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Fenner Machine

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Everything posted by Fenner Machine

  1. 8×8 tiles need more memory for the tile base than 16×16 tiles. Using vertical and horizontal flipping and palette offset 8×8 can be more memory efficient. There is a trade-off depending on exactly what you need video memory for – tiles or sprites. And you need time to use the efficiency potential.
  2. Thanks for your help TomXP411 & Cyber. After some experimenting with my screens, scaling options and lots of additional research I think 27” 1440P would be best. 21.5” 1080P screen, at native resolution and about 3 feet away, I can see slight rough edges or jaggies around text. It looks better with 125% scaling. 27” 4K would be overkill as I would probably need 175% scaling. That would look great if scaling worked perfectly, but I would also need to upgrade my graphics card (NVIDIA NVS 310 1GB). 27” 1440P with 125% scaling would give me more real estate and good definition. 4K would have more potential custom scaling options but at a much higher total cost (about double).
  3. Now I’m trying to decide between two 27” Asus ProArt monitors. PA279CV 4K and PA278QV 1440P. 1440P has a slightly higher refresh rate (75 vs 60 Hz). (60 should be fine). I might be able to run 1440P at native resolution, 4K with scaling. (Likely some scaling on either).
  4. Thanks for the suggestion TomXP411. I’ve decided to send it back. Already tried configuring ClearType – it improved colour bleed but at the expense of legibility. Using my Acer monitor is easier on the eyes, doesn’t give me eye strain/fatigue. What’s your Asus ProArt monitor like?
  5. Well, I bought an MSI Optix G241. I’ve had it for nearly 2 weeks. Not sure if it was the right one. I need to view documents/spreadsheets side-by-side. Also want to use it for programming and graphics/art. 24” 1080P seemed on paper to be the correct combination for text size and screen real estate sitting 2.5 to 3 feet away. My other system has a 40” 4K TV using 250% scale sitting 5 to 6 feet away. I wanted something with similar size text but fitting more on the screen. However, something is not quite right. I get eye strain that I’ve never had before. Tried many settings (brightness is at 2!) and calibrating with a colorimeter. ClearType looks bad with colour bleed (red around some text). I can give it more time, I have about 2 weeks to return it. Would an UltraWide be better? Larger and/or higher resolution? Another TV? Any suggestions?
  6. Thinking of upgrading my monitor, Acer K222HQL 21.5” TN. Looking at MSI Optix G241 23.8” IPS or similar. I looked at some monitors in a store, but they were not configured properly. Some displaying pictures, others video. Not a fair comparison. Some looked better, but a still image. Video looked like the wrong resolution, so interpolating. Need it for productivity (office applications, graphics/colour). Games will be OK at 60FPS (SimCity 2000/Settlers 2). What to do?
  7. Kalvan’s list looks good. A few suggestions; please note I have neither the knowledge, skill or time to do this: It would be nice to have a common enhanced VERA that could be easily implemented in a single FPGA for compatibility across platforms. A larger FPGA to enable/fit more features. More RAM. Extra 2D focused capabilities, such as more sprites, CLUTs, effects, resolution options. FPU/CPU/DMA features to take load from target system or CPU. Keep extra features simple; 256: 8 bit: 1 byte. Example, have 8x256 colour CLUTs, palette of 32768 or 65536 (15 or 16 bit).
  8. What switches did you choose?
  9. Year 1: $800 vs $200: saving $600 Year 2: $300 vs 200$: saving $100 Year 3: $300 vs $200: saving $100 ……. The first year sees a seemingly large saving of $600. After that, $100 per year? The forum works very nicely. It is possibly the best forum I have participated on. Hi-Fi, PC, game consoles, musical instruments … this is the nicest one so far. Then TomXP411 says he prefers the alternative? And he can do it!!! (Or some of it?) Not sure how to vote now…
  10. Anyone else bought one yet? Just bought a beige desktop case and 300W PSU. Putting some older PC bits in it for a second PC.
  11. Less than 27KB for almost 4 minutes of music. That’s about 400KB for an hour! Around 3 hours on a 1.44 MB floppy disc. New tech might be better in absolute terms but... Couple of questions: What sound chips are you using? How much CPU is being used? Thanks!
