SyntaxBomb - Indie Coders

General Category => 8-bit / 16-bit retro world => Topic started by: dawlane on December 01, 2020, 11:26:13 AM

Title: First Look at the Mega 65
Post by: dawlane on December 01, 2020, 11:26:13 AM
Well Nostalgia Nerd has done a review.
Title: Re: First Look at the Mega 65
Post by: Steve Elliott on December 01, 2020, 12:05:03 PM
Yeah I saw this last night.  It was a very expensive computer with a limited run of 100 at the moment, a little rough around the edges proof of concept machine.  Who knows when more will be produced?  Lovely keyboard and design though.

 
Title: Re: First Look at the Mega 65
Post by: Dabz on December 01, 2020, 05:24:43 PM
I see all these different versions of old micros, I mean, the ZX Spectrum has had 20 revisions or whatever... And I always think... Where's the Amstrad one at?

Dabz
Title: Re: First Look at the Mega 65
Post by: Xerra on December 01, 2020, 05:43:43 PM
I see all these different versions of old micros, I mean, the ZX Spectrum has had 20 revisions or whatever... And I always think... Where's the Amstrad one at?

Clue is in your quote. They remake proper computers, not that silly Amstrad thingy :)
Title: Re: First Look at the Mega 65
Post by: Steve Elliott on December 01, 2020, 05:50:05 PM
lol they repackaged the Amstrad and called it a Spectrum+2 to try and make it more popular.   :))
Title: Re: First Look at the Mega 65
Post by: Dabz on December 01, 2020, 05:54:34 PM
Quote
Clue is in your quote. They remake proper computers, not that silly Amstrad thingy

I used to like you! :P

Seriously though, there is as much of an Amstrad community out there then their is speccy or commodore, and deserves a bit of love... I watched a Kim Justice video and he had something major against the Amstrad, not sure if it was just with Sugar Tits of the Sir, anyway, he did one with Amstrad games and he changed his tune about the system, which to be fair... Was THE BEST AT THE TIME ANYWAY!!!

Nerrrr ner ner nerrrrr nerrrrrrrrrrrrrrr :P

Dabz
Title: Re: First Look at the Mega 65
Post by: Steve Elliott on December 01, 2020, 06:00:09 PM
I think 'he' is now a she.   :D
Title: Re: First Look at the Mega 65
Post by: Dabz on December 01, 2020, 06:02:58 PM
Aye, I know... But I watched her videos before she done the gender of trans thing and well, when I see her, its still him! :/

If that makes sense?
Title: Re: First Look at the Mega 65
Post by: Steve Elliott on December 01, 2020, 06:04:52 PM
Very similar hardware in later revisions of the Spectrum to the Amstrad, but the ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64 were so popular and a name everybody knew...Looking forward to my Spectrum Next...Maybe they'll have an Amstrad 'personality' (which is their term for re-configuring the FPGA hardware to other systems).  The same sound chips as the Spectrum+/Amstrad Models in the Next so that won't change.  Keyboard will obviously.
Title: Re: First Look at the Mega 65
Post by: bsisko on December 03, 2020, 04:52:09 AM
I hear ya Dabz.  Of course growing up, I was a commodore 64 sucker, but being from the America's, I can't help but wonder when the Atari (make it the Atari 1200(XL or XE) if anyone is reading this) and Apple II (I would prefer the IIC and IIGS myself) machines will get their turn.  I know they were not as popular as the C-64, but come on.
Title: Re: First Look at the Mega 65
Post by: dawlane on December 03, 2020, 09:10:28 AM
One of the reasons you won't be seeing any similar reconstructions of other types of old 8 and 16 bit computers is down to whoever owns any patents to the original devices and the IP to the ROMs. Even the Mega 65 has to use a compatible kernel, as Cloanto think that they own the ROMs and take anybody to court over it, when they only have the licence sell the legacy ROMs.
Look up Hyperion vs Cloanto.

The only reason that the Spectrum Next exists, is that the producers have an agreement with BSkyB, the current owners of the ZX Spectrum ROMs, under the condition that they have to make a donation to a named BSkyB charity.
Title: Re: First Look at the Mega 65
Post by: Steve Elliott on December 03, 2020, 09:19:32 AM
Quote
but being from the America's, I can't help but wonder when the Atari (make it the Atari 1200(XL or XE) if anyone is reading this)...machines will get their turn.  I know they were not as popular as the C-64, but come on.

