Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by iKarith

  1. I've been thinking about this a bit… I know the desire would be to create a modern desktop metaphor GUI, but … do we need or even want that? If an alternative to Matt's 32k giving us a TiPi-compatible SAMS were to be created, or a P-box SAMS card with TiPi, you'd have access to a modern mouse. All for that! F18A Mk 2 should be able to give us the option of more colors, more sprites, more graphics in general. What I wonder is … what if the text screen and the graphics screen were essentially the same screen? That's not far from how the stock VDP operates anyway, but let's maybe improve upon that. What if a program can take over the screen or part of it to render graphics on top of the text? Again, almost the VDPs native mode, except there's no coordination or standardization. I think about Contiki, a GUI program on the C64, but plain text for faster speed on the Apple II. But its TUI tries to implement ASCII icons. What if it could just draw graphics there? What if it could use colors to use the text screen more like a GUI screen, and instead of being a character cell MouseText "arrow" or inverted block, the cursor were a mouse cursor that moved like you'd expect? From where I sit, the desktop metaphor is going away. It's not really used on modern versions of Windows and is increasingly less used on macOS. The desktop is becoming a scratch space for a current project and the usual menus and the like are being replaced by program finders or selectors—pop up screens full of programs to choose from or search through. A setup like this might lend itself nicely to a Norton Commander style file manager, or maybe you could run a modified beginners or extended BASIC that ran under it. Multitasking maybe with a model like screen/tmux, either full screen or in subwindows, or maybe both? And because programs would be cooperating, you could mix GUIs and text. This IMO capitalizes on the fact that the TI, like most 1980s vintage computers, is pretty good at text, but still give you the power to use graphics wherever you need them. I know I've often wished I could just switch tmux on my Mac or Linux machines to a tab with a GUI web browser in it. I don't often tile things because I like being able to see what I'm doing with large fonts, but a split screen does have its advantages. Throwing a pipe dream out there.
  2. Definitely the issue with the console is the internal power supply. The transformer is pretty robust. I'm interested in a power supply to replace the one in the PEB,. Ideally I'd like it to be a DC-DC power supply, but I haven't really found a +5v +12v -5v supply. The PicoPSU things exist—you could use a 7905 to get -5v and the regulator board could provide power switch and mounting inside the console. If I were doing that, I'd probably have additional space on the PCB. I've got a few ideas about things you might want to transplant inside the console if you had the option.
  3. I haven't gotten into this yet. I should correct that problem.
  4. I have one of those things. I hate having to use it, so I try to be careful of the knee. Unfortunately I'm dealing with another painful medical issue right now. I'll be seeing a surgeon about it Tuesday. Two surgical options exist, and one of them requires a nearly one month recovery. I won't be able to get around the way I usually do during that time.
  5. Get a silver speaker bar on that thing and you're golden.
  6. Those aren't quite right for me I'm afraid. I can picture what I have in mind, I'm just going to have to try and find a way to get it made I guess.
  7. I kinda like the case for the TexElec joystick adapter and hoped something like that would be created for the 32k/TiPi. Doesn't look like it's forthcoming though. It'd have to be a little taller than the speech synthesizer and possibly the console itself. And like COREi64's case, it'd probably need some sort of table stabilization because the case would just add too much weight to want it hanging off the card edge connector. I'm also on the lookout for a new Pi case since the one I've been preferring doesn't have facility for both cooling and connection to the GPIO port. The only heatsink case (I like the passive nature of these things) that does is one made for ASIC miners, and it's not been updated for the 3B+ so I can't recommend it to anyone today even if I get one for my older Pi 3. It's also not exactly elegant. The plastic cases with fan support exist I guess. Not silent, but my Sunon fans are pretty quiet and they work with even those dinky $1 Pi heatsinks that otherwise are completely useless.
  8. Eh screw it, SAMS in console using 8M x 8 SRAM and 5v-capable CPLD as a two-chip solution, along with your speech synth. TiPi with passive edge connector adapter. :P When did my head develop interest in plumbing?
