Author Topic: Amstrad CPC "Mini"  (Read 12322 times)

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Offline SkulleateR

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Re: Amstrad CPC "Mini"
« Reply #25 on: 16:04, 24 December 19 »
Some of the bundled games should match high quality standards to get this going, but I think the overall list of games is a secondary goal.


The first impression of the "CPC Mini" will decide for the customer about to buy or not to buy .... and that's definitely this "ready-to-go" thingy  ;)

Offline Amstradan

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Re: Amstrad CPC "Mini"
« Reply #26 on: 16:06, 24 December 19 »
Yes, it definitely should be "ready-to-use" like :open box -> connect PSU and HDMI -> turn on TV and "CPC-Mini" -> GO !That is what would sell such a beauty, other people who love to fiddle around with technics/PCB/anything already got a Rasp Pi I guess  :P 
Exactly what I would want to play myself if I'm honest! Some sort of launcher or similar system or the Locomotive BASIC UI on boot. The C64 Mini works this way and it's really cool.

Offline Amstradan

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Re: Amstrad CPC "Mini"
« Reply #27 on: 16:09, 24 December 19 »
Some of the bundled games should match high quality standards to get this going, but I think the overall list of games is a secondary goal.


The first impression of the "CPC Mini" will decide for the customer about to buy or not to buy .... and that's definitely this "ready-to-go" thingy  ;)


Yeh totally.


As an update I had my first conversation on this topic today with someone I know at Sky. She seemed interested (her first reaction was actually "OK, so we'd do a revenue share on the license?") and said she would find the right people in the IP/Legal team to answer the questions about the Amstrad brand, the hardware design protection and Amsoft titles in January...


Progress made!

Offline Gryzor

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Re: Amstrad CPC "Mini"
« Reply #28 on: 17:52, 24 December 19 »
Oooh...

Offline dragon

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Re: Amstrad CPC "Mini"
« Reply #29 on: 22:02, 24 December 19 »

Yeh totally.


As an update I had my first conversation on this topic today with someone I know at Sky. She seemed interested (her first reaction was actually "OK, so we'd do a revenue share on the license?") and said she would find the right people in the IP/Legal team to answer the questions about the Amstrad brand, the hardware design protection and Amsoft titles in January...


Progress made!


Mmm, that's a complicate thing. Because every country  probably have her favorite games and probably not by am soft.


I am sure here you need implicated dinamic,opera soft and other older  company's. And find where are the rights. Same from France etc etc..


And you need an emulator adapted to the device.
« Last Edit: 22:50, 24 December 19 by dragon »

Offline SkulleateR

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Re: Amstrad CPC "Mini"
« Reply #30 on: 23:04, 24 December 19 »
And you need an emulator adapted to the device.


Not quite, if you do a real "CPC Mini" you will rebuild the chips in a FPGA ;)


And even if you use a already available mini computer like Rasp Pi, the point is not to see anything from the emulator in the first look when you connect and power it on  8)

Offline GUNHED

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Re: Amstrad CPC "Mini"
« Reply #31 on: 02:45, 25 December 19 »
Absolutely! Hardware, not software.  :)
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Offline Amstradan

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Re: Amstrad CPC "Mini"
« Reply #32 on: 11:25, 26 December 19 »

Mmm, that's a complicate thing. Because every country  probably have her favorite games and probably not by am soft.



Agreed. I think the Amsoft titles are a good "base load" of software if I can get hold of it, as was their original purpose in 1984.

I guess the question is what software would be compelling in each territory, or globally? Some kind of survey is in my near future I reckon... :)
« Last Edit: 11:30, 26 December 19 by Amstradan »

Offline Amstradan

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Re: Amstrad CPC "Mini"
« Reply #33 on: 11:37, 26 December 19 »

Not quite, if you do a real "CPC Mini" you will rebuild the chips in a FPGA ;)


And even if you use a already available mini computer like Rasp Pi, the point is not to see anything from the emulator in the first look when you connect and power it on  8)


So I suppose the question is what noticeable / meaningful difference is there between rebuilding the original tin in an FPGA over building an Amstrad-like UI on top of a raspPI and booting direct into that on powerup.