[edit]
Dawlane posted as I did.  Fair point, but dissappointing.  Although 'The C64' does exist already without that issue.

Yeah I'm a little surprised too, a mate and myself had a few Atari Computers between us and thought they were great.  He Started with the Atari 800 and followed all the way up to a Mega ST (later I had an Atari 130XE and Atari ST).  Playing games like Miner 2049er, Bristles and Caverns of Mars was an eye opener, especially as my early Speccy had such poor sound in comparison.

The early 8-bit Atari Computers were ahead of their time, with hardware sprites and a pretty capable CPU (clocked twice the speed of the C64) and a better colour palette too.  But despite that fact the Atari re-imagined systems seem to be based on the much less capable Atari Console.  Like this piece of over-priced nonsense:

https://atarivcs.com/
Title: Re: First Look at the Mega 65
Post by: dawlane on December 03, 2020, 11:06:16 AM
The C64 manual does mention that the ROMS are Furnished under licence from Cloanto. Which to my understanding, is that Retro Games LTD are paying Cloanto for the rights to use the ROMS.
Title: Re: First Look at the Mega 65
Post by: Dabz on December 03, 2020, 05:34:45 PM
Quote
The only reason that the Spectrum Next exists, is that the producers have an agreement with BSkyB, the current owners of the ZX Spectrum ROMs, under the condition that they have to make a donation to a named BSkyB charity.

Well, the owners of Spectrum and Amstrad bios roms are one and the same, as I understand, so unless there's an extra level of "propriety" issue with the Amstrad bios, maybe with Locomotive BASIC, I dunno, I just dont understand why one hasnt at least been mentioned, but, the Amstrad bios can be bundled with an emulator freely, thats my understanding with it, so... Yeah, bit of a puzzle really!

Never mind though, I've still got my 6128, it's tucked out of the way at the minute, but it would be nice to have a little'un running, with proper HDMI because the signal is "odd", I've got to use a DVD recorder as a pass through to get a decent picture on my HD TV, either that, or use a monitor, whichever I choose, I always have to have an extra lump of gear on my desk.

Dabz
Title: Re: First Look at the Mega 65
Post by: Steve Elliott on December 03, 2020, 05:47:45 PM
Quote
Well, the owners of Spectrum and Amstrad bios roms are one and the same, as I understand

Yes that's what I was hinting at.  I'm pretty sure I've seen the Spectrum Next switch to later model Spectrums with the Amstrad (rather than Sinclair) copyright text on boot.

Dabz and GfK often talk about Locomotive BASIC, was it a good version of BASIC?

 
Title: Re: First Look at the Mega 65
Post by: Dabz on December 07, 2020, 01:44:25 PM
I found Locomotive BASIC a bit more intuitive (As a sprog) and approachable then other BASIC's on the micros, pretty clean setup, feature rich compared with others, though obviously, after playing and making the odd game, like other BASIC's, it ran slow when chucking things on the screen... Which, later on I would learn how to use that and RSX's (machine code) to do both (Then inline assembly later on) which was when I found the CPC's weird way of handling screen memory wasn't quite the most intuitive (Just check out how it draws any loading screen to see), but, a bit of maths tart'ed that up!

Then when I first used BlitzBasic I felt right at home with it from the off because, I dunno, it was pretty familiar to Locomotive really.

One BASIC I did enjoy back in the day was BBC BASIC, many a playtime I would be tinkering, its inline assembler was fun, and like I mentioned, I eventually got the same setup when I finally persuaded my mam to buy me Maxam for the Amstrad by mail order, lol... Eeeeee Those were the days! :)

Anyway, I had fun with it, cannot really compare it to your commodore or speccy variants of BASIC because I never really explored them, I did have the odd dabble on mates micros, and wasn't as keen on their setups, but I cannot say if they were better or bad in all honesty, it's all horses for courses really, but, all in all, I did have a ball with Locomotive! :)

Dabz
Title: Re: First Look at the Mega 65
Post by: Steve Elliott on December 07, 2020, 06:10:44 PM
So luckily Locomotive BASIC suited you then, because if it didn't you'd have to upgrade to a BBC Micro.   :D

Talking of older systems vs modern, this made me chuckle:

&ab_channel=The8-BitGuy
Title: Re: First Look at the Mega 65
Post by: Dabz on December 07, 2020, 07:27:00 PM
He's not wrong though... I used to love old manuals, I mean, they were a big massive lump of info, obviously you had different engineer manuals then the one the end user got, which became mostly mythical texts really... Like, you knew they were out there, and there would of been absolute gems of pieces of info in them, though, it was hard getting one as, well, you couldnt just go on Ebay or download a PDF could you! :D But, the one Johnny Consumer ended up with was still quite hefty!

