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Let's help push this over the finish line


x16tial
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Recent events got me to thinking: "How badly do I want to see a successful outcome of this project?"  There's different degrees and definitions of what success would look like, but David in this post asked for money to get it done:

 

I, for one, would argue, that this board/site is populated by the die-hardest among X16 fans.  So here's my call to put up or shutup.

The recent discussion around what platform to host this board brought out some promises of money for that, I call on you to divert those funds to David.

David's patreon is: https://www.patreon.com/8BitGuy1
(at his highest level - $20/month - you can have a direct 15 minute conversation with him)
(but $1/month is also an option! And 3 other tiers besides that)

Or, as he details in: https://www.the8bitguy.com/how-to-donate/,
Direct donations can be made via Paypal to dfwgreencars@gmail.com, (he asks to put a note in the description or send him an email explaining the donation.)

For myself, I've just sent $50 via Paypal, and will evaluate later sending more.

So, how badly do you want it?

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If no one is going to take an income from it then it should definitely be 'Non profit', for the tax and licensing breaks at the very least.

As you can see from the recent posts financing isn't the problem. It appears to be a mix of technical and managerial problems.

Of course supporting content creators is a good thing, but dont think sending money now will hurry up this particular project.

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On 3/18/2022 at 7:11 AM, Yazwho said:

If no one is going to take an income from it then it should definitely be 'Non profit', for the tax and licensing breaks at the very least.

As you can see from the recent posts financing isn't the problem. It appears to be a mix of technical and managerial problems.

Of course supporting content creators is a good thing, but dont think sending money now will hurry up this particular project.

Where did I say "hurry up"?  I said "successful outcome", I made no mention of timeline, you're inferring that, incorrectly.

As far as "financing isn't the problem", I'll include the text from the post I linked:  (the bold emphasis is mine)

Regardless of whether a crowd funding platform requires something or not, I have a reputation of integrity to uphold.  The last thing I want is people saying that the 8-Bit Guy took their money and didn't deliver on a promise.  However, I have been considering doing some sort of crowdfunding where it would literally just be asking for donations to keep this project alive.  An infusion of $20,000 with no requirement to repay it would go a LONG way to pushing this product out to the public.  $100,000 would guarantee a successful launch.   But that's a lot to ask.  I know there are several thousand people interested in this.  If everyone just donated $5 that would probably be an incredible help.

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The quote is from August last year. The latest update makes it clear that the project group have had a communication problem. And there is no project manager what it seems. If the group becomes stable and functional I wouldn’t hesitate to donate money. Stephen Horn is offering some help. It seems like a good idea to ask if he could assist Michael Steil. For now I am sort of waiting to see what happens.

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Posted (edited)

I'll add, this isn't a software project, it's a hardware project (and yes, before you point out the obvious, of course it also involves software, but let's focus, k?)

And hardware boils down to money. Getting it made requires more than sitting at a desk typing and clicking "commit".

If you think that money (or lack thereof) doesn't affect the other issues, then I'd say: think deeper.

So yeah, I'm seeing that the project is having trouble, and from my position all I can do is try to help alleviate some factor, the money factor.  Will my $50 ensure success?  Of course not.  But I'm willing to take that risk.

(edit: the above is meant in general, not a specific response to the posts above)

Edited by x16tial
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And what software is there, is specialized to support the system.  In other words, a necessary evil, if you would.

Every component affects the price -- in fact it looks as though the number of components is in a linear relationship to the price -- but we already know that the point isn't to minimize price.  My hope is that price is cheap, but their goal is for a platform, conforming to 8BG's vision,  that will support and thrive in the 8 bit retro ecology.

 

Edited by rje
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Right now, money isn't the issue, though the team definitely needs to be reimbursed for what they've spent.

The supply chain itself is the issue. They can't get the parts, even if the design was perfect and the code was perfect.  This doesn't just affect us, it affects any industry that uses Silicon chips.  The auto industry has hundreds of thousands of cars they can't sell yet because they're missing chips.

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On 3/18/2022 at 8:21 AM, Ed Minchau said:

Right now, money isn't the issue, though the team definitely needs to be reimbursed for what they've spent.

