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About Monder

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  1. I've just found what looks like the same product from a british supplier as well: http://www.coolcomponents.co.uk/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=45&products_id=179. It might cost a little more, but you don't have to add on the extras of getting it across the Atlantic and VAT/Duty charges :)
  2. Have you seen this: http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=8541? It's a cheapish VGA graphics controller with a simple serial interface. Sparkfun (What I've linked to) sell a version soldered to a PCB with an SRAM chip all integrated together with DIL breakout pins so you could easily plug it into a breadboard. Won't give you TV output though as far as I know.
  3. Monder

    2MHz should be enough for anyone

    Quote: So where did you learn all this junk from? Any good references? You should check out Digital Design and Computer Architecture. It teaches basic computer architecture along with verilog, an HDL (hardware description language). It's like a programming language for hardware, you write what you want to do in verilog and synthesis tools can turn that into actual hardware (As compilers turn [insert language here] into executable x86). Generally you'll target an FPGA (field programmable gate array) which is effectively a chip that consists of a huge number of logic gates that you can connect up as you wish to produce arbitrary bits of hardware without having to make a custom chip and thus avoiding the huge costs associated with that. You can buy FPGA development boards that have an FPGA along with various peripherals (such as LCDs, Audio and VGA DACs, CF/SD card connectors, USB etc along with external IO connectors so you can plug your own stuff in) though they can get expensive (You might manage to find one for $50 or so but the ones with decent sized FPGAs and a decent number of peripherals on the board generally cost a few hundred). Though if you're serious about playing around with your own CPU architectures it's worth it. I used the XUPV2P to make a multicore processor for my final year project in my computer science degree and I'm currently in the beginnings of designing a GPU for the board (Which I'm planning to start writing a dev journal about soon). Of course verilog, HDLs, FPGAs and such are a bit more abstract than the stripboard and solder approach used by benryves so you may want to check out the book he recommends as well to get a better idea of the actual physical aspect. Plus writing programs for a computer that's constructed out of wires, chips and stripboard that you built yourself is always good fun [grin].
  4. Monder

    Grad School Bid, 2.0

    Cambridge could be an option in the UK. There's a Gates Cambridge Trust which awards quite a few scholarships a year to overseas students (as well as various others who award scholarships check out the Cambridge grad application website for all the gory details), however the deadline is the 15th December for applications to it so if you did want to do that you'd be starting sometime next year. The Rainbow group at the computer laboratory would be the one you'd want to take a look at,
  5. Monder

    Every Game Should Have an In-Code Profiler

    Have you seen Phoenix? It's basically the MS compilers put together in a modular way that allows you switch stages in and out and add in plugins. One of its intended uses is instrumenting code, so if you wish to create a new profiler it could come in handy.
  6. Monder

    Parallel-Port SMS Control Pad

    Why don't you try adding external pull-up resistors? Then everything should work fine.
  7. Monder


    Personally I would have liked to seen more maths corsework (i.e. at A-Level), so students can actualy show they can use the maths they've learnt to solve a problem rather than just, do this integral, invert this matrix etc. Oh and happy birthday.
  8. Monder

    More Hardware

    Nice, my current breadboard is tad messy though I think I'll be doing a PCB at some point, rather than using a Tortilla.
  9. Monder

    More Hardware

    I haven't really progressed much since my last post due to lack of time. However I have done some stuff. I've hooked up a composite video connector so I can display stuff on my TV, connected a SNES pad I got off eBay (decided I didn't need the ps/2 connector for a keyboard, I may add one at a later date) and my sample order arrived from Microchip so I have a 256k EEPROM as well. Here's a labeled picture of what the setup is now: What I need to do now is actually write a game for the thing [grin]. What I currently have running is a (highly unimpressive) test program that just draws a rectangle on the TV you can move around with the SNES pad. It's horribly flickery but at least it works. Here's a picture of the output on my TV: Here's a little test program that comes with the Propeller dev environment: The SNES Pad The SNES pad is a very simple device to interface with, it basically consists of two 4021 shift registers (The 4021 datasheet is here). A shift register is a very simple device that basically holds a load of binary digits, then on a clock pulse every bit shifts along by 1 (You can look at like this, if the contents of the register were a variable x, every clock pulse x = x
  10. Monder


    So I've decided to build my own console of a sort. Originally I was going to buy a Spartan-3E starter kit and do something with an FPGA however Xilinx won't sell me one due to EU regulations about hazardous materials in electronics. So I've gone and bought a Propeller chip instead. It's an 8-core chip that can run at 80 MHz which should be fun to code for [grin]. Here's the circuit I've come up with, it's got stero sound output, composite video output, a PS/2 connector (for connecting a keyboard), an eeprom for program storage and it's connected to the computer via serial. It's pretty much ended up being like the Propeller demo board actually. I ordered all the various bits and they arrived a couple of days ago. Being an idiot I ordered a male rather than a female serial connector, so currently I have to use the serial cable I had for use with a picaxe chip which would be fine but it lacks a reset line. So I've had to setup a reset switch that I have to hit at exactly the right time when trying to download a program to the Propeller which is a bit of a pain but it's doable. Here's a few pictures of what I've currently got setup: Currently it doesn't do all that much, I've got it to talk to the computer and blink an LED next I've got to solder up a composite video connector and see if I can get something on my TV. It's all a bit of a mess of wires and breadboards atm but it works [grin].
  11. Monder

    Going away for a while

    Well If you need a decent pub while you're in Cambridge I'd recomend The Castle. I would attempt to meet up with you (if you're not going to be spending the entire time in the MS research building anyway) but I'm heading home tomorrow. To get to The Castle take a right out of the west cambridge site along Madingley road towards the city. Walk along that road for a fair while until you reach a crossroads, on your right will be a road which leads into the town and a bridge that crosses the river (There's another good pub down there called the pickerel) on your left will be a road that leads up a hill and there's a church on the corner. Go up this road a short way and The Castle is on your right.
  12. Monder

    Direct3D 10

    Quote:thus it's probably of interest to you guys that there may well be a resolution to this sometime soon I'm guessing such a solution would be in the form of a special reference device that can run on XP? You'd need support of the new Vista driver model to actually use D3D10 hardware on XP, but I don't see any reason why you couldn't have a reference device if you made a few tweaks/hacks under the hood. Either that or they're bringing out a public beta of Vista, I have read various things saying they're planning on doing so and given their history with the VS CTPs and the WinFX CTP it doesn't seem that unlikely.
  13. Monder

    And now for something completely irrelevant

    I'm pretty sure the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 is the fastest street legal car available.
  14. Monder

    Clowns will melt at 27 degrees

    Well after a little Googling I found this which mentions several different ideas as to what the basic plots are and how many there are. I'd say the basic ideas are not directly related to the genre so you could conceivably come up with a list of basic game ideas which every game could be said to be derived from that isn't a list of genres. [edit]After thinking about it some more I guess the list would contain genres but I think it would also contain other things, though I can't actually think of any concrete examples atm[/edit]
  15. Monder

    Clowns will melt at 27 degrees

    Well there is a theory that all stories/plots etc are basically one of several categories (I remember there being 19) or a combination of them. I wonder if you can come up with a similar set of basic games that all other games are either copies of or combinations of?
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