A little project that I have been working on....

Discussion about old PC hardware.

Re: Depression is a bitch, yet this is what I have been working on....

Postby r00tb33r » 2019-11-22 @ 06:07

brostenen wrote:
r00tb33r wrote:
brostenen wrote:I am a bit confused here. Why not just buy an Amiga500++ board. One of them reproduction ones. All you need is the custom chips them self. As they are not produced anymore. That way you can solder and build a brand spanking new a500 Plus machine.

Why would I need another A500? I've already got two.

The point of the project is to re-create Amiga architecture in a homebrew fashion using CPLDs, MCUs, etc, and using none of the original custom chips. I also don't aim for 100% software compatibility. Because I want to run my bus faster than 7MHz (hoping to reach 18MHz) I will also have to forego EPROM and Flash equivalents and replace it with SRAM and a loader MCU that will hold RESET and initialize it at boot time. It will be M68000 based, as I want to maintain the 16-bit bus for design elegance and simplicity. I do anticipate including an IDE controller. The video circuit will be natively VGA-like in terms of signal timings, with modes with and without scandoubling. It will be Franken-ECS, not AGA, but also having more features than plain ECS. Those are just some of the features of the design.

Anyway, you don't to "get" it. I just like working with PLDs. :cool:


That will be hard. I mean really hard. And why not have a third Amiga? I have 4 of them already, and I am planning to get at least two more. I have enough PC's and C64's as it is right now (one Breadbin, one Model-C, one 286, four 486's, one Pentium1 and one Pentium3)

Well, I have Computer Engineering education, so I like picking apart old architectures (because they're simpler). Amiga is really cool, it had a lot of things going for it, be it unified memory architecture, the fancy but practical video circuit, the fancy operating system (intentionally vague on it's features), respectable sound, etc. But everywhere where the cheap A500 excelled, it also fell short as a workstation architecture. Around 1990 it no longer made sense to use television-based video modes in a computer, yet Amiga's architecture was designed around TV signal timings. No higher (practical) resolutions, no non-interlaced modes. High density floppies never became common on Amiga, and the ones that were available are a bit of an abomination (dual rotational speeds, WTF?). No chunky pixel video modes. No sound sampling rates that are CD-like (44.1KHz or multiples of it). Sure, you can install cards that remedy some of those points, but at what point do you replace most of the hardware architecture that makes Amiga the Amiga? It just becomes a generic M68K computer, which were actually very common back in the day.

So rather than wanting another Amiga, I want an Amiga like it should have been, or could have been. In my project I will be able to make it a little bit more relevant. For example as I mentioned earlier, I intend to dump TV-based video signal in favor of VGA-like. Sometimes using built-in scandoubling (the address generator will make the Denise equivalent read the same scanline data twice), sometimes with new progressive video modes. I will probably include an interrupt generator that will produce interrupts that will make CD-quality audio more practical to implement, and might extend the DAC to more bits if I feel the need to. I also intend to implement an Ethernet controller based on ENC28J60, because I feel floppies and CDs aren't relevant anymore, though a hard drive is still desirable. Implemeting a minimalistic IP stack will be a major undertaking on it's own. I am planning on a 2MB all Chip RAM configuration, since I consider the unified memory architecture one of the strengths of the simpler Amiga models.

So vanilla Amiga I like studying, but I don't really like using it all that much. Re-imagining it is more fun for me.

By the way, I do like your Amiga project(s). I'll do my best to follow your blog.

PS Sorry about the callous attidude toward your problem, I also have Asperger's and actually do have trouble with daily funtioning. I can barely get myself to work and back, and I live alone, and I do a pretty poor job of keeping my household straight. And I'm in that dreaded hole where I am no longer able to enjoy the things I once enjoyed doing. So I haven't actually done anything related to my hobby for about a year. Nowadays I don't feel like doing anything when I get home after work. My engineering job mostly deals with custom software for broadcast industry. If I had more energy perhaps I would have gotten something better for myself. Call it defiance, but I do not consider myself depressed, or rather I refuse to recognize it as being a thing.
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Re: Depression is a bitch, yet this is what I have been working on....

Postby r00tb33r » 2019-11-22 @ 06:21

Anonymous Coward wrote:Whatever you do, don't take the pills.

As a teenager I was mis-diagnosed with ADHD and was given Strattera. Those few months I was taking the pills were not a good time.

Understanding the condition and exerting yourself works better in the long term.
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Re: Depression is a bitch, yet this is what I have been working on....

Postby gdjacobs » 2019-11-22 @ 06:33

Anonymous Coward wrote:Whatever you do, don't take the pills.

For some people it's helpful (along with other coping mechanisms). For some it's essential. For other people, some families of medication can be ineffective or even problematic. If that happens, there's usually other options with the potential of working better, although in rare cases no medication will be viable.

