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MrPix

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Everything posted by MrPix

  1. I think it's a bit lame, but after the little flash of anger from the fanboys it'll all blow over and I'll be able to get on with the real work. I have to remind myself that I don't owe anyone any explanations, and it really doesn't come off well to try to explain when someone made up their mind about your motivations back in 2015, three years before you even registered on the forum. At the end of the day, I just need an SGM compatible base for other new hardware. This is true. It's just that so many DO own them that not having compatibility is a non-starter. I looked at the Inty cart port and I honestly haven't fully grasped it yet. Normally I look at the memory system as a whole, but the way the Inty does things is like a bad and confusing fever dream. I do plan to put my wifi cart on the Inty a few months after releasing it for the CV. I have a paged flash cart design I did for the CV, but during design I found out there was an existing one, so I stopped. I decided to circle round and see if I needed to be compatible with it or just go past it to the better thing. That's how I ended up at the Wifi cart.
  2. *treads carefully* I'm talking about you, the corporate entity. It's a bit like talking about Apple or IBM. I don't expect them to post in my threads when I talk about them. You don't know what I want. You have said things you think I want and they're 100% off base. Again, please stop trying to engage me. I will not respond to you any further, no matter what the provocation.
  3. I just took it for granted that there's the whole package. The design, the styling, the re-iterations of the case design to properly copy the original one, the planning of the marketing materials, box artwork, planning the whole opening the box experience. The whole juggling a couple of dozen suppliers with different tolerances, timelines, capabilities and qualities. I do that for a living so I priced it in. I do 100% acknowledge that. At the same time, it's a risk of doing business. You invest in something, there will always be someone who wants to compete with you. If you hit your market with high prices to where someone can come in with literally half your price and still make a huge mark-up, you need to adapt your business model. You can have a tantrum instead if you want, but while you do your competitor is going to pass you. I designed a miniature buck regulator that I sold for $4. You can now buy 78 cent copies of my design from 100s of Chinese sellers. I'm not complaining about it. I am a little bitter, but I designed something better so I'm good. I came here often, and registered when I finally needed to PM someone. Matthew180, I think. It's really a great platform. The two bits I really enjoy are the CV/Adam community and the Intellivision community. I never even MET a moderator until today. I am sorry that I was harsh. I was replying as much to the tone of the previous 42 messages I came home to, not just you. I apologize.
  4. Sir, you've commented almost a dozen times in my thread. I have not addressed or replied to you a single time. I am not going to engage you. You said we had nothing to discuss. Please honor that.
  5. Unless the SGM has undocumented features, I have exactly reproduced and simulated the results of his equations, and created my own set of equations that perfectly matches. So for all *existing* functionality, it is 100% compatible. I cannot search for undocumented features, because that would mean examining the physical device, and that could put me in an infringing position. However, this would require the sort of unpleasantry where Opcode Games rewrites code to detect the absence of undocumented features. If that were to happen, it would be FTDI all over again, and he would have to recant and apologize quite quickly. Every item I produce and sell has a one year warranty. If it fails because of a design or hardware failure I would replace it free of charge, including covering shipping, or offer a full refund. If Opcode's games break compatibility, I would provide a logic update to incorporate the new functionality free of charge. I will ensure my CPLD is socketed to allow for this eventuality. I do not have the catalog to test the unit with all the games. I plan, closer to release date, to send out a couple of beta test units for basic testing and then a set of review/test units to people who do have a good selection of games. Those people will be able to freely compare my compatible unit with their existing SGM. All files will be open source and anyone, even Opcode, will be able to make them. So yes, I will stand behind what I make.
