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potatohead

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Everything posted by potatohead

  1. Title really says it all. These computers are an entirely different experience at higher clock speeds. Some devices go to 16Mhz. The //c+ went to 4Mhz, I believe. The Stock GS was 2.8? And some GS computers are running a lot higher than that. In this way, Apples are kind of neat, similar to the PC in how the lack of custom hardware basically left the machine simple enough to enable running the CPU faster without actually breaking much of anything, given some logic to slow down things like disk access, maybe reading the game port. So, what software makes sense, and or was there software written with these things in mind? I really have never looked into this part of things having only recently run any Apple at more than 1Mhz. One title that makes seriously good sense to run fast, right of the top of my head, is RAD WARRIOR. On a 1Mhz machine, this title looks pretty great and takes advantage of the Double High Res 16 color screen pretty well, but is otherwise just a bit too slow. Playing this one at a few Mhz is a good experience. Flight Simulator rocks. Pretty much the faster the better. Are you running an Apple at more than 1Mhz? If so, what and how fast, and what do you like to run on it when it's running fast? Here is an Apple //e running an Applesoft BASIC program to display filled rectangles. 16Mhz. http://www.golombeck.eu/index.php?id=48&L=1 20201127_203628.mp4
  2. I prefer the Platinum, but any //e will do. Unlike many, it seems, I love the keypad. Wish they had offered a bit of logic to do something like map the arrow keys to it though. I always struggled with the apple arrow key layout. Probably always will. Right now, playing Nox Archaist, I'm good at it. Better than I have been in a while. But still, I stupidly push the wrong direction way more times than I expect to! Back in the day, the Platinum was seen as a pretty serious 8 bit machine. The ones I used had a mouse. I still don't have a mouse for mine. Availability and life and $$$ never seem to line up. Someone needs to remake the mouse card and have it work with a PS/2 mouse, or something. IMHO, based on experiences, reliability favors the Platinum from what I can tell. They are lean, cool, and just work. From a serviceability point of view, the older ][+ is likely the king. Will be interesting to see how it all plays out. I'm pretty sure the little caps on the game ports are the only meaningful difference. Like others have said, you can nip them off too, if it's somehow an issue for some hardware project or other you are doing; otherwise, just getting an //e gets one the full 8 bit Apple experience. On an appearance basis, I totally grok why people prefer the //e machine. That keypad does push the Platinum into a bit more relevant territory. Some people, not knowing what they might be looking at, could see it as a PC, not necessarily retro in the sense it really is. This is especially true if someone has no disk drives. I like the Platinum keyboard, but that's mostly due to me having written a lot on one back in the day, and I still do knock some stuff out on the one I have today. It's just fun to do, and a quick trip through CiderPress gets me the data for use on a modern machine. If you do get either machine, get a FastChip card. It's killer, and just works. I had never had the opportunity to run an Apple 8 bit at anything other than 1Mhz. The first thing I did was clock it up to 4Mhz to check out what the //c+ experience was like. Same for the ZipChip. It all rocks. Seriously. Apples at //c+ and above clock speeds are pretty good. On that note, I think I've finally got a question to ask...
  3. I want an SGI O2. Developed Ooze on one of those, running Stella and a Linux build of Batari Basic. It was killer. System had video capture, so I could test on a real VCS, in a window too. The O2 isn't the fastest, though people have souped them up with retrofitted CPU's. Overall though, you can do just about anything on one. I used to do a lot of big solid modeling on the one I had. 64 bit OS, several GB of RAM. Was killer in the 90's and early 00's. One thing about that machine was shared memory graphics. An O2 can take video in, overlay it onto a warped surface, and or send it right back out again in real time, and can do that at a couple hundred Mhz clock too. Want to map a huge image onto a surface? Yeah. And it has some operations possible while doing that. These features didn't see the use they should have. They are really fun machines! But, I'm not gonna get one. Just will want it for a while. At one point, I knew a ton about IRIX and was doing admin for machines all over the place. Good times, and often done on one of those free Juno or NetZero accounts while travelling around too. LOL. When I was done, I was totally done. Unloaded it all and kept nothing. Still done, but... LOL, that's irrational for you.
  4. I have level 3 chars and just got a medium chip to explore around in. The game has great balance and depth so far! Have fun.
  5. I only used the ROM BASIC a time or two. Never did much with it. I bet a lot of people using the PC did the same. Who used ROM Basic? Now, the QBASIC and variants? Those saw a lot of use, but not from me for anything fun.