I'm assuming the FPGA option takes longer and is more complicated to do / is a less common skillset to hire (I only have limited experience with FPGA/SOC design and build) but will provide a "truer" CPC experience in the OS, but is all that extra effort and cost worth it in performance of the games and software vs a quality and tuned emulator on a raspPI?


What do you think?

Online TotO

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Re: Amstrad CPC "Mini"
« Reply #34 on: 11:57, 26 December 19 »
Before thinking about a CPC Mini, it will be nice to have some good CRTC implementations to properly run all programs.
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Offline GUNHED

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Re: Amstrad CPC "Mini"
« Reply #35 on: 17:22, 26 December 19 »
Absolutely!  :)
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Offline Amstradan

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Re: Amstrad CPC "Mini"
« Reply #36 on: 19:12, 26 December 19 »
Before thinking about a CPC Mini, it will be nice to have some good CRTC implementations to properly run all programs.


Hey @TotO  - please can you educate me about what CRTC implementations means? Just learning as I go here so please assume I know nothing!

Offline SkulleateR

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Re: Amstrad CPC "Mini"
« Reply #37 on: 20:54, 26 December 19 »
Hmmm, maybe we don't have to go far ... isn't there an Amstrad FPGA Core for the ZXUno ???

Offline Amstradan

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Re: Amstrad CPC "Mini"
« Reply #38 on: 21:39, 26 December 19 »
Hmmm, maybe we don't have to go far ... isn't there an Amstrad FPGA Core for the ZXUno ???


@SkulleateR is this what you meant? Looks pretty cool...



http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/FPGAmstrad
« Last Edit: 21:47, 26 December 19 by Amstradan »

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Offline Gryzor

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Re: Amstrad CPC "Mini"
« Reply #40 on: 10:17, 27 December 19 »
MiST has its own CPC core too.

Offline Lone

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Re: Amstrad CPC "Mini"
« Reply #41 on: 15:00, 27 December 19 »

Not quite, if you do a real "CPC Mini" you will rebuild the chips in a FPGA ;)


And even if you use a already available mini computer like Rasp Pi, the point is not to see anything from the emulator in the first look when you connect and power it on  8)


You can use an emulation core, with no OS at all : It will look almost like it directly boot from the CPC itself.
I made a sort of Proof of Concept of it, with Sugarbox core build for Raspberry pi 3, without any OS.
A short demo can be shown here


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sj5ZJMNrLQ


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Re: Amstrad CPC "Mini"
« Reply #42 on: 16:45, 27 December 19 »
Funny 60Hz speed-up?!  ;D
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Offline GUNHED

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Re: Amstrad CPC "Mini"
« Reply #43 on: 18:09, 27 December 19 »
IMHO it's all about stability... and Windows gives us nightmares. I wouldn't mind a software solution, but my stomach sticks with hardware.

However, it's better not to mix up hardware and software emulation IMHO. On the other hand borders seem to melt.  :)
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Offline dragon

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Re: Amstrad CPC "Mini"
« Reply #44 on: 19:10, 27 December 19 »
Agreed. I think the Amsoft titles are a good "base load" of software if I can get hold of it, as was their original purpose in 1984.

I guess the question is what software would be compelling in each territory, or globally? Some kind of survey is in my near future I reckon... :)


The thing is these days in the amstrad era was know here as the spanish software Golden era. So many famous  games here where  the spanish games.They are gifted with the computer.  Also I not known if they sell well outside spain.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_age_of_Spanish_software

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Re: Amstrad CPC "Mini"
« Reply #45 on: 21:01, 27 December 19 »
Hey @TotO  - please can you educate me about what CRTC implementations means? Just learning as I go here so please assume I know nothing!

