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Old 05 August 2014, 00:02   #1341
demolition
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Originally Posted by dirkies View Post
My 2 competition pros have a suzo sticker on the inside. Slam dunk!
Interesting, could you provide a picture? Does it look like the one in the middle on the picture above (which I would consider the most common 'original')?
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Old 05 August 2014, 00:21   #1342
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The very first Competition Pro models were made by Suzo. With metal construction.
http://dykodesigns.woelmuis.nl/suzo_joysticks-en.html
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Competition_Pro
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Old 05 August 2014, 00:36   #1343
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The very first Competition Pro models were made by Suzo. With metal construction.
http://dykodesigns.woelmuis.nl/suzo_joysticks-en.html
Thanks for the link, some interesting reading there. Question is then which version do people think about when we say 'original'? I think the Kempston models would be the original to many people since that is what they had for their C64 or Amiga, while others would say the first Suzo version. The new ones are probably not using a metal core in the stick.
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Old 05 August 2014, 10:44   #1344
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What about dynamics marketing then? ;-)
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Old 05 August 2014, 14:53   #1345
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What about dynamics marketing then? ;-)
I think it's the same design as the Kempston model which was carried on to these new editions from Speedlink?
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Old 05 August 2014, 20:34   #1346
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Originally Posted by Schoenfeld View Post
The SCPU results were provided by users. We have none of the two SCPU versions. I'm happy to update the table with values that use the optimizations you're talking about. I honestly don't know how to tweak a SuperCPU, and neither does Tobias who maintains that Wiki page.
Wasn't sure how to send the SCPU results your way, but I've uploaded some screenshots here: no optimizations enabled and basic optimizations enabled.
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Old 05 August 2014, 20:50   #1347
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Wasn't sure how to send the SCPU results your way, but I've uploaded some screenshots here: no optimizations enabled and basic optimizations enabled.
Thanks. Just a few questions to make the comparison fair: Can you run Geos with these optimizations enabled? And can you display gfx in any of the video banks (which one?) with these optimizations enabled? Are there any restrictions on sprites?

The answer for Chameleon is easy: No restrictions at all. I'd like to know if this is true for these optimizations with the SCPU before we add this to the Wiki. After all, we're just having this conversation because we wanted to create a fair comparison, right?

Jens
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Old 07 August 2014, 12:38   #1348
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Originally Posted by Schoenfeld View Post
Thanks. Just a few questions to make the comparison fair: Can you run Geos with these optimizations enabled? And can you display gfx in any of the video banks (which one?) with these optimizations enabled? Are there any restrictions on sprites?

The answer for Chameleon is easy: No restrictions at all. I'd like to know if this is true for these optimizations with the SCPU before we add this to the Wiki. After all, we're just having this conversation because we wanted to create a fair comparison, right?

Jens
The BASIC setting is for programs using the default screen setup (like most programs written in BASIC). For GEOS (VIC bank 2), you enable the GEOS setting, for programs using VIC bank 1 you enable that setting. That is, you tell the SCPU which memory areas needs to be mirrored to C64 memory so the VIC can see it. No sprite restrictions that I know of, the SCPU isn't in any way affected by VIC DMA cycles, bad-lines and such, unless you atempt to write to mirrored memory, in which case the SCPU need to wait until the C64 is ready to accept the write.

The Chameleon also needs to mirror writes to C64 memory in order to allow the VIC to see it, unless you settled with using the emulated VIC only, but that's cheating to say the least. Judging by the Wiki results, the Chameleon either doesn't mirror memory at all, or only mirrors the required memory, just as the SCPU did when I ran the test.