  6. Have you updated your CFFA 3000 firmware? I had some trouble with mine and a FastChip card I ordered with a 65816 for my //e. http://dreher.net/projects/CFforAppleII/downloads/CFFA3000/CFFA3000_CFv1.5.zip
  7. The circuit combines green video info with combined H&V sync. Composite sync is confusing to me. I take it to mean the sync present on a composite video signal, perhaps with the video information suppressed. It could also mean H&V sync combined into a composite sync only signal. Depending on the source, these could also be the same thing. In 15khz land, they likely are. The circuit I linked here combines H&V sync with the green video information. IMHO, it should only be used to combine green and already separate H&V sync: G with combined (composite) sync It may work to combine the H&V sync for use on a combined or composite sync only input, but I don't know. The germanium transistor may need the bit of power to the green signal to work. However, just combining sync can be done with a similar kind of circuit. https://www.retrorgb.com/building-a-passive-sync-combiner.html In all cases, just wiring things together is a bad idea due to the lack of current limiting and the signals being out of spec. If it were me, I would build both and try them. They are simple enough. If they work, either make a couple different cables, or a little PCB with a switch, or just appropriate connectors. I am not where I can look, but the sync signals on the composite video output are the same signals, but have the video there too. The only place I would use that signal is: Another composite video input The Y input on a component capable display for a monochrome image. (A sharp one too) The Y or Luma input on an S-video or Y/C monitor like the Commodore ones.
  8. This is pretty much true of any hobby, isn't it? Maybe the best way to phrase where I was going with that is to get the newbie bootstrapped into being able to proceed to learn more on their own. It's hard to nail down, but once people reach a big enough knowledge foot print, they don't need as much, or maybe they just become one of us. They know what they know, and it's fine for the daily driving / recurring fun stuff. And what they don't know is fine too, just ask like we see happen all the time anyway!
  9. You might want to join the CRT Collective on Facebook. (Yeah, I know. FB!) Lots of people there with good experience and it's all about the CRT, with plenty of people now gaming and computing on them again. You may get a lead on who can do some work for you there.
  10. Just FYI: Shift+Home in Notepad selects everything from the cursor back to beginning of the line. But, it's lame. It literally is the beginning of the line as displayed on the screen, not a line as defined by there being a CF/LF or whatever EOL sequence makes sense. It's a pure display thing. I know this because I use the crap out of that key combo. Picked it up long ago, with the other selection modifiers available via keyboard and just use them all over the place. Quickness mostly. If anything, having application keys would be spiffy, same for multiple desktops. Trends these days lean toward lots of displays and dumber window managers, tiling mostly. Sometimes I run with a couple displays, but being mobile a lot in this point in my working life, stay at home covid times right now aside, I use a single display like I pretty much always have. If I get more displays, I use them too, but one is the dominate mode right now. So that means either mousing over something, or it means some keyboard combination to toggle through various applications to change focus, and or whether it's in front, or not depending on one's OS and window manager rules. Or, it means a gesture of some sort. All of that is fine, but if one uses the keyboard a lot, app buttons and desktop buttons would be spiffy! We are up to two and three key combos for many of these kinds of things. Two keys is fine, three is annoying, but still fine. Boiling apps and or multiple desktops down to single keys would be great! I mention both because it boils down to new school vs old school window management. For the new school, it's full screen or tiling of some sort and that's it. These people groove on multiple desktops, once they know about them. Old school is a mix. Having overlapping windows gets one a lot of use out of one display, but it does take some getting used to if that's not how work has been getting done. And multiple desktops works the same way for everyone, except for I would say old school users may just consider them application groups. Arrange stuff on one desktop, make another one, make another arrangment, and so forth. The new schoolers would run apps full screen, or make a simple collection with a tiling function and that's it. yeah, this got long, but it's something I care a lot about apparently. Verdict: Gimme app keys and or virtual desktop keys that aren't a Vulcan death grip on the keyboard to use. Now that I think about it, having the track pad where it is on laptops is actually pretty great. When I'm on one, I do not use a mouse much these days. Just got fast with the track pad, and if it's an Apple computer, the gestures rock hard. Use those too. For me, having some other forms of input handy would be nice, and over the years I've collected a little set of USB add ons. Numeric Keypad, which could be mapped to the app / VW functions. 3D controller, etc... I would add a key that is most of one of those little 3D controllers. Maybe put a little nub on it, so one can just put a finger on the thing and press it down, wiggle it back and forth, rock it up and down and have it deliver some reasonable gradient of values. But make it a key, that's springly and quick, not like the typical Lenovo nipple thing. It's not a full 3D controller, but it would get used a lot. Would be killer to put at least one little slider and one low profile dial with a detent for "Zero" and a key shape that let's someone "Turn the dial" without too much hassle and while not really leaving the keyboard. This could be a gesture on a track pad, but something that actually moves, with a dimple would be better. There are little volume control things and other USB goodies for these purposes, but having it built in, dead simple seems like a worthy keyboard add on. (Apple explored this with the touch bar, but I pretty much hate it. The idea is good, but it's not really tactile, does not have state, feedback, and all the things real controls do, and I pretty much suck at using the touch bar for the lack of those things) Those are all pie in the sky things, so... back down to earth. Sometimes I like voice input. My phone has it, and since writing things on touch is a shit show anyway, I've come to use that a lot more than I expected. On Windows 10, it's win key + h. If there were a single key for voice, I would use it frequently.