  6. I respect your POV. 1000+ customers is 1000+ people who only had one choice. You cannot make assumptions about what they believe or think of them like votes. 1000+ people wanted a new CV console. What were their choices? Boring doesn't mean crap. Boring means "missed opportunity to bring something really new to the table." I mean, really, the SGM is the best we've got, and it's good enough that it's a bullet point feature on the Phoenix. And really, that's very very sad. That after 38 years, the high tide of killer features is "a couple more sound channels and some extra memory." Where is the 50MHz CV with a 3.5MHz backwards compatible mode, that in fast mode is 16 bit with 16MB address space? It's not available to the programmers, because it seems you're not allowed to develop hardware unless you want to do the coding for it too. Which is fine. People can think that way. If I had reviewed my post before hitting send I might have edited the word "boring" to "uninspiring." There are people here who think this is about software. That amuses me. I'm a competent programmer. I just do not enjoy programming, and prefer hardware. I like to make hardware that increases options for programmers. Programming is just not the best use of my time, resources, energy or finances. I'm porting CP/M 3 to the Adam (and CV by proxy). I don't need others for software. They may or may not need me for hardware. Which is their free choice. When the fuss and drama dies down, and the feelings are stated and priced in, I think what finally gets released will be of greater interest than the SGM and people I know some people will never accept this, but any expansion that moves forward has to be able to run Opcode's library and run Pixelboy's library, all with 100% compatibility. Any new console or expansion that omitted the basic and simple features to do that is dead before it begins. Any new product does at least need to have SGM functionality as a subset of its expanded functionality, since the CV has one expansion port and if you plug my thing into it you have to unplug Opcodes thing from it. It's a bit of a catch-22 isn't it. It's not my fault that half the market is split off and requires special hardware. What am I supposed to do? Just not support Opcode's games? I was going to ask Ed about licensing terms, on the basis that it might be cheaper than my attorney's time, but he closed that door and told me quite clearly that we have nothing further to discuss. So here we are. Drama and people being offended on behalf of someone else. I've got a lot of hate mail and support mail - about 50/50, over all. It's just a tough situation all round. If I had just said "I'm making some SGM clones. Who wants one?" I believe I would have faced the same drama and minions blowing up at me. Seems to be some sort of an MO as any time anyone tried to augment, improve on or in any way overlap anything of Eduardos, the response is fast, vicious and no holds barred. I find it ironic that nobody from that camp has asked me why, what the deal is, how I got here. I'm not interested in the drama. I'm trying to focus on the good ideas and positive posts, and not replying at all to certain parties with their wild accusations. I'm doing my best.
  7. I don't know what happened there. I do have an Eve speech unit here I have been working on repairing for a FB forum member. It's been a real challenge. I have reverse engineered the whole thing, and spend over $50 on rare and obscure parts for it and still got nowhere. I personally find speech interesting (but then, WarGames was one of my fave films ever!) but I'm fearful that if it will be this difficult to implement reliably and with good and consistent results, it's a risk I might not want to take. I have made a personal commitment that if I can't get this speech unit repaired in the next week or two, I'm going to have to declare defeat - my first in a couple of years. My SGM clone has a through port, so it is further expandable. The current SGM does not. This is important because it is the base for a few things. Think AdamNet and CP/M on the CV, etc. But that's the future and I don't know how easily that will shake out.
  8. This is a concern. One idea I have been playing with is the idea of having a small pre-amp on the expansion, and a line out/headphone socket. This way you'd get the best audio quality without it having to go back through the CV. Also, for late night playing, headphones. I'd have to do it using a switching 3.5mm socket, so if nothing was plugged in, the signal would instead be routed back to the console and TV. Good thought. Thanks for your idea.
  9. I am making an SGM clone. Anybody want one? From this post forth I will only respond to positive commentary and ignore any drama posts. I've said my piece and heard the feedback. I'm going to be sunshine and light from here on out.
