ZX Spectrum Next Discussion

For experts to discuss very technical stuff and newbies to ask why the Spectrum they bought off ebay doesn't work.
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1024MAK
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Re: ZX Spectrum Next Discussion

Post by 1024MAK » Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:15 pm

@Bizzley so are you a backer of either the ZX Spectrum Next or of the Vega+?

Mark
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Ralf
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Re: ZX Spectrum Next Discussion

Post by Ralf » Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:44 pm

As others have said crowdfunding is a risk and you do have to accept that you are not guaranteed anything. It's just the way it works. 99% of the time it works fine. Just sad that the 1% happened to us.
I would guess it's closer to about 30%, not 1%

Personally I backed once on some local Polish crowdfunding platform a retro-inspired computer game. They hoped to do it in one year, it's 4 years already and there is still nothing with little hope for a change. I bit the bullet,accepted my loss and don't whine in internet about it ;) But also learnt to be cautious.

My opinion is that people behind crowdunding projects are often enthusiasts good at their passion (programming, soldering, designing) but just as often are lame at "making business". It they were good with business, they would be able to secure money for their project in traditional way (like taking a credit at bank) and not beg for money through crowdfunding. And somehow I feel that with a bank credit which you have to pay or you're kicked out of your flat people become more efficient and less careless ;)

In case of my game it was outsource programmers giving up. The creators hired some young guys for some tasks (hiring experienced programmers was probably out of reach) and after some time it turned out that the task was too difficult for them so they quit. It repeated 3 times so we may say the creators lacked recruiting skills, they couldn't tell a guy who will finish the job from a guy who will fail. Unfortunately they learnt nothing from the failures.
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Bizzley
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Re: ZX Spectrum Next Discussion

Post by Bizzley » Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:55 pm

1024MAK wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:15 pm
@Bizzley so are you a backer of either the ZX Spectrum Next or of the Vega+?
Mark
I'm a Spectrum Next backer, backer No. 3034, standard £175+£10 boxed version. I wasn't originally going to back it since I have no real need for a Spectrum with all the versions I have in the attic but got involved in trying to create a dirt-cheap method to link a Next development board to a PC\Mac with one of the software developers and thought it might be fun to develop a game for it. I wrote some software tools for it back in June 2017 and then they started adding all sorts of things (I'm not even sure if the SID chip is in there or not now!) and due to that and the delay in delivering the boxed version I slowly lost interest and moved on to something else.

As to the Vega+, no I didn't back that, it was obvious to me right from the start that there was something fundamentally wrong with the whole thing.
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PeterJ
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Re: ZX Spectrum Next Discussion

Post by PeterJ » Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:57 pm

My percentages were maybe rather out! I suppose I was basing on my success with other projects. The sentiments of my post still stand though.
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beanz
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Re: ZX Spectrum Next Discussion

Post by beanz » Fri Nov 30, 2018 6:03 pm

Bizzley wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:55 pm


As to the Vega+, no I didn't back that, it was obvious to me right from the start that there was something fundamentally wrong with the whole thing.
Same, though the fundamental thing I couldn't get my head around was the point of a mobile speccy device when there are already so many choices around and have been for years...105 quid just to have the Sinclair logo on it seemed a bit silly.
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4thRock
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Re: ZX Spectrum Next Discussion

Post by 4thRock » Fri Nov 30, 2018 6:22 pm

I think the problem with these projects is undefined scope and lack of realism.
It would be much easier to create a 200% accurate emulator and bundle it with a spectrum styled computer keyboard and joypad.
And perhaps much cheaper and with less risk for all.
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PeterJ
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Re: ZX Spectrum Next Discussion

Post by PeterJ » Fri Nov 30, 2018 7:01 pm

I backed the ZX-Uno and that turned out to be spot on and got delivered to schedule. I still use it regularly for ULAplus games.
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Hernan
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Re: ZX Spectrum Next Discussion

Post by Hernan » Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:50 pm

PeterJ wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 7:01 pm
I backed the ZX-Uno and that turned out to be spot on and got delivered to schedule. I still use it regularly for ULAplus games.
The ZX-Uno is AWESOME. The team spent almost 4 years developing it and then crowdfunded it to make a production run. Also, it's really open source, so anyone can use the designs and code and make its own. And has some unique features like the PZX player or the "Radastanian" video mode (a very low res but multicolor and color-clash free mode).
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DarkTrancer
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Re: ZX Spectrum Next Discussion

Post by DarkTrancer » Sat Dec 01, 2018 1:59 am

I backed the next and received my "just the board" on time, its excellent piece of hardware and have spent many an hour playing old games and even learning the new nextos and all the new additions.
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Re: ZX Spectrum Next Discussion

Post by Alcoholics Anonymous » Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:11 am

Hernan wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 11:58 am
The only thing that disappointed me is the lack of ULAplus, and only from "political" issues. Also, it's supposedly fully open source, but when the sources were released a couple of months ago... the VHDL code of the FPGA core is mysteriously missing. And the lack of additional cores, that big FPGA it's completly under-utilized.
The VHDL will be made public and is fully intended to be made open source. It's being held back until the cased Nexts are delivered so that Next-alikes don't start appearing on other fpga boards before the backers get their machines. It would be possible to run a reduced version of the next on the uno, for example, and such a thing might appear within a few days of the source being made public, although being a reduced implementation means maybe not much sw will run on it. The uno was in fact used by some developers early on for next sw development. The dos, which I think has the same size fpga, maybe could run the full next machine with unsupported features subtracted (hdmi, esp wifi, maybe memory size, etc - I'm not too familiar with the dos spec).

In the meantime, the tbblue repository is reasonably up to date and public. It contains most other things. The fpga configuration, stored in "TBBLUE.TBU" is version 2.00.11 there, but from what I understand the version being put into the cased nexts is 2.00.18 so it's a bit behind there. If you have a board, copying the repo to your sd card is more up-to-date than the last update at specnext.com which had 2.00.00 in it.

The big fpga is not being under-utilized as the zx next core fills most of it. But there is room for 30 more cores in the flash. So you will see a situation as on the uno where you can store another 30 different machines and boot into those. I would expect that some or all of the uno cores will be made available for the next at some point, and since the next fpga is bigger, I'd expect enhanced cores to appear that make use of the extra gates.
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