  11. They really did a great job. Was one of those "hits" typical of the era. Like INFOCOM was another one, just kind of magic for a while. Good times. It's going to be fun to see a younger one check all that stuff out! Apple are just odd in some ways, and this is one of them. Having a 6 color high res screen meant just enough to do basically anything. (not always well) Super general purpose and a great fit for schools.
  12. IMHO, the easiest way to get contributors is to post something they can get interested in, potentially do something with, and contribute to. I second the idea of replacements! There is the idea of history in play. There is a need to present the actual machines doing their thing in the way it was done. Displays, peripherals, and all of that. Replacements will become the "must have" in the future, and having those means being able to keep the machines and related stuff active and useful. Historians, enthusiasts, basically people like us, will want to keep our stuff working too. Big bang for the buck right there. People may not care about an 800XL as much as they do, say an Alto, but they do care some, and museums and others like us will have machines running, if we all can. Like I said, big bang for the buck. Right now, the CRT trend is interesting too. People coming of age today flat out don't know what we lost when we quit producing CRT displays. Now there is a whole cottage industry out there fixing things, doing adjustments, making adapters, and in general keeping CRT displays relevant to people seeking to either use them or just understand what they do better. This same kind of thing has been going on with older computers too. It's a good thing. We often don't seem to really get everything out of a tech, until later in the cycle. And history always has lessons for us we aren't always ready to receive in the now. That's also a good thing. And we preserve old media, artifacts of all kinds and it's often surprising what we get out of all that with a newer technology eye to see with, and some perspective to consider it all with. As soon as someone talks about putting the whole thing on a chip, the question becomes, "What do I get that I don't get via emulation?" The next question is, "Do I care?" Emulation continues to improve. The more it does, the less often we will see the answer to, "Do I care?" favor a system on chip. It's fairly easy to make interface projects that connect to systems running emulation too. Using displays, peripherals and such becomes possible that way as much as it does via a system on a chip. I think it's going to be cheaper overall too, unless the system on chip can be boiled down to an inexpensive platform. Emulators are already there. Anyway, here's my last thought: If the desire is high fidelity, such that one really doesn't see any material difference across a wide variety of use cases, making the replacements are steps toward that goal, and they are useful along the way to that goal too! In any case, don't let me get in the way! If it's fun, and people want to do it, the more the merrier! It all keeps the classic era alive and that's always a good thing in my book.
  13. Absolutely. As those get better, the classic hardware will last longer too. There are only so many chips from that time. When they go, they go. Partial implementations vary and can suck. Same can go for excessive ones, depending on what people want to or can do. FPGA boards, with some support circuits should end up being the goto. Even if those options are jumpers and empty pads. People wanting to do it in the authentic way can and will. And, in some cases, an FPGA won't even be needed! An entire Apple can fit nicely onto some microcontrollers. Depending on what options they have, the experience and I/O can range from just enough to work with current devices to an authentic, full boat experience too. The latter is a project I want to try one day myself. As things progress, crazy good tech falls into the hands of hobbyists. I suspect authentic experiences will be available in some fashion or other for some time. The rest is goofy art.
  14. Well, as painful as those replace the guts projects can be, we are also seeing some put remade original guts back in projects too. One can build an Apple 2 Plus mainboard today. Saw a PET one too. People have emulated SID and VIC 2 with enough precision to make new boards possible. I think it will all go back and forth for a while. Some good, some bad.
  15. Guess he has to tell us which monitor he has? Both Apple and SGI used sync on green. Could be an early Mac display that will still do 15Khz, in which case he would need the little circuit I put here.
