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Memofest 2016 - the event of the year :-)

Posted: 29 Oct 2016 18:48
by 1024MAK
Memofest 2016 is in full swing :D

So far, multiple items of new or improved hardware have been demonstrated :D

New development software, new demo code and new games have been demonstrated :D

A Memotech cake has been attacked, and very good it was too :D


Re: Memofest 2016 - the event of the year :-)

Posted: 30 Oct 2016 09:38
by Bill B
Absolutely stunned by Andy's Hex-Train. Does he get any time to sleep :?:

Dave's collection of hardware was impressive to see for real, I am sorry I wasn't able to stay long enough to see the video-wall in action.

Many thanks to Nicola and Dave for the hospitality.


Re: Memofest 2016 - the event of the year :-)

Posted: 30 Oct 2016 21:16
by 1024MAK
It's the end of this year's Memofest for me :(

Before I get the the fun bit, first a thank you to Dave for inviting a group of MTX nerds to invade his home. And many thanks for his wife, Nicola for putting up with us, and supplying us with food and drink :D (note to webmaster, we need a clapping hands emoji).

Highlights of this year's event include (if I forget to include anything, I apologise in advance):-

Oh, by the way, the amount of excellent and impressive work shown has blown my mind, so these memories are not in any order...

Checking out Dave's video wall system and his extensive collection of ten (yes, I said TEN) Memotech MTX500 / MTX512 machines (not including his larger Memotech boxes, like his FDX...). His computer equipment takes up space in ### REDACTED ### rooms. Oh my, it appears I'm not permitted to tell you the exact number...

Seeing the MTX+ in action (and crashing with pretty colourful screens, well sometimes they were colourful, during testing of the new Speculator function). The video board works really well. Nice to see the results of all the hard work in real life 8-). The Martin, Dave and Tony team working together are certainly making progress... :D

Martin showed off his 6502 CPU card working on the MTX+ running BBC 6502 BASIC 8-). Later I found myself searching for parts to see if I could make one, oh my...

More on the MTX+ later...

Andy showed his latest improvements to ReMemotech, which used some trickery to allow it to use a new floating point system so that it could produce and plot a Mandelbrot set. This now outperforms a MTX+ system running with a 25 MHz Z180 CPU! It's impressively fast 8-). Although real world applications may be a bit rare. But who cares about that!

But that was not his only trick :shock:
Next he loaded up a new "game". But I'm not sure the word "game" does it justice. If you've played games on a MTX in the past and enjoyed the graphics, this will astound you. His new game is more like a graphical 3D rendered movie :shock:
It's called Hex-Train. It relies on modern mass storage to feed data to a normal 4 MHz MTX so that a train "simulation" type game can have very impressive and apparently smooth "film like" graphics.

After this the room was in silence as it took everyone took it in. He then explained the detail behind how he coded not only the game, but a whole development system :shock:

Bill surprised us with his new hardware development. A prototype board using just three chips. One of which was just a voltage regulator. The main chip being a Parallax Propeller (supported by a serial EEPROM chip). The Propeller uses five of it's eight "cogs" to produce a new 80 column screen display on a VGA monitor. It uses two bits of each primary colour channel (2 bits for Red, Green and Blue) giving a total of 64 colours! Not only that, but it it can display a type of medium resolution graphics. The intention is to combine it with the existing CFX system. He hand typed in a MTX BASIC program to show it off despite the MTX keyboard's switch bounce. Another very impressive piece of work. Thanks Bill. BTW, I want one ;-)

By now, my brain was a bit frazzled, but there was more...

Paul showed us the results of his wonderful coding skills in creating MTX game development system components. Including a sound playback system and a graphical system. Not being a "coder" and my brain having been overloaded earlier, I could only watch the display while the music played... as he explained his system :D

Of course, it would not be a Memofest without Claus producing yet another excellent MTX game conversion 8-)
By now I had filled my mental memory, so sorry Claus, I have forgotten the name of the game. But I'm sure Dave will post it up on his site soon.

Throughout the afternoon, Jim "popped" in and out via Skype.

While the power was ebbing away, I presented Claus with his new MTX that I built for him. Earlier Dave got his. So this should keep some MTX machines powered up for a long time to come ;-) Details are in the hardware section if you want to build your own. If you would like me to build one for you, the thread is here.

