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It was kind of fun - farewell


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Today's post leaking the third revision board with the attached price list took me by surprise and slammed the final nail on the coffin for my continued involvement. I spent an inordinate amount of personal time, at a high opportunity cost, to learn 6502 assembly. This wasn't an easy task. It involved trips to the library, research on usenet, conversations on irc chat, copious youtube vids. I was hoping to make a contribution toward the software catalog, but with a kanban showing eighty percent completion of all my design goals, I can't convince myself to do the rest. It's a shame, but it is ultimately my call. It begs the question of what led to this.

  1. I'm skeptical the product will release within a year from this date. Fundraising was slated for later this year but we're already mid-July. They'll need to collect the funds, order the manufacturing, obtain components, box material, printed material, and construct the systems. That's a ton of soldering, testing, folding, wrapping, boxing, shipping. This assumes success in fundraising. We have a fast approaching Christmas season.
  2. Not sure if they're planning on doing a beta with a test group or not - I haven't seen any solicitations for testers. How long would that phase take? Then, software and hardware revisions would follow, surely.
  3. Lack of communication from the development team. David realized he bit off more than he could chew, so he recruited some great minds for help. Last year, Kevin (TexElec) admitted that he took a multi-month break from the project. David created an entirely new game, ported it, designed art, printed boxes, documentation, and promoted the product. Between shipping his games, constructing a new studio and overseeing a house remodel,  he has admitted to veritably zero involvement with the CX16. Though, Kevin just published a quick YT showing petscii robots running on the rev 3 board, this was to give David assurance that the game he's selling works. Meanwhile, Perifractic has repeatedly asked the community to quit asking for updates. The devs are all busy with other projects, I get it - I appreciate how life happens. Most pet projects don't draw a dedicated community eager to consume the project and write software for it. They're asked to sit down and shut up. It feels like the development team lacks motivation to complete the mission. It's been nearly three years since the initial announcement.
  4. I falsely assumed this website and forum was erected to serve as a project HQ but I've read that the real action happens on facebook. So this site is an afterthought. Being here is tantamount to getting rickrolled.
  5. Like most projects, the CX16 fell victim of scope creep. I doubt the finished product will fall within my budget. I'd bet someone lunch that the final price will be closer to a thousand dollars. Last year, Perifractic polled the community to ask what drew them to this project vs the Max 65. Surely, the price point will be similar to that other project.

I may be off-base but this is honestly how I feel about the CX16. Anyway, I'm asking that the mods delete my account. I won't be returning.

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1 hour ago, calcmandan said:

I'm skeptical the product will release within a year from this date. Fundraising was slated for later this year but we're already mid-July. They'll need to collect the funds, order the manufacturing, obtain components, box material, printed material, and construct the systems. That's a ton of soldering, testing, folding, wrapping, boxing, shipping. This assumes success in fundraising. We have a fast approaching Christmas season.

As far as creating new computers from scratch goes, this is breakneck speed. I've seen a few crowdfunded efforts, and this is going pretty well, all things considered. It's certainly going faster than the Mega 65 at a similar point in its development. 

It's been a bit over two years since David's announcement that he was going to build this computer... I honestly don't see how anyone can criticize the timeline, considering everything that's happened over the last year alone. 

 

1 hour ago, calcmandan said:

Not sure if they're planning on doing a beta with a test group or not - I haven't seen any solicitations for testers. How long would that phase take? Then, software and hardware revisions would follow, surely.

That has been mentioned in another thread, here. They will be running a beta test, but they are selecting testers behind the scenes. If I was a betting man, people who have actually written software for the system are likely to be at the front of the line for a beta unit. There are a few forum members here who have already written text editors, assemblers, a completely new machine monitor/debugger, and some games.

