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mytek

XEP80-II a new beginning

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28 minutes ago, videofx said:

Super awesome!

 

When do you think it will be available from The Brewing Academy for ordering? Will you offer the STL so I can print my own case? 

 

Thanks!

The first production board order was recently placed by @MacRorie, and he has a fully assembled prototype I gave him for evaluation, but not much time has passed on that. So I would imagine it'll take a bit more before the production wheels really start spinning.

 

As for the case, I need to get back on that project, especially now that @Mr Robot released the 576NUC+ based blank STLs. I was originally working with an earlier STL that still had some stuff left over from the NUC, so I'll want to transfer over what I was working on to the new blanks, giving me a clean start. When I'm done and the new case has been test printed and proven out, then I will release the STLs for download, and The Brewing Academy will certainly have the actual 3D printed version available as well.

 

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@mytek I predict this is going to be a big seller. I wouldn't be surprised if it's in the top two or three for @MacRorie. Hopefully this inspires more people to write more 80-column software. Finally doing the XEP-80 right. It only took 35 years to do it. :) Now I just need to find room to fit a flat screen monitor to fit on my desk next to my cough/Commodore 1702/cough (I mean Atari) monitor. :)

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11 minutes ago, Allan said:

@mytek I predict this is going to be a big seller. I wouldn't be surprised if it's in the top two or three for @MacRorie. Hopefully this inspires more people to write more 80-column software. Finally doing the XEP-80 right. It only took 35 years to do it. :) Now I just need to find room to fit a flat screen monitor to fit on my desk next to my cough/Commodore 1702/cough (I mean Atari) monitor. :)

Yes I agree, this could certainly be a big hit 👍

 

When I was doing a few mods to the AtariWriter 80 disk to enable the automatic 40/80 column video source switching, I also decided I needed a good readme file example that could be quickly loaded while I was testing stuff out. So what better than to write up a description of the new XEP80-II system as that example. So here I was actually using my Atari 8-Bit for the first time in well over 25 years to do word processing, and it was actually very enjoyable and absolutely great to see so much of the writing on-screen all at once. Then printing that to a PDF via FujiNet, it suddenly struck me that this was a very usable system to write stuff in :)

 

Using the HDMI converter with the video source switcher was the icing on the cake, since it was completely painless to move from 40 to 80 columns, and back, with no more fiddling with the vertical or horizontal size adjustments of the monitor.

 

What I'd like to see happen for the future of AtariWriter 80, is the incorporation of @phaeron's Ultra Speed Driver. This was beyond my Atari coding abilities. Also it would be nice to see a few of the quirks ironed out, such as the need to occasionally press break to reformat the screen when editing (although that's a minor annoyance), and to not have to resort to adding an additional blank line with return at the end of a document so that it can be smoothly scrolled up and down as the page transition occurs.

 

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I almost bought an XEP-80 that was for sale. Even though it would have been nice to have, I think this will be better and more fun :)

 

Cant wait to build it!

 

Thanks @mytek appreciate it!

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I only discovered this today.  I've been looking at buying an  XEP80, but this looks like a much better option.  I love that it switches from standard to 80col modes.  As long as there are no SMD parts, I will likely go for the kit.  It looks like it would be fun to build.

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32 minutes ago, tep392 said:

I only discovered this today.  I've been looking at buying an  XEP80, but this looks like a much better option.  I love that it switches from standard to 80col modes.  As long as there are no SMD parts, I will likely go for the kit.  It looks like it would be fun to build.

All thru-hole parts on the main board, and the AV-to-HDMI daughter board is purchased as an assembled item. Check out the BOM on that XEP80-II page I linked to (scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the downloads). It's a pretty easy build - takes me about 3-4 hours max without breaking a sweat :)

 

Because of the general electronics shortage you may have to do some substitutions, but all the parts are pretty generic in nature so a different manufacturer is no biggie.

 

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I am using one of those old dell 2001fp monitors that has dvi and s video, but not HDMI. Will this still work on that setup?

Edited by Fierodoug5

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1 hour ago, Fierodoug5 said:

I am using one of those old dell 2001fp monitors that has dvi and s video, but not HDMI. Will this still work on that setup?

Since there's no audio signal involved, you should be able to use a cheap and simple HDMI/DVI dongle to connect your monitor. 

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I wouldn't count on DVI working. I tried it on a fairly new DVI only monitor and it was no dice. Best to stick to monitors with HDMI input. Because there's no guarantee the DVI will work even with an HDMI to DVI adapter.

 

Edit: Just add to that, the 1080P mode seems to work the best at displaying a nice centered image with all the content viewable, which really isn't compatible with those older DVI computer monitors. BTW the 4:3 aspect ratio setting on the HDMI converter works great, and makes up for the HDTV possibly not having that ability.

 

Edited by mytek

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I picked up my first XEP80 at a Detroit area World of Atari show in the mid/late-80's, along with the just released AtariWriter 80.  It looked so great at the show!  Then I got it home, and it overscanned terribly -- basically unusable and profoundly disappointing.  Several years later, I added Bob Woolley's XEP80 RGB mod, and I finally was able to use it with one very expensive Sony medical monitor. Now these many years later, I'm so looking forward to Mytek's vastly improved version!

