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On ROM v5a

Posted: 07 May 2020, 07:58
by marcelk
Those following my GitHub activity may have noted this:

Contributions.png (66.07 KiB) Viewed 1699 times

No activity in recent weeks and some work yesterday to freeze a ROM version 5a.

This all has to do with my declining health situation, some of you are aware of already. Health problems that started one year ago recently escalated pretty badly as surgery and several immunotherapies proved ineffective. Long story short, reality is that I won't be able to complete another Gigatron ROM release anymore. At least not to the same standards as all earlier official ROM releases.

But since ROM v4 a lot of new work has already accumulated in dev.rom: dev.rom is currently more than halfway towards what would become a true ROM v5 release. It is kind of feature complete but with loose ends, obvious bugs and untested parts. (For example memory detection is broken.) As we don't foresee ROM v5 ever getting completed, we decided to make a snapshot from dev.rom now and call that "ROM v5a". It has MS BASIC, Apple-1 emulation, the new vCPU instructions and a fresh Easter Egg: good for computer shows. ROM v5a can't and won't become part of kits, it's too immature. For example it can't boot from an SD card due to a silly mistake (but dev.rom still can boot, you just have to build it yourself). The kits still ship with stable ROM v4. If you want to run v5a, you have to grab the image from GitHub and burn it yourself.

This is just to make an image available, freeze it and give it a name. With that its new features could be officially included in interface.json. We gave it a proper new RomTypeValue so you can safely write compatible programs against it.

Screenshot.png (71.1 KiB) Viewed 1699 times

Re: On ROM v5a

Posted: 07 May 2020, 09:05
by at67
Look after yourself Marcel, ROM versions and even the Gigatron itself have to come second to your health.

Re: On ROM v5a

Posted: 14 May 2020, 13:34
by Dave
Marcel, I'm downcast to learn that you are having to deal with declining health. I hope that the professionals will be able to address the problems and that you return to good health. Know that you have only best wishes from me, and from the rest of the Gigatron community.

Re: On ROM v5a

Posted: 16 May 2020, 09:20
by marcelk
I can only hope that the community as a whole gets in better shape again and starts writing cool simple games using at67's gtBASIC. It has been very quiet on the front of user contributions during the past year, all the while the system had all the potential for dozens of original and fun retro games and demos. I wish that with at67's efforts this can finally materialise now that all programming barriers are completely gone. The Gigatron should be primarily about games and much less about becoming some kind of weird PC or an RPi/Arduino.

PS: People having trouble loading and saving though Babelfish with MS BASIC in ROM v5a probably have forgotten to update their Pluggy McPlugface firmware: BabelFish.ATtiny85.bin

From my command line I type

Code: Select all

make burn85