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Janne Sirén

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Janne Sirén last won the day on October 15 2021

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  1. This seemed to me like a useful clarification as well, just posting here in case others like me are looking for information on the status update culture:
  2. OK, thank you. This explains things. I would imagine for the average user it is just rather surprising to find a website called commanderx16.com that does not link to the official sources of information of Commander X16, but is a fan site instead. The website still calls the forum the main source of news, for example. If this is something that can be updated to reflect the current status of the project, I would imagine that would be useful. Thank you for the clarification.
  3. OK, thank you. I also saw something about Discord, but I guess that is something private? I remember the Facebook group used to be on the commanderx16.com website? If that is the primary source of information, just noting I can not find it there anymore. Thanks.
  4. I remember discussing this last year as well, that it seems unfortunate the channels of communication that are offered on commanderx16.com do not seem to be the channels where official information/updates from the project are posted. Could you hint what are these other channels we should follow for updates? If this is the wrong place, it would be helpful to know? The website suggests FAQ and forum only for announcements, which I believe is this place. Thank you any tips.
  5. In the case of Spectrum, emulation use of the ROMs has been allowed by the license owner and of course ZX Spectrum Next has even the Sinclair name license. In Commodore's case they are owned by Cloanto, who has licensed them to various parties like Turbo Chameleon, MEGA65, THEC64 etc. So it is not quite black and white in that regard. For the Ultimate-64 they can be installed from a legal source as well, so it is not a pirated board. And I mean, all of these certainly have a tighter connection with their respective "parent" platforms than X16, which is very loosely connected to anything Commodore. Personally I think the best chance X16 has is probably as a sort of virtual platform (indeed one that already exists in emulation), an FPGA platform defined by the team loosely based on the dream computer idea, then popularized by the YouTube channel and distributed on a somewhat generic piece of hardware. I think that could certainly work. Probably the hardware won't be very unique or different and that's kind of too bad, but certainly a platform could form this way. If anyone has any thoughts on how to make the hardware proposition unique, when so many cheap retro FPGA boards already exist, I think hashing those out might benefit the project and community here.
  6. Another angle to look this from is that the Foenix actually turned out to be closer to the original dream computer specs than the X16 is headed towards. With its 65816 processor (and beyond) as well as discrete sound chip(s) as well as professional manufacturing for the boards, it is certainly quite close to that goal in all ways expect the price (and its video is FPGA). Even then Foenix U's $300 is not that terrible considering its vast features and the expected price of the initial X16 non-kit version which seems to be headed towards that region as well. Of course just having the hardware does not a platform make, but just painting a picture of the landscape where I think it is important for the X16 to find its niche.
  7. Perhaps, but then again SiDi and MiSTer and related products already serve the Commodore market as well. And there is the C-One, Minimig, Turbo Chameleon legacy alive still as well, and the Vampire direction. Both communities have been into FPGAs since the early naughts and there are great cores for running most Commodores. And the Ultimate-64 is selling by the thousands (I believe soon 4000 units solds), an FPGA C64 motherboard not too far above the intial X16 price projections. And of course there is the MEGA65 now taking preorders as you of course know. I get what you are pointing at, though, if the Commander X16 is packaged well (with software, licenses, peripherals, the lot), it can certainly be one way to carve out a niche for it.
  8. Sure, I get that if you can build an ecosystem around the X16 core, that can be something lead to something unique on the "soft" front so to speak. The keyboard is a nice bonus as well. I already have the premium one at home. Maybe David's YouTube following will help make all that happen and then the generic nature of the hardware might not even matter. Perhaps that will be the way it goes. I guess my point is, there is already a plethora of cheap, powerful FPGA retro boards available in reasonable volumes on one hand, as well as unique cased retro platforms like the ZX Spectrum Next, MEGA65 (licensed too both) and perhaps Foenix to a degree, it will be important for the X16 to finds its niche. The previous plan with a desktop case, discrete chips etc. certainly was one way. If that were not to be, IMO it would be useful to define some other niche that sets it apart from these, but it is unclear to me what that might be. Just my two cents.
  9. ZX-Uno is basically a whole family of FPGA computers that run various cores. One variant available here for 55 € ($65): https://www.antoniovillena.es/store/product/zxunoplus/ As for MiSTer, SiDi is MIST compatible (all but its largest cores) and costs 65 € ($80): https://manuferhi.com/p/sidi-fpga-sin-carcasa-without-case I believe both ZX-Uno and SiDi are way more powerful than X16/X8.
  10. And I mean, there are 10-20 more like it. They have been making really great FPGA computers in the ZX Spectrum/C64 and ST/Amiga communities for the past decade+. They've nailed it down to an art by now, very cheap, very powerful too.
  11. If it is that, there is already an entire range of MiSTer and ZX-Uno based FPGA boards that probably do such things even better and cheaper.
  12. Thank you, Scott. Indeed I am very interested in your thoughts. When X16 used to be a 65816 processor and a pair of discrete video and audio chips, that was something unique. Today the Foenix project of course offers almost that in a range of several professionally manufactured computers (the video is FPGA, but otherwise). If the X16 is turning into more of a simple FPGA board, what is unique about it that isn't already out there? For example, here is the SiDi FPGA from the ZX Spectrum community: https://manuferhi.com/p/sidi 89 € ($100), professionally produced and finished/cased, available today. Or 69 € ($80) professionally produced without the case. This is one of maybe 20 variants of simple FPGA computers made for running Spectrum, Commodore and similar cores that are readily available at lucrative prices. These are fairly powerful little machines with a plethora of connectors as well.
  13. Perfect, I just think it is a worthy question in its own right.
  14. @Scott Robison I hope this is a suitable thread to answer in, coming from the X8 poll thread. Moving onwards from any of that debate, I guess my question/point is how/what do you perceive the unique sales proposition being for an FPGA-only X8 or X16? There are certainly FPGA-only computers already out, but usually they have some other USP such as a case/compatibility/legacy with ZX Spectrum Next or the MEGA65, or they are lean-mean FPGA monsters like the MiSTer family, the ZX-Uno family or training boards such as Nexys. Others, like the Foenix computers, have the unique proposition of offering several discrete chips such as "real" processors and several hardware sound chips in addition to FPGAs. What would be the unique sales proposition of a simple FPGA board like X8/16 that could easily run on any existing FPGA platform that are already being produced? I am genuinely curious about your answer and I hope my question also illustrates the area where I think it would be beneficial for the X16 project to continue having a clear message and a clear point.
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