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Winston

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Take a look at https://gigatron.io/

Unfortunately, the orginal Gigatron kits are out of stock and won't be available in the future. Fortunately, someone else has picked up the kit for manufacture/sale, but it doesn't include the nifty wood case.
There are a number of videos about that, some of which I've watched. The 8-Bit Guy channel is especially good.


He's involved in this retro computer project:

CommanderX16

 

Winston

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Professional Forensic Analysis of a Sketchy ATMEGA328P MCU - is it (typical) counterfeit (Chinese crap)?


What inspired that investigation:

Sleep Mode breaks on cheap Pro-Mini? Testing ATMEGA328 - is it counterfeit?

 

Winston

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Skywater PDK
14 Sep 2020


We’ve seen incredible strides made in the last decade or so towards democratizing manufacturing. Things that it once took huge, vertically integrated industries with immense factories at their disposal are now commonly done on desktop CNC machines and 3D printers. Open-source software has harnessed the brainpower of millions of developers into tools that rival what industry uses, and oftentimes exceeds them. Using these tools and combining them with things like on-demand PCB production and contract assembly services, and you can easily turn yourself into a legit manufacturer.

This model of pushing manufacturing closer to the Regular Joe and Josephine only goes so far, though. Your designs have pretty much been restricted to chips made by one or the other big manufacturers, which means pretty much anyone else could come up with the same thing. That’s all changing now thanks to SkyWater PDK, the first manufacturable, open-source process-design kit. With the tools in the PDK, anyone can design a chip for the SkyWater foundry’s 130-nm process. And the best part? It’s free — as in beer. That’s right, you can get an open-source chip built for nothing during chip manufacturing runs that start as early as this November and go through 2021.

We’re sure this news will stir a bunch of questions, so Tim Ansell, a software engineer at Google who goes by the handle “mithro” will drop by the Hack Chat to discuss the particulars. He’ll be joined by Mohamed Kassem, CTO and co-founder of efabless.com, and Michael Gielda, VP of Business Development at Antmicro. Together they’ll field your questions about this exciting development, and they’ll walk us through just what it takes to turn your vision into silicon.
 

Winston

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URBAN EXPLORERS REVEAL A TREASURE TROVE OF SOVIET COMPUTING POWER
30 Nov 2020


Many photos at link. Look like Soviet clones of DEC minicomputers:

Cemetery of Soviet Minicomputers


Despite the twilight, the floor remained lifelessly dark. Somewhere in the depths, there was a dim glow of electric light, hardly penetrating through old glass blocks.

Inside the floor was empty and black, but not completely. Inside burned several fluorescent lamps, spotlighting dozens of silhouettes of tall cabinets.

Some of them were covered with darkened translucent film.

The surface of the floor, tables and enclosures covered with black spots of soot, sometimes diluted with white stains of dried extinguishing mixture.

The air felt a persistent, but not strong smell of burning. The fire walked here a few years ago but did not touch the equipment.

Part of the cabinets were antique electronic computers. Others served to measure signals, and computers controlled this process. Dozens of terminals froze on the tables with extinct screens.
 

Winston

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IBM Makes Tape Storage Better Than Ever
IBM just shattered previous records for magnetic tape’s data storage capabilities, ensuring it meets demand for the next decade
17 Dec 2020


Introduced by strains of the Strauss waltz that served as the soundtrack for “2001: A Space Odyssey,” IBM demonstrated a new world record in magnetic tape storage capabilities in a live presentation this week from its labs in Zurich, Switzerland.

A small group of journalists looked on virtually as IBM scientists showed off a 29-fold increase in the storage capability of its current data-tape cartridge, from 20 terabytes (TB) to 580 TB. That’s roughly 32-times the capacity of LTO-Ultrium (Linear Tape-Open, version 9), the latest industry-standard in magnetic tape products.

While these figures may sound quite impressive, some may wonder whether this story might have mistakenly come from a time capsule buried in the 1970s. But the fact is tape is back, by necessity.