  9. Debian uses systemd by default, but still includes the ability to replace it with half a dozen other things. The point of Devuan was because Debian was expected not to give people that choice, but since it does, I don't know why Devuan exists anymore. Systemd … I won't say it was a solution seeking a problem, because there was a problem it was trying to solve. It's not an optimal solution IMO, by far it's not. And I still think it's poorly documented for something as different to traditional inits as it happened to be. (I'm not 100% sold on some of its technical design either.) That said, there are some definite advantages to using it, and more than once I've found myself annoyed trying to do things the Debian way so that they work with or without it since you'd do the thing in two completely different ways depending on whether you've got systemd or not. These are kind of edge cases, I realize, but … meh. I recently found a book on Amazon about systemd … it um … I'm not posting a link here. Rule 34 and all that. I'm just walking away from that crap…
  10. I've not seen many phones support a touchpad. And I think that your left hand will hate that split location. I've used a lot of mobile keyboards over the years from the PalmOS days, and the only split keyboard that works well is the center split: This one does it right. Although, the problem with that one if you're an Android user is that it's a Mac/iOS layout keyboard, strangely with Windows ctrl/fn layout. I did finally force myself to learn to use that layout because I use a PC keyboard on my Mac. It may be that putting it in Android or Windows mode swaps the win/alt keys, if so the legends would just be wrong. I don't think that's a big deal on Android really, which is probably why it's labeled for iOS. No guarantees there, only that the keyboard mechanism is easier to not miss g, t, b, etc. I miss the original Stowaway design personally. You can still find them, and they're more convenient than the Logitech non-folding keyboard I carry, this one. It works, and you can physically turn it off. I mentioned i use a PC keyboard on my Mac—basically its big brother with the numeric keypad, sans the Mac driver that puts it into Mac mode. That's intentional because the Mac mode is actually horrid on a Mac. Works okay on iOS.
  11. I think what you're witnessing is the hodgepodge nature of the TI, and the fact that it was abandoned by TI before anyone had come up with a cohesive BASIC with DOS built-in that could also run EA5 programs. It all seems to have been doable, it just didn't get done originally for cost/time cutting reasons, and later because TI had pretty well abandoned the platform because … of cost reasons.
  12. Schmitzi, you have too many PEBs. You need to send a few of them to other people.
  13. If you're interested in a beginner's guide for the TI itself, it's a bit outdated now, but I cannot recommend enough watching Vectrex Roli's video on the subject: The first thing to know is that there's now FinalGROM/99. (Also FinalROM/99, but you want the GROM version because it does more.) This little cartridge will take just about every piece of software made for the TI-99/4A on cartridge. The only exception I know of is Tursi's Dragon's Lair port, and that thing uses a cartridge that doesn't exist yet because it's 128 freakin' megabytes! The 32k addon is still desirable. There's several ways to get it and you can't have more than one of them installed. It's actually possible to put the 32k in the console, but obviously that's a bad idea. I like JediMatt's 32k because it works with TiPi. You can read more about that elsewhere, Omega's done much evangelization on it. That's enough to do most things people are doing with their TIs these days.
  14. And I didn't even notice the one that ended up upside-down of my cleaning stuff.
  15. I'm an Oregonian, so I'd probably be outside on a rainy day, but it's not raining. No, it's sunny and it's hot enough to fry an albino on a cancer drug sitting next to a window in less than 5 minutes. Ask me how I know from Monday… So, project! I dismantled my console and managed to drop a washer! I did find it though. Was a bit tough because it's not magnetic: It's now in the tray with everything else. Of course once it was apart I got to see some genuine 35+ year old thermal goop. Crusty. Fortunately there's alcohol, q-tips, and a pilfered Motel 6 keycard for getting that crud out of there. Scrape off most of it, q-tip the rest, and let's apply some fresh … uh, slightly over-spec paste. While I'm here, I should clean the contacts of my side port, they look a little grubby. There's not much I can do about this, even though it's worn down to bare copper in places. My understanding is that the way you fix this requires a fair amount of flux, an air station with a lot of heat and a lot of volume, and some fresh solder. And don't do it with a cheap air station because those will burn the board or melt the plastic components before they actually do anything with big planar traces like these. I'm not an engineer/technician or anything though, so … I'll leave it be. Y'know, if I could operate a soldering iron properly, now'd be a good time to insert a diode… There's one more thing for me to do. The cartridge connector on these things has this little dust filter on it. It's almost certainly disgusting. I noticed gunk on a couple of my carts' edge connector and I've had a spare edge connector from Fest West 2017 … since 2017. At the very least you should take the cover off of yours, remove that foam bit from it, and just throw it away. That's the source of the gooey residue. I sprayed some deoxit in there and tried to scrub the contacts as best I could without a card edge cleaner, but that probably needs a going over by someone who's got the right little tool to go in there and clean those contacts. I assume the spare I have came from Greg who kindly reconditioned these for us. I'll have to be sure to give him this one so he can prepare it for the next person who needs one. Eager for F18A orders to begin, having done all of this I now know exactly how to do the installation of the thing. Hopefully this summer? [Edit: A couple images got lost in the editing process]
  16. There was some talk around that time period of trying to convince some folks that there might be advantage to a couple of tiers of emulation to make things both more usable for people with less than top shelf hardware and still proceed with building the most accurate recreation possible under the assumption that at some point that will become the lower performance tier as hardware continues to improve.
