Welcome everyone, time for the Gigatron Hack Chat. I'm Dan Maloney, I'll be the moderator today. I want to welcome Walter Belgers to the chat today to talk all about the Gigatron.
Walter, thanks for coming on in what must be a difficult time. We were all so sad to hear about Marcel, and you have our condolences.
Thank you Dan. Yes, his passing is very sad indeed.
How did you two end up working on Gigatron together?
I have known Marcel for over 20 years already
What is on the menu for tonight?
He was working in the semiconductor industry and had lived for some years in Taiwan but returned to the Netherlands again
@SimonAllen - Gigatron: https://hackaday.io/event/171602-gigatron-hack-chat
He was always doing interesting side projects, such as with computer chess, making weather balloons to reach space and more.
After he had bought a bunch of TTL chips and a book about what you could do with them, he thought about starting an interesting electronics project, but he wanted to do it together with somebody.
Actually, another friend that also was involved on some of the other projects was involved in the beginning, but he no longer had the time, and Marcel asked me. I have had an interest in electronics all my life (having soldered since age 8).
@Dan Maloney . Thanks
And to be honest: Marcel was a really knowledgeable and enthousiastic person, and I thought that whatever the outcome would be, I would enjoy "finding out stuff" with Marcel.
When he asked me, he and the other friend had already started, so I was not involved in the earliest prototyping work. My contributions started with the kit version of the Gigatron.
That's the basis for some of the best projects, and partnerships.
Yes I really enjoyed working together, and our knowledge did overlap on some points, but on others we were really able to push each other.
Unfortunately programming is not my biggest hobby, so Marcel did all of that (and I could never have done it as well as he did).
Were you surprised by the community that sprung up around the Gigatron?
Surprised is not the word.. we were thankful and overjoyed :)
How many kits have been shipped?
We had some discussions very early on with other kit builders. Building a kit is a whole different game than building a one-off. And I remember one of the things we were told is that you should do this because you get to interact with all sorts of nice and interesting people.
And when that happened, we were really happy. As I am now seeing many of them in this chat :-)
@Steve Silverman we sold just over 1000 kits
Walter may I say sorry for the great loss - Marcel was always willing to help anyone with their Gigatron ideas or issues
What will happen with some of the work Marcel had started, such as the I/O expansion? Has that been open-sourced too?
@monsonite yes Marcel always wanted to understand every little detail himself, and if others were interested to learn things, he'd be happy to help. As am I. You could say we are old-skool hackers
@pbierhoff the I/O expansion was work in progress. all the software and the schematics can be found on the forum. it's needs a bit of work to be really useful, but it would be great if the Gigatron were to be able to boot games from SDCARD in the future. It's not really in-line with the "retro" design goal, but makes life much easier
Who came up with the name Gigatron and why?
@Paul Hernaus the both of us wrote down possible names, and we gave points to all of the names....
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