Right, somehow in the last 7 months, the money issue just went away, magically...  gotcha.  Sorry, this response isn't just to you, it's to anyone saying money isn't the issue.

My call is this:  Do something to help push the project toward success.  If you can't help with the hardware or software, then join David's Patreon for $1 a month, or just Paypal him 5 bucks.  Let's hit it on all fronts.

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I'm fine with whatever 8BG wants to do re funding.  He's talked about it, too.  I suspect the issue isn't money, but rather other resource needs, such as time and prioritization and organization.

  1. We can't really buy time.
  2. We can't really prioritize things for the principals.
  3. We can't really organize them.

 

But I think your question is more like "what can we do?"        ....and I think the answer is, do what you can, until we know more.

 

If you want to collaborate on a project around the X16 (emulator...), I'm interested, and others probably are as well, but the trick is Project Management, not nerd skillz.

  1. Matching skills up
  2. Organizing a project
  3. Followthrough.
Edited by rje
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On 3/18/2022 at 9:37 AM, x16tial said:

Right, somehow in the last 7 months, the money issue just went away, magically...  gotcha.  Sorry, this response isn't just to you, it's to anyone saying money isn't the issue.

My call is this:  Do something to help push the project toward success.  If you can't help with the hardware or software, then join David's Patreon for $1 a month, or just Paypal him 5 bucks.  Let's hit it on all fronts.

By all means, sure, money will help. However,  no amount of money will help when the FPGA used for VERA isn't going to be available anywhere in the world until September. Unless you raise a few billion to start up a chip fab, we're going to have to wait.

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On 3/18/2022 at 11:18 AM, Ed Minchau said:

By all means, sure, money will help. However,  no amount of money will help when the FPGA used for VERA isn't going to be available anywhere in the world until September. Unless you raise a few billion to start up a chip fab, we're going to have to wait.

Or we implement it with random TTL in our cabinets.  What's a few million 2n2222's?

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On 3/18/2022 at 9:18 AM, Ed Minchau said:

By all means, sure, money will help. However,  no amount of money will help when the FPGA used for VERA isn't going to be available anywhere in the world until September. Unless you raise a few billion to start up a chip fab, we're going to have to wait.

Again, I made zero mention of timeline.

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I agree with @x16tial. Points made by others are valid too, but I did this very thing last August: signed up to be a $20/month patreon supporter. Not because it will make things happen on a certain time table, but because by David's own words he's invested "five figures" (or words to that effect) on CX16 so far. It was a way to support David and help offset the expense. Not all help needs to be financial, but if you can, it won't hurt. If nothing else you are supporting more content creation.

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If throwing money at the project will help, I'm already regularly donating to T8BG's Patreon fund.

But in order to do what you're talking about, to have the money really make a difference, right now, then what you'd need is enough money coming in to make the project more than just a labor of love for the primary participants. Not 'making a profit,' but 'paying the workforce.' Even peanuts and chickenfeed would have at least a symbolic value.

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On 3/18/2022 at 4:37 PM, x16tial said:

Right, somehow in the last 7 months, the money issue just went away, magically...  gotcha.  Sorry, this response isn't just to you, it's to anyone saying money isn't the issue.

My call is this:  Do something to help push the project toward success.  If you can't help with the hardware or software, then join David's Patreon for $1 a month, or just Paypal him 5 bucks.  Let's hit it on all fronts.

After all, I can see your point. I am already a patreon but I think I will make an extra donation even if money isn’t the main issue right now. It is an encouragement and a way to let the project group know that we are many who support the project.

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On 3/18/2022 at 10:28 AM, x16tial said:

Where did I say "hurry up"?  I said "successful outcome", I made no mention of timeline, you're inferring that, incorrectly.

I was like, "what does x16tial MEAN, of COURSE it said 'hurry up'" ... but then rereading it, it's nowhere in the text. Then a little while later, I realized where I got the "hurry up" impression.