The same goes for the ZP results, if all memory indeed is mirrored to the C64 memory, one can never achieve a 20x speedup. That issues is shared between the SCPU and Chameleon. With the SCPU it's easy to set it to mirror ZP (and Stack area) as well. I assume you can do something similar with the Chameleon, but I don't have one so don't know how that's done.
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Old 07 August 2014, 19:58   #1349
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Originally Posted by AmiDog View Post
The BASIC setting is for programs using the default screen setup (like most programs written in BASIC). For GEOS (VIC bank 2), you enable the GEOS setting, for programs using VIC bank 1 you enable that setting. That is, you tell the SCPU which memory areas needs to be mirrored to C64 memory so the VIC can see it. No sprite restrictions that I know of, the SCPU isn't in any way affected by VIC DMA cycles, bad-lines and such, unless you atempt to write to mirrored memory, in which case the SCPU need to wait until the C64 is ready to accept the write.
Thanks - this confirms that the comparison was fair from the very beginning, as the SCPU is "cheating" it's speed by omitting writes to memory that could be used by the VIC. I can easily write a Basic program that will fail to display things with these optimizations switched on. That's totally not what the user wants - it's either "it works", or it doesn't. This optimization might be good for a few Basic programs, but not for all of them, and surely not for other applications, hence it should not be used for a speed comparison.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmiDog View Post
The Chameleon also needs to mirror writes to C64 memory in order to allow the VIC to see it, unless you settled with using the emulated VIC only, but that's cheating to say the least. Judging by the Wiki results, the Chameleon either doesn't mirror memory at all, or only mirrors the required memory, just as the SCPU did when I ran the test.
Not correct - we really don't mirror writes to the C64 memory, but that's not required, because the Chameleon feeds the VIC with data from the fast Chameleon memory. This is absolutely not cheating, but I must admit that this mode of the PLA chip was not documented before. The whole idea of the Chameleon was born when I found this previously not-documented mode of the PLA chip, where the whole internal memory can be replaced by an external source.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmiDog View Post
The same goes for the ZP results, if all memory indeed is mirrored to the C64 memory, one can never achieve a 20x speedup. That issues is shared between the SCPU and Chameleon. With the SCPU it's easy to set it to mirror ZP (and Stack area) as well. I assume you can do something similar with the Chameleon, but I don't have one so don't know how that's done.
Thanks for pointing out that the Chameleon is the superior accelerator, because it does not require the user to know about "which memory area needs to be mirrored or not". It just provides the speed and you don't need to know about the technical details.

Jens
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Old 08 August 2014, 08:31   #1350
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@Schoenfeld

I don't agree. The wiki states that "Shown in the table are the measured values with screen switched off and all possible optimizations" and yet I've proven that, for the specific benchmark, you can get identical behavior, but improved performance, by actually enabling "all possible optimizations" on a SCPU.

Yes, it's easy to intentionally modify the benchmark to make it blow up with the BASIC optimization setting on a SCPU, but I fail to see how that relevant.

The Chameleon may be easier to use, much like a 68k Amiga accelerator is easier to use than a PPC one, but I wouldn't call my 68060@80 Apollo superior compared to my 603e@200 Blizzard since the PPC can easily run circles around the 68k by using appropriate software.

On the other hand, any C64 accelerator is rather pointless since 99% of the C64 software relies on specific timing and/or a fixed frame rate and doesn't benefit from a faster CPU.
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Old 08 August 2014, 11:35   #1351
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Originally Posted by AmiDog View Post
@Schoenfeld

I don't agree. The wiki states that "Shown in the table are the measured values with screen switched off and all possible optimizations" and yet I've proven that, for the specific benchmark, you can get identical behavior, but improved performance, by actually enabling "all possible optimizations" on a SCPU.
I have changed the wording to represent what's really interesting for the user: Optimizations should not affect software compatibility. It's a bit like a car maker advertising that "his" car gets so-and-so many miles per gallon, but only with a special kind of tires, slightly higher air pressure in the tires, a/c switched off, all windows closed and no acceleration/breaking. You never reach those conditions in real life, and publishing such numbers is plain deception. I want my advertising to represent real-life numbers that the user can verify at home.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmiDog View Post
On the other hand, any C64 accelerator is rather pointless since 99% of the C64 software relies on specific timing and/or a fixed frame rate and doesn't benefit from a faster CPU.
Here's where more "mechanics" of the Chameleon accelerator kick in: First of all, the CPU inside Chameleon supports all illegal opcodes, which has never been done in an accelerator before, simply because you can't buy a >2MHz CPU that has all NMOS illegals. This allows especially crunchers/decrunchers to run a lot faster, as these bit-fiddling routines often make use of illegal opcodes.