Mental disease is probably the most difficult thing to diagnose and treat as most of the symptoms are only evident to the patient. For that reason, pills or no pills it's important to have people (physicians, nurses, pharmacists, therapists, etc.) who can communicate well with you who you can trust.
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Re: Depression is a bitch, yet this is what I have been working on....

Postby Caluser2000 » 2019-11-22 @ 07:30

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Re: Depression is a bitch, yet this is what I have been working on....

Postby HanJammer » 2019-11-22 @ 10:24

Anonymous Coward wrote:I used to think I had Asperger's, but then I found out I was actually just Slav.


;D

Anonymous Coward wrote:Whatever you do, don't take the pills.


I don't know about asperger pills, but for depression...
Vitamin D is essential - most people have deficiencies and taking it can't really do any harm, but can actually really improve your frame of mind.
Stuff like Xanax or Lerivon is a different story, still I wouldn't go against doctor's recommendations.
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Re: Depression is a bitch, yet this is what I have been working on....

Postby brostenen » 2019-11-22 @ 11:12

Merovign wrote:Tough row to hoe, dude. Keep on top of it and take care of it so you can keep doing everything else like this project!


Thanks.
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Re: Depression is a bitch, yet this is what I have been working on....

Postby brostenen » 2019-11-22 @ 11:13

Anonymous Coward wrote:I used to think I had Asperger's, but then I found out I was actually just Slav.
Whatever you do, don't take the pills.


Well... I have to take those vitamins and folic acid, as the doctor said that I need it. So I will keep taking them.
Don't eat stuff off a 15 year old never cleaned cpu cooler.
Those cakes make you sick....

My blog: http://to9xct.blogspot.dk

001100 010010 011110 100001 101101 110011

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Re: Depression is a bitch, yet this is what I have been working on....

Postby brostenen » 2019-11-22 @ 11:30

r00tb33r wrote:Well, I have Computer Engineering education, so I like picking apart old architectures (because they're simpler). Amiga is really cool, it had a lot of things going for it, be it unified memory architecture, the fancy but practical video circuit, the fancy operating system (intentionally vague on it's features), respectable sound, etc. But everywhere where the cheap A500 excelled, it also fell short as a workstation architecture. Around 1990 it no longer made sense to use television-based video modes in a computer, yet Amiga's architecture was designed around TV signal timings. No higher (practical) resolutions, no non-interlaced modes. High density floppies never became common on Amiga, and the ones that were available are a bit of an abomination (dual rotational speeds, WTF?). No chunky pixel video modes. No sound sampling rates that are CD-like (44.1KHz or multiples of it). Sure, you can install cards that remedy some of those points, but at what point do you replace most of the hardware architecture that makes Amiga the Amiga? It just becomes a generic M68K computer, which were actually very common back in the day.

So rather than wanting another Amiga, I want an Amiga like it should have been, or could have been. In my project I will be able to make it a little bit more relevant. For example as I mentioned earlier, I intend to dump TV-based video signal in favor of VGA-like. Sometimes using built-in scandoubling (the address generator will make the Denise equivalent read the same scanline data twice), sometimes with new progressive video modes. I will probably include an interrupt generator that will produce interrupts that will make CD-quality audio more practical to implement, and might extend the DAC to more bits if I feel the need to. I also intend to implement an Ethernet controller based on ENC28J60, because I feel floppies and CDs aren't relevant anymore, though a hard drive is still desirable. Implemeting a minimalistic IP stack will be a major undertaking on it's own. I am planning on a 2MB all Chip RAM configuration, since I consider the unified memory architecture one of the strengths of the simpler Amiga models.

So vanilla Amiga I like studying, but I don't really like using it all that much. Re-imagining it is more fun for me.

By the way, I do like your Amiga project(s). I'll do my best to follow your blog.

PS Sorry about the callous attidude toward your problem, I also have Asperger's and actually do have trouble with daily funtioning. I can barely get myself to work and back, and I live alone, and I do a pretty poor job of keeping my household straight. And I'm in that dreaded hole where I am no longer able to enjoy the things I once enjoyed doing. So I haven't actually done anything related to my hobby for about a year. Nowadays I don't feel like doing anything when I get home after work. My engineering job mostly deals with custom software for broadcast industry. If I had more energy perhaps I would have gotten something better for myself. Call it defiance, but I do not consider myself depressed, or rather I refuse to recognize it as being a thing.


True. It was a great system, and it still is a great system. Arcitecture wise. That said, then the Amiga have evolved, just like any other platform that are in use today. The Amiga today, is basically more or less the operating system. You know. Deve Haynie was kind of working on an Amiga system back in 1994, that was in no way directly hardware compatible with OCS/ECS/AGA. I am thinking about the NYX board. So even back then, at Commodore, they knew that the old chipsets were obsolete and something new had to be invented.

