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[#] Mon Jan 18 2021 09:50:13 EST from Nurb432

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Funny part is everyone had to pay for a license for office PRO, so everyone had a legal right to have it. but we banned its install unless you could come up with a "we will fail without it" and then you had to agree to migrate away from it.   And it wasn't for any rational reason. Just " we dont want to support their creations ".. Um, technically we didnt anyway.  ( we used to, before a consolation of IT across business units but after that, no.  ).

But it did bring in business for our in-hose dev team, which (over)charges for their work. ( ya, its mostly funny money, but still has to be budgeted/funded/etc )

Sun Jan 17 2021 17:36:31 EST from ParanoidDelusions

Pretty sure I used to be the resident Access expert at the office, until they banned me. :D :D :D

 

Sun Jan 17 2021 17:11:15 EST from Nurb432

You dont need to learn any code to get started.  just take it slow.

I used to be the resident access expert at the office. Until they banned its use. 

 

 

 



 



 



[#] Mon Jan 18 2021 11:54:52 EST from ParanoidDelusions

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Irrational corporate decisions drive me nuts. 

Mon Jan 18 2021 09:50:13 EST from Nurb432

Funny part is everyone had to pay for a license for office PRO, so everyone had a legal right to have it. but we banned its install unless you could come up with a "we will fail without it" and then you had to agree to migrate away from it.   And it wasn't for any rational reason. Just " we dont want to support their creations ".. Um, technically we didnt anyway.  ( we used to, before a consolation of IT across business units but after that, no.  ).

But it did bring in business for our in-hose dev team, which (over)charges for their work. ( ya, its mostly funny money, but still has to be budgeted/funded/etc )

 
 

 



 



[#] Tue Jan 19 2021 08:02:27 EST from Nurb432

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Even worse, we have to deal with legislation nonsense. Power struggles are real and hurt everyone. 

Mon Jan 18 2021 11:54:52 EST from ParanoidDelusions

Irrational corporate decisions drive me nuts. 

 


[#] Thu Jan 21 2021 09:24:21 EST from Nurb432

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having some internet issues today, but our support team wont help.

 



[#] Thu Jan 21 2021 10:03:18 EST from ParanoidDelusions

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LOL. 

"This machine runs mission critical applications for our enterprise. Whaddayamean, "End of lifed?!?" 

 



[#] Thu Jan 21 2021 13:31:16 EST from Nurb432

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Speaking of, in our change meeting earlier today they announced that we are finally puling flash off machines at the enterprise level. Even up to a month ago our periodic security training sessions required flash ( go figure, of all things.. )



[#] Thu Jan 21 2021 21:50:12 EST from ParanoidDelusions

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Ordered a Vampire V4 Standalone from Germany on the 19th. Got it here tonight. As a merchant, I have trouble getting stuff delivered to New York in 5 days through USPS, and shipments from Europe usually take 11 to 18 days. Not sure what magic UPS is doing with Germany - but I was very pleased. 

The device itself is pretty awesome. It is EXPENSIVE, even before the Euro conversion - for a machine dedicated to 68k platforms. It IS FGPA - but the core is designed and dedicated to 68k recreation - and is actually set up as a kind of 68080 prototype. I'm not sure of all the technical details - if it would be possible to have it run non 68k cores, if the 68080 core could be run on the MiSTer or other FPGA devices - but it is a very unique thing in the Amiga/FPGA world. In the past, they've made accelerators - and as the FPGA core replaces the genuine 68k CPU, it is contentious if those are still "real" Amigas or just FPGA devices in Amiga cases. At any rate - it is pretty cool, right out of the box. A modern Amiga on a genuine code compatible 68k core that can run full MPEG videos, MP3 music, surf the web, but is code compatible back to the original 68k machines. That is an i5 under the LCD, but the little box in front of it with the red bat logo is basically more powerful than the fastest Amiga 4000. Kinda excited to play with this. 