Oh, and of course, there was the little (well, large really) matter of the cake. This year we can truly say we had our chips and ate them, as the wonderful tasty cake had a detailed picture of a MTX main board as part of the icing on the top of the cake. We were soon devouring it :D

Now, for the English visitors, a big shock was that Saturday was a nice sunny and fine day (if a little bit cold in the morning). So we got a nice view of Dave's garden :D

Alas, Bill, Paul and Claus had now departed :-(

Attention returned to the MTX+ with lots more info from Dave and Martin. Throughout the weekend, Tony was sending test software to Dave to test the new Speculator mode. Alas, so far there are still bugs causing problems.

On the Sunday, we continued work on the MTX+ system. Although Dave's matrix board CPU card works well, his PCB version of the CPU card fails to function. Despite much work, we have not yet been able to understand why.

So as ideas on fault finding the MTX+ PCB CPU card had dried up, attention was turned to the MTX512S2 (that drives the video wall), as it had been experiencing loss of colour, a rolling picture, and picture break-up. The fault was traced to a defective 7812 voltage regulator. Once the idea of using a hammer to break it free had been dropped... I desoldered the old voltage regulator and fitted a new one, also fitting a new electrolytic smoothing capacitor at the same time. After a (long) soak test, Dave was finally satisfied that it was now healthy, so another MTX saved from silicon heaven :D

Time was then taken to eat more cake, then test many of Dave's MTX 500 and 512 machines.

The sun was getting low in the sky, so it then time for me to leave, ready for my journey 500 miles to the south.

Thanks once again to everyone for another wonderful Memofest.


Re: Memofest 2016 - the event of the year :-)

Posted: 30 Oct 2016 23:54
by 1024MAK
Hmm, from Scotland to England, a few circles around Bristol (saw the two Severn Bridges, twice!), and now on an aircraft that's diverted to Cardiff, Wales!... Still in the plane at a the airport. What next?
A number of aircraft unable to land at Bristol due to poor visibility (and circling, but which eventually did land at Bristol), just not the flight I'm on :(
Welcome to Cardiff!
Welcome to Cardiff!
image.jpeg (72.5 KiB) Viewed 5433 times

Edited to improve the clarity, if only they had kept Filton airfield open and allowed commercial flights to use it.

Re: Memofest 2016 - the event of the year :-)

Posted: 31 Oct 2016 00:41
by 1024MAK
About to take off again...

Re: Memofest 2016 - the event of the year :-)

Posted: 31 Oct 2016 01:16
by Dave
Hi Mark,

hope you get into Bristol this time !

If not, you might end up back in Cardiff, then on a bus :o


Re: Memofest 2016 - the event of the year :-)

Posted: 31 Oct 2016 02:31
by 1024MAK
Whoopee! Landed at Bristol at 23:06!
Got home about 15 minutes ago :D

Then wondered why the clocks said 01:16??? Do'h, of course, now I have to change them to GMT...

Still, at least the radio clocks have changed automatically :-)

So, a break for a few months, then time to start thinking about coming up with enough stuff to save us from the badly play a game competition :lol:


Re: Memofest 2016 - the event of the year :-)

Posted: 01 Nov 2016 07:51
by Crazyboss
hehe we got a time issue to :) I was in the same hotel as Andy. So Saturday when we got back we agreed to meet for breakfast around 9 oclock, in that time I didn remember what time my plane would leave. So Andy said just call me when you are ready.

Then I found out that my plane actually leaves late, around 12.15. So I tried to make it close to 9 oclock :) Around 5 or 6 Oclock I woke up, could not sleep anymore. So did a bit of stuff on Memorum etc. And around 8.30 I called Andy who sounded a bit sleepy :) His first comment what time is is - 8.30 I answered, then his next comment did you adjust the clock - yes my computer said so, was my answer this time, ok see you downstairs Andy Answered.

Then I wend around and took some pictures of the view from the Hotel, my Phone funny enough said the time was round 7.30 hmmm....

Then I realize the Clock on my computer, was on Swedish time not UK time :)

So Yes I had adjusted the clocks but still woke Andy up one Hour earlier :) But that just gave us more time to talk bit and bytes :) And we talked about how to give MEMU better debug options. Which I can use when I convert games :)

Again thanks to Dave and his wife, for a great Memofest 2016. Hope to be back next year when we find a host :)