  17. I thought it might be useful to be able to send things to the display from inside games and the like, as well as the potential to indicate statuses like new chatti messages and the like when not actively displaying stuff for the game or whatever you're running right now.
  18. 1. Do you use Linux? Yes, since 1997, with a gap while I was at university. I had a laptop with Gentoo optimized for four-second boot time before upstart, systemd, etc, and was using it one day for a midterm exam… OpenOffice needed to be recompiled. In the middle of my exam. Shortly after that I wound up with a Mac. A UNIX box I didn't have to screw with too much to do my school work. I stopped using Linux for major stuff at that point, but it was around and I used it here and there. In 2006 I got back into it when I built a DVR. 2. If you do, what distro? Usually Debian-based. When I first tried to install Linux, I came from OS/2. IBM had pretty much abandoned it after a pretty big push just two years prior as the "alternative to windows 95". I spent most of my time on a UNIX shell in those days anyway, and most of the OS/2 software I used was ported from UNIX systems. So Linux seemed natural. At the time, Linux meant Slackware or Red Hat, or so I'd been told. CheapBytes' Slackware was broken, and my hardware didn't automagically work with Red Hat for X11. Someone suggested I try Debian. I installed bo, attempted the upgrade to the testing version of hamm (libc5 to glibc 2.0) and hosed my system, reinstalled it, got some help, and documented the process. I later became a Debian developer, got 3Dfx to GPL Glide, started dinking with OpenGL graphics, left Debian, went back to school as noted above, and have used a Mac on the desktop most of the time since. Not always and not exclusively, because I've usually had a Linux box somewhere. Nowadays I have some responsibility for a2cloud and a2server, which are kinda lame by comparison efforts to do what tipi does for the TI, but for the Apple II, and LinApple, an fork of AppleWin that hasn't kept pace and needed some love. 3. Do you emulate the TI under Linux? I used a TI emulator under Linux but it didn't run right for me under Raspbian for some reason. I stopped messing with it then because I had no idea what was wrong with it, but I now know, so am likely to try it again on that platform. I'm gonna need to get it going again and perhaps emulating a TI connected to tipi if possible because I have plans… That's gotta be a bit low on my priority list right now because so many other things need my attention first. But … I have ideas and I know how to use a compiler.
  19. I'm sorry that me being legally blind and wanting something I could see has apparently I guess resulted in the removal of a feature people thought was pretty cool.
  20. It is SSD1305, and apparently the init code for the 1305 is completely different from the 1306. Might just be a different blob you need to send, but the setup's totally different and Adafruit's Python module at least doesn't support both.
  21. Looking at this thing, uses either SSD1306 or SSD1305, although it clearly doesn't use the full resolution of either chip since those are 128x64 or 132x64 respectively, I'm not 100% sure which offhand. I guess they behave rather similarly, but if you're using a 1306, I should make sure it also uses a 1306 unless your library supports both without modification.
  22. Forecasts are a bit sketchy that far out, but it looks like mid-70s, which I can manage if I douse myself in sunscreen. If it gets over 80 … I don't function well. Especially not if I'm trying to haul hardware.
  23. With MAME, it always comes down to what release can you afford to run, I find. Current versions want current hardware. If your target system is a midrange Kaby Lake machine with 16GB of RAM and NV GTX 960 or ATI RX 480 graphics or better, … I don't have those specs on my primary workstation! A lot of people run mame on a secondary machine with specs like my i5-4460 with 12GB and a GTX 780—that's my primary workstation. I've also got an i7-3770 with 16GB and some low-end LOLworthy ATI caicos card. These aren't systems made to run any version of MAME probably since analog audio emulation. I'm sure it's quite impressive, but my hardware suggests I should probably be running 165 or so maybe? I dunno, despite claims I was supposedly "working with mame devs to undermine libretro" or whatever, since I divorced that dumpster fire I haven't kept up with MAME much at all. Kinda want to try and figure out the magic incantation I've now forgotten for getting OpenEmu to start up retrocomputer systems with its version of MAME (which admittedly is out of date as well), but as I said it's been awhile since I've played with MAME.
  24. Okay, since I suggested the FLIRC case above might be good for tipi, it's been pointed out that the case lacks physical space on the sides of the connector for an IDC ribbon connector, and it doesn't have the height clearance for dupont connectors like the cables that come with tipi. So I guess I'm looking for an alternative case. The issue is that the dinky little heatsinks everybody sells for the Pi are useless unless you have a fan blowing on top of them. I have some 5v 40mm Sunon maglev fans that do the job with a small mod to the connector, but my current case is a rather old/ratty-looking acrylic slab design that looks pretty ghetto and doesn't protect the board much.
  • Create New...