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(new title): Hard decision, but the answer is pretty clear.


x16tial
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2 minutes ago, BruceMcF said:

So it's not calling everybody stupid, it's calling everybody childish. Including David,

Maybe that was not what you intended ... in which case, I guess that's an oops for you.

That isn't what I intended, or should be inferred.  The reference is that there's an answer staring everyone in the face.  And this concludes me explaining the reference, how you take it is up to you!

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Just now, Scott Robison said:

Only true if something else is ever introduced between the two. 🙂

No LC between a Lieutenant and a Commander in the chain of command doesn't instantly promote the Lieutenant to Lieutenant Commander.

Look, I am only putting it two steps below the Commander. I am not saying it deserved no more than Ensign rank.

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2 minutes ago, BruceMcF said:

No LC between a Lieutenant and a Commander in the chain of command doesn't instantly promote the Lieutenant to Lieutenant Commander.

Look, I am only putting it two steps below the Commander. I am not saying it deserved no more than Ensign rank.

Given tone of type, I'm not sure if I've hit a nerve or not. I don't *think* so but ... sorry if necessary.

I don't think calling it LX8 is useful as it does confuse people, even if the name is clever. Commander is a brand like Commodore was a brand. Lieutenant is a clever nickname like Speccy for Spectrum.

Really, given that Commodore is higher in rank than Commander, and made less capable hardware than the X16, perhaps calling X8 the Captain would make more sense.

In any case ... it doesn't matter. I know what you're talking about. Just sharing my opinion.

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1 hour ago, x16tial said:

That isn't what I intended, or should be inferred.  The reference is that there's an answer staring everyone in the face.  And this concludes me explaining the reference, how you take it is up to you!

______________________

 

1 hour ago, Scott Robison said:

Given tone of type, I'm not sure if I've hit a nerve or not. I don't *think* so but ... sorry if necessary.

I don't think calling it LX8 is useful as it does confuse people, even if the name is clever. Commander is a brand like Commodore was a brand. Lieutenant is a clever nickname like Speccy for Spectrum.

Really, given that Commodore is higher in rank than Commander, and made less capable hardware than the X16, perhaps calling X8 the Captain would make more sense.

In any case ... it doesn't matter. I know what you're talking about. Just sharing my opinion.

But, but, but ... goddamit, I'm calling it the LX8 to be clever. 8-)# ... Heck, if they sell them and I buy one, I'll keep on calling it the LX8, I think its just that clever.

It's pretty obvious that David is calling them the X16's and X8. The board even as "X8" on it. It would be silly to try to change it's official name, but the comment to call it the Lieutenant X8 was too witty to not give it some props.

Edited by BruceMcF
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2 minutes ago, BruceMcF said:

Also, note that you have specified that the reference is to a campaign that insinuated that the left wing of the Democratic party were childish and the Democratic Leadership Council wing were the adults in the room. "It was a reference to a previous insult" makes it an even weaker excuse.

Sorry, incorrect.  It's a quote from James Carville, consulting for the Clinton campaign, which caught on quite extensively and was a factor in his victory.

from Wikipedia:

 derived from a list he (James Carville) posted in the campaign war room to help focus himself and his staff, with these three points:

  1. Change vs. more of the same.
  2. The economy, stupid.
  3. Don't forget health care.[62]
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He wasn't insulting anybody, it was to his own staff, and was widely reported and acknowledged as such, as a rallying cry for the campaign.  As in, "if we're not talking about the economy, we're doing something wrong".   But if you see it as an insult, again, that's up to you.  But we digress.

To the retro future!  Whatever form it takes.

 

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Whether x16tial intended to insult isn't really the point, though. Personally, I read the title as an insult towards much of the community, and it seems I'm not alone in that assessment.

I can't even imagine how such a supposed reference is supposed to be contextual enough on a site like this for most people to read it any other way.

That's all I really want to say in this discussion.

Edited by StephenHorn
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Well, all I can do is explain the intention and the reference, which has been done.  It was a risk, that everyone wouldn't know the reference, but the intention and the reference has been explained: that a hard decision could be made, and there's a clear winning strategy on the other side of that hard decision.

