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Alternative timeline: Vulcan instead of VERA as X16's video hardware


xanthrou
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On The 8-Bit Guy's video "Building My Dream Computer Pt. 2", after the Gameduino path didn't work out due to obsolete design of Sparta 3 FPGA and other things, so David needed plan B for video, Ross Andrews sent him Project Vulcan, while Frank Van de Hoef submitted the project VERA, and David chose VERA as a solution to the video hardware question.

How different would things really be (realistically), had David picked Vulcan instead of VERA? You can make your own alternative timeline based on that as long as it sounds realistic.

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This raises questions about Vulcan:

What was/is the master palette?  What is the color generation scheme?  What are the resolution modes?  What are the CLUTs?  Are there tilemodes other than text fonts, or are we stuck with bitmap fields?  Is there some sort of hardware sprite scheme or blitting method, or are we stuck with bit-banging mobile objects?  How is scrolling handled, or is it?  Are there multiple display layers/scrolling fields?  If not, is it possible to fake them with sprites and/or BOBs?  How is Video RAM handled?  Is it on a completely separate memory map like VERA and most game consoles, a specifically mapped space within CPU addressable RAM,, like the original Atari 400/800, Original Apple II, Commodore VIC-20 and 64, Amiga (Fast RAM vs. Chip RAM), Sharp X68000, MSX, or a variably software-mappable space, a-la later Atari 8-Bit XL and XE, Apple II+, IIe/c, and IIgs, IBM PC Compatible before Windows 95, or the Commodore 65/Mega65?

Without those answers, any speculation about the result would be meaningless.

Edited by Kalvan
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I'm actually just hung up on the name, right now, as Vulkan is the current name for the OpenGL API. Naming the CX16 graphics API "Vulcan" is too close for comfort, and would run afoul of trademark laws.

As to the system itself: was Vulcan based on the Gameduino, like VERA was?  Honestly, speculating about how things would be different with Vulcan is pointless, since we know nothing about it, and AFAIK, Ross isn't marketing a Vulcan based graphics adapter.

I wish he would, though. I want to build an Arduino based computer (one with its own operating system, not a retro "clone" or emulation), and I need  a video subsystem that's not "a microcontroller driving a VGA port", like all the terminals based on Geoff G's display terminal. 

Edited by TomXP411
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