Search found 265 matches

by Ramtop
Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:05 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn hardware
Topic: Proposed: "The Ultimate Electron Upgrade"
Replies: 557
Views: 62430

Re: Proposed: "The Ultimate Electron Upgrade"

mr-macrisc wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:28 pm
Watching with excitement and hopefully this continues to a purchasable item.
Absolutely. I'd snatch one of these up if it becomes available.
by Ramtop
Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:01 pm
Forum: general
Topic: Why was Repton so loved by BBC users yet so disliked by the Commies?
Replies: 88
Views: 7495

Re: Why was Repton so loved by BBC users yet so disliked by the Commies?

Fabless was definitely the right way to go after around 2000, unless you had colossal production volume like Intel. But back in the 80s I don't think fabless was the right model, at least for consumer-focused manufacturers. The costs of maintaining and upgrading a useful fab weren't nearly as high a...
by Ramtop
Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:26 pm
Forum: general
Topic: Why was Repton so loved by BBC users yet so disliked by the Commies?
Replies: 88
Views: 7495

Re: Why was Repton so loved by BBC users yet so disliked by the Commies?

After MOS Technology were bought by Commdore, most of the 6502 design team left the company. This may explain why no major changes were made to the design. Yes, that was almost certainly the case. Chuck Peddle remained with Commodore for a while, but pretty much everyone else on the 6502 team left....
by Ramtop
Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:22 pm
Forum: general
Topic: Why was Repton so loved by BBC users yet so disliked by the Commies?
Replies: 88
Views: 7495

Re: Why was Repton so loved by BBC users yet so disliked by the Commies?

So who did do this work? Are we referring to VIC and SID? If so that did not seem to work out for even Commodore in the long run. None of those making 8 bit home computers went on to long term success making games consoles. And in the other direction, business computing went from CP/M to the IBM PC...
by Ramtop
Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:20 pm
Forum: general
Topic: Why was Repton so loved by BBC users yet so disliked by the Commies?
Replies: 88
Views: 7495

Re: Why was Repton so loved by BBC users yet so disliked by the Commies?

This is off topic, but I do wish to point out that the QL graphics and sound were never intended to be suitable for games, as it was supposed to be a serious / business machine... Yes, getting a bit off the path here. Possibly time for a 'failed British computers thread' :D Getting back OT, I've ne...
by Ramtop
Mon Feb 04, 2019 2:37 pm
Forum: general
Topic: Why was Repton so loved by BBC users yet so disliked by the Commies?
Replies: 88
Views: 7495

Re: Why was Repton so loved by BBC users yet so disliked by the Commies?

What if the Electron had 8 1x64kbit DRAM chips instead of 4, eliminating the double nibble rubbish that killed the machines performance addressing DRAM. The 64k Electron would have more memory than the 48k Spectrum and a CPU clock frequency more than twice that of the C64 - as well as disk drives t...
by Ramtop
Sun Feb 03, 2019 7:26 pm
Forum: general
Topic: Why was Repton so loved by BBC users yet so disliked by the Commies?
Replies: 88
Views: 7495

Re: Why was Repton so loved by BBC users yet so disliked by the Commies?

However, I don't think Acorn were looking to produce a games machine - the Electron is still a serious hobbyist machine albeit in a cut-down, reduced cost form. It has an excellent BASIC and OS, a good keyboard and can do a proper 80 column display. It makes a good wordprocessor and a superb front-...
by Ramtop
Sat Feb 02, 2019 10:27 am
Forum: other vintage hardware, software and languages
Topic: Basic Engine - A very low-cost single-board home computer with a BASIC
Replies: 6
Views: 1113

Re: Basic Engine - A very low-cost single-board home computer with a BASIC

That video chip is a very interesting part indeed. Pity it's not 5v tolerant, but still.
by Ramtop
Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:31 pm
Forum: general
Topic: Interesting interview of Steve Furber (Acorn era)
Replies: 7
Views: 1962

Re: Interesting interview of Steve Furber (Acorn era)

Steve tells some amazing stories. I think it's a little sad that nobody has written a really exhaustive history of Acorn and the early days of ARM, something similar to Brian Bagnall's excellent books about Commodore.
by Ramtop
Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:56 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn hardware
Topic: Issue 6 Acorn Electron
Replies: 17
Views: 1830

Re: Issue 6 Acorn Electron

I wonder if it would be possible to install this mod internally, by removing R45, R46, R47, connecting the left hand pad (on the schematic, the one connected to the ULA) to the gate inputs, and the outputs to the right hand pad, through some replacement 68R resistors. You would of course need flyin...
by Ramtop
Tue Jan 29, 2019 10:16 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn hardware
Topic: Issue 6 Acorn Electron
Replies: 17
Views: 1830

Re: Issue 6 Acorn Electron

I wonder if adding a 74LS08 and the RGB resistors externally to an issue 2/4 would fix the dim video problem?
by Ramtop
Tue Jan 29, 2019 10:08 pm
Forum: other vintage hardware, software and languages
Topic: Vintage Collections
Replies: 57
Views: 5932

Re: Vintage Collections

On an A1200 it is more likely to be leaky capacitors causing problems - the SMD electrolytics are prone to it so will probably need replacing. There are no batteries in the 1200 unless you have an expansion card in it. Yes, cap leakage on A1200s is almost universal. I've yet to see a Commodore-buil...
by Ramtop
Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:03 pm
Forum: general
Topic: Today I built ...
Replies: 86
Views: 13367

Re: Today I built ...

