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Jeff Pare

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Everything posted by Jeff Pare

  1. Latest update - "final" VIC-II Kawari board is ready and Randy is looking for beta testers - Go check the video here. If you haven't, go look at the previous videos - I especially liked seeing a nice 80 column mode on a C64.
  2. Thank you for all the time and effort you've already given to the project; you also have my condolences - it's fine to take time for your own well-being after such a loss. I'm sorry if this sounds like platitudes but I do hope for happiness in your future.
  3. Well, that kinda sucks. If a kernal rewrite (or replacement) is necessary anyway, might as well aim for the 816 - not saying Michael should do it or that it should be included at release, just something to do down the road if there's enough interest.
  4. Unless I'm mistaken, the 816 defaults to 6502 emulation mode, so maybe the kernal would work unless the CPU is switched to native mode. I do love the idea that a 65c816 is part of the design - I really liked that CPU, as it was in my favorite computer of the 80s, the Apple IIgs.
  5. Good point. I'm probably worrying too much about these.
  6. Update - since I'm still unsure about those AM9511 I got, I bought a couple of C8231As from ebay. Hopefully these are the real article.
  7. Increase the price of the Amiga 600 when released but with a 14 MHz CPU instead of 7 MHz (allowing it to run at the lower speed when necessary). Otherwise, no development at all for the 300/600 and just sell the 500+ longer until the 1200 is ready.
  8. As many on this forum know, sourcing era-appropriate parts can be tricky - plenty of stories about fake parts on youtube, for example. Being aware of this, I decided to risk it anyway and bought a 5 pack of Am9511A-4DCJ APU/FPU in late 2019, intent on learning how to interface it to a 65c02 breadboard computer as soon as I had the time and energy - then 2020 happened and I had to shelve it for a variety of reasons. I now seem to have a bit more time on my hands so I've decided to restart this project. First step was something I was kind of dreading - using acetone on the chips to see if this was something cheap that was sanded down and painted. Armed with a couple of q-tips, at first it seemed nothing was being removed, then the cotton tip started to turn brown. I used a pair of q-tips and was able to remove all the white paint. This left me kinda bummed, but then I noticed that the etching under the white paint, leaving me to believe either it's a very good fake or potentially the real thing. This is good enough for me to continue on my project. I really wish I could use something like my TL866II+ ROM programmer to test them as it can test lots of ICs. If anyone has an idea how to more easily test this APU than having to build the breadboard computer first, I would appreciate it (maybe using an Arduino? I have plenty of UNOs) Anyway, even if they're fake it didn't cost me all that much, I'm just hoping to determine if they're the real article before building that breadboard computer.
  9. The BBC Micro was possibly most advanced 6502-based home computer of the early 80s. It's still amazing to me that it was the machine that helped create the ARM architecture (first as a co-processor for the Beeb). To think I barely knew much about this revolutionary computer (aside that it was a British 6502 computer) until about 4-5 years ago.
  10. Yeah, MS-based 6502 BASICs of the time were limited. Not a limitation of the CPU, BBC Basic also had procedures and function (and built-in assembler) on the 6502 BBC Micro.
  11. To you and likely some others. However, people are allowed to prefer a different aesthetic - I can't say I was too fond of borders even in the mid 80s, but I'm sure some of my friends back then liked them.
  12. If I didn't already have a 4x3 LCD I got for cheap, I'd be considering this one (or the 12" version). They seem like a great option for a fairly reasonable price.
  13. Never pirated any piece of software, but oddly enough I did provide offsite backups (first on cassettes, then floppies) to many of my friends who did the same for me; obviously I had to test these backups often to make sure they worked properly.
  14. This. Many moons ago I made an Arduino-based PID controller for my espresso machine, then realized it was overkill and ported the thing to an ATtiny84. It's a capable microcontroller for small tasks but no powerhouse. I'm starting to believe many people lump in ATMEGAs, their smaller cousins and Raspberry Pi together with regards to capabilities and performance.
  15. Very nice - the speed improvements are already impressive!
  16. Adrian's Digital Basement on this Vic-II FPGA prototype. It's cool to see Adrian try it out.
  17. A while ago I managed to find 5 of what *might* be the 4MHz variant (AM9511A-4DC) - but haven't been able to test them yet. Maybe they're real, maybe they're only good for 2MHz or they're outright fakes. Once I manage to find some time, I'll need to build a minimal system to test these, as my eventual goal is to build a math coprocessor card for the X16 - not because it'll be profitable, just to see if I can make it. I suspect it will be somewhat similar to the Arithmetic Processor AP-1 described here. Still, I first need to test the chips first.
  18. Considering how many of the Commodore 64's part just die of old age, it's been a joy to see people creating very good modern replacements for problematic chips (PLA, SID). I learned today of someone working on an FPGA replacement for the VIC-II. Here's the video
  19. I'm subscribed to Adrian's channel partly because he's a superb troubleshooter - very glad he helped the project this way! He also has the most 80s intro music, which is cool.
  20. Dude. It's a wedge form-factor. Tiny wedge to be sure, but my favorite computer form factor! Thinking about buying one.
  21. Oh, sure. The 17" LCD monitor I got is 1280x1024, which is hardly perfect but good enough for me. The smaller monitor is also good enough for *me* as I like the smaller size - I'm fine with black sidebars, not as good image quality and I've used an SX-64 and Apple //c with the 9" monitor back in the day. I have no interest going with a CRT, though I get why many would like to use one.
  22. I went to a thrift store and found a VGA 17" LCD monitor for $10 - you might be able to find 15" monitors the same way or on Craigslist; however, I also bought myself a 10 inch monitor with multiple inputs (including composite and VGA) on AliExpress.
  23. For me, it's a feature that is best implemented as an expansion card (or maybe through the user port?); otherwise feature creep will increase cost and make the X16 ship a lot later. Besides, the added complexity means troubleshooting and support get trickier, so it's better to have a simpler platform at first and get it right. However, I would say guidelines on how to create APIs for the X16 and expansion cards could be enough to ensure different implementations of ESP32-base expansion boards behave well together and with software that will use them. Having clear guidelines will also spur hardware development for the X16, which would be nice.
  24. 8-bit games that I actually played at home in the late 70s or early to mid 80s - I don't count games I played on emulators decades later: Pong (Telstar Deluxe) Omega Race (Vic-20) Centipede (Vic-20 version, clone) Breakout (Apple //e) Stellar 7 (Apple //e) Mario's Bros (Apple //e) Lode Runner (Apple //e) Ultima I to III (Apple //e) Sargon II (Apple //e) Moon Patrol (Apple //e)
  25. Eh, all we learned is that David like everyone else is human and sometimes screws up; I don't see this having any significant impact on X16. In fact, it bolsters the case for making a new "retro" computer as we'll be able to fiddle with it without worrying we might be damaging vintage hardware.
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