause of tooth decay in the late 3100s century, so named for manner in which a fungal infection caused patients to talk incessantly until their mind literally ran out of things to say. Yeah, now our database has that nugget of chaff in too. You're welcome!
  10. I wasted way too much of my life playing Star Wars Galaxies and other MMOs. All I play anymore is Guild Wars 2, because it is a nice combination of open-ended game play, fun character classes, decent story/lore. Overall, it's just a nice place to vegetate for a while. No Man's Sky, Stardew Valley, Terarria, SimCity 2000, Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, Torchlight II, and a whack of 8 bit/16 bit games get played from time to time as well. But the most popular games I play are: Laundry, dishes, picking up after my children, and yard work. Love these old classics!
  11. The options available in your poll are strange enough that I don't feel comfortable choosing any. What I can say is this... I learned how to solder 30 years go. I was terrible at it then and I am worse at it now. I wouldn't buy anything that required soldering anything more than a couple of power leads. I don't enjoy soldering, at all. Aside from the fact that I just don't want to solder a kit anything together... I don't have a properly ventilated location to work. I don't want to troubleshoot and repair complex circuitry. I don't have the electronics tools required to troubleshoot and repair complex circuitry. I don't want to buy (or own or use) all the equipment required to solder/de-solder properly. I don't want buy (or own or use) the electronics tools required to troubleshoot and repair complex circuitry. There was a time in the distant past where I would have answered this question differently, but people and circumstances change. I already have hobbies that require more time and attention than I have available, such as using already assembled devices to program.
  12. I can buy 8x11" sheets of plastic sticker paper for use in our laserjet for less than 30 cents each. That guy... wow! No need to circle the wagons. We're on the same team here. For a project like this to reach critical mass, where the userbase is sufficiently large as to make it worthwhile for developers to create software for the platform, the "big picture" must be considered along with the wants of a minority of extremely enthusiastic specialists. Unfortunately, the community on this forum appears to be comprised mainly of people who, due to their very specific desires and their fear of not getting what they want, lack the objectivity that is required to see the big picture. I will do my best paint the image, but if you still can't see it afterwards. I am not going to arguing with you. The public facing project on the whole is comprised of: David's fame. David's goals of creating a modern 8 bit computer that is easy enough for one person to understand, while being inexpensive/accessible to anyone (note his non-profit statement in the first dream computer video). A platform that has the capacity to host really fun games. A platform that comes with all the tool required to create said games using the platform itself, including excellent documentation. Hardware that has a nostalgic look and feel, while also having its own identity that resonates with David's audience. A reliable, responsive hardware platform that is "instant on" and as easy to use as the Commodore machines. A hardware platform that has lots of potential for modification. Points 1 through 6 are the aspects of this project that are the most import to reaching the critical mass of users and developers and all of them are also 100% able to be brought to life using the small board FPGA-only design. Furthermore, this design is the least expensive manner in which the hardware can be manufactured (and physically shipped). As such, it objectively makes the most sense to launch a 100% compatible FPGA-only X16 before launching the much more complex and costly "chips and dip" version. To the vast majority of people, the Commander X16 is nothing more than a toy. No one needs one for anything, yet plenty of people would be happy to pay a reasonable sum for some fun. See the sales volume of the Gameboy (118 million) vs. the XBox One (51 million). Given that profit isn't a consideration with this project, the popularity of the platform itself is the primary measure of its success. Selling affordable FPGA-only X16s first would put real live X16s into the homes of real live X16 users, from curious everyday folks right on up to hard core hackers. This momentum would build upon itself as more games become available and more learners become developers. That same momentum will cause even more people to buy the full sized X16 when it becomes available, which in turn will increase the platform's popularity as the community sees the successes of the hardware tinkerers. Success builds upon success and that's great for everyone! This is the objective reality. I know many of you here are emotionally invested in the full sized hardware and that's completely OK, your reasons are your own. However, I implore you to take a step back and consider how your protectionism towards your own personal desires harms the success of the project as a whole, because what its of the utmost importance to you is in fact only a small portion of the project as a whole. Take from this what you will, but please know that I don't have a horse in this race; I don't much care either way if the X16 becomes a viable long term successful platform. However, many of you folks with clouded objectivity do care, deeply. I sincerely hope that I have helped you see more clearly the path towards the overall success of the Commander X16 platform, a path that will help you get exactly what you want.
  13. Maybe Frank will find a way to give the X8 1MB of RAM, thereby making it half of an X16! Seriously though, that would be nifty. Heck, even if it were only possible to have 128KB of banked RAM on the X8, that would be enough to be useful while also allowing programmers who only have an X8 the ability to learn/use the RAM banking system (which is an integral part of the X16 design). To answer the unique value proposition question, I think an X8 built as a 100% compatible X16 with less RAM has the following benefits: A low cost device that almost anyone around the world can afford, given disparities in economies, etc. 0 input lag and other issues created by software emulation (no OS to install/manage, for example). Feature rich programming environment and tools that are built into the machine. A nice, unique community to create, learn, and play with. If they sold a set of PETSCII stickers for a dollar or so, then a person could easily use any USB keyboard without much trouble. Similarly, some kind of cheap case would likely help folks who just want to use the machine as a retro game console. Anyway, the low price point, compatibility with the X16, and a simple "plug and play" setup, when combined with being The 8 Bit Guy's computer, there is the potential that the userbase would grow from a small number of people with a specific interest into a large group of people who have all manner of interests and capacities. In short, a cheap and easy to use option may lower the barrier to entry to the point where the device and its ecosystem really takes off, just as it did with the C64.
  14. Extremely off topic ramblings which lead to moderate hostilities, because nerds will nerd. It's what we do. There were pages of off topic discussion, which I am sure a mod would have been happy to move to its own thread if the mod had more time to do that kind of thing; No one wants to shut down dialog, but it is important to organize and guide it to some degree. Please, stay on topic in this thread. Thank ye!
  15. I bought a C64 Mini for $40 CAD when it was on clearance. Shipped from BC to ON no less. Something like $54 after tax and shipping. I thought that was a great deal in early 2020, but just a couple months ago I saw Gamestop/EBGames was shoving them out the door for $25 CAD! The chassis sits on my desk in the space under my monitor, while the joystick remains in the box unused, because I have read that the stick is easily broken. I never use it. I am sure I wouldn't use the Amiga Mini either. I basically bought the C64 Mini to look at, because it took up less space than my VIC20 and it was both cheaper and better crafted than a similarly sized C64 style case for the Raspberry Pi. Amiga? I am pretty sure that I didn't even know they existed until a few years ago. VIC20, Apple II, C64, NES, Genesis, PC, and Gameboy were the devices I remember using in the 80s/90s. No nostalgia here for me. That said, having owned the C64 Mini for a while now, it's clear to me that I am "over" the whole emulated retro mini thing. I haven't been into collecting things for the sake of doing so since my sister and I gave up hockey cards in the early 90s, so I don't feel like I "gotta have'em all". In a practical sense, I already have a PC which can emulate essentially everything and it's already at my desk hooked up to my SNES style controllers, keyboard, mouse, monitor, and speakers, so... as my wife says every time I suggest we go thrifting, "I thought we need less junk, not more?!" And that said, had it been available in Canada, I would have purchased a "VIC20 Maxi" to keep my real VIC20 company, available space be damned!
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