Why mod.. when you can make?

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To keep it interesting, some 'guiding principles' have been imposed:

  1. Have fun; if it isn't fun, why are we doing it? Make it goofy, as long as its awesome. Some of the design choices may be strange.. maybe they are! Sometimes I have a part or bulk bag of parts to use; other times its just an awesome classic retro piece, or a beloved item from childhood. I like the PSG Pokey sound chip used in many old computers, consoles and arcade machines; could use a SID, but they're even harder to find and I never really had a C64 .. and hey, I'm new to electronics too; permit me to make goofy designs :)
  2. Old school parts where possible; no SoC one-chip-solutions, no HDMI+DVI+VGA video chip with auto-scaling and smooth rotation.. we do it the hard way. For science!
  3. Pragmatic; when old school parts are unavailable or too pricey or just silly, use a new part
  4. Cheap; where possible try to use inexpensive parts, not fancy parts parts; also, we love free samples from great companies like Texas Instruments, ST Micro, &c. They really take care of us hobbyists and professionals, and we love them for it.
  5. Simple; the design has to be simple enough that it might actually come to fruition; simple also means other newbies might be able to follow along or build their own; this also keeps costs down .. smaller boards, less parts. See the schematics.. a full double-buffered hardware road was travelled but it just seemed too complex for most people, and a lot of parts, so I went with something a little newer but still not cheating. We can always go down the 'make your own video card at the transistor level' road another day!
  6. Not the best; its actually much easier to design something better - blending old and new can add challenges (different voltages and chip families, different busing techniques..); so we're not going for a single chip awesome little machine - well, we will later - we're going for something crummy and old and goofy, because we can learn something and its fun. For science!
  7. Hackable; everything. All the parts should be moddable and hackable; extra programming headers, nothing locked down; if we use a video chip, thats cheating - we use a general purpose microcontroller and write the video system ourselves, so we can change it at will. This is the wrong way to do it, and the crazier fun way. You want to add hard drive or SD support, should be doable. Go ahead. Thats what its all about!
/home/skeezix/public_html/zikzak.ca/zikzak.ca/dokuwiki/__data/pages/zik80/guidelines.txt · Last modified: 2017/11/11 02:58 (external edit)