  16. I really liked the Radio Shack ones. Model 100 = awesome, and I had the folding one which I can't remember off hand. It had 2K RAM and a respectable BASIC. When I was in manufacturing, I programmed a bunch of layout math into the folding one and used the crap out of it every week. For a while, I had the use of a Model 100. It has a bitmap display, which surprised me, and is a killer feature. I programmed more math into that and some graphics. Too bad I didn't get one for myself, but the little folding one was enough as I didn't need any graphics. Scored a Model 100 recently for a 20 spot. It's a really neat machine, and I hope to have some time to explore writing some assembly language for it. I think it can do a lot more graphically than we've typically seen, but so far... It's fun for notes and as a terminal. Have done both of those, along with some programs. People like to futz with it, and pretty much everyone says, "4 AA batteries, and it runs how long?" LOL Anyway, I see this BASIC list very differently. Would deffo not put Applesoft as far down as it is, and wouldn't put it at the top either. BBC Basic by a mile there. It's a crazy list! Hey OP, what was your criteria? Curious friends want to know
  17. The sync is there, but so is the signal. Also, just wiring them together may damage either the monitor and or computer too. Direct coupling may create a circuit path and deliver current where neither device expects it. All that said, doing that may work, depending on the sync levels and how well the display would reject the composite signal coming along for the ride. Sync being on the green pin means anything other than sync combined wit it is likely going to show up on the display, IMHO. If there is a sync only source on the computer, a resistor and capacitor may decouple it from DC current and or set the sync level to an appropriate one for the display. That is basically what the circuit above does. The transistor is in there to combine separate sync.
  18. Some of that has to do with the CRT in the TV. Frankly, many ordinary consumer grade sets will display a monochrome, composite signal better than you think when equipped with a better CRT. The PVM I have does it easily, over composite or S-video. And when it's monochrome, it works in the 600 lines range. That's still 2/3 what the little amber screen will do. That one exceeds 800. That's basically what a PVM is. Now, most of those offer better, wider bandwidth circuits too. But, since the 90's, most TV circuits are more than good enough. Swapping out a CRT is a PITA though. I've done it multiple times in the past, and actually the first time was as a kid! Wanted a full frame display for my Atari to see all the overscan action. The new tube was a bit smaller, but had basically half the pitch of the one in the set. The difference was clear, and that one could display 80 columns! Was a Zenith that I did a full realignment on. And that's the other thing true after the 90's. Circuits stayed aligned far better than they did before. Older era TV's would degrade fairly rapidly. Component values changing, etc... An afternoon spent redoing everything would result in a great picture for another year or maybe two. Used to do that, using my Atari for signals and patterns, for date money. LOL.
  19. I'm glad it was still online. Recall seeing it years ago. The nice thing about that circuit is it is passive. Runs on the signal itself and does not require external power. Handy dandy.
  20. It's one of those pro grade CRT displays. A BVM is a broadcast grade one. They will work at 15Khz, offer a range of inputs and typically have great circuits and geometry. The better ones offer fine pitch CRT tubes, and that's true of the one I got. It's basically an XVGA grade CRT running in an NTSC / PAL monitor. The fine pitch means being able to display monochrome up to somewhere around 600 lines without the fringing seen on more coarse pitch CRT's typically used for consumer grade watching. The one I have has separate sync, RGB input. Basically can hook a CC3 or GS right up to it and go. It's either the 1342 or 1344Q, and I have to look at the back to be sure. Both are the same, except one has component input YCb,Cr, and the other has digital TTL, like CGA type, and I've got the digital TTL one. At some point, I want an older DOS PC, so this display is basically ready to go there. In terms of signals, if it's standard definition, this display will display it. Got it before the CRT craze for a song. It's a few hundred to score now. That blew up quick! If you get lucky and or want to get one of these, they are great! If you are going to spend for one, get the fine pitch tubes. Often, the same display will be branded normally, or say something to the effect of "fine pitch" or "super", and those are the ones with great CRT tubes in them. Or... not. The standard pitch displays are still awesome.
  21. I like CRT's too. Yeah, I have a CC3 myself. With composite, and 80 column, the better the CRT circuits are, the WORSE the CC3 display actually is! For a long time, I ran my CC3 on a Zenith 80's era TV, and that one didn't have the advanced filtering newer sets do. It worked pretty well. Black on green is pretty brutal, given how the CC3 outputs video in the first place, but on the other hand, how it outputs video makes for spiffy 8 bit / pixel graphics on an NTSC set too, so... What I do with mine, when running composite, is chain in a little monochrome Amber screen. Works great, but being sharp, again that black on green is brutal. I usually change it to something without color, white on black, black on white, or put one of the greys in there. For programming, this works! Not all software offers the options though. I got a nice PVM to game and compute on sometimes. It does odd things with both a CC3 and my Apple 2. Fortunately, 80 column on the Apple is just monochrome, so it's no big deal. Atari and C64 offer up better signals, and a non-composite option. Those look pretty great, as does anything with phase change color signals. To sum up, the circuits got better than the old machines video to a fault! My PVM will take a CC3 signal directly due to it having an option for composite sync and separate. I can just press an input button to switch between composite and RGB, and it all just works. I don't have anything to test this circuit with, but what's shown above has the current limiting needed to be pretty harmless. Bet it works.
  22. Seems like you could build this circuit and be good to go: https://www.epanorama.net/circuits/sync_r.html Here's the datasheet for the transistor specified: https://www.mouser.com/datasheet/2/149/BC547-190204.pdf
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