One of the higher unfashionable historians obtainable on YouTube is the 8-Bit Guy, and after years of looking to do something like this, it’s ultimately happening. The eight-Bit Guy is building his dream computer, closely stimulated by way of the Commodore sixty-four.
Before we move into what this laptop will do and what talents it will have, it’s vital to be aware the 8-Bit Guy is sincerely doing a bit of market and user research before dedicating 12 months or greater to this assignment. He’s requested other well-known retrocomputing YouTubers for their entries on what their ‘dream’ retro computer have to do, and that they’ve provided you with a simple list of requirements. The Dream Computer can be like working on a 1957 Chevy, in that all the registers are right away available for peeking and poking. The laptop can be completely understandable, in up to now that one man or woman can absolutely recognize the whole thing, from the man or woman common sense gates in the CPU to the structure of the kernel. It’ll run BASIC.
In the age of the Raspberry Pi, one might ask, ‘why not go together with a Raspberry Pi?’. To the eight-Bit Guy, the Pi is only a Linux computer. Other retrocomputing tasks of comparable scope to this dream computer also fail The Mega65, an undertaking to resurrect the Commodore sixty-five could be too highly-priced. The BASIC Engine fails because it simplest does composite out, and it runs on an ESP anyway so that you’re protected from the real hardware. The equal problem exists with the Maximite in that the hardware is one layer of abstraction away from the interface. The C256 Foenix is probably the closest to meeting the layout dreams, however, it’s a long way too steeply-priced, or even without the MIDI ports, SID chips, and other exciting hardware, it might still be above the desired charge factor.
The ‘requirement’ for this dream laptop is to apply best cutting-edge elements, have VGA or HDMI video out, a real CPU, preferably a 6502, use no FPGA or microcontrollers, and may run Commodore Basic. Also, this pc could cost about $50, with $100 because of the absolute, most limit (implying a BOM price of around $15-$25). This is truly, absolutely, astonishingly impossible. I could be deceiving you if I did no longer mention the impossibility of this undertaking going on with the stated goals. This venture will not meet the goal of selling for much less than a hundred greenbacks.
That stated, there’s no harm in trying, so The 8-Bit Guy is currently running with a few dev boards, particularly one designed around the 65816 CPU. The 65816 is an exciting chip, in that it’s miles a 6502 until you flip a bit in a register. It has a larger cope with space than the 6502, and everything from the World of Commodore needs to be (fairly) effortlessly ported to the 65816. Why was this CPU in no way utilized in Commodore hardware? Because a Western Design Center income guy advised a Commodore engineer that Apple become using it in their subsequent pc (the Apple IIgs). The alternative of Commodore ever the use of the ‘816 died then and there.
If you’d want to assist out in this computer, there’s a Facebook group for organizing the build. This Facebook organization is a closed group, that means you want a Facebook account to login. Unfortunate, but we’re searching forward to a yr of updates around this dream laptop. Building a laptop that meets the specifications is impossible, however, we’re extra than eager to look the community attempt.