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Larry

The 8bit Guy "Dream Computer"

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Had a look at both in the series.  He's not explained the video mapping much (I imagine there's likely plenty of docs on webpages around the place) but I don't think much of interleaving the text then attribute bytes.   He did mention some graphics mapping having advantage over C64 in that it's easier to render to but I would guess 99% that he's referring to linear vs cell based bitmapping.

 

The approach - really I think the purist legacy hardware policy is only really necessary if you want to interface to old hardware and cartridges.  Given that it's a new architecture there's not really a requirement for that.   So I'd be going to town incorporating as much modern day stuff as possible to keep the component count and price down.  Of course it's very desirable to have 5 Volt interfacing and to make the thing such that the end user can easily do mods to it.

 

At the end of the day though, it's yet another platform in an already thinly spread support market.  We have a similar situation here with VBXE and the onboard and external CPU accelerator options - the hardware eventually evolves from concept to reality but then the problem becomes selling units then the problem becomes creating software to use it.

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His project is interesting, but at the end of the day if I want to code retro, I'll do it on a retro computer. I have a nice C128 setup with a U2+ that add 2mb as an REU that I use to code in 65xx Assembler for old time sake. I also use CBMStudio on my PC for ease of use. I'll probably get an Ultimate 64 to futureproof a breadbin before I buy a totally new platform. I also code on PC with Allegro 5 in C/C++ which is pretty old school in its graphics and sound management. 

 

I love the 8bit guy YT channel and I've watched all of his videos. Like him I intend to write a multi-plateform game (C64/128, PC, Atari 8bit). But I'd go with an Ultimate 64 upgrade before buying into a totally new platform.

 

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What I quickly noticed when watching his 'Part 2' video, is that there is very little that the 8-bit Guy is doing himself. Board layout, custom chip/module design, and even the OS is all being handled by someone else. I'm also imagining that the better demos will be written by a 3rd party as well. So his role has been relegated to that of a project manager. Not a bad thing, but not what I pictured when he first started talking about the project.

 

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Given that there's so many add-ons to multiple old systems, I like the idea of having a new standarized 'super-8-bit' system.

 

Also, I'm a bit of a purist.  I like retro computers to stay un-moded for future generations.  I don't mind it when 'c' grade systems are modded, but seeing a mint retro system with the case cut to add a mod hurts my heart .

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13 hours ago, ChildOfCv said:

HC components are standard logic.  All part of the 74xx family.  And the sample schematic in the 65816 datasheet only call for 2 chips, both of which are common and cheap.

And that somehow makes it wrong to play it safe?
 

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2 hours ago, Preppie said:

Given that there's so many add-ons to multiple old systems, I like the idea of having a new standarized 'super-8-bit' system.

 

For those that don't like emulators I always liked the idea of an FPGA system like the Commodore One that could transform itself as needed into whatever hardware architecture you want.  I used to be on the mailing list for that back in the day and it seemed like it never got fully baked.

 

 

Edited by mos6507

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I really like the concept, and will probably buy one once it's finished.

 

That being said, I think there is merit in going with the emulator route. The price would easily by under $50, and software is easier than hardware. You could use your own OS (check out Risc OS for the Pi) and boot directly to basic like the good old days. Or, use Linux in the background to handle all the messy networking stuff but still boot to a Basic prompt. I set up a Raspberry Pi with Atari800 in this fashion so I can play around with hardware I don't have (PAL and Stereo).

 

The goal is great for his project is great though, a simple machine to get people excited about technology.

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I support the project 100%, and he has already asked me to port PLATOTERM to it, which I have already done a bring-up. It uses the 640x480 256 color mode, and just needs a form of connectivity to complete it.

 

-Thom

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OMG!, how have I owned a computer since 1981 and never heard of PLATO?  I'm halfway though the wikipedia article and about to finish it.

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2 hours ago, Preppie said:

Given that there's so many add-ons to multiple old systems, I like the idea of having a new standarized 'super-8-bit' system.

 

Also, I'm a bit of a purist.  I like retro computers to stay un-moded for future generations.  I don't mind it when 'c' grade systems are modded, but seeing a mint retro system with the case cut to add a mod hurts my heart .

