Does the price really matter (that much)?

GregZone

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Sep 29, 2019
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Me too, waiting too long for such a machine - I'm already wating for years for the Mega65!
This raises an interesting point...

I'd suspect that a quite significant portion of the Commander X16 following community have also been avid followers of the (long term) Mega65 development. I know I am one of those also.

This suggests that achieving "tipping point" level of success for the Commander X16 may be dictated by it's (hopefully) quick speed to market.

ie. Knowing that the Mega65 has recently completed it's "pre-series" machine assembly, it does appear to be getting quite close to market.

If the Commander X16 can beat the Mega65 to actually being an available product, then I think it will likely capture a lot of those long term Mega65 followers.

Conversely, if the Mega65 is launched first, then a large chunk of the X16 community might abandon ship to give the Mega65 their full focus.

Of course I may be completely worng as they are of course 2 different products, but there is certainly quite an overlap in their retro community appeal.
 
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Schlowski

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Sep 24, 2019
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I don't think the Mega65 will be ready anytime soon. It's now nearly 4 weeks since the last announcement. They are going at a very slow pace, sometimes months without any (visible) progress.
Conversely, if the Mega65 is launched first, then a large chunk of the X16 community might abandon ship to give the Mega65 their full focus.
I don't think so as a lot of users expressed their requirement for a low price. I expect the Mega65 to be priced way over $500 which is a completely different arena as the X16.
 
May 22, 2019
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I don't think the Mega65 will be ready anytime soon. It's now nearly 4 weeks since the last announcement. They are going at a very slow pace, sometimes months without any (visible) progress.

I don't think so as a lot of users expressed their requirement for a low price. I expect the Mega65 to be priced way over $500 which is a completely different arena as the X16.
Yeah, my guess is the Mega will hit between $500 and $600 (mostly because large FPGAs are expensive), and the first generation Commander will be around $250-350, maybe a bit more with the "pro" keyboard.
 

GregZone

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Sep 29, 2019
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Yeah, my guess is the Mega will hit between $500 and $600 (mostly because large FPGAs are expensive), and the first generation Commander will be around $250-350, maybe a bit more with the "pro" keyboard.
Yes, it may be that I've just been a long time Mega65 "dreamer" if it comes in at a $500 - $600 price level. LOL

Apart from hoping that I will be able to get my hands on some X16 hardware, in the not too distant future, I'm also hoping for the assemble it yourself "kitset" version for those of us who are a bit financially constrained (but who also have plenty of electronics maker experience... even including SMD). :)
 

BruceMcF

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May 19, 2019
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Yes, it may be that I've just been a long time Mega65 "dreamer" if it comes in at a $500 - $600 price level. LOL

Apart from hoping that I will be able to get my hands on some X16 hardware, in the not too distant future, I'm also hoping for the assemble it yourself "kitset" version for those of us who are a bit financially constrained (but who also have plenty of electronics maker experience... even including SMD). :)
They've mentioned at some time that a kit might not be any cheaper than the same board assembled. The "budget" option with real chips would be the Stage 2, with use of surface mount parts where feasible and possibly some further cost reduction engineering (eg, a CPLD or two eliminating much of the glue logic) ... which would likely be only available as an assembled board.
 

kghultland

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Oct 18, 2019
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Well as a newcomer here I belong to the first category who used 8-bit computers when they came out (got my first when I was 13 in 1979) and miss the old times when one knew the details of one's computer and had to make all programs as there were almost none to buy. As I'm 53 now and have a good job I can afford to spend money on my hobbies so I am not that price-sensitive but I understand the concerns of those that can't spend extra on a hobby.

I would very much like the 65C816 CPU in the final design even if it is run in a compatibility mode :) (just as I loved to have a Z80 in my C128 that I could use for some hacks)
 
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mchobby

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Oct 13, 2019
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Umm...price matters....price it too high....and the 16 people who say price isn't an issue would be the only ones who own one...and that would be a shame. I've also been waiting to see if a machine like this would ever make it into reality...I'm patient...Hopefully I can contribute some how.
Price can also be compressed by selling it as a kit, having the case as an option could also helps to lower the price.
Assembling it would certainly offer a great time and completly inline with the idea of "understanding what's inside the box" :)

regards,
Dominique
 

Hiraghm

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May 18, 2019
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Discussion on this forum and the FB group helps build the community. Reporting bugs in the emulator also helps :) And if you have coding skills creating software for the machine can help build interest.



In my case price matters in so much as that I am poor. But I would be willing to pay pretty much anything for a 6502-based machine with modern I/O interfaces and a capable video chip. I have been chasing this whale for a long time, and I, like David, do not have the skills to do it myself :)
I'm with you on that.
 

Hiraghm

Member
May 18, 2019
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I, too, am poor, but I love vintage computers, so I'm distressed at the rising prices on ebay.

A lot of it is finally owning machines I had no hope of owning when they were new.
A lot of it is following the PC path I missed out on in the 80s/90s by following the Amiga path.
A lot of it is hardware hacking, which I've just begun to explore and find I enjoy.
A lot of it is the challenge of seeing what this new Vera board can do.
A lot of it is that I always liked 6502 assembler more than 8086 or 68k; I used to liken it to programming with chopsticks.
None of it is being able to do things modern computers can do. My Pi can't do what my desktop can do, but that's not what I have it for.
Modern computers are, for me, functional but boring.

Being poor, I have my own price-point for vintage gear, and that's around $100. More than that and I have to skip meals, less and it's probably junk I can't make work.
I do think the $50 price-point for the CX16 is unnecessarily low. While I can save up, knowing that it's coming, I could probably afford $200-$300 for a CX16... eventually.
I would welcome a kit version, especially if it's cheaper. But even if it were the same price, I might still want the kit, for the fun of putting it together and also knowing every piece of it, afterwards. And while I like Perifractic's case ideas, I'll probably make my own.