 

1 hour ago, calcmandan said:

Lack of communication from the development team. David realized he bit off more than he could chew, so he recruited some great minds for help. Last year, Kevin (TexElec) admitted that he took a multi-month break from the project. David created an entirely new game, ported it, designed art, printed boxes, documentation, and promoted the product. Between shipping his games, constructing a new studio and overseeing a house remodel,  he has admitted to veritably zero involvement with the CX16. Though, Kevin just published a quick YT showing petscii robots running on the rev 3 board, this was to give David assurance that the game he's selling works. Meanwhile, Perifractic has repeatedly asked the community to quit asking for updates. The devs are all busy with other projects, I get it - I appreciate how life happens. Most pet projects don't draw a dedicated community eager to consume the project and write software for it. They're asked to sit down and shut up. It feels like the development team lacks motivation to complete the mission. It's been nearly three years since the initial announcement.

They all have jobs. And their day jobs take precedence. We've also just had a worldwide health scare that has put everything behind by months, if not years... I'm not surprised at some delays. My concerns are actually on the software side, as we still don't have an official release of the latest emulator, and there's still a ways to go before that's complete. However, we can't expect one man to do it all, and there are plenty of tasks people could tackle and submit as pull requests  to GitHub. 

1 hour ago, calcmandan said:

I falsely assumed this website and forum was erected to serve as a project HQ but I've read that the real action happens on facebook. So this site is an afterthought. Being here is tantamount to getting rickrolled.

The forum is the official source for communication with the team. Other social media outlets are there for people to communicate with each other, but Perifractic (as the defacto front man for the team, at this point) has committed to announcing things here first and using this web site as the development hub for the system. 

And that has certainly been working. There has been a lot more technical and effective conversation here than on Facebook, which is a terrible way to organize information. 

1 hour ago, calcmandan said:

Like most projects, the CX16 fell victim of scope creep. I doubt the finished product will fall within my budget. I'd bet someone lunch that the final price will be closer to a thousand dollars. Last year, Perifractic polled the community to ask what drew them to this project vs the Max 65. Surely, the price point will be similar to that other project.

Hardly. The current design is very much what David proposed in his manifesto, just over two years ago. It's a real 6502 CPU, a VGA quality display, and a couple of audio chips with FM and simple "beep boop" synthesis. From where I sit, the Commander X16 is exactly what David wrote about back in 2018 and 2019.

The original post is here: https://www.the8bitguy.com/2576/what-is-my-dream-computer/
and the "part 2" where he announces he's going to build his own computer: https://www.the8bitguy.com/3543/my-dream-computer-part-2/

 

Edited by TomXP411
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Also, what?  

Quote

Today's post leaking the third revision board with the attached price list

Where is that?  I think you may have been deceived, because I can't find an official announcement about hardware or pricing. OTOH, this board (and its predecessor) have been subject to trolls and spam, and it's possible someone posted with a fake account, specifically to rile people up. You may have fallen for a troll. 
 

If you're talking about this post, you're completely off base. Kevin intended to post here, too, but couldn't at the time due to a transient problem. 

As to the prices on the image... those are prototype boards and small scale pricing. Quite frankly, I wish Kevin had not posted that screen shot, precisely because it would lead people to incorrect conclusions. 

 

 

Edited by TomXP411
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18 minutes ago, Fenner Machine said:

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.

Yeah, I found it. I was looking for a post by @Kevin Williams, but someone else relayed the information. 

Bear in mind that it's $27/ea for 10 units. When they make 100 or 1000 units, the price per unit will go down dramatically. I did some of my own PCB pricing for a personal project, and I was surprised how quickly the price goes down as you increase the size of the production run.

Honestly, I expect this to come in at a retail price of around $400 with a case and keyboard, which is less than I spent building a complete Ultimate 64 system.

Edited by TomXP411
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1 hour ago, calcmandan said:

It involved trips to the library, research on usenet, conversations on irc chat

Uh, you didn't *have* to learn 6502 assembly like it was 1989, just because the X16 could be from that era... 😄  (mostly kidding, but there's sooooo many resources on the web, like lots of tutorials and pretty much any book from the era)

All kidding aside, I gotta say you're probably being a little impatient here.  I do understand some of your frustrations, but let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater, eh?

Maybe you're already gone and won't come back, but in case read this, have a Snickers and cure your hangry. 😄  The mere fact that there *IS* a Proto #3 shows progress.  And why is your deadline within one year?  If progress is being visibly made, so what if it's 1,2,3 years?  The machine is already 30 years out of date, what's another few? 😄

 

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