Hey @Amstradan - The CRTC (Cathode Ray Tube Controller) is a circuit that, on CPC, combined with the Video GateArray (GA), that handle the Adresses and Data signals to display the data stored into the main RAM. Unlike the GA, the CRTC is a standard component that you can found on any old PC graphic card and manufactured by different brands as Hitachi, Motorola and UMC. On CPC, some models from those manufacturers was used by Amstrad on 464/664 and 6128 range of computers (as some Z80 CPU brands was used like SGS, not only Zilog).

But... When the first games/demo using the CRTC registers to do hardware effects (scrolling I think), it was observed that some CPC not worked properly (more skilled peoples from the demo scene can explain that better than me). So, peoples started to open the CPC to discover that... And CRTC was classified using digits each time the advanced features and compatibility was not the same as expected. Really more informations here: http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/CRTC

To properly emulate all the CRTC used on CPC, it is mainly a timing problem and most of the emulators fail to do that because the Operating System latency. Today, as we know, only ACE does that properly. And we can expect that SugarBox now on Pi can acheive the same and at the best place to be used into a Mini CPC.
« Last Edit: 21:06, 27 December 19 by TotO »
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Offline SkulleateR

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Re: Amstrad CPC "Mini"
« Reply #46 on: 13:50, 28 December 19 »
So let's assume we really want to make a sellable "CPC Mini" for the public, we should consider a reasonable price for it. No one (or at least the most) would not buy a "CPC Mini" for a price of a real CPC +


So it has to be affordable, let's say a maximum of 80€ perhaps.


If you consider that, the MisT is out of play. The only way to achieve such low price would be a RaspPi, maybe a cheap older model, not the 4 with a REAL good emulation with no need to tickle the OS below (even if it´s a real tiny OS).


Or : you will find a really cheap FPGA Board which can be adapted with the FPGAmstrad Core .... but then the chip rebuild inside the FPGA should be perfect

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Re: Amstrad CPC "Mini"
« Reply #47 on: 13:54, 28 December 19 »
Yes, the MiST is expensive, but then again it's built in small numbers and with a big enough FPGA to accommodate bigger systems...

Offline Amstradan

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Re: Amstrad CPC "Mini"
« Reply #48 on: 15:56, 28 December 19 »
Hey @Amstradan - The CRTC (Cathode Ray Tube Controller) is a circuit that, on CPC, combined with the Video GateArray (GA), that handle the Adresses and Data signals to display the data stored into the main RAM. Unlike the GA, the CRTC is a standard component that you can found on any old PC graphic card and manufactured by different brands as Hitachi, Motorola and UMC. On CPC, some models from those manufacturers was used by Amstrad on 464/664 and 6128 range of computers (as some Z80 CPU brands was used like SGS, not only Zilog).

But... When the first games/demo using the CRTC registers to do hardware effects (scrolling I think), it was observed that some CPC not worked properly (more skilled peoples from the demo scene can explain that better than me). So, peoples started to open the CPC to discover that... And CRTC was classified using digits each time the advanced features and compatibility was not the same as expected. Really more informations here: http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/CRTC

To properly emulate all the CRTC used on CPC, it is mainly a timing problem and most of the emulators fail to do that because the Operating System latency. Today, as we know, only ACE does that properly. And we can expect that SugarBox now on Pi can acheive the same and at the best place to be used into a Mini CPC.


Thanks so much for taking the time to explain that to me @TotO - that is a great education!


So your vote would be (if we're going the software emulation route, rather than the FPGA route) for using the SugarPi as @Lone showed in their YouTube clip?

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Re: Amstrad CPC "Mini"
« Reply #49 on: 19:03, 28 December 19 »

So your vote would be (if we're going the software emulation route, rather than the FPGA route) for using the SugarPi as @Lone showed in their YouTube clip?
As all the Mini MAchine are emulator based (Nintendo, Sega, NEC, SNK, Sony, Commodore, ...) I will said yes.
Now, the accuraty will be always on the electronic side, so a day the FPGA solutions will probably do best.
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