We use metaphors because they are striking, but because they are striking, they can convey more than we intend. The metaphor of a racing car being pushed over the finish line so that it can officially finish the race, used in the title of the post, really does imply that the car stopped running close enough to the finish line that it can be pushed over. A car that is "pushed over the finish line" has always stopped running / wrecked in the final lap of the race.

So while the discussion said nothing about timeline, the title of the post gives a picture that seems a lot closer to finished than the earliest possible Q4 2022 dictated by the availability of the FPGA chips in the Vera design.

Luckily this is an online forum and not a print magazine, so those kind of misunderstandings of an argument can be cleared up.

Edited by BruceMcF
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Yeah, my first impulse upon recently hearing the issues with the project was to lose more faith and join a thread grousing about the situation.

But I realized, that won't help at all. And decided to take a different tack.

It's really quite amazing what a small, volunteer team has so far accomplished.  And I have enough faith that David, and team, want to see this through, that in all likelihood, we'll at some point have a decent product to mess around with.  So I decided I wanted to help in some way, not just sit on the sidelines.  Hopefully more will join me, and like I said before, it doesn't have to be financial, there are other ways to help.  Cheers.

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On 3/19/2022 at 12:26 AM, x16tial said:

Do you actually think someone is getting rich from this?

If they didn't they would make the blue prints available online for free. If they did i would have had a working cx16 long ago, and probably a few copies available on eBay for you guys.

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On 3/20/2022 at 7:08 AM, Eightbitfreak said:

If they didn't they would make the blue prints available online for free.

Assuming two possible states -- trying to get rich, or giving away for free -- when the reality is something else is sometimes called a "false dichotomy", and sometimes called a "misplaced middle".

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On 3/20/2022 at 5:08 AM, Eightbitfreak said:

If they didn't they would make the blue prints available online for free. If they did i would have had a working cx16 long ago, and probably a few copies available on eBay for you guys.

All of this - design, prototyping,  coding, testing, debugging - requires time and money up front. David Murray is out at least ten grand out of pocket. 

Patience.

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On 3/20/2022 at 5:08 AM, Eightbitfreak said:

If they didn't they would make the blue prints available online for free. If they did i would have had a working cx16 long ago, and probably a few copies available on eBay for you guys.

The middle ground that is alluded to in other posts is "Let's build a machine using Cloanto IP which requires restrictions; then, when it is finished and complete, sell it at the lowest price point possible that allows people who invested money to recoup their investment."

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On 3/21/2022 at 4:37 AM, Ed Minchau said:

All of this - design, prototyping,  coding, testing, debugging - requires time and money up front. David Murray is out at least ten grand out of pocket

Prototyping cost pennies. If you thinking about your time spent in front of your screen rounting traces, and building the prototype just think about community who creates content for this project, or Adrian ( digital basement) fixing it for free. I don't know where all the money went that Dave and Peri spent but my guess is the fancy keyboards, cases and all this crap that supposed to make "nostalgia unboxing" experience, but i think most of us here don't really care, we want the device ?

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On 3/20/2022 at 6:02 PM, Eightbitfreak said:

Prototyping cost pennies. If you thinking about your time spent in front of your screen rounting traces, and building the prototype just think about community who creates content for this project, or Adrian ( digital basement) fixing it for free. I don't know where all the money went that Dave and Peri spent but my guess is the fancy keyboards, cases and all this crap that supposed to make "nostalgia unboxing" experience, but i think most of us here don't really care, we want the device ?

Prototyping does not cost pennies unless you happen to have all the components lying around just waiting to be put into use. There've been several revisions of mother boards. Shipping things internationally. Web site hosting, domain registrations. That's all off the top of my head, I'm sure others can come up with more. It may not be five figures, but it is definitely more than pennies, and it doesn't take into account any volunteer hours spent in front of a keyboard.

Your point about keyboards is legit, but its still an expense. If I had to guess I'd say it is the single biggest expense, but that is just a guess, not knowledge. Maybe if he had it to do over again he wouldn't go the keyboard route. I don't know.

Ultimately it doesn't matter. He has spent what he has spent. He deserves a chance to recoup that expense. Other people who want to create a retro computer platform with different considerations are free to do so.

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