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Perifractic

Prototype #2 is aliiiive!

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Please enjoy this mini update from @Kevin Williams about the second prototype. A fuller update will follow from David on YouTube soon (when we have a working prototype #3). Happy new year Commandos!

 

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That's awesome news, thank you!
(Also: Yay, my Tetris running on real hardware! \o/ Thank you Kevin for including it in the video!)

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Been watching a lot of Adrian's basement recently.   I don't know that much about him except that he is all work, no ego.  He's happy to have his attempts to fix and conquer difficult issues play out live on his videos and revels in the thrill of real-time triumph once he gets something working.  Big fan and inspired that he was called upon AND solved a problem.

Does anybody know what his background is?  (developer as a day job?)

Great to see that update, it's Christmas again and just what we needed.  Keep at it guys, wish I could pitch in.  Someday... : )

 

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14 minutes ago, EMwhite said:

 

Does anybody know what his background is?  (developer as a day job?)

 

IIRC he's an IT manager.

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Great progress by the team!  What is the expected timeframe regarding rom/emulator changes to match the changes to managing banked RAM? 

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Great progress by the team!  What is the expected timeframe regarding rom/emulator changes to match the changes to managing banked RAM? 
Once we have prototype 3 and we can lock down what is changed that will happen pretty quick. No official timeframe

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28 minutes ago, Perifractic said:

Once we have prototype 3 and we can lock down what is changed that will happen pretty quick. No official timeframe emoji6.png

I'm just happy to see the team having some success - I'm guessing that the Proto 2 issues were causing some frustration.

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Thanks for sharing!  When there is more time, I would love to hear more details of what the issue was as well as the fix. That way we can all learn from this, which at least for me, learning something new is the whole reason I'm here. 🙂

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Thanks for sharing!  When there is more time, I would love to hear more details of what the issue was as well as the fix. That way we can all learn from this, which at least for me, learning something new is the whole reason I'm here.
Yes that will likely be in David's video if not one by Adrian.
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This is fantastic. The fact that the hardware is running software that was designed on the emulator, and never run on real hardware, is super exciting. 

 

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Posted (edited)

That's kind of the point of an emulator, though. 😉

PS: It is, of course, still exciting and very cool.

Edited by Fnord42

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I'm subscribed to Adrian's channel partly because he's a superb troubleshooter - very glad he helped the project this way!

He also has the most 80s intro music, which is cool.

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Posted (edited)

Another update from Kevin! I looked around and didn't see that it was posted yet, but sorry if it was and I missed it:

 

Edited by m00dawg
Making the embed work
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13 minutes ago, m00dawg said:
Another update from Kevin! I looked around and didn't see that it was posted yet, but sorry if it was and I missed it:
 

Was just coming here to post it but you beat me to it 🤭

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Quite an update too! I don't want to spoil it but some juicy tidbits and answers to at least one question that I know several folks will be happy to find the answer to!

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Awesome to see some of the details, and it's not surprising things are evolving a bit as prototypes are built and tested.

What's an amazing testament to the planning the team has done is that the code changes required look to be relatively minor.

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As a dev, I'm a tad displeased by the change for Bank Switching to ZP $00/$01.....
Not coherent with all the other system switches (mem location wise, I mean).
Taking 2 addresses on the tiny and already packed ZP.
Am I the only one ?

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1 hour ago, kktos said:

As a dev, I'm a tad displeased by the change for Bank Switching to ZP $00/$01.....
Not coherent with all the other system switches (mem location wise, I mean).
Taking 2 addresses on the tiny and already packed ZP.
Am I the only one ?

2 out of 256 bytes? Doesn't sound like very much to me! Those are the same addresses as the 6510's I/O direction and data registers, itself is used in the C64.

Oh, if I remember, ZP locations $02 to $7F are allowed to be used by the user, locations $80 to $FF are used by the kernel. $02 to $21 supposedly are designed to be sixteen virtual 16-bit registers (or 32 8-bit registers, since changing values in memory must be done on a byte-by-byte basis). You can see these defined within @SlithyMatt's assembly code.