Sounds like you are nearly burned out. You know... It happens with Aspergrs. First depression and then burned out. I did burn out around 2013, and it was not fun. First depression, then burning out. Take care dude.
Don't eat stuff off a 15 year old never cleaned cpu cooler.
Those cakes make you sick....

My blog: http://to9xct.blogspot.dk

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Re: Depression is a bitch, yet this is what I have been working on....

Postby brostenen » 2019-11-22 @ 11:41

gdjacobs wrote:
Anonymous Coward wrote:Whatever you do, don't take the pills.

For some people it's helpful (along with other coping mechanisms). For some it's essential. For other people, some families of medication can be ineffective or even problematic. If that happens, there's usually other options with the potential of working better, although in rare cases no medication will be viable.

Mental disease is probably the most difficult thing to diagnose and treat as most of the symptoms are only evident to the patient. For that reason, pills or no pills it's important to have people (physicians, nurses, pharmacists, therapists, etc.) who can communicate well with you who you can trust.


Well... For autism and any other thing on the spectrum. There is no medication. It is a syndrome. Or more acurate, a handicap. The thing is, that one is born with it, there is no cure and one will enter the grave with it. It does not infect other people. Yet one can have other diagnosis on top of it, and Aspergers can just as well be a secondaery diagnose.

Like my daughter. She have ADD as the primaery and Aspergers as the secondaery. Medicine have resulted in the aspergers coming in front of the ADD, as the ADD are in a way sleeping. My son have Autism as the primaery one, and ADHD as the secondaery diagnose. His medicine have resulted in him more aware on school and he is learning faster. The same with my daughter, she have more energy now, and she have actually begun to learn how to read at the age of 11.

Yet for me. There is no medication of any kind, as I am only batteling with Aspergers. The only thing that I can do, is do plan my life ahead and be aware on my self.
Don't eat stuff off a 15 year old never cleaned cpu cooler.
Those cakes make you sick....

My blog: http://to9xct.blogspot.dk

001100 010010 011110 100001 101101 110011

Jah ich will trynen... Die Leute wie macht scheisse in dem Grünen.
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Re: Depression is a bitch, yet this is what I have been working on....

Postby brostenen » 2019-11-22 @ 11:44

Anyway guys.... I was not prepared to talk about depressing stuff. Or conditions, nor diagnosis. The primaery reason for starting this tread, was to show my Amiga500-Desktop convertion project.
Don't eat stuff off a 15 year old never cleaned cpu cooler.
Those cakes make you sick....

My blog: http://to9xct.blogspot.dk

001100 010010 011110 100001 101101 110011

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Re: Depression is a bitch, yet this is what I have been working on....

Postby looking4awayout » 2019-11-22 @ 13:24

I've been suffering of a severe form of depression, alongside Asperger, since almost twenty years. Life is not easy for me as well for everyone who faces this, but heh, I guess surviving is the key, and I try to survive.

Besides this, I have been always an Amiga fan, and I really look forward to see how the machine will turn out.
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Re: Depression is a bitch, yet this is what I have been working on....

Postby brostenen » 2019-11-22 @ 14:10

looking4awayout wrote:Besides this, I have been always an Amiga fan, and I really look forward to see how the machine will turn out.


Thanks... I am missing to finish up the keyboard. It was one of them old membrane ones that had died. Basically it will live on, just as an Amiga keyboard. Then I am after one of them scandoublers for my project. I have two choices for a solution. One being an IndivisionECS-V2 and the other being a ScanPlusECS. The difference is that the Indi can output a 62-ish to 75-ish hz refresh signal. And it has tons of settings. Really hard to set up propperly, if one does not know how to do it. The setup tool is not the easiest to work with. The ScanPlusECS are fixed to 50hz refresh rate, yet it has no tool or settings, so it is a more pure PNP solution if you like. I have both. The ScanPlusECS in my 500-Turbo-Edition, and in my Amiga600, I have the IndivisionECS-V2.

As for refresh rates... The thing that concerns me the most. In order to get butter smooth scrolling, you need the signal to be at 50hz refresh rate on the Amiga. As an example, then the Indi will have this non-smooth scrolling in the scrolling text of Pinball Dreams. You know, the text that scrolls from bottom to top, during the intro of the game. And the game will not be smooth when it is scrolling up and down. When using the ScanPlusECS, then it is extremely butter smooth. Just like a real 15khz Amiga CRT monitor. On the Indi you can set resolutions, on the ScanPlus you can not. Colours are 99% correct reproduced on the ScanPlus, yet the Indi have a slight off to the colours. Yet that can be fixed by the monitors settings. One last hurdle, is that I am using flatscreen monitors exclusively, and I only have one that can do 50hz refresh rate. It is a Sony monitor, and it is actually pretty cool. The IBM Thinkvision that I have, are perfect on the IndivisionECS-V2.

