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Socoder -> Off Topic -> Maximise BASIC Computer

Posted : Wednesday, 10 January 2018, 18:30
Jayenkai
Looks like fun.. Linkage

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Posted : Wednesday, 10 January 2018, 18:30
Pakz
I think I discovered that channel from here. I really like the episodes.
Posted : Thursday, 11 January 2018, 02:08
rockford
Does indeed look like a nice little hark back to the good old days. The only problem there is the price. For $20 it'd be worth it. Nearly $60, nope.
Posted : Saturday, 13 January 2018, 03:11
Dabz
I watch the 8-bit guy as well...

And, I've bought one of these for a look, obviously shipping from the US it'll take 3000000 weeks, with a little stay over at Heathrow so the VAT man can whack his 20% on... Tit!

Anyway, price wise, for me, yeah, little expensive, but, obviously, the fella who's project this is wont have the bang that, say, the Pi Foundation has, so with projects like this, you are mostly paying because of that. I have expansion cards for my CPC without half the stuff in there and some of them still rolled in at 50euro or there abouts.

MMBasic looks pretty capable as well, seems to be setup really well for all manner of things, so thats a good bonus, as I have bought mini bare metal micro computers before, and well, they are a bit too enthusiast for me, as in... You connect them up, switch them and... Nowt... Just a little LED telling you its okay and ready for shit!

The only real issue for me is that, it tends to be quicker to fly to the moon, have a wander and then come back, then getting a package sent from the US to the UK, including complimentary visit to the VAT man in Heathrow.

So aye... Ordered one, and I'll have a play!

Dabz

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Intel Core i5 6400 2.7GHz, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB), 8Gig DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD, Windows 10 64bit
Posted : Wednesday, 28 February 2018, 23:47
Dabz
And, I've got a nice little toy to play with which arrived when I was away:-



Only problem is... I've had about three million VGA cables in the past, okay, maybe going over the top there slightly, but quite a few of them... After a hunt about... I cannot find ONE!!! :/

Ive obviously chucked them out while having a purge... Isnt it bloody annoying when you do that! hehehe

Dabz

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Intel Core i5 6400 2.7GHz, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB), 8Gig DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD, Windows 10 64bit
Posted : Thursday, 01 March 2018, 02:32
rockford
Let us know how you get on

Despite it's price it does seem to be a nice bit of kit.
Posted : Friday, 02 March 2018, 23:19
Dabz
Will do!

Had to order more "bits" though on top of the VGA, basically, the USB is a Mini-USB, which, I've never had any phone with one of them types of chargers for like, 10 years or something, I do recall the PS4 Move controllers use them, but, little sod of a brother took all that gear, lol.

And I needed a PS/2->USB keyboard converter, I thought I did have one of them, but after digging, its nowhere to be seen... I'm honestly crap at keeping stuff mind!

Hopefully I'll get them Monday, stroke, Tuesday, when I'm off work so I can fire it up... Poor little thing is sitting there on my desk, itching to be tickled!

Dabz

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Intel Core i5 6400 2.7GHz, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB), 8Gig DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD, Windows 10 64bit
Posted : Sunday, 04 March 2018, 11:15
Dabz
The VGA cable... Has arrived!!! \o/

2 more bits to go.... Eeeeeeee... Its like an advent calendar... But in March... And... Not a shit tasting tea bag in sight... Or thirteen litres of jam! hehehe

Dabz

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Intel Core i5 6400 2.7GHz, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB), 8Gig DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD, Windows 10 64bit
Posted : Sunday, 04 March 2018, 14:47
Jayenkai
Hopefully it turns out to be a nice little machine!

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Posted : Monday, 05 March 2018, 07:09
Dabz
One bit cane today... the ps/2 to USB adapter... And as you can see...



Very snug! :/

So snug in fact, that something pushed itself out the component at the back and I had to shove it back in...

Not feeling very confident regarding the USB adapter going in there!

Dabz

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Intel Core i5 6400 2.7GHz, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB), 8Gig DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD, Windows 10 64bit
Posted : Monday, 05 March 2018, 07:27
rockford
That's definitely a tighter fit than I'd be comfortable with!
Posted : Monday, 05 March 2018, 07:45
Dabz
Well, I'm at a bit of a conundrum, there is no wriggle room, these things are on there as if you are indeed using none adaptive connections, though, it is 2018, and the tech it leans towards is a little dated.