Two examples of my new development board for the Elk. EPROM, SRam and Flash sockets, 20 I/Os, and an SD card interface.

I built these last week, but was too lazy to take pictures until today :D
by Ramtop
Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:00 am
Forum: other vintage hardware, software and languages
Topic: Anyone used jlpcb.com for fabricating PCBs?
Replies: 8
Views: 1285

Re: Anyone used jlpcb.com for fabricating PCBs?

Yes, the white mask makes following traces practically impossible. It does look very nice, though, and one other advantage I've found is it hides any small smears of residue left on the board after cleaning.
by Ramtop
Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:36 pm
Forum: other vintage hardware, software and languages
Topic: Anyone used jlpcb.com for fabricating PCBs?
Replies: 8
Views: 1285

Re: Anyone used jlpcb.com for fabricating PCBs?

I've used them in the past, but the long delivery time pushed me to switch to AllPCB. Their base fabrication PCB charges are more expensive, but for orders up to a certain weight they offer free shipping via DHL. In my experience the time from order to receiving the PCBs is around 5-6 days, and work...
by Ramtop
Sun Nov 18, 2018 4:56 pm
Forum: other vintage hardware, software and languages
Topic: Vintage Collections
Replies: 57
Views: 5932

Re: Vintage Collections

Going by the posts here, my collection is still a bit amateur league! At the moment it consists of: 2 x Amiga A1200s (one accelerated, one not) 2 x Commodore Plus/4s 2 x Acorn Electrons (one working, one faulty) 1 x Sinclair Spectrum 48K+ 1 x Sinclair Spectrum +2 128K 1 x Commodore C16 No wish list ...
by Ramtop
Sat Nov 17, 2018 11:48 pm
Forum: general
Topic: British Micro Federation
Replies: 35
Views: 2719

Re: British Micro Federation

I'd never heard of this organisation before. Was it an early example of astroturfing on the part of Microsoft? I'm not sure astroturfing is the correct term for this kind of thing, but I don't really know what is. Setting up dubious 'industry' groups to lobby on their behalf was a tactic Microsoft ...
by Ramtop
Sat Nov 17, 2018 11:33 pm
Forum: other vintage hardware, software and languages
Topic: Dragon 32 or Amstrad CPC 464
Replies: 37
Views: 3915

Re: Dragon 32 or Amstrad CPC 464

I think this may have been a lot of my logic too. I know the "real" keyboard was a massive attraction to me being that I was upgrading from a ZX81 Yes, I think you my be on the money there. I suppose most people didn't really know what they were buying so visible attributes were important...
by Ramtop
Sat Nov 17, 2018 11:30 am
Forum: other vintage hardware, software and languages
Topic: Dragon 32 or Amstrad CPC 464
Replies: 37
Views: 3915

Re: Dragon 32 or Amstrad CPC 464

I remember you'd buy a game and on one side of the tape was a version in the 4 (or 8?) colours that were on a green background and flip the tape over and you had the even more god-awful choices of something like white, cyan, orange (brown?) and something else. Really? What were they thinking? And t...
by Ramtop
Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:23 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn hardware
Topic: Simple Electon MMC Interface
Replies: 79
Views: 12577

Re: Simple Electon MMC Interface

I have to admit to doing a bit of a happy dance when the board fired up first time :) Alas, no new source for connectors. I bought some cheap ones on Ebay that are intended for vertical through-hole mounting and just bent the pins inward and soldered the ends to the PCB pads. It looks ugly and proba...
by Ramtop
Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:43 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn hardware
Topic: Simple Electon MMC Interface
Replies: 79
Views: 12577

Re: Simple Electon MMC Interface

An improved and more polished design with a few added features I something I'd like to do, this one was really just designed as a way for me to learn about the Elk and it is pretty rough in all honesty. It has a couple of missing traces that I only noticed after the PCBs arrived :oops: The SD card c...
by Ramtop
Mon Nov 12, 2018 4:52 pm
Forum: 8-bit acorn hardware
Topic: Simple Electon MMC Interface
Replies: 79
Views: 12577

Re: Simple Electon MMC Interface

After acquiring my first Electron less than a month ago I set out to design a bit of hardware to bung in the back of it. Working on the old principle of walking before you run, I decided on a very simple one-socket sideways ROM card. At the weekend I got the board up and running and was pleased to b...
by Ramtop
Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:40 am
Forum: 8-bit acorn hardware
Topic: What are people happy soldering ?
Replies: 43
Views: 3583

Re: What are people happy soldering ?

I have finally invested in a reflow oven. It's the (infamous) T962A which is very well known and sold by a variety of Chinese vendors on eBay and AliExpress. It has a number of significant problems and is not recommended in it's unmodified form. I would say that's a very sensible warning. A colleag...
by Ramtop
Thu Oct 25, 2018 12:30 pm
Forum: introduce yourself
Topic: Hello Wor...errr...Stardot!
Replies: 10
Views: 1256

Re: Hello Wor...errr...Stardot!

Thanks for the kind welcome, everyone.
by Ramtop
Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:43 am
Forum: introduce yourself
Topic: Hello Wor...errr...Stardot!
Replies: 10
Views: 1256

Hello Wor...errr...Stardot!

Hi everyone, This is something quite new for me. I grew up in the 80s mostly using Sinclair and Commodore machines, and still do to this day. Acorn hardware really passed me by, other than the inevitable use of BBC Micros in school. But as my collection of Retro computers has grown there looked to b...

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