  10. I reverse engineered it in three hours from publicly available information. The only information provided by Eduardo was which IO ports he'd used. This information is highly generic. I've been doing retro hardware since before it was retro. I started in 1984, to be precise. I first did Coleco hardware in the 90s. Don't ever presume to tell me what I should say, think or feel. The Phoenix is ok with reproducing the SGM logic because, what, they paid a license fee for it? You think someone that did something simple that anyone could do and a few others have somehow gives them the right to demand a license fee any time anything overlaps? No. The licensable properties are the Super Game Module trademark and the source code that described the equations within the CPLD. As I have produced my own compatible code without ever seeing theirs, there is no infringement. I think they sound like chickens, so I was thinking Voice Bawks. I have spewed no venom. I have said what I am doing, and why, and how. You're not my customer. You were never my target market. I'm not this juicebox guy, not trying to emulate him. You are the people who keep bringing him up. Literally the first response to my post was a comparison to juicebox, so this obviously has nothing to do with who I am and everything to do with what I am going to do. The reason for the direct clone came about because I talked directly to Eduardo at Opcode. I explained my plans to him, gave him partial but detailed specs, and hoped he would see merit in what I'm designing. It really does make SGM look like a toy. His response was "thanks for the info. I've hired my own guys to do this, you shouldn't make any SGM compatibility in your expansion." My thinking was who the hell does this guy think he is? He basically told me to not include RAM or sound. You know, like Coleco tried to do, like others have done, and like he did. Sorry, he's not my employer. That's why I have my own business. Soooo, how do I wave my elbows around a little bit to make some room for my upcoming board? How do I let people know I'm going to make a very capable device that will at least match the SGM2, likely beat it in a number of areas, and be open hardware so when SGM2 eventually turns up, it will have something to be compatible with? Now it's true that if Eduardo hadn't brushed me off, I'd not be doing this. But as it stands he has inside and confidential information about the spec of my "SGM2" and I know nothing of his plans. This is likely his last batch of SGM, by his own statements. It costs the same now as it did when first released. Why? If someone else can make an unglamorous, 100% compatible, half the cost or less device, he should compete. He's done nothing in 10 years. It's time for something new. So competition is good. First, thank you for the friendly tone of your comments. I appreciate it puts me in a difficult position. My platform is that the SGM is in fact incompetent hardware, poorly designed, primitive and with very poor design. "Another SGM" isn't much use if it is just an exact copy of the existing expansion. I do plan to add new features. Features the original SGM could easily have supported but doesn't. I'm not going to discuss those improvements here yet, because I don't want to show my hand. Just making a literal 1:1 SGM clone would be boring, unethical and really quite pointless, as you've said. The problem here is that I offered to add features, and to freely share my design, and I was shut down (as in declined permission) with a sob story about how I'm trying to "get games." I'm not interested in software at all - I'm a hardware guy. That could not be further off base. Let's be serious here for a minute. The SGM is boring. The Phoenix is boring. They are literally re-implementations of 80s work and 80s ideas, with nothing new (except the Phoenix has unlicensed HDMI)... Not one single new thing beyond promises from '83. Opcode's games are for the main part unlicensed ports from the MSX, sold for high prices with a hardware lock-in. All I am doing at this stage is breaking the hardware lock-in. It's not dramatic. It's not harmful to Opcode. If anything it will increase his sales, his free time and reduce the burden of this episodic manufacturing nonsense where it's available but oh no it's not but oh yes it is manufactured scarcity. He's played the market like a fiddle, which is his right. I'm entering the market, which is my right. When the community gets a wider feel for the variety of things I'm bringing to fruition, they'll warm up. Or they won't. It's their money and they can spend it where they like. I'm not interested in the games tho - not my thing. At all. If you already have paid your Opcode tax, and you want more SGMs for other consoles, but smaller, sleeker, lower profile.... What are your choices? It really is unfathomable, and thank you for your support. That's really disingenuous. the Phoenix uses modern technology to recreate these circuits in an FPGA. So while the customer's avoided cost is $75, the maker's incremental cost is <$2. The F18A is built in, avoided cost $90, incremental cost about $15. Multicart is literally logic and has no incremental cost. The only element in those that seems reasonable to me is the F18A, which is a stunning bit of kit. The incremental value isn't $90 though. Now, the Phoenix has some quite extreme economics. The case moldings, those are probably the largest single manufacturing cost. They have to be done in bulk to get the per item cost low enough to be economical. So I think $199 is a fair price. The SGM though. A 50c SRAM, a $1.25 CPLD and a $2.15 sound chip on a 50c PCB with a $3.25 connector. Under $8 for the basic functionality. $90 delivered. For $90 retail I have produced a complete clone computer. It's ridiculous. It's like the razor blade model, except the handle AND the blades are super expensive. The real offense in all this is that one person is making the money, and it's not the people writing the games. The people who write the games are the lifeblood of the community. They need to be able to justify the very long hours spent writing, testing, debugging, getting feedback, selling, supporting.... It's a thankless task. It should at least be rewarding.