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You could... edit the title? You know, if you don't want to distract people who don't associate this website with politics, and thus gather the wrong impression.

Looks like I can still edit titles on posts I made many months ago. I feel confident that this is within your power.

Edited by StephenHorn
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1 hour ago, BruceMcF said:

But, but, but ... goddamit, I'm calling it the LX8 to be clever. Heck, if they sell them and I buy one, I'll keep on calling it the LX8.

It's pretty obvious that David is calling them the X16's and X8. The board even as "X8" on it. It would be silly to try to change it's official name, but the comment to call it the Lieutenant X8 was too witty to not give it some props.

I agree it was clever. That's why I posted I thought it was a great nickname about three minutes after the original post suggesting it. I don't feel the need to keep calling it the 68. LX8? Pidgin Roman / Arabic numeral hybrid? Anyone? {crickets} Or maybe I should just start calling it the LXVIII!

I'm sorry I've apparently stepped on toes or some such, as this reaction seems way over the top to innocent remarks on my part.

Edited by Scott Robison
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6 hours ago, Wavicle said:

Ah, okay. Those were only the board design files as far as I know. I was hoping the RTL for VERA had been published since it is the only bespoke "ASIC" in the X16.

What was posted was a complete standalone project. I have a copy of the following repos:

  • commanderx8 / x8-emu - emulator
  • commanderx8 / x8-rom - X8 ROM containing BASIC and KERNAL
  • commanderx8 / x8-fpga - FPGA image in Verilog
  • commanderx8 / x8-pcb - KiCAD files of schematic/PCB 

I played around with it using an iCEBreaker board a few months ago. I can't remember if that board had enough I/O breakout to support everything. If it did then could create an X8 breakout board for the iCEBreaker ecosystem. I'm buried in another project so didn't pursue it much further. It looks like there's close to 100 people interested in an X8 board, so this might be one way to get them the hardware.

It's amazing how much work went into the X8 now I take another look at it. I don't understand why you wouldn't release it.

 

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6 hours ago, Wavicle said:

Ah, okay. Those were only the board design files as far as I know. I was hoping the RTL for VERA had been published since it is the only bespoke "ASIC" in the X16.

What was posted was a complete standalone project. I have a copy of the following repos:

  • commanderx8 / x8-emu - emulator
  • commanderx8 / x8-rom - X8 ROM containing BASIC and KERNAL
  • commanderx8 / x8-fpga - FPGA image in Verilog
  • commanderx8 / x8-pcb - KiCAD files of schematic/PCB 

I played around with it using an iCEBreaker board a few months ago. I can't remember if that board had enough I/O breakout to support everything. If it did then could create an X8 breakout board for the iCEBreaker ecosystem. I'm buried in another project so didn't pursue it much further. It looks like there's close to 100 people interested in an X8 board, so this might be one way to get them the hardware.

It's amazing how much work went into the X8 now I take another look at it. I don't understand why you wouldn't release it.

 

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20 minutes ago, SolidState said:

It's amazing how much work went into the X8 now I take another look at it. I don't understand why you wouldn't release it.

Lot's of proof of concept prototype don't get released ... given that it was developed as a proof of concept for the envisioned CX16e, the work that went into it would have stood as good experience before tackling the more ambitious CX16e design.

The reasons to not release this one, or to not release it early, could easily be all of the reasons that have been discussed ... fracturing the CX16 programming ecosystem, cannibalizing the market for the CX16e, the LX8 release framing the later CX16 release and weakening its impact, etc. ... and they may have had some more that we haven't raised.

If the main argument for releasing it in advance of the CX16p crowdfund campaign was to help fund the project, then the better way to both obtain that funding and to ensure the success of the CX16p crowdfund campaign would be to just start crowdfunding the CX16p.

BTW, since FPGA's are well after my time (I checked out at the GAL and EPROM state machine stage), do you remember how much available flashROM is in the X8 project? Is it around the amount in the prior version of the board (128KB)?

