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David R.

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  1. My thanks to all here who counsel patience. I second your emotion. To those who are worried, please chill. Here's an idea: if this is going to become a kit, perhaps we should busy ourselves with figuring out where to source discrete and readily available IC components from around the world so the project is not bound to a single source or a single nation of origin for anything. I've already mentioned an American board manufacturer. That manufacturer can produce boards from already completed Gerber files to a very high degree of precision. I'm sure there are others. I'm also sure that such chips as 74-series logic, RAM, ROM, PIAs, PPIs, etc., and possibly even the 6502 CPU can be sourced from a number of different places around the world. There are even vendors that offer quantity discounts. Many of these same vendors also deal in the fiddly bits such as capacitors, resistors, inductors, switches, sockets, plugs, cables, etc. This ain't rocket science, folks (and I know from rocket science, trust me). The dream is to bring this project to life, and, ultimately, to market. So...let's find ways to help this dream take shape. Where do I find the parts lists? Are the Gerbers available (I'll even sign an NDA)? 8-bit Guy, if you're reading, we're here, and we're with you. Let us help.
  2. I built my ZX-81 from a kit. I also had several TS-1000 machines and 16K RAM packs that I acquired at clearance as the model was dying out on the shelves. Good times. I built one of those old TS-1000s into a Bud slope-front case using a TI-99/4A keyboard bought surplus for about ten dollars, and using the original membrane matrix as a wiring guide (almost wore out the continuity function on my meter doing that project!) It was ugly but strong. Gave them all away when I got my Coco 2, gave the Coco 2 away when I got my Actrix DS, and gave it away when I was building and selling MS-DOS/Windows machines part-time in the early 90s. I wish I'd held onto that Actrix (they are a rather rare beast now!) but the fellow I gave it to was still using it last I spoke to him about a year ago. I found a luggable case with a 17" FHD display built in that would be a good fit for the X16, but it's way too expensive, and I'd have to gut it to get rid of features I wouldn't use. I'll probably wind up doing some custom kit-bashing to make the X16 laptop (maybe call it the X15 and paint it all "jet black"? ). Thanks for the welcome, Scott. See ya around in the days to come.
  3. Hi, David, Sorry to hear of the changes you and the rest of the project team have been going through. It sounds like you are all handling it well, but things change - they always do. It's never easy getting a project like this off the ground. I'm in favor of a "Phase 1+" X16 kit (with all components and sockets) as opposed to a fully assembled product. That's because I have the skills to assemble such a kit. I quite realize others may favor a kit. Board assembly and testing can be sold separately. It sounds like Phase 2 would be more amenable to manufacture/mass production, but I'd be lost trying to assemble SMDs with my old tired eyes. There are options for manufacture other than China (which seems so nightmarish from what I'm told). FineLine PCB out of Philadelphia might be a way to go. X8 sounds like the same mistake others have made, just on the face of it. Stick with the X16 and see it through, and you'll come out better, I would think. As for the case, it looks like the original case is going to be fun to find. Any microATX case will support the Phase 1 board, am I correct? I hope the project continues to progress in one form or another. It would be so very cool to see one of these on sale one fine day.
  4. Hi, I'm David. No, not that David (i.e., definitely not the 8-bit Guy). So, why am I here? It's because I'm interested in the X16 project, and I've always been interested in computer programming. Never got into Commodore (had a ZX-81 an Actrix DS, and a CoCo 2 back in the day). I'm an A+, a navy veteran, electronics and instrument technician, a BASIC programmer, and am learning to program the RetroMax (Maximite II clone) in MMBasic. I also have a working SC126 CP/M machine (a z180) running MBASIC that I built from a kit. I'm not an assembly language coder. Maybe getting involved here might change that? As I head toward retirement I'm hoping I will have time to keep learning and growing, and maybe amount to an actual programmer someday. Oh, and the Linux version of the emulator can now be confirmed to run on PCLinuxOS with kernel 5.14.6 (64-bit). The readme said I'd have to build it, but the x16emu file showed up as an executable file, so I ran it from the command line and it ran. Anyhoo, glad to be here, and hope I can contribute in some meaningful way to the project. If I had to state a wish, it would be to develop a laptop/luggable version of the X16. (How cool would that be?)
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