  11. I will read this thread when I get back from a couple of hours drive to clear my wife's head. Lockdown is killing us, and we need to go breath some fresh air and walk in some woods. Back in a few hours.
  12. Indeed. The market is saturated. This is why it has taken so long to get enough pre-orders to do batch 5 and why it "may be the last batch". For MM2 (my SGM2) you'd be looking at a pair of mirrored controller inputs that have a software defined pinout, so you can configure it as Genesis, Atari, Amiga, whatever you want. I did a 16MB expansion for the Adam, but found out the SGM used the second IO port for memory paging instead for memory switching, which conflicts with Coleco's vision. Granted, they didn't anticipate Adam users' needs or future designs, but it was an inconsiderate move, considering they only used 1 bit, and they used 1 bit of another IO port too. In progress. I'll likely have the choice to add this to the board as a build time option for maybe $10 or so.
  13. It's not about that. He put little time and effort into it. He recovered his investment completely with batch 1. He's now on batch 5. He doesn't proceed unless there's enough demand to make his costs really low. Of course it's a confrontation. I'm confronting anti-competitive behavior. Word. You mean the guy selling all the unlicensed ports of vintage games, with the lock-in that you need to use an expensive bit of hardware only available from him and protected by peer pressure? You're literally saying I can't 'steal' it from him because he 'stole' it already. I'm not doing it for the glory. I'm doing it for the community. I would prefer to be anonymous, but I'm not going to hide what I am doing or why. When has it EVER been good for a market if the incumbent leader in that market gets to decide who is a player and who isn't?
  14. Nooo. I'm a competent EE and the main part of the work is already done. I just stand up to bullies.
  15. Hi folks, I've been working on some Adam and CV upgrades over the last several months. One of the upgrades included compatible Super Game Module™ functionality. I mean, it's not that complicated - it's just a 32K SRAM and an AY-3-8910, plus a small CPLD to act as a decoder and register to map the SRAM. Nothing novel or fancy about it at all. Eduardo at Opcode™ has asked me to not release this. Apparently, it's his. He claims to own this really obvious and primitive design. I have an attorney on retainer. As a bit of an IP expert, she confidently stated that he owns a copyright in the PCB layout and CPLD equations, but that is all. I've never owned or possessed a Super Game Module™ and everything I know about it came from published sources - Eduardo's own programmers reference guide to using it. Therefore, I'm on solid ground to make a compatible and inter-operable device. Opcode™'s reception has been hostile. Despite this making Opcode™'s games far more approachable... I have therefore decided to release a low cost Super Game Module™ compatible device. It won't have a fancy label or case, or come in a pretentious made-in-Japan box. It will be 100% compatible. It will use newly written equations in a different CPLD. Infringement of intellectual property rights isn't possible using this method. Just to make this matter very decisive, I wanted to mention that I have vast quantities of 32K SRAM, CPLDs and AY-3-8910, and I am willing to sell FAR more cheaply than at market price. Whatever retail price Opcode™ charges, I will charge half that price exactly, down to cost price. I'll call it "Mega Mod™" - and also release it as open hardware with all plans, designs, schematics, gerbers and equations available for free. If I get 100 sign ups, I will include a nice 3D printed case and label at no extra cost. It will match the CV, be half the depth of the Super Game Module™ and way more stylish. Sooo, to get in line for a Mega Mod™ sign up here: https://signup.com/go/TavLTgr. No commitment to buy. Estimated price $45 plus shipping. Estimated delivery: November. I'm not going to enter into a discussion with Eduardo or any representative of Opcode Games™ but I'll happily discuss my plans and goals with anyone else. Super Game Module™ and Opcode™ are trademarks of Opcode Games. Mega Mod™ is a trademark of 68K Computer LLC.