I'm into 8-bits because the are retro. A modern 8-bit doesn't interest me in the least. But more power to those who are interested. 

 

And modding cases, to me, is a joy, if it's done professionally to look original, and what should have been according to original designs, before management decides to take short cuts and ruin it all. Like my 1200XL with PBI. I have my other 1200XL that is mint-original though. (as far as the case)

 

I just find it much more satisfying to mod original equipment than coming up with something new, including stuff like the 1088. I'm intrigued, but not interested in one for myself. I've already got my dream-machine 8-bit that I made into a dream-machine myself with my own hard work, exactly the way I want it, and still 100% compatible with the stock original and I did a damn good job and it works perfectly and looks perfect. I find much more satisfaction than starting from scratch with all-new boards and cases, etc. The machine I fell in love with is still there, just added too, and nothing taken away.

 

But that's me, and again, more power to all those who want something new obsolete instead of old obsolete.

Edited by Gunstar
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1 hour ago, Gunstar said:

I'm into 8-bits because the are retro. A modern 8-bit doesn't interest me in the least. But more power to those who are interested. 

 

And modding cases, to me, is a joy, if it's done professionally to look original, and what should have been according to original designs, before management decides to take short cuts and ruin it all. Like my 1200XL with PBI. I have my other 1200XL that is mint-original though. (as far as the case)

 

I just find it much more satisfying to mod original equipment than coming up with something new, including stuff like the 1088. I'm intrigued, but not interested in one for myself. I've already got my dream-machine 8-bit that I made into a dream-machine myself with my own hard work, exactly the way I want it, and still 100% compatible with the stock original and I did a damn good job and it works perfectly and looks perfect. I find much more satisfaction than starting from scratch with all-new boards and cases, etc. The machine I fell in love with is still there, just added too, and nothing taken away.

 

But that's me, and again, more power to all those who want something new obsolete instead of old obsolete.

I totaly understand your viewpoint, I'd never think less of someone who did what they wanted with their own gear.  It even excites me for a brief moment to see a super modded system, but then my conservative side kicks in.

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30 minutes ago, _The Doctor__ said:

obsolete? whatchoo talkin' 'bout Willis?!?!

I use the term only in the context of what the rest of the world considers obsolete or not. Personally, my 8-bits are anything but obsolete, I still use them for everything but the internet (maybe even that someday with Contiki), for my finances, writing and graphic art. If I can use it and it gets the job done, to me, it's not obsoloete, just vintage. Using my vintage computer for all my digital chores makes even those chores fun, because I get to use the machine I love, and be quite productive while thumbing my nose at modern computers. I was just laughing to myself last night because I saw a commercial for an internet site you can go too, to do all your financials and it even can keep track of your total net worth...in the mean-time I already have an 8-bit that can do all that using Syncalc, Synfile and My Personal Net Worth programs that do it all quite well, in spite of being 35-40 year old programs. And no chance of people hacking my account and personal data! I'd call that state-of-the-art, in my book, not obsolete.

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DoD is going back to tape and floppy so it seems slowing down the data and disconnecting it completely for the system is the way to go.. ;)  That and the size of them make it harder to walk out the door with them :O

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2 hours ago, _The Doctor__ said:

DoD is going back to tape and floppy so it seems slowing down the data and disconnecting it completely for the system is the way to go.. ;)  That and the size of them make it harder to walk out the door with them :O

Yep, in person is the only way to get my personal data, physical theft. And more likely than not a common thief wouldn't know what to do, if they even thought of personal data, so they'd have vintage stock to sell on ebay or Craig's list or try and pawn for far less than they are worth. It would only be the loss of my vintage equipment and very little chance of data theft. They may have the floppy or CF card with the data, but knowing how to extract or load or use it is another thing entirely for some punk thief. 

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7 hours ago, Preppie said:

Given that there's so many add-ons to multiple old systems, I like the idea of having a new standarized 'super-8-bit' system.

 

Also, I'm a bit of a purist.  I like retro computers to stay un-moded for future generations.  I don't mind it when 'c' grade systems are modded, but seeing a mint retro system with the case cut to add a mod hurts my heart .