This lack of HDD scaling has resulted in the price per gigabyte of HDD rising dramatically. Estimates put HDD bytes at four times the cost of tape bytes. This creates a troublesome imbalance at an extremely inopportune moment: just as the amount of data being produced is increasing exponentially, data centers can’t afford to store it.

Fortunately a large portion of the data being stored is what’s termed “cold,” meaning it hasn’t been accessed in a long time and is not needed frequently. These types of data can tolerate higher retrieval latencies, making magnetic tape well suited for the job.

Magnetic tape is also inherently more secure from cybercrime, requires less energy, provides long-term durability, and has a lower cost per gigabyte than HDD. Because of these factors IBM estimates that more than 345,000 exabytes (EB) of data already resides in tape storage systems. In the midst of these market realities for data storage, IBM’s believes that its record-setting demonstration will enable tape to meet its scaling roadmap for the next decade.




 

Winston

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29 Dec 2020
Intel’s Stacked Nanosheet Transistors Could Be the Next Step in Moore’s Law
Process that builds two transistors—one directly atop the other—will boost chip density


The scheme starts by using what’s widely agreed to be the next generation transistor structure, called variously nanosheet, nanoribbon, nanowire, or gate-all-around device depending on who’s involved. Instead of the main part of the transistor consisting of a vertical fin of silicon as it does today, the nanosheet’s channel region consists of multiple, horizontal, nanometers-thin sheets stacked atop one another.

Intel’s recipe for building stacked nanosheets is called a self-aligned process because it builds both devices in essentially the same step. That’s important because adding a second step—say, by building them on separate wafers and then bonding the wafers together—could lead to misalignments that would destroy any potential circuits.

NMOS and PMOS devices usually sit side-by-side on chips. Intel has found a way to build them atop one another, compressing circuit sizes.


 

Winston

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World's Most Powerful Visible Diode Laser


Project 450 - Building a High Power 7W NUBM44-V2 Blue Laser

 

Winston

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Quite a process.

Vintage 1950s-1960s : RCA COLOR Picture Tube Manufacturing

 

Winston

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A very high clock frequency relay computer made possible by using surplus USSR reed relays shown computing Pi using the BF language:


Basic design of the computer and the BF language it runs:


The advantage of this language is minimum required microcode, very important for a DIY relay computer:

Brainf*ck: code that was designed to hurt
One of the most frustrating programming languages was built that way on purpose

 

Winston

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What an incredible amateur IC fabrication lab!

MOS Capacitor Fabrication and Capacitance/Voltage (C-V) Measurement

 

Winston

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Their primary goal with the Commander X16 is to make a PC for programmers who want the much simpler and less complex sound and video manipulation of the 8-bit classic machines via built-in BASIC and assembler.

Neat, but I really don't get the need for an 8-bit PC in hardware that won't be cheap and which could be emulated by a $20 SoC board. They should design the retro characteristics they want in software and use one of those cheap SoC boards or design theoretical hardware into an FPGA.

Commander X16 - modern retro computer




Here's an example of a system that uses one of those cheap SoC boards. I've told this company I'm not at all interested in a VIC20/C64 clone, but would love an Amiga 600 clone [to save them money on the case and keyboard] which could emulate a 500/600/1000/1200/2000/4000, all at greater than native speeds using exactly the same cheap SoC board used in their VIC20/C64 clone. I sure hope they have one in the works. They'd sell a bunch of them.:

The C64


 
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BEC

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I agree - I'd be all over an Amiga emulator, especially if it talked to Amiga peripherals (floppy drives in particular). We still have lots of Amiga data and software around (and an A2000 that hasn't been fired up in a very long time, but which has no real place to be set up). All the 8-bit C= stuff is long gone.
 

Winston

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EEVblog #1341 - AMAZING $250,000 IBM Processor TEARDOWN!

Teardown of a ~$250,000 1991 vintage IBM 9121 TCM Processor module from a System/390 ES9000 Enterprise Server mainframe computer. Amazing state of the art 63 layer ceramic hybrid module construction with 2772 pins and 5 micron flatness! 648 pads per chip. 12 micron width, gold plated traces.