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Moving it to the ZP makes things faster though yeah? Splitting hairs, but I think I would have preferred them to have been at the top of the ZP than the bottom but I'm very green when it comes to assembly language programming - though it is something I'm excited to get further into!

One thing I was wondering about was the need for using an ATX power supply. I've seen ITX motherboards that have barrel connector connections for power so I don't know if an ATX supply is strictly required here, but seems to be causing some headaches. I think I'd personally favor a normal ole mechanical power switch myself. The motherboard itself runs on 5V I thought? Perhaps the VERA is requiring 3.3V here but even then, making a DC-to-DC supply wouldn't be too troublesome (perhaps less than trying to figure out the soft switch).

Just thinking aloud there, I trust that the team knows what they are doing more than I 🙂 Just seemed like a pretty big headache for Kevin for such a simple (but important) function like turning the machine off and on hehe.

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5 minutes ago, m00dawg said:

Moving it to the ZP makes things faster though yeah? Splitting hairs, but I think I would have preferred them to have been at the top of the ZP than the bottom but I'm very green when it comes to assembly language programming - though it is something I'm excited to get further into!

One thing I was wondering about was the need for using an ATX power supply. I've seen ITX motherboards that have barrel connector connections for power so I don't know if an ATX supply is strictly required here, but seems to be causing some headaches. I think I'd personally favor a normal ole mechanical power switch myself. The motherboard itself runs on 5V I thought? Perhaps the VERA is requiring 3.3V here but even then, making a DC-to-DC supply wouldn't be too troublesome (perhaps less than trying to figure out the soft switch).

Just thinking aloud there, I trust that the team knows what they are doing more than I 🙂 Just seemed like a pretty big headache for Kevin for such a simple (but important) function like turning the machine off and on hehe.

My guess is the power supply and power switch decisions stem from choice for their case. Instead of designing an entirely custom case, they're modifying an existing case design, because this is much more cost effective.

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2 minutes ago, StephenHorn said:

My guess is the power supply and power switch decisions stem from choice for their case. Instead of designing an entirely custom case, they're modifying an existing case design, because this is much more cost effective.

Yep agreed, although I've also seen cases which are built around just a barrel jack. A space where the PSU might go could be reserved for perhaps a small custom DC-DC power board if required and where the AC plug goes could be just replaced by a simple barrel jack panel. Or so was my thought. I know Kevin mentioned shenaigans if using a gigantic modern PC supply with the X16, though if the ITX case comes with it's own PSU then it's more moot. Still...I do wonder if - well, I guess there can't be a way to avoid soft-power without controlling the power on the AC side (and I'm sure that's something they do not want to do - I remember shocking myself when trying to figure out the rocker switch on an AT supply heh). I know there some purism but I wonder, if an ATTiny85 or similar is all that's needed to solve the soft power issue, it's probably worth it (it is a through hole part at least). If all the thing is doing is managing soft power I think that's just fine *shrug*

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1 hour ago, m00dawg said:

Moving it to the ZP makes things faster though yeah?

yes indeed.

But my point was about coherence (there aesthetics too).
It is more coherent to have all "related" things at the same place.
Here, we will have 2 system switches in the ZP, all others in $9F00.

So as the ZP is faster to access, let's have all the sys switches in the ZP. 

Anyway, I do agree it's not that important 🙂

It's just I like my system like my whisky, neat 😉

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1 hour ago, m00dawg said:

I've also seen cases which are built around just a barrel jack. A space where the PSU might go could be reserved for perhaps a small custom DC-DC power board if required and where the AC plug goes could be just replaced by a simple barrel jack panel.

Same thoughts here, so I also don't understand the point of ATX PSU yet...  
But I patiently hope X16 team will reveal the reasons.

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