I mean, you go on to any retailer website (PC World, Argos, Maplin etc), just, really any, you'll be hard pushed to buy a new PS/2 keyboard, everything is USB or Bluetooth... Then there's the mini-USB, honestly, I cannot recall the last time I have seen a phone with that type of charger... Noone stocks them!

Yeah, you could pick up this sort of stuff on Ebay, but to be honest, that's the only place you will find it really, so, for me, that's a design flaw already, if you have original kit laid about that'll plop in, great, if not, well, steer clear of adaptors for any existing stuff you have... But new "old" peripherals for it (From Ebay probably)

I ordered a Female USB2.0->Mini-USB adaptor as I had a spare one, but alas, its not going to go in there I dont think, so, ordered a full phone charger from Ebay with the Mini-USB end on.

What a palaver!!!

Dabz

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Intel Core i5 6400 2.7GHz, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB), 8Gig DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD, Windows 10 64bit
Posted : Monday, 05 March 2018, 07:59
rockford
Ouch!
Posted : Monday, 05 March 2018, 08:11
Jayenkai
The VGA cable (I'm assuming it's a VGA..!?)

Any possibility of slicing off the closest of the screw-pieces? Maybe slice through the rubber, then bend the metal end-bit around?
.. Or is it more substantial, metal-wise?

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Posted : Saturday, 10 March 2018, 11:40
Dabz
Well, I've set it up... And... ITS ALIVE!!!!

Got her up and running, had a play around, and, yeah, pretty nifty so far actually.

I was powering it from a mains plug, but, plug sockets are in short supply around the back of my desk, so, I though, I'll connect it to my USB hub, see if that works... I wasnt expecting much, just power... And, well, I got a nice surprise.

After plugging it in, Windows installed a driver, notified me the device was now USB->Seriel or whatever it said... I remembered you can run an IDE from the PC to the Maximite, so, found this page again:-

MMIDE

And well, downloaded it, and, well, yay, works a ruddy charm, there's a few handy tools in there (Import and export files to the Maximite and back, no SD card swapping), and everything is mirrored from the MMIDE to the Maximite screen... Type "Hello and voila... It types it out on my other monitor!

I like that... Okay, its not like futurist or anything, but its nice... I havent tried graphics yet, but I'm guessing they work on the Maximite only and the IDE will just spit out the console stream, which is fair do's!

So yeah, as it goes, it all works, works really well, I think I'm going to have fun with this!

Dabz

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Intel Core i5 6400 2.7GHz, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB), 8Gig DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD, Windows 10 64bit
Posted : Saturday, 10 March 2018, 11:44
Jayenkai
Kewlykewly!
I look forward to posting about your games in the newsletter

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Posted : Saturday, 10 March 2018, 12:02
Dabz
Thinking about it, I'll need some sort of sprite editor, so that will no doubt be my first project, sod graph paper, it's been 30 years since I used that on anything graphic'y on a computer, and thats where its staying!

I will have to look at sound mind, there is holes for "something", lol, I'm frigging useless at hardware, I dont even have a smouldering wand, never mind a coil of melty metal!

Seriously though, I'll work it out... Sometime, no biggy at the minute!

Dabz

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Intel Core i5 6400 2.7GHz, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB), 8Gig DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD, Windows 10 64bit
Posted : Thursday, 15 March 2018, 08:35
Dabz
Right, I've had a play and thus...

To start, its a good board, it is, its lovely, plenty of expansion gubbins if thats what you are into, MMBasic is surely as capable as out to let you program for any hardware whatsits.

Updating the firmware is a piece of piss, just shove a wire into two holes to jump them, turn it on, and the bootloader windows app is good to go to update it all... Nice and easy!

Language wise, MMBasic does have it all really for a BASIC language, plays how you expect syntax wise, the inbuilt editor is okay, as prementioned, there is a Windows version which hooks up to the board, so, if your doing anything consoley or hardwarey, you can turn off the video display, and this hands that video memory back to the memory pool. Cool

Game dev wise, well... Mmmmmm, yeah, this is where it, drops off slightly.

There is your usually LINE, CIRCLE etc commands, and you have inbuilt sprites too, seems good... So, I start to write something, not much, just, chuck a ball around the screen... So I try the primitives...

P-Code:-



I run that, and... Whoooopppppssssyyyyyyyy...

It draws the ball (More on that in a sec), but as well as that, it displays "[2J[H" text on the top left of the screen... As you can see, there isnt a Print statement in sight... This is automagically, and while its doing it, its flashing the white but with coloured lines inside it. Now flashing I can understand, theres no backbuffer, so this is obvious, if it was flashing just white and black, yeah, I'll work with that.... But it's randomly spitting the pallette at me, and thats not good.