  16. If you're using this as a way to disagree with me, I will quote from the first paragraph: "This glassware equals or exceeds the finest crystal in lead content and comes very close to being defect free in both contaminant-induced artifacts and optical properties." You're citing general info about CRTs used for televisions, which have a different materials construction from monitor tubes (and is shown in the materials used in monochrome CRTs.
  17. Given the day and age, it would be quite reasonable to have a Pi Zero and camera in the gun, and take a CCD snapshot of the image, recognize the state of gameplay and the co-ordinates of the crosshairs within the screen, and create virtual co-ords. If someone wants to do the software side of this, I would happily do the hardware side for them, including design of the enclosure. But that's a separate thread or private convo.
  18. https://computer.howstuffworks.com/question678.htm Not that I’d know, but I did the ISO 9000 certification for a CRT reprocessing plant.
  19. CRTs work by firing electrons at low level radiation energies, and using lead glass to block the radiation from reaching you. No thanks. I think the new generation of OLED monitors that will occupy the market for the next generation will fit the bill nicely.
  20. The operative words were "I have been considering...." I have a personal rule to not develop things that compete with an existing seller, but to focus on unmet needs. While I'd like to see your PSU be a bit cheaper, I understand the development and production costs do add up. There's also an element that nobody can be relaxed ever again if they produce a power supply. If I have 1000 units out there that might be in use for the next 40 years, well, any time any one of those 1,000 people for the next 40 years has a house fire, it could impact me severely even if it is nothing to do with me.
  21. I had a small setback today. A batch of ICs I have been waiting nearly two months for arrived, and they were not of good quality. They are new, genuine parts but they have been exposed to moisture for a long time and some oxidation has occurred. I am re-ordering. I have already been refunded. Hopefully the new order will arrive much more quickly.
  22. Interesting, as I have been considering designing a much improved PSU based around the ColUSB idea. The buck regulators I have in mind can accept up to 25 volts, and I would require USB3 and negotiated power delivery. The higher voltage means lower current which is much safer. I also have access to injection molding equipment, so I have that advantage too.
  23. I think Matthew180 has this option covered in the coming months. At a price point to match.
  24. No. I have an existing very refined design, but it isn't suited to the Adam or CV. I'm redesigning it to protect signal quality as it is so electrically noisy inside the Adam case. The S-Video/composite board will be along about 4-6 weeks after the TMS-RGB. Also, the SVC board has to be assembled as a NTSC or PAL version and can't switch between them easily, and I'd like to fix that.
  25. FCC certification means the item was compliant for RF emissions for a given load. If the given load falls below the minimum tested, which it could easily do with a CV, the buck regulator circuit will be 'on' less and less until the ferrites and capacitors can no longer condition the signal. Technically, this would still be FCC compliant because FCC compliance is for EMI. In this case, the interference might be directly induced on the power line, and not through EMI. Mean Well also tends to do CE certification, and use the harmonization procedures to self-certify FCC compliance. CE standards are higher, but are more dependent on use cases than FCC regulations. That said, I'm confident that isn't an element of what is happening here. I just want to see this guy get to the bottom of his problem so he and you can learn from it and be ready for the next time it happens. Personally, I'd love to get an oscilloscope onto that CV to see where the noise is being introduced.
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