It is actually a lot more computer than I thought it was going to be.



[#] Fri Jan 22 2021 09:19:36 EST from Nurb432

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Sounds a bit like the firebee ( Atari ) 

Tho they are using the FPGA for 'peripheral' chips like blitter and sound, but a true CPU for well, the CPU.  A coldfire, which my understanding was to be a more modern 68k series.   thought about getting one more than once, but they are also expensive. Far more than i want to spend on a toy i may use once in a blue moon.

 

Shipping... same problem i have. however, i bought a new e-ink reader ( go figure :) ) and it came from mainland china in ONE day..  I watched the updates as it moved, and i could not believe it.  Mainland, to HK, to Alaska, then to my door in the Midwest in a day. Normally even customs takes longer than that ...



[#] Fri Jan 22 2021 10:18:21 EST from ParanoidDelusions

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The sudden rapid increase in international shipments along with domestic shipments getting *worse* could be a troubling sign, actually. 

Yeah. They've done some amazing things with FPGA - but, custom FPGA solutions *are* expensive. 

I have an FPGA Colecovision, the Colectorvision, that was $199. 

I've got an FPGA 1541-II "disk drive" that was $250. 

This is why the MiSTer is such a bargain. The DE-10 Nano is an FPGA education board that is price subsidized by Intel. The MiSTer is a *project* that is built off that board. It cuts about $200 off building it from a custom FPGA. 

But... this Vampire thing is incredible. It takes the Amiga and evolves it to the point where it is possible to do some modern applications. I wouldn't say it is on par with a modern intel Core or even ARM CPU - but... it is the closest thing out there that you could probably use for some "daily driver" roles. 

I'll post a full review on my blog and website once I get some time to really dig into it. 

 

Fri Jan 22 2021 09:19:36 EST from Nurb432

Sounds a bit like the firebee ( Atari ) 

Tho they are using the FPGA for 'peripheral' chips like blitter and sound, but a true CPU for well, the CPU.  A coldfire, which my understanding was to be a more modern 68k series.   thought about getting one more than once, but they are also expensive. Far more than i want to spend on a toy i may use once in a blue moon.

 

Shipping... same problem i have. however, i bought a new e-ink reader ( go figure :) ) and it came from mainland china in ONE day..  I watched the updates as it moved, and i could not believe it.  Mainland, to HK, to Alaska, then to my door in the Midwest in a day. Normally even customs takes longer than that ...



 



[#] Thu Jan 28 2021 14:55:58 EST from Nurb432

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just read today that Xilinx opened in 1984. i did NOT know it was that early.



[#] Fri Jan 29 2021 10:29:59 EST from ParanoidDelusions

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My latest blog, on the V4 68080 FPGA Amiga computer... 

https://donovancolbert.blogspot.com/2021/01/the-apollo-v4-future-of-amiga.html

 



[#] Fri Jan 29 2021 13:02:45 EST from Nurb432

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will have to check it out this weekend. 

Fri Jan 29 2021 10:29:59 EST from ParanoidDelusions

My latest blog, on the V4 68080 FPGA Amiga computer... 

https://donovancolbert.blogspot.com/2021/01/the-apollo-v4-future-of-amiga.html

 



 



[#] Fri Jan 29 2021 15:24:00 EST from ParanoidDelusions

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Allot yourself a chunk of time. It went longer than I like them to go - but I had a lot of thoughts going on. 

 

Fri Jan 29 2021 13:02:45 EST from Nurb432

will have to check it out this weekend. 

 


[#] Sat Jan 30 2021 20:19:33 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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I have thought for a while that the real cyberpunk counter-oligarchy insurgency of hackers will occur with cobbled together retro-machines.

They're machines you can understand, down to the registers. If there is a component on the logic board that doesn't belong, a relative layperson can recognize it. The code is small and concise enough a single person can review it - and it operates through channels that seem like backwaters to the all seeing eye of Government. It flies under the radar. 