Regarding the "[2J[H" text, not a scooby do whats happening there... The firmware update never fixed it so, dont think its a bug per say, I dunno, I've looked, saw one or two messages on a site called TheBackShed or something, but, doesnt seem to be any real issues for anyone else... Fixing it is as simple as removing 'Cls', ball stays white, no flashing, expected... Still, I can work with it, Cls not allowed, sprites seem to do a job by redrawing underneath them... So I play with them... And...

Flicker, flicker flicker flicker, everything I chucked would flicker like a bitch, want a white ball you can move, noooooooooooo its not happening... I'm head scratching now, how can I fix this... I need a back buffer, thats what I need I'm thinking... Draw it somewhere else, once its done, chuck it at the video memory... And there's the thing... Memory! Mmmmmmm Not a fantastic amount in here, but, quick look, we have a MODE 4!!! \o/ Just like Mode 0 on the Amstrad, half the drawing, half the memory used for VRAM, thus, I can do my gubbins elsewhere and chuck it over, wahey...

So, I try MODE 4 straight from the prompt... And...

FUCKING SHIT HELLS FIRE WANK STAIN ON A CREAM CRACKER!!!

Absolutely horrendous, like, I'm not joking, the blur is immense, theres shadows on the text, on the ball... Just, you cannot use it.

I dont know what the issue is with the machine, is it because I'm using a modern TV, do I need a more dedicated/older monitor thats is sorta native VGA? Is it because my TV is PAL and the timing is all to shit (Though I have tried changing it)?

I'm hoping its the TV and thats whats fucking the signal up, like I mentioned above, this seems to have oldish standards to it... I'll try and find a cheap monitor, see how it does with that, but, because they are generally fucking massive, it'll just become a once-in-a-blue moon toy, as, my desk just simply hasnt the room!

So, there we are... Shame, because I do think it is quite a capable little thing in terms of little games... Oh well!

Dabz

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Intel Core i5 6400 2.7GHz, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB), 8Gig DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD, Windows 10 64bit
Posted : Thursday, 15 March 2018, 09:27
Jayenkai
Aww. That’s a bit of a shame.
I was expecting great things from that

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Posted : Thursday, 15 March 2018, 10:13
Dabz
Yeah, bit gutted, but all is not lost, we have some oldish monitors at work, so I'll take it in on Saturday when I'm back... Give it a run through there!

I forgot to add, I downloaded a library thing with examples in, and ran them through, and its just the same, so, I havent missed anything really, the flashing coloured lines or on them as well.

I've also changed every setting on my TV that I could, still no good... One little thing I read was when you run this short bit of code:-



Taken from this page: geoffg.net/MaximiteFAQ.html

There shouldnt be no flicker, but I'm getting coloured lined flicker on the text... So there is something wrong with the signal, I say signal, the signal might be right, the tele might be breaking it!

Dabz

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Intel Core i5 6400 2.7GHz, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB), 8Gig DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD, Windows 10 64bit
Posted : Thursday, 15 March 2018, 17:05
rockford
Cable issues, perhaps? Shame
Posted : Friday, 16 March 2018, 01:35
Dabz
I'm thinking its the LCD TV, pretty certain actually... I've had my laptop attached to the tele with the cable and the picture is fine, I'll know exactly when I get it attached to a CRT VGA monitor.

Doing some more reading, the PIC32 chip this board uses isnt the ideal VGA signal creator, its got to be be carefully coded to get a signal out, so while a CRT might have enough tolerance to produce a decent picture, a modern LCD might be just, too, well, good, if you get me.

Though, like I said up there somewhere, this board seems to be designed around old tech, so really, I'm confident it'll work on a good old fashioned CRT... The downside is, I have no room or interest to have one of them lumps on my desk again, and its obviously more cost, because after a quick peek on Ebay, most if not nearly all are collection only and they are over 100 miles away from me, and the few that have postage, well, they seem to take the piss with that, and, paying £15+£50p&p is out the window.

So yeah, I'll check at work with an old monitor, and report back, but alas, I think this little thing is going back in its box and well, thats it really!

Real shame, cos, its a bloody good idea!

Wish I knew about electronics and that, havent got time to learn now... Barely enough time to plonk down any code really, never mind designing a microcontroller with Locomotive BASIC built in, obviously with game dev extending commands ! <-------- Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww Wouldnt that be the BEST!!!

Dabz

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Intel Core i5 6400 2.7GHz, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (8GB), 8Gig DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD, Windows 10 64bit