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Gilbyph

Geneve 9640, Geneve II

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Hello all!

I've seen many wonderful upgrades to the Ti-99/4a on this site. F18A, NanoPEB, projects to add the 32k expansion memory directly to the console, or even change the 12mhz crystal to increase the TI's clock speed and many more! All of it is great and it takes a lot of talent and time to create these enhancements, but I was wondering, is anyone trying to make more Geneve 9640 cards? I also read some time ago that there was someone trying to create a Geneve II card. How is that progressing? 

Wouldn't a new batch of Geneve 9640 cards, or even a new Geneve II card be the ultimate upgrade for the Ti-99/4a?

My understanding is that the Geneve is fully compatible with the Ti-99/4a but increases the CPU speed, video performance, provides a 80 column text mode, increases the available RAM, and let's you use an external keyboard and mouse, among other enhancements. So wouldn't a project to make new Geneve or Geneve II cards provide the most bang for one's buck?

just wondering what you all think about such an option.

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Nope.

The Geneve II project stalled and has not been picked back up. No word on any plan.

There's talk of another project in the development forum that you can find easily with a search that is for developing another computer but it's still in the "thinking about it" stage nothing really tangible yet.

The Geneve is not 100% compatible. It's close though. It uses a different processor vdp and peripheral interface so a few programs have to be patched to work correctly.

There have been a handful of geneves for sale recently including some broken ones Tim so kindly shared the fun of repairing them with others.



Sent from my LM-G820 using Tapatalk

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The cartridge port technology on the 4A has now greatly exceeded the cartridge emulation capabilities of the Geneve 9640 also...  So now there exist quite a bit of software that would require complex rewriting to make work on a Geneve. 

 

[email protected]

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4 hours ago, Gilbyph said:

but I was wondering, is anyone trying to make more Geneve 9640 cards?

As I understand things, making new Geneves isn't possible right now because we lack documentation of the ASIC used on the board.

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It might not be necessary to actually rebuild the Gate Array and the PAL. With my recent works in MAME, the Gate Array emulation should now be closer to the real thing, and this could help to design a new FPGA or similar to take over the work of the GA and the PAL. Yes, I know it is easy to talk about other people's tasks - i.e. someone has to pick up that challenge, otherwise it remains computer fiction.

 

Concerning the newer cartridges on the TI, one could think about some compatibility layer that mimics the hardware banking mechanism. In place of the bank switching commands, we could replace that by a suitable XOP. If that proves to be difficult (since the Geneve makes heavy use of the XOPs, they might not be available for that purpose), it would be possibly to make use of the MID, i.e. insert an "invalid instruction" and put a hook in the MID interrupt handler.

 

The limit is the memory size, of course. We have 512K DRAM plus some SRAM, and a good deal of it is occupied by the GeneveOS (MDOS). I think 256K should be no problem.

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Getting back to the wonderful upgrades you mentioned in message #1...

 

With available hardware now, FG99 + SAMS + F18A or a future F18A MK2 + a TIPI for storage, and even a wireless keyboard do we not already have the potential to compete with the Geneve on some levels?  Heck, we already have Force Command as a neat DOS too.

 

What these items could do all tied and working together makes one wonder.

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39 minutes ago, mizapf said:

Except for speed. :P

True that, but I did say, "on some levels".   Stuff loads pretty fast off the TIPI and FG99, and the SAMS give's lots of potential operational memory.  Being able to use a new monitor is a plus too.

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Sure, those are really cool enhancements of the TI ... but still, don't expect that I'd trade my Geneve for them anytime soon. :)

 

But now I'll have to give my Geneve a big hug. It looks somewhat troubled after seeing your message.

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10 hours ago, Gilbyph said:

Hello all!

I've seen many wonderful upgrades to the Ti-99/4a on this site. F18A, NanoPEB, projects to add the 32k expansion memory directly to the console, or even change the 12mhz crystal to increase the TI's clock speed and many more! All of it is great and it takes a lot of talent and time to create these enhancements, but I was wondering, is anyone trying to make more Geneve 9640 cards? I also read some time ago that there was someone trying to create a Geneve II card. How is that progressing? 

Wouldn't a new batch of Geneve 9640 cards, or even a new Geneve II card be the ultimate upgrade for the Ti-99/4a?

My understanding is that the Geneve is fully compatible with the Ti-99/4a but increases the CPU speed, video performance, provides a 80 column text mode, increases the available RAM, and let's you use an external keyboard and mouse, among other enhancements. So wouldn't a project to make new Geneve or Geneve II cards provide the most bang for one's buck?

just wondering what you all think about such an option.

 

Hi,

 

First to answer arcadeshopper, the Geneve2020 is moving along into real hardware.  I haven't posted an update since Jan 6 because I was trying to get a real-life prototype, instead of just pretty pictures.  I would say I'm putting in about 80 hours and $400 a month.

 

To answer Gilbyph, the Geneve2020 will be 100% compatible plus a lot more.

 

The thread is here: 

 

 

The current prototype design is modular, so I can finish each part and not have to rebuild a whole machine.

 

So I've been trying to finish the V9958 VDP module, before the next status update. The V9958 is a slight upgrade to the V9938 in the Geneve. I've also scoped out whether I can get the V9990 to add a huge graphics boost.

 

The CPU and VDP modules will go to OshPark for prototypes by next weekend. It will have a 640K memory module for now.

 

So, the prototype will first do everything Stuart Conner's Breadboard Computer does, but, it is prepared to go into full Geneve memory map mode after it boots up. There are a lot of features missing, but the design lets me add one module at a time without rebuilding the whole thing. 

