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Travis Bryant moore

Bother 8 bit laptop

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I wish that there was something like this today but with a better lcd screen and sd card reader and what have you just to teach 8 bit basics of computing. Though I can't see any 8 bit laptop going mainstream unless it was some sort of retro gaming rig for cheap under 30 dollars. But a toy geo book or something for graphing calculator, scientific calc, and basic school work and word processing, thesaurus and word processing and e books but what do I know. I mean who wants a retrobook.

 

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Posted (edited)

Another issue where the retail price point it has to hit to be a success and the retail price point it CAN hit do not line up.

To be THAT affordable, you have to sell in volume, to sell in volume, you need better than an LCD display, and you need to sell outside of the retro 8bit systems niche.

Remember, take the retail price point, cut it in half, the parts bill needs to be somewhere there or less (how much less depends on a lot of specifics and also on volume).

So before you know it, you are looking at a over $100 for the case and 7" or larger touch sensitive display for a Raspberry Pi 4 (not included).

Edited by BruceMcF

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It's really hard to beat a Chromebook for value: https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Chromebook-Celeron-Processor-Gigabit/dp/B07XL4JHXR?ref_=Oct_DLandingS_D_d11b2207_65&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&th=1

You can run python and all sorts of games on them now. Not really for learning about low-level stuff, but it's a great option for a kid's first PC and meets all their needs, including learning how to code. If you are marketing something less capable at the same price point, you might as well just make a bonfire with your money.

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I can't believe I have been unable to find a "modern retro" PC mainboard. I would love something like that to play with, even if it is all FPGA. I guess I could go the MiSTer route...

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46 minutes ago, Scott Robison said:

I can't believe I have been unable to find a "modern retro" PC mainboard.

It would help to better define what you mean. Are you looking for something like a 486 motherboard?

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Just now, SlithyMatt said:

It would help to better define what you mean. Are you looking for something like a 486 motherboard?

I was specifically thinking of a IBM 5150 compatible board with all the things you would have found on that in my specific example, my idea being that I could then play with ROM creation in a simple environment.

It's mainly a thought exercise.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, TomXP411 said:

I usually just dork around in DOSBox, VMWare, or VirtualBOX if I want to emulate a legacy system like that. 

As do I. Again, just something I was thinking about. With as many C=64 reimplementation as exist these days, it was something I wanted to play with.

Really what I'd like to do is be able to buy a modern PC compatible board that would allow me to replace the BIOS to create a "single board computer" (not necessarily RPi sized, but with all the stuff on the mainboard without needing cards). But all modern boards for "PC compatible hardware" expect all you'll use it for is to boot a file based OS.

Edited by Scott Robison

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, SlithyMatt said:

It's really hard to beat a Chromebook for value: https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Chromebook-Celeron-Processor-Gigabit/dp/B07XL4JHXR?ref_=Oct_DLandingS_D_d11b2207_65&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&th=1

You can run python and all sorts of games on them now. Not really for learning about low-level stuff, but it's a great option for a kid's first PC and meets all their needs, including learning how to code. If you are marketing something less capable at the same price point, you might as well just make a bonfire with your money.

And below that price point, it's tablets all the way down, because there's no mass market for devices below that capability set but with keyboards attached.

When the CX16e is available, the cheapest way to go to an 8bit with something like laptop portability would likely be a 3D printed tablet case for the board with a cheap maker controller to translate a portable folding bluetooth keyboard and mousepad into emulating a PS2 keyboard and mouse ... but it would be way over $30, and the keyboard/mouse emulator would have more processing power than the CX16e itself.

Edited by BruceMcF

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3 hours ago, BruceMcF said:

And below that price point, it's tablets all the way down, because there's no mass market for devices below that capability set but with keyboards attached.

I was surprised with this market hole. But I remebered there are some cheap tablet cases with built in keyboards, so I found tablet+case+keyboard that more or less match my needs, and it became my cheap and compact laptop solution.

 

Sorry for offtopic, but just wish to mention another market hole with apparently no mass market needs: medium priced tablet with 19" screen or more. Why would I need that? To sit relaxed in my sofa and read digital copies of retro magazines, holding the device on my knees. Currently I'm thinking about attaching RPi and touch screen to my old 19" monitor. The thing would turn out bulky, heavy and without battery (so I would need to plug it into wall outlet), but I think it should meet my purpose.

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8 minutes ago, Cyber said:

I was surprised with this market hole. But I remebered there are some cheap tablet cases with built in keyboards, so I found tablet+case+keyboard that more or less match my needs, and it became my cheap and compact laptop solution.

What type of tablet / case / keyboard did you find / use?

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, Scott Robison said:

What type of tablet / case / keyboard did you find / use?

It was several years ago, so models are outdated, but here they are.
Tablet: Prestigio Multipad 7.0 Ultra+ (PMP3670B)
Case: cheap ($5) case+keyboard without brand, this one - https://rozetka.com.ua/ua/73891221/p73891221/ - it is local store in my country, but I think there should be similar products worldwide

It sill functions, and I'm thinking of trying Sunxi Linux on it: https://linux-sunxi.org/Prestigio_PMP3670B

Edited by Cyber

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7 hours ago, Scott Robison said:

As do I. Again, just something I was thinking about. With as many C=64 reimplementation as exist these days, it was something I wanted to play with.

Really what I'd like to do is be able to buy a modern PC compatible board that would allow me to replace the BIOS to create a "single board computer" (not necessarily RPi sized, but with all the stuff on the mainboard without needing cards). But all modern boards for "PC compatible hardware" expect all you'll use it for is to boot a file based OS.

Yeah, I don't think that's really a thing these days, except for specific microcontroller boards. Certainly none of the "pi" systems let you just run a flashed ROM, and even the x86 SBCs generally load from either an on board SSD, an SD card, or a SATA device. 

 

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6 hours ago, Cyber said:

I was surprised with this market hole. But I remembered there are some cheap tablet cases with built in keyboards, so I found tablet+case+keyboard that more or less match my needs, and it became my cheap and compact laptop solution.

Yeah, those cheap tablet keyboard cases fill the bottom end of that market, because separating the tablet from the keyboard means the keyboard is a mass production item without maker having to worry about what mix of tablet features can hit the market.

I have or had one of those for a 7" tablet, but I didn't find the keyboard usable for my big paws. Now that I have a 10" tablet, maybe I'll try again.

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21 hours ago, SlithyMatt said:

It's really hard to beat a Chromebook for value: https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Chromebook-Celeron-Processor-Gigabit/dp/B07XL4JHXR?ref_=Oct_DLandingS_D_d11b2207_65&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&th=1

You can run python and all sorts of games on them now. Not really for learning about low-level stuff, but it's a great option for a kid's first PC and meets all their needs, including learning how to code. If you are marketing something less capable at the same price point, you might as well just make a bonfire with your money.

I converted my old (Falco) HP Chromebook to run Arch (basically upgraded the SSD to 128Gb) and its actually pretty good. Everything seems to work.

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