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Archiv 'New hardware and software products'


18.Sep.2021
CDTV Land (Twitter)


CDTV: New ROM version 2.35 announced (update)
The website CDTV Land is about Commodore's home multimedia entertainment and video game console CDTV which was launched in April 1991. It has now announced the new OS-Version 2.35.

The update will be available for free and "fixes a couple of long standing bugs which have plagued CDTV owners for many years and it throws a couple of small improvements into the mix for good measure". Changes compared to the last known original Commodore ROM release (2.30) from 1992:
  • Support for systems with 68030 CPUs
  • Support for systems with 32-bit Fast RAM
  • Memory card support restored for CDTV players
  • CD+G functionality restored for CDTV players
  • Buffer overflow bug fixed in bookmark.device
  • CD-ROMs will now boot even without CDTV.tm file
  • Ability to access the CDTV title screen when a harddisk is installed
  • Option to force exit CDTV title screen
  • OS build target device ID on CDTV title screen
  • No error screen when no disk drive connected to CDTV player
Regarding the availabilty the website wrote: "CDTV OS 2.35 is about to move from alpha to beta testing (by late September 2021). This means the feature set is locked and I will only be fixing bugs that arise during the beta testing phase. Depending on how the beta testing goes, I foresee a release version for the classic CDTV player (CD-1000) before the end of this year. ROM releases for the A570 and A690 CD-ROM drive addons for the A500/A500+ will follow shortly after that."

Update: (16:50, 19.09.21, dr)

In a separate article the developer of the new ROM has written about technical and legal issues. (dr)

[News message: 18. Sep. 2021, 08:23] [Comments: 0]
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17.Sep.2021
Amiga Love


Pac-Man port: Pacman 500
As the author Jean-François Fabre wrote, Pacman 500 "is a (successful) attempt by jotd to create a 1:1 port of the famous arcade game on Amiga 500 using 100% 68k assembly. The display is 4:3 so scores, lives, bonuses are on the side rather than on top/botton (YouTube video).

Features:
  • original visual & sounds
  • original ghost behaviour & speed
  • 50 frames per second (PAL) even on a 1MB 68000 A500
  • all levels & bonuses & intermission sequences
  • original intro
  • joystick controlled (port 1)
  • can run directly from shell or from whdload (fast machines/complex configurations)
1MB RAM is required (could be reduced to 512k with lower quality sounds). The source code is available on GitHub. (dr)

[News message: 17. Sep. 2021, 07:01] [Comments: 0]
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16.Sep.2021
Individual Computers (ANF)


Individual Computers: Pre-ordering of Indivision ECS V3 started
From today on it is possible to pre-order the Flickerfixer/Scandoubler 'Indivision ECS V3' produced by Individual Computers. Some notes of the developer:

"Indivision ECS V3 will replace Indivision ECS V2. Although very unusual for iComp, I had to make a re-design without actually adding new features. The main reason why a new design was required was the global chip shortage that you've surely heard about in the media. Two rather low-cost chips, and the main FPGA were either wildly expensive, or not available at all. I was lucky enough to find a small quantity of FPGAs on the free market for a moderate premium of "only" 160%, but could not find the right footprint part for the H/V sync driver and the data drivers. Instead of the SC-70 package for the H/V driver, I found a slightly bigger part with the same functionality. Luckily, that part of the board had enough space.

The data drivers were a single 16-bit chip on the V2 design. This became unavailable these past months, so I replaced it with two 8-bit drivers.

Instead of soldering the male-to-male adapter directly to the board, I decided to solder a socket to the circuit board, where the male-to-male adapter will be inserted. Background of this decision is a few service cases where pins of this adapter broke off, and it was very tedious to replace the part. The improved order of parts makes V3 much more servicable, as the adapter can now be exchanged without soldering. I'd expect that most useres can replace the adapter on their own, so shipping the flicker fixer to us for service is becoming less likely to be required.

Another thing that got hard-to-find was the IC that I've been using for the 25MHz oscillator. I wasn't too worried when the distributor told me that the lead time for this part is just over 50 weeks, as we've had complaints from A600 users that the crystal conflicts with the RTC module in some cases. I have therefore decided to buy 25MHz integrated 3.3V oscillators. While this is considerably more expensive, it is only a small contribution to the overall price increase, and has the added benefit of being much smaller than the HC49S-sized crystal of the V2 design.

One thing that is truly different from the V2 design is the output stage. On a component level, it does look almost the same as V2, but went through an expensive CE approval process, and vastly improves picture quality when used on problematic Samsung monitors and similar models that use the same input stage.

The new output stage uses high-frequency transistors as drivers, allowing much sharper edges at higher drive strength, eliminating "ghosting" that was described with certain problematic monitors.

Another thing we have improved is compatibility with motherboards that have a mouse/joystick multiplexer chip from Mitsubishi: While V2 had trouble dealing with the extremely long propagation delay of this chip, the CPLD of the V3 design deals with this problem without the need to adapt to a specific Amiga main board revision. This CPLD code can also be applied on the V2 design, so we now have a solution for existing V2 customers as well." (dr)

[News message: 16. Sep. 2021, 06:39] [Comments: 0]
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