I agree.   That is why when I added the Sophia board to my 800XL, I did not alter the case.   I just screwed the case back together with the ribbon cable sticking out.   The way the 800XL sits, I can not see it coming out of the back.  Worked out pretty good.  And I REFUSE to AV mod my heavy sixer.  I have other 2600s for that.   That other thing plugged in is the USB power adapter.  YES, it is worth every penny.  Works flawlessly.  

 

IMG_20190825_190232.jpg

IMG_20190825_190219.jpg

Edited by scotty
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OMG!, how have I owned a computer since 1981 and never heard of PLATO?  I'm halfway though the wikipedia article and about to finish it.
Check out the site in my sig.

Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk

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4 minutes ago, tschak909 said:

Check out the site in my sig.

Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk
 

When I was in highschool (graduated in 86), we had a community college right across the street, and we would go over for one of our classes (forget which one) and we worked on the Plato terminals over there.   Thank you for bringing back the memories!

 

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When I was in highschool (graduated in 86), we had a community college right across the street, and we would go over for one of our classes (forget which one) and we worked on the Plato terminals over there.   Thank you for bringing back the memories!
 
Np. This is a much bigger vision. To make new things that span all of the retrocomputing communities. The system has a dev environment on it for all users.

Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk

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Just now, tschak909 said:

Np. This is a much bigger vision. To make new things that span all of the retrocomputing communities. The system has a dev environment on it for all users.

Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk
 

Is there a CAR or BIN image for are beloved A8 computers. so I can use my Ultimate Cart?  I have only used the link from your signature and the Windows version in the past.   I plan to try it on all the platforms.

 

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1 minute ago, tschak909 said:

Yes. Don't wanna derail the thread, but... 

no pointer support, no prefs, but it fits in a 16K cart.

-Thom

Awesome!!  Thank you Thom.

 

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7 hours ago, JamesD said:

And that somehow makes it wrong to play it safe?
 

... if this is actually your argument, then what was that irrelevant FPGA mention about?

 

But to answer your question, he left a HUGE amount behind with that decision.

  • Address space is now less than 1% of what it would have been.
  • To make up for that, he added the extra logic for bank swapping (which is more complicated than the 2 chips he couldn't abide, BTW).
  • Even with bank switching, you only get 2MB where the first choice offered 16MB.
  • To fit sanely into this 64K address space, everything on the video card is, control and memory, is accessed through 4 ports.  The equivalent of having to do all surgery anywhere on the body through the butt hole.  If I wanted to do that, I'd get a TMS99x8 chip.
  • The BIOS and OS are written to work with the hardware, and the developers will also be stuck dealing with this hardware.

In short, for the sake of less complexity, he added more complexity.

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On 9/18/2019 at 8:28 PM, ChildOfCv said:

... if this is actually your argument, then what was that irrelevant FPGA mention about?

 

But to answer your question, he left a HUGE amount behind with that decision.

  • Address space is now less than 1% of what it would have been.
  • To make up for that, he added the extra logic for bank swapping (which is more complicated than the 2 chips he couldn't abide, BTW).
  • Even with bank switching, you only get 2MB where the first choice offered 16MB.
  • To fit sanely into this 64K address space, everything on the video card is, control and memory, is accessed through 4 ports.  The equivalent of having to do all surgery anywhere on the body through the butt hole.  If I wanted to do that, I'd get a TMS99x8 chip.
  • The BIOS and OS are written to work with the hardware, and the developers will also be stuck dealing with this hardware.

In short, for the sake of less complexity, he added more complexity.

I'm pretty much regurgitating his argument.
My argument is that it's his project, so he can do whatever he wants.  If you don't like it, don't buy it. 
Since you know so much, make your own.  If your's is better, maybe more people will buy it.
 

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On 9/15/2019 at 2:46 PM, fantômas said:

At first glance, I don't see the point of  the David’s project: you can't play nostalgia with a modern 8-bit....

If I had some money, I would rather invest in the project MEGA65...

 

ManyPreseriesMachines-1.JPEG

Wow! I like this. FPGA based and open source. It may be possible to re-program the FPGA to emulate an Atari 8-bit. I did a quick search for the sources and they appear to be on GitHub. I might try to see if I can port them to one of my own FPGA boards. Thanks for the heads up!

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