Then there's the extended VIC bit of the C128, that also enables 2MHz mode in C64 mode, which is being used by decrunchers and even games like "new Uridium" and "new Paradroid". You can choose the Chameleon turbo to use this extended bit, so all software that makes use of the C128 2MHz mode can also take advantage of the Chameleon turbo. You can limit the Chameleon turbo to a certain speed in increments of 1MHz, so you can also get the exact same speed as a C128 in C64 mode at 2MHz (with the difference that the display won't be garbled).

In addition to that, we have an "IEC sensitive" setting that slows down to the original C64 timing when IEC (=floppy) accesses are taking place. This way, even software that has it's own fast loader will work flawlessly. As a result, you can run GEOS and high-spec applications such as Printfox at speeds that are truly amazing. Even Amiga DTP applications of the time don't get the execution speed of Printfox on the Chameleon.

Granted, many games are not playable with the turbo switched on. Here's where all the compatibility won't help: While the SCPU won't even let you start those games due to incompatibilities, you'll be confronted with a quick "game over" or some funny-broken graphics if the game doesn't like the higher CPU speed of the Chameleon. This is where you need to press the menu button, switch off turbo and let the game continue to run on a non-accelerated C64.

The turbo is really not meant for games, but for applications. There's quite a few customers who still use the C64 in a productive environment, much like there's quite a few of us who still use the Amiga in some productive manner. You just don't meet these people every day in the supermarket ;-)

Jens
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Old 08 August 2014, 22:33   #1352
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@Schoenfeld

The difference between what the car maker advertises and the SCPU is that you actually can reach the maximum performance in a lot of real life situations with the SCPU. Yes, there are limitations, and unofficial opcodes can never work. Still, being able to enable the "turbo" can be quite handy at times. The SCPU can also be switchen between 1MHz and 20MHz while running, in case a timing sensitive loader or similar doesn't like the faster CPU. After loading you set the SCPU to 20MHz again. There's a switch on the SCPU for that purpose.

And, as stated, there is even a mode called GEOS optimization in order to get the most out of that software (which I used to write reports for school back in the days ).

The 16-bit mode of the 65816 and the 16MB of RAM may also come in handy in case you feel like producing some software on your own. Heck, I even made DOOM run on the SCPU, just because I could.
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Old 09 August 2014, 18:27   #1353
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Originally Posted by Schoenfeld View Post
In addition to that, we have an "IEC sensitive" setting that slows down to the original C64 timing when IEC (=floppy) accesses are taking place.
This is a brilliant solution. Does it automatically clock back up after a set number of cycles?

Also, any news regarding C64 Reloaded? Wiki says July :)
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Old 10 August 2014, 13:31   #1354
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This is a brilliant solution. Does it automatically clock back up after a set number of cycles?
Yes, of course! Otherwise this would be the same inconvenient solution as the mechanical switch on SCPU. Granted, there's a JiffyDOS version available for SCPU, but the Chameleon turbo works with all fastloaders (including JiffyDOS), no questions asked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MagerValp View Post
Also, any news regarding C64 Reloaded? Wiki says July
Yeah - got to update that as well. Work on the USB module has taken way more time than anticipated, so the C64 Reloaded is behind. It's still not on top priority now, because we *must* go online with the new website this coming week: We'll be spreading flyers at the GamesCom fair (Cologne, Germany), and it would be really bad if people still get the old site.

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Old 14 August 2014, 03:28   #1355
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Need more info on Pal NTSC Switch?