And I think the 3 versions would best break down as 1st one Desktop, 2nd one laptop, 3rd one handheld. By the time the 3rd one comes out, there will almost certainly be a software/game base.
I also think once the basic design is set, ways will be found to make it cheaper to produce.
But I'd hate to see it crippled trying for that unreasonable (IMO) price-point.
 

mchobby

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Oct 13, 2019
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But even if it were the same price, I might still want the kit, for the fun of putting it together and also knowing every piece of it, afterwards. And while I like Perifractic's case ideas, I'll probably make my own.
Happy to see you sharing my opinion :)
 

saulysw

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Nov 6, 2019
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Well to chime in a little on this, my take is "it depends". That is, it depends on what is included in the price. If you have a whole computer, in a small case, with a keyboard and mouse included, and a decent manual (unlike anything sold today but definitely what was sold back then) in a small box then YES, I'm all in for several hundred dollars, perhaps more. BUT Just the board and I have to do the rest, well, the price I'm willing to pay comes way way down. I can see how some would love a super-cheap bare bones option, but I'm in it for the full package. I'll supply the VGA capable screen, and cables, that's about it. Hey, I might even plug in my IBM Model-M keyboard, but as there are those funky character keys I think I need a new custom keyboard supplied too. I really hope the project gets to this stage, and ships to Aussie-land.

EDIT : Did I say mouse? Yeah. No mouse needed here really.
 

rje

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Nov 6, 2019
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I'm also a Mega 65 follower, but can't afford the development version, much less the eventual product.

It seems to me the point of a lower price is to encourage an "ecosystem"... which is probably correct. What that price point is, is still worth discussing, but by now it seems clear that the initial price will be $hundreds.

I suppose that if the price is half that of the Mega 65, then they'll have done a good job.
 

BruceMcF

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May 19, 2019
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They've mentioned on FB as rough guides, expect $300ish for Stage1, $200ish for Stage2, $100ish for Stage3.
Stage1 is the mostly DIP (except for Vera daughterboard) kit buildable board. This is the standard reference design.
Stage2 is the cost-reduced version of Stage1 with likely mostly surface mount parts, possibly some SPLD or a CPLD replacing some/all glue logic
Stage3 is the "cram as much into one or two FPGA's as cuts the cost" board. It might be a four chip board, FPGA, SRAM, flashROM and CPU, or fewer depending on if it is cost effective to put one or two of those other three into a more capable FPGA.
 

Grunchy

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Nov 21, 2019
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Chiming in...
Price doesn’t bother me. But I don’t want another computer either. Frankly... I’m perfectly happy with the emulator!
Where I’m coming from is, I have a C64. If the commander came as a cartridge, I’d buy it. Now someone already told me that a cart version could not use the native resources of the C64, to which I say, “oh? but how does the 20MHz C64 SuperCPU work then?” Because that (20 year old) project seems to work as a cart. I mean, my C64 already has a keyboard, SD2IEC, SID chip, etc. (my point being - I already own these components, why would Commander 16 necessarily need new ones?)
Also just look at the Amiga vampire to see how to add ports and features to an existing Amiga, with nothing but an add-on board.
Another thing about the old SuperCPU was that it seemed to have switch-selectable kernals such as JiffyDOS, and if that’s the case (and same as we already see with VICE), maybe the cart could be used to operate as *any* 8-bit Commodore.
Like, imagine the utter coolness of using a Vic20 as a C128, with only a cartridge?
Anyway, just thoughts. Like, they created an Apple IIe card for certain Macintosh models, how utterly cool???
I’d rather buy one mega cart than another stand-alone, and I hate to mention it, *obsolete*, 8-bit computer. Because the fact is, I’m running the development version (emulated) absolutely for free. In my particular circumstance, the physical computer doesn’t serve any need or desire of mine.
 
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BruceMcF

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May 19, 2019
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Chiming in...
Price doesn’t bother me. But I don’t want another computer either. Frankly... I’m perfectly happy with the emulator!
Where I’m coming from is, I have a C64. If the commander came as a cartridge, I’d buy it. Now someone already told me that a cart version could not use the native resources of the C64, to which I say, “oh? but how does the 20MHz C64 SuperCPU work then?”
It's not it "can't do that" in the sense of it is technically impossible to do such a thing. Indeed, a combined cartridge that contained the Vera and the sound chips would make something that the SuperCPU could really get it's teeth into.

Rather, it "can't do it" in the sense of a reference design that meets the project goals also being put into a cartridge that uses the resources of the C64.

In my particular circumstance, the physical computer doesn’t serve any need or desire of mine.
No project meets everyone's needs.

According to "Video 1", the starting point of this project were people who didn't have an 8bit system asking Dave what was the best system to buy in order to experience the 8bit style of computing, and Dave realizing that he couldn't give an unequivocal recommendation for any existing system.

So making something of interest to people who already have a C64, or AppleII, or ZX Spectrum, or whatever is, if it happens, an expansion from the original target for the concept. Good for scale economies if it happens, but it's not the core target market.
 

cml37

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May 19, 2019
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And to add to Bruce's comments, I imagine that a good chunk (if not all) of X16's design will end up being accessible... and the whole concept is for the design to be open, I believe. I am not sure what the sentiment will be towards creating variants, but if everything is accessible, there's nothing to stop it... so... my challenge to you, @Grunchy, is that if you want a certain variant, then talk to David, and if he is onboard with it, then do it! That said, if you are expecting to wait around and for someone else to do it, well, then that COULD happen, but who knows :)
 
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