last half year, I have been quite busy developing my homebrew system. So far, last weekend I finished the layout of the new pcb. Features are: MC68008 CPU, 4MB DRam, V9990 with 512kb VRam (RGB-, SVideo and composite), two Commodore SID for stereo audio, Floppy controller, IDE controller, RTC, RS232, Parallel port, two Atari style controll ports, 10base-2 ethernet controller and two ps/2 interfaces for keyboard and mouse. The pcb measures 34cmx22cm, so will be quite expensive. Here is a photo-realistic rendered picture of the pcb:
Very nice designed board but, what are you creating, as far as I can see it's part Amiga, MSX, C64, Atari and even part PC ?
Thank you! Right, one could say it's an hybrid computer. As there are only Atari compatible game ports, which where defacto standard back in those days, I would not list Atari here. From PC world I implement ps/2 interfaces for more modern keyboards/mice. For the rest I just picked up things I personally like: I am somehow familiar with 68k asm, I like the sound of the C64 and the V9990 is quite impressive for an 8-bit computer...
I really think there's space in the market for those "bizarre" creations... (and I really like those)
...but only if you consider retro software base compatibility.
For example: If you make it binary compatible with an Amiga (let's say the 500) using all the girls chips: Paula, Denise and etc... you can boot it using workbench 1.3 (which is really great), run a huge amount of games and start your additional creations from a stable base: WB1.3 + Sas C + ...
If you have to start everything from scratch, project will be dead in a few years. It's just too many work for a single person. Even BeBox failed, even SGI failed!
My project is not intended for a market. If so, I would have used more integrated logic with a much smaller pcb footprint to cut down costs. It is a just-for-fun project without any software compatibility. For Amiga there is the Minimig...
From software side, an older prototype runs an basic interpreter (look for my other posts here) which will be reused here. Second, I have a cross gcc for developing in C. The next step would be to provide syscalls to support C++. It's a lifetime project without any deadline. The way is the goal... =)
Even Commodore, Atari and MSX failed at last...
They failed for different reasons. After achieving a nice user database.
As I told you, I love those projects, but most probably you'll give up in a couple of years.
Add mega-drive chips to it and create a "LoadMD.exe" feature to your OS.
Mainly because of commercial reasons, which I don't have. If I give up in a while, it doesn't matter at all. I don't make a living from it and everthing I could reach is much behind a modern system anyway. Again, the way is the goal. Not to rebuilt what is already invented. If I wanted to play MD games, I would buy a MD. =)
I'm curious what kind of system you are using/writing, please keep us updated of your project
As I said before, I'm also interested.
BTW, anyone knows this project: http://www.natami.net/blog/
I really like this statement:
The NatAmi does not revive or copy an A500/A4000. It will be a succeeding Amiga model not done by emulation - it is done by reconstruction. Up-to-date and good performing components are used to retain the efficiency. It will rely on the original philosophy - but remove old limitations.
So far I use Enhanced Basic 68k. After developing the V9990 card last year, I wrote a console output for the Basic, which works pretty fine. I also used to read FAT16 with my IDE prototype, but that card is wire-wraped and not very reliable (any connection under the board got pretty sensitive to presure, after a while using).
As for the developing side, I use Linux tools. gcc as cross compiler, unix68k as cross assembler, Xilinx Webpack for CPLD programming, ... and finaly gEDA for schematics and PCB design.
The board will arrive next week, but there still is much work. E.g. soldering, programming, testing...
Really cool project! Have fun! I'm sure you will
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