Dave wrote:Someone elsewhere commented that it was nice I might get some competition.
I have mixed feelings about this.
On the one hand, I instinctively feel a little unnerved by the idea that my main fundraising project to develop UltraQ could be challenged but on the other, I don't.
This is a 512K expansion. If anyone makes them in small numbers, the cost will be around £40-45 each, retail. I'll be selling my 896K expansions for £15 more, which would release a lot of 80s 512K expansions onto the market for a lot less. I would sell a few less SuperRAMs, but that's ok. That's more SuperRAMs available to sell with UltimIDE. I also have an advantage of time to market. SuperRAM is now only 3-4 weeks away from shipping.
As far as my internal 512K goes I'll only be producing them for my own use (I currently have 7 QLs, 1xTrump card, 1xExpanderam and 1xSuperQboard 512). So no competition intended from here
I encourage any effort to put new hardware out there. There's many new designs I'd like to license or get permission to use for QL2 - a good example being any new compact design that allows a new mouse port and PS2 keyboard. The more there is, the more incentive returning QLers have to actually return, instead of just visiting web pages.
I just sent the QIMI PS/2 boards away for a prototype run today hope to have them in a couple of weeks.
A PS/2 keyboard would require one of two things, either a circuit that emulated the IPC and added PS/2 capability, doing this would be possible but may introduce compatibility problems with things like Hermes / SuperHermes.
The other way of doing this is a circuit that emulates the QL keyboard matrix. I have implemented the second option for other machines (Dragon 32, Acorn Atom, BBC) using an AVR micro controller and a Zarlink MT8816 cross-point switch IC. With the QL we may be able to get away with a simpler circuit without the cross-point as the IPC handles the hardware interfacing to the matrix in a way that it can't be altered by the application programmer deciding for instance that they'll only read one line of the matrix (games often do things like this for speed) So once the keyboard was working it would stay working.
Of course if the Hermes / Super Hermes design where available we could use that as a basis, hopefully without breaking it