A fellow who drops in here occasionally was working on a computer project built to those exact standards.

https://kestrelcomputer.github.io/kestrel/

I don't know whatever came of it, as both he and the project went silent about three years ago.  He was using a RISC-V processor surrounded by some FPGA logic and a custom operating system.  It looks like a very cool project.   If anyone ever manages to figure out where he went, tell him that there are some new folks on Uncensored who would love to hear from him.



[#] Sun Jan 31 2021 10:33:30 EST from Nurb432

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I remember that, he did sort of vanish.



[#] Sun Jan 31 2021 23:20:26 EST from ParanoidDelusions

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So, I've been um... Manpillows Deep in the V4 since it arrived on Thursday. 

I had a friend, Samir - who designed chips for Intel. Evidently Intel does a lot of collaboration with Siemens. 

You could get Samir going by mentioning "German efficiency." It would create an inevitable rant about, 

"The Germans suck at documentation!" Every time, it was a 30 minute sermon about how they believe that out-of-context technical documents with no explanation of their relevance to actual real world application constitute "documentation". That when told that they didn't have documentation, they would respond, "yes we do, you must not have read it," or imply that it wasn't the documentation that was lacking, it was the reader's experience with understanding the documentation. 

I always found it vaguely... racist. I mean - he was angry at ALL German people - not just Siemens - and pretty much bluntly said this was an epidemic with EVERY German he ever dealt with. 

It was amusing though. His anger over this was *passionate* - and he isn't a very angry person. If you got a few drinks and got him wound up about this... it was this little chubby Indian guy with a New Jersey accent ranting about the incompetency of Germans in writing tech documents that could go on all night. 

Now... 

Now I know. 

Samir was not wrong. 

It isn't that they're not trying. It is that... I don't know... I have experienced this. Germans are likely to go, "you didn't know this thing? It is obvious. Are you stupid?" when the topic is... complex molecular interactions between enzymes and proteins in a vacuum during a solar storm... But also about the correct temperture to bake a strudel at.  

I think part of it is a language gap - and language gaps are often "thought gaps". Spanish speaking people think about things *differently* than English speakers, and it shows up in their language. Different emphasis, different order, some things they process quicker, in more direct language - other things are difficult to even say... and I mean, common phrases - because there are a thousand flowery ways to say it that are all metaphors or other strange things where the words said aren't apparently ANYTHING to do with the thought being conveyed. 

But as an example... and I know part of this is a universal development challenge that we see here too... there is this thing called V4BL - it is a multiboot system for the V4. I won't go into a deep dive. It allows you to set up multiple OSes and ROMs and switch easily between them. 

The guy has a 50 page PDF of *slides*, each slide is one page... and it discusses in detail the difficult, unlikely to be used, less efficient way of setting it up. It mentions the preferred way - but doesn't really have a lot of detail - and a lot of what it teaches you - you do something almost the exact OPPOSITE to do it the easy way. There isn't any stress on, "This is the hard way - the way preferable way is to do the Easy-Install". Or if it is - the stress on it gets lost in translation. 

So, it seems overwhelming and gargantuan in scope - very intimidating - when the easy way really is pretty straight forward and pain free - just poorly documented. 

To the guy's credit - he acknowledged the easy-install version is badly documented and he wants help. I've got another CF card on the way so I can document the process with screen shots (and now that I've got my feet wet, I can do some of the parts I skipped, so I need to do it again anyhow...) 

And that is just one example. I bought the V4, it said it had a Euro/World plug. I opened up the package, there was a USB psu transformer in there, only German text on the box - no other mention of it in any of the documentation. I read the German, and saw it said something about Euro/US steckdosen... and sent pictures to my former german exchange student who said, "It sounds like the EU plugs slide off and there are US plugs underneath it." Emboldened, I started pushing and prodding until it moved and then I slid off the German prongs and revealed US prongs underneath it. 

