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Fenner Machine

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  1. What if you could connect an X8 to an expansion slot on the X16?
  2. Last but one post from David on page 8. Quote: “The X16 is definitely happening.”
  3. My preference is X16 Phase 1. I don’t mind FPGA’s. The X8 is cheap. Why not have both? Especially if they can be used together somehow?
  4. I think what you say sounds logical, but the X16 is the better system. Maybe. Not sure. If an expansion port was added to the X8, would it be possible to connect it to one of the expansion slots on the X16? It might then be possible to use both together. I don’t know how or what could be done with that.
  5. I voted 1: No, 2: No, 3: Pre-assembled. After having read all the comments so far I think I've changed my mind on all 3 to a certain extent. Specifically the X8: It seems that David maybe wants to release the X8. At under $50 it might be worth doing so. The only big issues I have with it is the seemingly low amount of RAM and VRAM. I know it’s something to do with the FPGA, but the VERA seems like it deserves more RAM. Other than that, for $50 it seems like an interesting ‘mini’ X16. What would be the feasibility of a bigger FPGA and adding a YM2151 as others have suggested plus more RAM? Could it be done, and what would be the likely cost? But at $50 for the current, working, almost ready to ship X8, I say why not? As a famous emperor once said “Dew it!”.
  6. What a decisions Mr Murray (and his team) has to make. David and the team have put lots of effort in to Phase 1. Phase 2 with maybe only 1 expansion port could prove disappointing at some point. Phase 3 is a hardware emulator. The X8 has too many missing bits compared to the X16. Some points to ponder: Is it a good idea to potentially fracture the user base? Look at what happened to Sega in the 90’s. The front page of the X16 website uses words such as inexpensive, reliable, real CPU, classic chips. Do any of the options really match all of these yet? The current Phase 1 has issues, such as things not working properly, parts availability and so on. It will also cost too much for most except retro enthusiasts and many in this community. Is there another option not yet considered? How difficult would it be to do an X8 on a board with a few other nice to haves? Like the best of X8 and X16 merged. For example, an X8 (maybe enhanced) replacing the X16 VERA and 65C02S, stuck on a board with extra RAM, YM2151, SNES controller ports and some expansion slots. Simplify anything can be, such as the RAM bank switching. Now it’s basically an X16 with a 12MHz CPU and cheaper/easier to make.
  7. This is one test/comparison. I’m looking forward to the next round. Over 8 times faster than a C64. Nearly 12 times faster than a Spectrum 48K, so possibly 1.5 times faster than a Spectrum Next (at 28MHz).
  8. X16 General Chat > Prototype #3? I too was surprised by the PCB cost, but I think that’s the price for 10. If I’m correct that makes them $27.00 each, which is nice.
  9. A few suggestions I’ve received: Aseprite GraphicsGale Pyxel Edit Tilemap Editor
  10. Interesting question. Can you give a specific example of what you mean? The Commander X16 is capable of a mix of graphics capabilities from the SNES, Mega Drive and TurboGrafx-16. Excluding enhancement chips, in the right hands, the X16 can probably equal or even exceed anything on these 3 systems. The sound capabilities could (subjectively) be superior to those 3 consoles too.
  11. A custom 256 colour palette should be very useful. Using 4bpp with palette offset for both tiles and sprites increases the amount of images that can be stored in VRAM verses 8bpp plus has the benefit of the extra colours. It will take planning to fully utilise, but the results should be worth it.
  12. It is an impressive keyboard. More than the sum of its parts or intended function. What switches did you choose? I sometimes think “if I hadn’t bought this keyboard then I could have bought this other thing…”. Then immediately think “But then I wouldn’t have this awesome keyboard!!!”. Worth every penny. Enjoy your new keyboard, toy, tool...
  13. Well, after some research I bought a few bits. This is what I found. An ergonomic chair: Office chairs are usually better. Gaming chairs, well it depends. I got a gaming chair, but only because it was a good fit for my small stature. It was also recommended by several reviewers as being good for smaller people that typically recommend office chairs instead of gaming chairs. Desk: I got a basic cheap desk with metal legs & frame. Nice, simple & solid. It is so good that I got more similar furniture to organise my room better. Having a more organised work space has so many benefits.
  14. I too wanted more video RAM to make things easier. It was a no. You can find the reasons somewhere in this forum. So I made a spreadsheet to do some calculations and comparisons between some different combinations of screen modes, layer sizes and bit depths to see what the X16 could do and what I have to work with. One example: Resolution: 320x240 Layer 1: 128x32 Layer 2: 64x32 Colour depth: 8bpp If my calculations are correct there is enough memory to have over 1700 8x8 or equivalent images, for either tiles or sprite animations. Using the 4 orientations (normal, H-flip, V-flip, H+V-flip) that’s a lot of images to build a screen and for animations. Using 4bpp with a custom palette and palette offsets could massively increase that number.
  15. That link to VGMRips looks excellent! What current synth keyboard would you say is closest to what the YM2151 can do? Thinking of something like the Yamaha Reface CS to experiment with.
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