 

I don't know yet if it can be a PBox card. For sure, it will be exist in a standalone box first (about 9" by 11").  Attaching a Pbox to that is not ruled out, for access to HFDC and such. It will have a real cartridge port so all the new stuff can just be plugged in.

 

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4 hours ago, mizapf said:

Concerning the newer cartridges on the TI, one could think about some compatibility layer that mimics the hardware banking mechanism. In place of the bank switching commands, we could replace that by a suitable XOP.

For Geneve2020, I've planned for the GPL mode to be fully compatible with existing bank switch schemes. Plus, there will be a real cartridge port. It just "looks like" the 4A environment.

 

 

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>The Geneve II project stalled and has not been picked back up. No word on any plan.

I'd guess arcade shopper was referring to the stalled Geneve II project that was happening in the UK about eight years ago. My brain is fuzzy as to the name of the gentlemen working on the project, as I only remember reading his name once in the UK newsletter.

 

 

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10 minutes ago, FarmerPotato said:

 

Hi,

 

First to answer arcadeshopper, the Geneve2020 is moving along into real hardware.  I haven't posted an update since Jan 6 because I was trying to get a real-life prototype, instead of just pretty pictures.  I would say I'm putting in about 80 hours and $400 a month.

 

To answer Gilbyph, the Geneve2020 will be 100% compatible plus a lot more.

 

The thread is here: 

 

 

The current prototype design is modular, so I can finish each part and not have to rebuild a whole machine.

 

So I've been trying to finish the V9958 VDP module, before the next status update. The V9958 is a slight upgrade to the V9938 in the Geneve. I've also scoped out whether I can get the V9990 to add a huge graphics boost.

 

The CPU and VDP modules will go to OshPark for prototypes by next weekend. It will have a 640K memory module for now.

 

So, the prototype will first do everything Stuart Conner's Breadboard Computer does, but, it is prepared to go into full Geneve memory map mode after it boots up. There are a lot of features missing, but the design lets me add one module at a time without rebuilding the whole thing. 

 

I don't know yet if it can be a PBox card. For sure, it will be exist in a standalone box first (about 9" by 11").  Attaching a Pbox to that is not ruled out, for access to HFDC and such. It will have a real cartridge port so all the new stuff can just be plugged in.

 

come here dr evil GIF

 

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Thank you for all the great replies!  Looks like I should have taken a look over at the TI-99/4A Development page. The Geneve 2020 looks pretty exciting!

 

FarmerPotato

I responded to a different topic before suggesting that I'd like to see two (or more) button joysticks. Could that function be added to the Geneve 2020 while still keeping 100% compatibility with the TI-99/4a? Just wondering, not trying to "everything but the kitchen sink" your project.

Edited by Gilbyph

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1 hour ago, Gilbyph said:

Thank you for all the great replies!  Looks like I should have taken a look over at the TI-99/4A Development page. The Geneve 2020 looks pretty exciting!

 

FarmerPotato

I responded to a different topic before suggesting that I'd like to see two (or more) button joysticks. Could that function be added to the Geneve 2020 while still keeping 100% compatibility with the TI-99/4a? Just wondering, not trying to "everything but the kitchen sink" your project.

I haven't gotten to the joystick ports, but I'm leaning toward just 2 Atari 2600/C-64 ports with translation. The two button kind would not be a hardware problem, but it could be a software issue. Though it would be possible to choose a key to map the 2nd button to.

 

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5 hours ago, FarmerPotato said:

I haven't gotten to the joystick ports, but I'm leaning toward just 2 Atari 2600/C-64 ports with translation. The two button kind would not be a hardware problem, but it could be a software issue. Though it would be possible to choose a key to map the 2nd button to.

 

So, how many systems you'll have ready for sale by the Classic computer club meeting in March? 😁

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2 hours ago, GDMike said:

This is really what I'm waiting on. I hope it can go into my old peb and just run

I'm not targeting the Pbox. I'm not saying I won't someday, but, just the number of interface ports would not fit on a card edge.

Here's my concept art with all the ports. This back plate is 33 x 3 cm.

 

image.thumb.png.872f8ddf2ad41bd35e0ecbdcd8cddc83.png

 

I don't know how I could chop it up to go on multiple P-box cards. Maybe it could take up 2 or 3 slots like a PXI controller

 

At any rate, it has a 16-bit data bus internally. It's totally different from the Pbox backplane. At best it will use a second 8-bit bus to talk to some chips. 

 

I'm just trying to get the technology to work first, then figure out how to package it. So far it looks like a rectangular box about the footprint of a 4A console. I'm working with 10cm deep and 6cm high inside, because it's cheap to get PCBs made.

 

Geneve2020 is being designed to be an all-in-one.  Expansion would be on the Hexbus or small 16-bit cards inside.

It's really easier to integrate RS232 onboard the CRU module, because the modern chip count is so low.

The onboard 2, 16 or 32MB dwarfs any memory card in the pbox. Then the memory SIMMs stick out maybe too much to go into one clamshell.

 

I do want to find a way to accommodate disk controllers or HRD. One way is to build in a 44-pin side port with 4A mapping for the fire-hose cable. Or a new Flex card with a round cable. But having your 4A cards "just work" requires a very perfect GPL emulation - not likely to be perfect soon. Running Disk DSR ROMs as-is instead of the MDOS total-rewrite model is a serious dilemma.

 

Still with all the integrated peripherals, I will leave some 16-bit slots for hackers. It will be far easier and cheaper to build for, than making your own Pbox cards.

 

 

If I get it to run MDOS and GPL software off of an SD card, I will be happy.

 

 

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