  12. This is a question that I’ve been pondering for ages. A “What if?”. What would be your acceptable minimum specs for an alternative everyday computer/games system? Maybe not a complete replacement, but a useful secondary system. In comparison to a few years ago modern computers: Seemingly do almost anything. Simultaneously more efficient, yet can demand much more power! Near photo realistic graphics, but requiring £1000+ graphics cards to do it. What would an alternative be like? Something that maybe mixes the simplicity of older computers with the efficiencies of newer tech and manufacturing processes. Not an emulation system, but something designed as a new ecosystem. Keeping things simple, I think these specs would be enough for me: 32 bit CPU, maybe dual core, with a good FPU (probably an ARM CPU) 1GB RAM Sound chip capable of MIDI, FM synthesis and PCM (CD quality) Dedicated audio RAM (1MB) for FM and MIDI 2D/3D graphics chip or chips Dedicated VRAM, 1GB A dedicated 2D graphics accelerator; tiles, sprites, scaling, rotation… 100’s of tiles and sprites with effects applied A dedicated 3D graphics chip with some fixed function features Resolution: 1920x1080, 1280x720 or 1360x768, 640x480, 320x240 natively Colour: 32, 24, 16 & 8 bit natively, palettes/colour look up tables Inputs/outputs – VGA, HDMI, USB, stereo headphone jacks... If using an ARM CPU there is some software already available that could be useful. Option to boot to a version of BASIC designed to take advantage of this systems capabilities. How much would something like this cost if mass produced? Would it be viable? (A "What if?" question). What would your alternative system be like, or do you already have a decent secondary system like ARM, Amiga or other?
  13. The Amiga chip is called Paula, 14-bit. Needs the right chipset and CPU to reach full potential. There is some really nice Amiga music on YouTube.
  14. Yamaha YMF292 (also known as the SCSP) used in the Sega Saturn and other Sega hardware from that era. 2 SID chips (for stereo). Technically 3 chips, but...
  15. Thanks you for your replies. The road including centre lines would be part of the tile layer. Sprites used for things like cars, track side detail (trees, houses etc) and random encounters with obstacles like potholes and animals running across the road.
  16. Hi ZeroByte. You did an impressive Sonic demo using lots of scrolling. My original idea is probably a bit ambitious and doesn’t take advantage of the X16 strengths. Instead, I’m planning on a pseudo 3D driving game, a bit like OutRun or Pole Position, but I don’t want to do a clone. So I’m going to try a new style and slightly different perspective. A slightly more zoomed out look, trying to reduce the amount of ‘scaling’ required, as ‘scaling’ would just be different sized sprites. That should free up VRAM for more variety. It might work, and if not at least I will have experience programming and making graphics. I’ll use that experience to make a decent driving game for the X16 eventually. 320×240, 4bpp tiles and sprites, custom colour palette and make use of palette offsets, tile flips etc. Background layer 128×32 tilemap, 8×8 tiles. Over 3 times the viewable screen width, so could maybe simulate 360 degree rotation. Road layer 64×32 tilemap, 8×8 tiles. Use line scrolling for bends. Maybe palette swaps for road movement, but maybe just vertically scrolling centre tiles. Is that even possible, and if so would it save CPU cycles verses palette swaps? Sprites, whatever combination of sizes for optimum VRAM use and number of sprites per line.
  17. I’ve made some placeholder/concept art. I’ve made it in a way to easily encode it and test effects. Also learning pixel art and animation. This is a scene with several elements merged.
  18. The game I’m working on has butterflies in it, but not as the main ‘character’. Just one of many animals that will be in it. I'm also planning on making it from the ground up, my own take on a specific genre, designing it to take advantage of the X16 strengths.
  19. Answering what is the unique sale proposition (USP) of an FPGA only X16. The others, good and bad points: The C256 Foenix products, especially the A2560K, look and seem amazing on paper! Downsides: Cost, user base and current available software. Mega65. Stunning, if released early/mid 90’s. Downsides: Cost. Tied to legacy hardware and backwards compatibility. ZX Spectrum Next. If you are nostalgic for the Speccy, great! Possibly the best way of playing old Spectrum games, plus some new ones taking advantage of the new features. Downsides: Cost OK, but a bit high. Graphics enhancements seem held back by backwards compatibility? Colour Maximite 2. Very powerful. Cheap. Fast enough to run BASIC decently. What about the user base, and software? Main code and graphics are done in software on a CPU. There is a reason why graphics are done by separate chips/boards on most games consoles and PC’s. Commander X16 FPGA USP’s: Cost (potentially). Not tied to backwards compatibility. VERA – unique graphics chip. Direct to the metal programming. User base (hopefully!). Already has some programs, games, software available, and its just an emulator at the moment! Commander X16 FPGA could be an amazing product.
  20. What if you could connect an X8 to an expansion slot on the X16?
  21. Last but one post from David on page 8. Quote: “The X16 is definitely happening.”
  22. 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?
  23. 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.
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