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Thu, Apr. 28th, 2011, 11:59 am
loganberrybunny: "Recreating the era of 8-bit computers" -- BBC article on the FIGnition

The Beeb has an interesting piece on a new 8-bit micro kit by Julian Skidmore, the FIGnition. The name alludes to the fact that it runs a variety of FIG-Forth. John Honniball is also interviewed, and says he built the FIGnition kit in around an hour.

The FIGnition is already on sale in kit form for £20; orders are being accepted now but won't be processed until next month. It's currently PAL-only, and thus not on sale to the US. If I weren't the world's most useless solderer, I might even be tempted at that price!

Thu, Apr. 28th, 2011 12:49 pm (UTC)

The guy also has a Z80+AVR board design, four chips, operates a bit like a ZX80 in that the Z80 sends the video data to the AVR chip, which then does the signal (it uses the AVR to perform hardware functions like a PAL - I don't know why he didn't use a DIL format FPGA).

The FIGnition looks a bit like a three-chip VIC20 in many ways, except using Forth. Somebody threw a Jupiter Ace at a VIC20 and waited thirty years and this is the result...

Thu, Apr. 28th, 2011 02:12 pm (UTC)

Wow, small world - I used to see Mr. Honniball at the pub occasionally.

If I'm understanding it correctly, presumably you could build a keyboard to replace those eight switches - you'd just need to make sure that each key completed the right combination of circuits. Odd things would happen if you tried to type too fast, but it still seems like it would make the machine a lot easier to use.