OricExos - making the impossible

Want to discuss about Demos on the Oric, here you are !
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Chema
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Re: OricExos - making the impossible

Post by Chema » Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:35 pm

That looks terrific!

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ibisum
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Re: OricExos - making the impossible

Post by ibisum » Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:42 pm

Yes indeed, it looks great - really looking forward to seeing what can be done in HIRES mode, though .. its going to be interesting to see what can be done about attribute clash in this configuration .. like, if it can be exploited somehow, actually ..

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Re: OricExos - making the impossible

Post by mikeb » Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:40 pm

ibisum wrote:
Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:42 pm
what can be done about attribute clash in this configuration .. like, if it can be exploited somehow, actually ..
Think about using even-odd operation based on the column number: While one Oric is emitting PAPER colour (because that byte is an attribute), the other one can be emitting a character/redefined graphic. And then, vice versa.

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Chema
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Re: OricExos - making the impossible

Post by Chema » Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:51 pm

What if one Oric outputs just black&white pictures, while the other combine just attributes to generate colors? Certainly it would not make constraints disappear, but no more attributes using picture space and probably more shades.

In any case I find that difficult to use in dynamic graphics. But creating some kind of bitplane mode such as the Amiga, so you have one plane with the background with static colors, maybe even with scrolling, and the sprites are drawn by the main machine over that background with no need for masking?

Maybe just saying nonsense... did not really think about it. Just contemplating the nice colours :)

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Re: OricExos - making the impossible

Post by iss » Thu Oct 25, 2018 9:02 pm

Yes, there are so many possibilities and some of them are really hard to imagine.

Now I want to share that I just succeeded to fix the 4-th Oric!
The problem was very annoying: it refuses to CLOAD anything with the patched UV-EPROM but it works just fine with the original v.1.1 PROM ?!? :shock: After I checked everything, replaced the VIA and all parts related to Tape-In connection, today I changed the DRAM chips ... and magic - it WORKS! The bonus from all the work is that I bypassed the analog part for Tape-In/Out and with current connection it will be possible to increase the transfer speed dramatically. Actually the analog part is used as low-pass filter for the VSync-hack and Tape signal is OR-ed with "open collector" chip (maybe there are other ways to do this but I used what I have available in my chips collection).

So, we getting closer to the final hardware. Please, comment and give ideas - everything will be tested!

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Re: OricExos - making the impossible

Post by iss » Sat Oct 27, 2018 5:24 pm

Good news: OricExos works with Microdisc! :D
Additionally small speed-up through tape link. It's time for bigger demo...

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Re: OricExos - making the impossible

Post by Symoon » Sat Oct 27, 2018 9:49 pm

I'm really short on time these days, but could it be possible for us do design several HIRES screen, one for each master/slave, that we could send you to load and then see the result?

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Re: OricExos - making the impossible

Post by Dbug » Sun Oct 28, 2018 6:33 am

iss wrote:
Sat Oct 27, 2018 5:24 pm
Good news: OricExos works with Microdisc! :D
Additionally small speed-up through tape link. It's time for bigger demo...
Two questions for you:
- Have you found a solution to enable the overlay ram on all three slave machines?
- Is the communication only master->slave, or is there a way (even slow) to send information from the slaves back to the master? (like for example to use a slave as a "co-processor" to do computations)
Symoon wrote:I'm really short on time these days, but could it be possible for us do design several HIRES screen, one for each master/slave, that we could send you to load and then see the result?
I was actually thinking of that: An Exos version of my Oric Slideshow demo could be a quick and nice way to at least showcase the audio-visual capabilities of the machine before starting to think on how to tackle the multi-processor feature :)

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Re: OricExos - making the impossible

Post by iss » Sun Oct 28, 2018 8:48 pm

Dbug wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 6:33 am
Two questions for you:
- Have you found a solution to enable the overlay ram on all three slave machines?
- Is the communication only master->slave
The communication is only one-way (i.e. master->slave) else I have solution for both your questions. For best results I will order real PCBs which will require about month for production. Actually for 2-way communication only - I think we can make it more simple, but for Overlay enabling hardware definitely we need nice PCBs.

And here is the bigger demo:


I call it tesseract because it's your cube demo but in 4 dimensions - running on 4 Orics with different start-up delay for every one.
PS. I'm working on the capture hardware for clips with better quality.

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Re: OricExos - making the impossible

Post by Symoon » Sun Oct 28, 2018 11:19 pm

Wow, very strange, and very nice. Really gives the feeling of a more powerful Oric.

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Re: OricExos - making the impossible

Post by ibisum » Sun Oct 28, 2018 11:43 pm

Yes, its indeed looking like a performing beast. I think of the effort to build my own Exos, with every update ..

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Re: OricExos - making the impossible

Post by Dbug » Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:46 pm

I was wondering about the transportability of the device.

To make it usable, it should probably not fall apart, and having a keyboard would probably also be a good idea.

So I was wondering, why not make it in the style of the old Apple II machines.

Take a Pravetz 8D, cut the bottom and and move the motherboard farther back so there is room on top of it, then assemble the three other motherboards on top, and somewhat make it so there is a "box" that closes all that nicely.

That could look like that:
Image

Advantages:
- Sturdy (heck, it's based on eastern europe design school)
- You can put a monitor on top
- There's enough room inside to put things like an HDMI converter
- The keyboard is good and has a cable long enough so that would work just fine
- It has a built-in PSU

Just an idea :D

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Re: OricExos - making the impossible

Post by Chema » Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:33 pm

Dbug wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:46 pm

Take a Pravetz 8D, cut the bottom
Argh! :|

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Re: OricExos - making the impossible

Post by iss » Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:50 pm

Here are some dimensions of 4 Oric stacked:
dimensions.jpg
I agree with Chema - there is no need to cut Pravetz - you can use its keyboard with long ribbon cable (mine works fine with 1 meter cable). Unfortunately, I didn't find a really good connectors for this and it look ugly by me!
BTW, I will send you my Oric-to-USB keyboard adapter (as in the picture above) - it's very nice and there is no doubt it will have good home by you! ;) The only issue with this adapter is that not all keys are on the proper place and this depends on the particular USB-keyboard being used.

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Re: OricExos - making the impossible

Post by iss » Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:54 pm

... and here is the video output board with Composite and S-Video:
video-out.jpg
Here is the updated tesseract demo clip captured from the composite output with cheap EasyCAP grabber.

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