So it is a dilemma that I have. Should I go for the ScanPlusECS or the IndivisionECS-V2? ScanPlusECS are cheaper and gives the perfect image and experience when gaming, yet the IndivisionECS-V2 have more settings and are more future proof.
Don't eat stuff off a 15 year old never cleaned cpu cooler.
Those cakes make you sick....

My blog: http://to9xct.blogspot.dk

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Re: Depression is a bitch, yet this is what I have been working on....

Postby BloodyCactus » 2019-11-22 @ 16:20

I would get neither and get OSSC instead.
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Re: Depression is a bitch, yet this is what I have been working on....

Postby brostenen » 2019-11-22 @ 16:27

BloodyCactus wrote:I would get neither and get OSSC instead.


I need it to be internal and not external.
Don't eat stuff off a 15 year old never cleaned cpu cooler.
Those cakes make you sick....

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Re: Depression is a bitch, yet this is what I have been working on....

Postby swaaye » 2019-11-22 @ 17:14

brostenen wrote:Anyway guys.... I was not prepared to talk about depressing stuff. Or conditions, nor diagnosis. The primaery reason for starting this tread, was to show my Amiga500-Desktop convertion project.

You should rename the thread then. This is going to go into Milliways territory.
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Re: Depression is a bitch, yet this is what I have been working on....

Postby Warlord » 2019-11-22 @ 18:01

we would of never knowed about it if the title wasn't depressing.
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Re: Depression is a bitch, yet this is what I have been working on....

Postby brostenen » 2019-11-22 @ 23:09

swaaye wrote:You should rename the thread then.


Done... :-)

swaaye wrote:This is going to go into Milliways territory.


Why? It is about old hardware.
Don't eat stuff off a 15 year old never cleaned cpu cooler.
Those cakes make you sick....

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001100 010010 011110 100001 101101 110011

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Re: Depression is a bitch, yet this is what I have been working on....

Postby gdjacobs » 2019-11-25 @ 02:46

brostenen wrote:Well... For autism and any other thing on the spectrum. There is no medication. It is a syndrome. Or more acurate, a handicap. The thing is, that one is born with it, there is no cure and one will enter the grave with it. It does not infect other people. Yet one can have other diagnosis on top of it, and Aspergers can just as well be a secondaery diagnose.

True, although I was addressing comments about depression and ADD. Whatever helps you manage your life (outside of harming others) is just fine by me.

This project, btw, is pretty nuts. Did you just have the parts hanging around or were you looking for a stealth build?
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Re: Depression is a bitch, yet this is what I have been working on....

Postby brostenen » 2019-11-25 @ 04:55

gdjacobs wrote:True, although I was addressing comments about depression and ADD. Whatever helps you manage your life (outside of harming others) is just fine by me.


Ahhh.... That explains. :-)

gdjacobs wrote:This project, btw, is pretty nuts. Did you just have the parts hanging around or were you looking for a stealth build?


Thanks. :-)
It is a bit nuts. Yeah. I have had all sorts of comments, like why this that there is no space for a CD-Rom controller and stuff. When in reality, they have not realised that I have a HDD-Adaptor in the machine that can take a Master/Slave configuration. And it kind of pisses me off, that people do not take the time to read the story, as I have put so much work into the text. And because I translate realtime from Danish to English in my head as I write it. (You know, writing as I translate, without the use of dictionaery or something like that)

As for the parts, then I did have some parts on hand. Others have been bought specifically for it. The one that I had, that started it all. Was the case. If you read the text that I wrote in my blog, then I have explained that I had an empty case under my desk and I stumbeled over a Rev6 mother/system-board for a fair price on eBay. I had the kickstart switcher as well on hand, and all the Roms too. HDD and CD-Rom drive was also what I had in store.

I think I had aprox 50 percent and bought the other 50 percent specifically for this franken-miggy.
Don't eat stuff off a 15 year old never cleaned cpu cooler.
Those cakes make you sick....

My blog: http://to9xct.blogspot.dk

001100 010010 011110 100001 101101 110011

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Re: Depression is a bitch, yet this is what I have been working on....

Postby brostenen » 2019-11-25 @ 05:09

gdjacobs wrote:stealth build?


I don't know that term! :-(
Don't eat stuff off a 15 year old never cleaned cpu cooler.
Those cakes make you sick....

My blog: http://to9xct.blogspot.dk

001100 010010 011110 100001 101101 110011

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