Though, on about Maxam previously, that came with nothing more then a leaflet with a handful of assembly examples on (I've still got a copy, not my original sadly), and, as a bedroom coder, you just ended up having to pick up stuff in magazines, or BASIC programs that were stuffed with DATA statements that was used to poke machine code into memory, but, you started to pick up on op-codes and what not, and you could read these DATA statements and pretty much half work out what was going on... That was indeed a hobby within itself really... But I enjoyed it, saw it more of a puzzle really.

Programming was defo more fun back in the day, obviously distribution of stuff now is a lot easier, but, I did have a little PD library going off, and bought from other PD libraries too, so got to see quite a bit of excellent stuff that the machine could produce in the back end of it's life... Really nice to see Batman Group and especially Rhino pick up the baton from them far off days... They are turning that machine inside out, just check out Pinball Dreams for the Amstrad, it's a major major achievement, imagine if someone produced that in the day, Sugar Tit's of the Alan would probably be worth more then Bill Gates! :D

Dabz
Title: Re: First Look at the Mega 65
Post by: Steve Elliott on December 08, 2020, 09:09:30 AM
Yes manuals were fantastic and the computers came with a built-in language so you could turn them on and get coding instantly, while being guided by a big hefty manual.  Part of the attraction the Spectrum Next provides (with some enhancements).  But this time I'm looking forward to coding in assembly language and hitting the hardware direct.

Yes information regards assembly language was much more difficult to get hold of back then so I left it alone - you seemed to have had some fun with it though!

Well all of the 8-bit systems seem to have a good following and even today people are pushing ZX Spectrum's, C64's and Amstrad computers beyond what was achieved in the early days of their life.  Although I've seen some very impressive late 80's games on the Speccy that I missed (due to moving to an Atari ST).  For me that's a big appeal of the Spectrum Next, it's simple enough to get to grips with an 8-bit machine like that.  To get to know it inside and out without the need to learn/fight an involved OS, API's and libraries, game engines and such.  Just an Assembler, Sprite Editor and Sound Program.
Title: Re: First Look at the Mega 65
Post by: dawlane on December 08, 2020, 03:01:35 PM
The reason why you never see good manuals for computers in this day and age, is down to the fact that tech support would be out of a job.

I've used most old home computer Basic's and Commodore Basic v1 & v2 have to be the worst for ease of use. Commodore only started to get it right with v7. If you owned a Vic20 or C64, then you definitely needed the reference guides as well and the standard user manual.

Locomotive Basic for the CPC was by far the best to use, but the BBC models had the advantage of a built in assembler. ZX Basic had the advantage of less typing, once you got used to how the commands were accessed, though that all changed with the introduction of ZX 128 Basic, which has possibly the slowest editor I've come across.

When it comes to programming with machine code, the Zilog Z80 instruction set would have been hard to beat on any 8 bit machine.
Title: Re: First Look at the Mega 65
Post by: Steve Elliott on December 15, 2020, 01:50:35 PM
Quote
The reason why you never see good manuals for computers in this day and age, is down to the fact that tech support would be out of a job.

Nah, it's because (desktop) computers these days are just a box of components (case, keyboard, motherboard, graphics card etc) and you swap them out when you upgrade.

Where as 80's/90's computers were a fixed hardware spec, so you could cover everything in the manual knowing nothing would change from computer to computer.

The manuals for my 8-bit computers:

Title: Re: First Look at the Mega 65
Post by: dawlane on December 15, 2020, 02:52:02 PM
Nah, it's because (desktop) computers these days are just a box of components (case, keyboard, motherboard, graphics card etc) and you swap them out when you upgrade.
Must be around ten years or so since I actually saw a manual that came with and PC that gave the basics on how to use Windows. The laptop I bought this year came with a FCC certification booklet that was thicker than the instructions for Windows and the laptop.
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