 

Winston

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I agree - I'd be all over an Amiga emulator, especially if it talked to Amiga peripherals (floppy drives in particular). We still have lots of Amiga data and software around (and an A2000 that hasn't been fired up in a very long time, but which has no real place to be set up). All the 8-bit C= stuff is long gone.
Comparative speed test at 6:08 and this is with a 2017 model Raspberry Pi:

Is the Raspberry Pi the best Amiga available? [Answer: yes]

 

Winston

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BEC

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Comparative speed test at 6:08 and this is with a 2017 model Raspberry Pi:

Is the Raspberry Pi the best Amiga available? [Answer: yes]

It appears that reading Amiga disks is really the hard part here. At least one of the links from this is now saying "we don't to this any more" - such is the situation several years on. But spending some time on amigaforever.com is teaching me that getting data off disks is the hard part. I'm trying to think if there is an external Amiga drive around here anywhere. I know I have an external for the A2000 that read the old Macintosh disks into the Amiga (the variable speed ones). I MAY have an external drive, now that I think of it. But getting it to talk to any of these emulated pieces of hardware (or Amiga Forever running on a Windows machine) looks like quite the rabbit hole to go down......
 

Winston

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It appears that reading Amiga disks is really the hard part here. At least one of the links from this is now saying "we don't to this any more" - such is the situation several years on. But spending some time on amigaforever.com is teaching me that getting data off disks is the hard part. I'm trying to think if there is an external Amiga drive around here anywhere. I know I have an external for the A2000 that read the old Macintosh disks into the Amiga (the variable speed ones). I MAY have an external drive, now that I think of it. But getting it to talk to any of these emulated pieces of hardware (or Amiga Forever running on a Windows machine) looks like quite the rabbit hole to go down......
I don't know of emulators that can use original Amiga floppy drives, but I'm definitely no expert on that topic, so there might be some kind of relevant interface electronics somewhere.

You must already know this since you're visiting Amiga forums, but most people just use flash cards along with the bazillion floppy conversions on-line already. If you own the original software in the first place I don't see any legal issue with downloading it for use on an emulator.

Just one place with such files:

Software Library: Amiga
13,148 RESULTS


Also, I've seen YouTube videos on how to make your own conversions.
 

Winston

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This meets many of the same goals as the Commander X16 in a more reasonable way, IMO, using an M0 module and costs only $38 shipped. However, I don't see any evidence that the free BASIC compiler contains or ever will contain graphics and sound functions for the uChip.

The uChip, a modern retro game console kit - 10 Feb 2021


uChip Simple VGA Console



Just 68 backers to date after being on Crowd Supply since at least early December 2020, but that more than meets their goal. However, that makes for a horribly small user base:

uChip Simple VGA Console (uSVC) by ITACA Innovation
Portable, DIY, open hardware retro-gaming console


 

Winston

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Turn Your Raspberry Pi 400 Into The Ultimate Amiga!

 

Winston

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eBay steal mentioned at 3:50.

Visit to Antique Wireless Museum


Visit to the Early Television Museum

 

Winston

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Vintage Technology - PHILCO Transistor Manufacturing 1957

 

shockie

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I once worked at an IBM ISSC ( Integrated System Support Corp)facility in Lexington KY that had a 64 node rs6000 cluster...this was in 1993
 
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heada

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I once worked at an IBM ISSC ( Integrated System Support Corp)facility in Lexington KY that had a 64 core rs6000 cluster...this was in 1993
I had a 64 node SP2 cluster of RS/6000 604e high nodes in the late 90s. Each node had 8 CPUs. 56 minute boot times SUCKED!!!
 

shockie

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I had a 64 node SP2 cluster of RS/6000 604e high nodes in the late 90s. Each node had 8 CPUs. 56 minute boot times SUCKED!!!
Heada I edited my post from cores to nodes. My bad. I meant nodes obviously. The 1st time I saw Netscape Navigator it was running on a rs 6000 . I went home and installed Netscape 0.9 beta unto my win 3.1 pc. Late 1994
 
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