Firebee: the long game?

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Cyprian
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Re: Firebee: the long game?

Postby Cyprian » Sat Apr 13, 2019 9:41 am

thats the sades part...
Mathias wrote:In fact we planned an "ST-Mode" in the beginning of the project as 3rd compatibility layer, before we lost all VHDL developers.
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Re: Firebee: the long game?

Postby Mathias » Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:14 am

Cyprian, at the one hand you are right, at the other I am glad to not have to support the "retro crowd" as well ;)
The machine works well as GEM machine – what was always our first aim. And also with the Suska, there is a weel working FPGA configured "ST" for a decade now, and the MiST as lowcost alternative followed. So all the needs are somehow fulfilled for us as community. Of course it would always be nice to have more things done, but that's live, and you cannot expect everything from a volunteer project in fastest time. For me it is just important to not "finish" as some point, and drive things forward. The possibilities are here, the users are still highly interested, and everything is completely Open Source, so we will never again run into some dead end. That is future prove in my opinion.
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Re: Firebee: the long game?

Postby piku » Sat Apr 13, 2019 12:03 pm

Mathias wrote:
piku wrote:but IMHO the future is quite clearly in FPGA
As if the FireBee would not contain a huge and good FPA from the beginning, ... Let me remind you – as honorable member of the ACP project that you are – that most of the FireBees Atari chips are VHDL from the Suska project!

Sorry guys, but it is oblique to disucuss FPGA configurations of other projects and present it in opposite to the FireBee. Pass over the free 68030, 68060, or whatever 680x0 configuration and it could be implemented to the FireBee right away! And as you know there was always the plan to implement an 68k CPU inside the FPGA for compatibility/legacy from the beginning on. I am tired to explain the grand possibilitys that this piece of hardware offers.

The FireBee works for 10 years now, and it contains the same Cyclone III that the (still unfinished and proprietary) Vampire uses now.


Mathias you misunderstand my point and I think it's because I wasn't clear. When I say the future I mean the future of retrocomputing on 68k entirely. While FPGA's will continue to get faster they aren't going to make new 68k or coldfire chips. This means the ideology behind the firebee is also what I think the future is. The only problem the firebee has is 100% temporary which is related to developer resources to fix remaining issues. It's very comforting to think that some day I can learn VHDL and enhance or fix the system myself. This of course is something you will never get with the closed source vampire. The vampire just serves as an impressive demonstration (to me) of the possibilities down the road of cpu in fpga.

Perhaps I shouldn't have discussed that in the firebee long game thread because it isn't exactly relevant to the original topic in a clear way. If we wanted to get to that the answer is simple. The firebee is an amazing platform that waits for the right developer to solve remaining issues in hardware and software. The system is usable as a regular user with emuation filling in gaps. The system is usable as a regular software developer. The system is insanely flexible for use as a hardware developer who wants to build something amazing. There is no long game because the project is completely open. In reality the methods and ideals of the firebee project ARE The future including the heavy use of FPGA in the firebee as well.
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Re: Firebee: the long game?

Postby piku » Sat Apr 13, 2019 12:11 pm

Mathias wrote:For me it is just important to not "finish" as some point, and drive things forward. The possibilities are here, the users are still highly interested, and everything is completely Open Source, so we will never again run into some dead end. That is future prove in my opinion.


It's a completely open source project about a platform that hasn't released a new machine in over 25 years and never will and yet here we all are. It will not finish even if some developers come and go.
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CT60 Falcon - Dead Firebee - Some others ;)


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