I mentioned this in the Discord chat and about 4 other US customers who had just bought replacement USB plugs chimed in going, "Well I'll be damned. I missed that! I just did it, and you're right. I paid $20 for a replacement from Amazon!" 

The Germans kind of responded with, "are you Americans idiots?" 

And I understand why. When you look closely, on the black transformer, in black text, with black arrows, there is a little imprint that says "push", right where you would push to slide the EU prongs off. 

But - I don't think they really conceptualize that we live in a country that sprawls from Wisconsin to the tip of Texas, From New England to San Diego - and everything is standardized across almost every inch of that expanse. 

Some of the Nations in Europe are a little bigger than some CITIES in Texas, and until relatively recently were all surrounded by different countries that all had completely different standards. 

I dunno. It has been an adventure - but it has also been overwhelming. So... like when I was really immersed in getting Citadel on a public IP and a registered domain name resolving to that and moving it from Pi to Intel... I've been living this V4 from dawn to dusk. 

The MiSTer is so popular and well covered by the community - and there is such a huge American segment of that community - that I guess I got kind of spoiled in knowing there were web pages and YouTube videos and groups and forums and lots of answers. 

This is a pretty new product and appeals to a much smaller niche of enthusiasts and the BULK of the Amiga community is in Europe - where the computer thrived for years after it was dead in the US. So... 

But I've made some good progress - and the thing is worth the effort. It is frickin' Amazing. Their goal was to move the Amiga forward as if development had never ceased - and I think they've done that. It feels on par with pretty powerful Pentium systems - the kinds of things we were doing then... the dawn of videos and music and 3D gaming being practical on a home PC. Like what an Amiga would have been like around 1998-2002. 

But it has made me very inactive here, on my own BBS, and at other locations. Spending a lot of time figuring this out. 

 



[#] Wed Feb 03 2021 15:45:29 EST from Nurb432

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For you Amiga fans ( you know who you are ) ran across this today

 

https://taws.ch/WB.html



[#] Thu Feb 04 2021 00:10:24 EST from ParanoidDelusions

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That is awesome sauce. :) 

 

Wed Feb 03 2021 15:45:29 EST from Nurb432

For you Amiga fans ( you know who you are ) ran across this today

 

https://taws.ch/WB.html



 



[#] Tue Mar 09 2021 16:38:48 EST from IGnatius T Foobar

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I remember that, he did sort of vanish.

It gets weirder. A few days after we had this conversation, he posted the following:

"This project is now archived, due to Raptor Engineering Releases Kestrel, The bFirst Open-HDL/Open Firmware BMCb, which I read on 2021 Feb 09. I cannot risk legal action from Raptor Engineering, especially considering how much our respective projects overlap. b Samuel A. Falvo II, 2021 Feb 09"

Same name, many of the same design details, completely different purpose.
An open spec BMC is a useful idea, but it's not the same thing as a fully open spec general purpose computer.

It was an ambitious project, but it looked doable. How might one begin such a project today? If the objective is to build a general purpose computer that anyone can assemble from royalty-free components, emphasizing that aspect over and above any need for extreme speed, what would it look like?

One might consider something ridiculously simple like an I2C bus (maximum 5 Mbps and 127 devices) with each peripheral device containing some onboard intelligence to do its job. This would end up being almost exactly like the design of the Commodore 64 serial bus, but a lot faster. Devices could be attached modularly, using a common format to exchange data over the bus.

[#] Tue Mar 09 2021 18:21:29 EST from Nurb432

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All the pieces are there to create a risc-ish system now in FPGA out at opencores, and of course other projects.   And you can find reasonably priced ( under 500 ) boards that could handle it and be useful.   Not saying that an umbrella project to coordinate everything and bring it together would be a bad thing, but if you *want* to do it you can.

 

Speaking of, i still need to flash that Pano i got with a z80 core + cp/m   Just been too lazy to open it up to get to the JTAG port



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