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For those choosing to self assemble I will be offering an EPROM service.  If you need EPROMS burned and have either the 28C64 EEPROM or 27C64 EPROM, if you send them I will burn them for free you just pay shipping.

 

If you don't have EPROMs or EEPROMs then I can supply them for the group for $3.00 each plus shipping

 

Bill

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On 10/15/2021 at 4:00 PM, tep392 said:

Is this going to be sold assembled or as a kit only? 

 

On 10/15/2021 at 4:50 PM, mytek said:

Yes, we will offer it as a fully assembled and a "mini-kit."  If you elect to DIY it, we will also have the ability to sell you pre-programmed EPROMs.  The boards shipped from China today, so should see them soon and then will put them up for sale on the website.  Will update as things move along.

 

-M

 

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6 hours ago, MacRorie said:

 

Yes, we will offer it as a fully assembled and a "mini-kit."  If you elect to DIY it, we will also have the ability to sell you pre-programmed EPROMs.  The boards shipped from China today, so should see them soon and then will put them up for sale on the website.  Will update as things move along.

 

-M

 

Excellent!  I'll be ordering the board kit and hopefully a 3D printed case if available.  I have a handful of programmers, so won't need the pre-programmed EPROMs,  but that is a nice option to make available. Thank you!

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1 hour ago, MacRorie said:

 

Yes, we will offer it as a fully assembled and a "mini-kit."  If you elect to DIY it, we will also have the ability to sell you pre-programmed EPROMs.  The boards shipped from China today, so should see them soon and then will put them up for sale on the website.  Will update as things move along.

 

-M

 

I've been watching this thread intently.  I have wanted a XEP80 for some time and this modern version looks like an awesome evolution of it.  Any idea how much a fully assembled one will cost?

Edited by ACML
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I already have XEP80, and a way to display it that basic functions, but plan to buy just for the switching between Atari and XEP80 video, and for one more Atari gadget to tinker with, basically.

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Do any of "The Last Word" releases support the XEP-80?  Flashjazzcat posted a video long ago of a release candidate working in emulation with the SDX XEP80.SYS driver, but I don't know if any of the released versions support it.

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I can't get TLW to print properly... which is it's primary purpose... somethings weird.

Edited by _The Doctor__

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37 minutes ago, tep392 said:

Do any of "The Last Word" releases support the XEP-80?  Flashjazzcat posted a video long ago of a release candidate working in emulation with the SDX XEP80.SYS driver, but I don't know if any of the released versions support it.

If I recall correctly @flashjazzcat never continued with XEP80 support because of not having the actual hardware for one. So whatever version of TLW there was with XEP80 support, I'm pretty sure it predates the latest version by quite a bit as in years. I don't even know if it actually saw a public release. Hopefully Jon can hop in here and give us an update.

 

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28 minutes ago, _The Doctor__ said:

I can't get TLW to print properly... which is it's primary purpose... somethings weird.

The print formatter is buggy in certain versions... it's been this way for ten years. :) You're the second person to notice in a decade.

20 minutes ago, mytek said:

If I recall correctly @flashjazzcat never continued with XEP80 support because of not having the actual hardware for one.

I was working on a text editor at the time (not TLW) which I seem to recall worked with XEP80 in emulation (there are screenshots of the file selector somewhere on the forum). I don't recall ever attempting to make TLW work with XEP80, probably partly because the UI uses a custom display list and various splashes of colour here and there (such as the progress bars on the copier in the disk menu) which were easy to implement with VBXE, but next to impossible with XEP80. I wasn't especially blown away with XEP80 at the time anyway, possibly because I had gotten used to a colour 80 column display on VBXE machines.

 

If/when I get around to fixing/updating TLW, I'll probably make it use a standard display mode anyway, so it should work with any display driver.

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7 minutes ago, flashjazzcat said:

I don't recall ever attempting to make TLW work with XEP80

Just goes to show you my memory isn't all that great :)

 

8 minutes ago, flashjazzcat said:

If/when I get around to fixing/updating TLW, I'll probably make it use a standard display mode anyway, so it should work with any display driver.

Wow that would be nice 👍   Although I won't hold you too it, since it probably sits at the bottom of the stack of things you'd like to do ;)

 

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Another module to do that maybe(xep)... so much of TLW is great and don't want it losing anything... fixing the formatter would be awesome... I just didn't bring it up figuring you knew and have already handled it then would reveal it at some point, like so many other things. Never know when to speak up or not the past few years, becoming like so many others I guess.

 

Back to the XEP II thought...

Edited by _The Doctor__

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If you find a bug, please mention it. Only a fool would have an issue with a legitimate bug report.

Edited by flashjazzcat
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2 hours ago, flashjazzcat said:

 

I was working on a text editor at the time (not TLW) which I seem to recall worked with XEP80 in emulation (there are screenshots of the file selector somewhere on the forum). I don't recall ever attempting to make TLW work with XEP80, probably partly because the UI uses a custom display list and various splashes of colour here and there (such as the progress bars on the copier in the disk menu) which were easy to implement with VBXE, but next to impossible with XEP80. I wasn't especially blown away with XEP80 at the time anyway, possibly because I had gotten used to a colour 80 column display on VBXE machines.

 

Ok, I was confused. The editor in your video didn't look like TLW, but then you opened a text file with some info on TLW and that stuck in my head.  

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