Hello Jens (Schoenfeld),

I need to verify something concerning the 64 reloaded new motherboard you currently are in the process of developing. I was under the impression that your motherboard would go from Pal to NTSC and back with just a switch? However, it looks like this is not true? I have games from both Europe and the United States. If I want many people in a building to play any game on the commodore system (Europe or US), then I need to load that game on the region specific computer. However, this is frustrating and a hassle. I would rather press a switch and use the same computer. To my knowledge, the c64 computers from all regions are the same except the video signal (Pal or NTSC) and the Power Frequency (50hz for Pal and 60hz for NTSC). So, how hard could it be to switch between two video modes and make a switch for the power frequency. I must admit that the average person today will not mess with the Chamelon (Multi Cartrdge) device and I see no reason to do so today. The only thing that might be nice is to save a level and come back to it and I can already do that with Super Snapshot Cartridge. Finally, if I am not mistaken, then would this system you're currently producing considered to be a Pal only unit?

PS: I might be interested in one Pal Unit but honestly I would be interested in a whole lab of these motherboards if they had the Pal and Ntsc switch. You must realize that great games can be found in the US and Europe. There is not just one region of good games available. In my opinion, if you want to make your motherboard a big hit then you need a multi national system that will run all formats. But it is up to you whether this product is a big hit or just a mediocre attempt! By the way, I sent three email requests or three generated tickets and no one has responded to me regarding your New c64 reloaded motherboard on your Individual Computer's Website. I finally decided to look on Lemon only to find you on this Web forum. So, I don't know if you're backed up significantly but I find two weeks waiting for a response to my inquires on Individual Computers Website to be incredibly frustrating. I hope this changes because I think some people might consider not to do business with you when this sort of thing is going on. However, I am pretty forgiving on such matters because I want everyone to enjoy retro things more for the fun aspect and not the business aspect of things. I look forward to your oppinion on this!
 
Old 14 August 2014, 16:15   #1356
Schoenfeld
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Originally Posted by 64greatjcb View Post
I need to verify something concerning the 64 reloaded new motherboard you currently are in the process of developing.
Happy to answer - I've tried replying to the tickets you've opened, but you have your eMail with a provider who doesn't like the fact that I'm running a secure eMail server: Hotmail currently doesn't accept eMails from my server.

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Originally Posted by 64greatjcb View Post
I was under the impression that your motherboard would go from Pal to NTSC and back with just a switch?
It doesn't. However, it makes conversion from PAL to NTSC fairly easy, as the VIC-II chip is in a Textool socket, and the crystals for both PAL and NTSC are on the board. You choose one or the other setting with a jumper, and that will also change the TICK frequency from 50 to 60Hz and back, so you never have a "franken-computer" with these frequencies mixed (as you would have if you'd operate a PAL computer on 60Hz mains in the US).

Quote:
Originally Posted by 64greatjcb View Post
However, it looks like this is not true? I have games from both Europe and the United States. If I want many people in a building to play any game on the commodore system (Europe or US), then I need to load that game on the region specific computer. However, this is frustrating and a hassle. I would rather press a switch and use the same computer. To my knowledge, the c64 computers from all regions are the same except the video signal (Pal or NTSC) and the Power Frequency (50hz for Pal and 60hz for NTSC). So, how hard could it be to switch between two video modes and make a switch for the power frequency. I must admit that the average person today will not mess with the Chamelon (Multi Cartrdge) device and I see no reason to do so today.
The Chameleon would have been the thing I'd suggest, as it allows switching from PAL to NTSC and back without hardware modification.

Making a board that has both VIC-II chips would be way more complicated than making two boards. The VIC-II chip is "the bus master" for the whole computer, and it has no means of leaving the bus to another master. Switching between the chips would involve quite some logic which would affect signal timing - not a good idea if you want to have a 100% compatible unit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 64greatjcb View Post
PS: I might be interested in one Pal Unit but honestly I would be interested in a whole lab of these motherboards if they had the Pal and Ntsc switch. You must realize that great games can be found in the US and Europe. There is not just one region of good games available.
True - however, many games that first came out in the US were updated and bug-fixed for release in Europe, so I guess we have a slight advantage here :-)

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So, I don't know if you're backed up significantly but I find two weeks waiting for a response to my inquires on Individual Computers Website to be incredibly frustrating.
I find it extremely frustrating how Hotmail rejects eMails from a legit server. I can send eMails to any other provider, but Hotmail is rejecting us:

Code:
Connected to 65.55.92.136 but sender was rejected.
Remote host said: 550 SC-001 (SNT004-MC1F50) Unfortunately, messages from 81.95.0.14 weren't sent.
Hotmail doesn't reply to written requests (yes, I've sent a letter with snailmail about a month ago), and they provide no means of debugging this issue (only a useless step-by-step guide with very basic stuff, all OK here). I've tried replying to your requests and got failure messages all three times. You're not the only one waiting for a reply. My new website informs anyone who provides an eMail that Hotmail doesn't work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 64greatjcb View Post
I hope this changes because I think some people might consider not to do business with you when this sort of thing is going on. However, I am pretty forgiving on such matters because I want everyone to enjoy retro things more for the fun aspect and not the business aspect of things. I look forward to your oppinion on this!
Best thing I can suggest here is not to do business with Hotmail/Microsoft. Some say that Hotmail doesn't like "many" providers, others say that it's because they see a secure eMail server and want to separate from "others" who allow NSA access (I wonder how much conspiracy theory is in there).

You can ask many customers from the Amiga and C64 scene who have used my ticket system before; I'm answering support questions *very* quickly (usually under 24 hours). However, there's a huge number of unclaimed tickets for the C64 Reloaded, waiting to be pointed to a part of the new website that will hopefully go online in the next few days. If you want to relay this information to your friends on Lemon (where I'm also registered, but don't drop by so often), it might help calming potential customers :-)

Jens

Last edited by Schoenfeld; 14 August 2014 at 16:23.
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Old 14 August 2014, 16:57   #1357
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@64greatjcb if you are using Hotmail like I do it's possible that you will find IC's email on your "Non desired mail" drawer. That happened once to me with their emails.

Last edited by Retrofan; 14 August 2014 at 20:58.
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Old 14 August 2014, 18:20   #1358
Schoenfeld
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Retrofan: Hotmail is completely blocking me now, my server doesn't even get to the point where an eMail is transferred.

If Hotmail decides to split the internet into "good and bad mailers", then so be it. It's a free service anyway, so why complain that it's not working? I mean, what do you expect from Microsoft?

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Old 14 August 2014, 19:03   #1359
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New Website and Suggested email provider?

Thanks Jens (Schoenfeld) for your quick response back. Since your reply, I feel much better about the emails not getting to you. Could you list on this forum the link to the new website that will soon be coming up so I can better know what is going on with the new C64 reloaded computer system. Also, I did not realize Hotmail was so bad about dealing with emails. What email provider do you suggest looking at? Could you provide a few providers that are reasonable in terms of cost? Thanks for your time.
 
Old 14 August 2014, 19:49   #1360
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Could you list on this forum the link to the new website that will soon be coming up so I can better know what is going on with the new C64 reloaded computer system.
It's the same URL that you've used before: icomp.de - we're working on a completely new site, and I've disabled the old one due to the massive problems that Ondango has been causing (that's the old shop provider). They required the user to allow cross-site scripting with Facebook *and* Ondango, and they have a pretty unstable database server. Sometimes I get an orer notification and it's not visible in the backend, and vice versa. Thank god nothing was lost so far, but I'm fed up with that. The new site is completely hosted on my system and won't require the user to violate basic data protection rules.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 64greatjcb View Post
Also, I did not realize Hotmail was so bad about dealing with emails. What email provider do you suggest looking at? Could you provide a few providers that are reasonable in terms of cost? Thanks for your time.
I'd have to list "anyone else" - Hotmail is really the only provider blocking us from delivering mails to them. And you find numerous references to similar reports from others. I really don't want to recommend any other eMail provider, as many of them have their flaws - including the German de-mail, which was created by the German post, supported by our government in order to have a safe and authenticated way of eMailing. Their flaw is simply that they have been hacked before they went fully public, and to my knowledge, didn't fix the leak until now (more than a year later).

If you want something truly safe where your favourite 3-letter-service can't read your communication, you'll have to setup your own server and place that outside the US. And that will probably put you on the same list with this German guy who is just very interested in cryptography ;-)

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