Edited by BruceMcF
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7 minutes ago, SolidState said:

The board uses a 16Mb (2M x 😎 NOR FLASH

I think there was an 8 that emoji'd. I mean the simulated system ... my first guess would be some of that used for other system requirements, but as I say, FPGA is after my time ...

... if there are up to 128 16KB ROM banks that can be accessed, that could go a long way to relieving the very constrained 64KB system RAM.

Edited by BruceMcF
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8 minutes ago, BruceMcF said:

FPGA is after my time

Me too 🙂 From what I understand these are volatile devices, so it forgets all the "circuitry" when powered off. The serial FLASH is used to store the firmware/RAM image and it gets pulled into the chip on power up. The VERA board would be the same way and probably has an identical FLASH chip on it.

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11 hours ago, SolidState said:

There was a discussion about the X8 files on this thread. It looks like the repos were made private, but I think there are some forks out there (the image was a render I did just now from KiCAD). 

I got through the leaked board design and turns out this thing also has a microcontroller that handles host USB data communication and SPI lines to both the config flash and the FPGA. This is usually done to allow live configuration and config flash writing.

This is basically an FPGA dev board.

Don't get the hopes up there though, I'm pretty sure they are not going to include this or even the wi-fi module just to save the cost.

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9 hours ago, x16tial said:

That isn't what I intended, or should be inferred.  The reference is that there's an answer staring everyone in the face.

I missed the joke until you explained it, but the original title was obviously tongue in cheek.

"Some people are so touchy".

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1 hour ago, a9m said:

I got through the leaked board design and turns out this thing also has a microcontroller that handles host USB data communication and SPI lines to both the config flash and the FPGA. This is usually done to allow live configuration and config flash writing.

This is basically an FPGA dev board.

Don't get the hopes up there though, I'm pretty sure they are not going to include this or even the wi-fi module just to save the cost.

It makes sense if it is a development board since they were, well, developing on it ...

... but if they don't include the wifi, I'm back to wanting to expand the USB dev tree to hub plus rs232 serial.

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I agree that the X8 sounds like a threat to the X16, AND that that's no reason to kill or cripple the X8.

* 12 MHz, USB, and wifi?   Where do I sign up?

It ain't going to have an expansion bus, or a different memory model, or a crippled clock, or anything different than what it is right now.  And that's okay.

---

As for the X16.  I've been coding on the emulator and I like those RAM banks.  I REQUIRE at least 10 RAM banks for Core War (it uses a dynamic playing field taking up 80K RAM).  I WANT to use ALL of those RAM banks for Traveller Trader (yes I could use files, but it already works as one gigantic 380K map so...).   There is at LEAST one good use for those RAM banks, and at least two reasonable uses.

And I "need" every spare byte of VERA RAM, because sprites just take up so much space.

As a Neanderthal, I also do not fully trust flash drives to survive heavy use constantly.  So when I'm running Ultima Retro II on the X8, I will be hearing tiny screams as the flash memory gets read and written to as the game churns through that gigantic map, fully expecting to waking up one morning and having it just be DEAD. 

 

On the other hand, since the X8 is the Raspberry Pi / Game Console version of the X16, that's not a problem.  When I'm playing Cloud Diver Saturn, it's just one file and there's no save game, no complicated map, just a lot of twitch, so that's perfect for the X8.

 

But if I want a machine for running The Seven Pirate Kingdoms of Gold, I'm reaching for the X16.  Although I can't avoid saving state to disk there...

 

I do agree that the Yamaha and SNES and PS/2 aren't my cuppa.  But they ARE David's cuppa.  So.

 

Edited by rje
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8 hours ago, BruceMcF said:

I think there was an 8 that emoji'd. I mean the simulated system ... my first guess would be some of that used for other system requirements, but as I say, FPGA is after my time ...

... if there are up to 128 16KB ROM banks that can be accessed, that could go a long way to relieving the very constrained 64KB system RAM.

i was thinking: isn't flash memory much slower when written? can it sustain the 12 Mz frequence ?

the vera fpga has proved to be capable to integrate at least the 65c02 cpu and a usb controller: wouldn't be a less controversial saving to use it to emulate an FM CHip in the X16?

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