Is the Color Maximite 2 Dead?


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William Leue
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Joined: 03/07/2020
Location: United States
Posts: 316
Posted: 05:17pm 19 Sep 2022      

As an enthusiastic CMM2 software developer, I cringe a little each time I look at the forum and see nothing but Picomite posts.

I understand that the chip shortage has made it impossible to manufacture more CMM2's at the present time. However, the chip shortage, God willing, will be over some day. My question is, will the CMM2 be produced again at that time?

While I admire the work that has been done in both hardware and software to make the Picomite as capable as possible, I don't think it will ever match the CMM2's power. (Prove me wrong  )

Mainly, I hate to think that all the apps I have written are for a dead system.

-Bill

Bleep
Senior Member

Joined: 09/01/2022
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 117
Posted: 05:25pm 19 Sep 2022      

Hi Bill,
If they are written in MMBasic then you programs should work on almost any hardware that supports MMBasic, so not waisted at all, it may need tweaking, but it should 'basically' run.
As to whether/when it will be possible to build more CMM's I would suspect yes, as to a time scale, that is anyone's guess.
Regards.

thwill

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Joined: 16/09/2019
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 2830
Posted: 05:26pm 19 Sep 2022      

Hi Bill,

I think that most (and it was only ever a handful) of the retro-computing fans who the CMM2 brought into the shed (probably via the 8-Bit Guy's video) have now wandered out again - retro computing, especially with non-real retro gear (or emulation/reproduction thereof) is a fickle hobby. That leaves mostly the electronics grognards and some new PicoMite adoptees and they don't play a lot of "games" by all accounts. We also seem to have (mostly) lost our stand-out games developer (Mauro) and our archivist (Jiri).

That said 4 out of 5 of the entries to the "MMBasic Programming Challenge 2022" were for the Colour Maximite 2, and most CMM2 stuff should also work on MMBasic for Windows; if more people were kicking then perhaps Peter could be persuaded to try and iron out the last few MMBasic for Windows vs. CMM2 inconsistencies.

> Mainly, I hate to think that all the apps I have written are for a dead system.

I believe 80% of what you've written should be relatively easily convertible to the PicoMite VGA, but honestly that is just transferring from one niche system to another. If you aren't doing it for yourself, then alas it probably isn't worth doing.

I wish I had a more positive outlook on this.

Best wishes,

Tom

Tinine
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Joined: 30/03/2016
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1529
Posted: 05:51pm 19 Sep 2022      

Microchip: Unfortunately closed, single-source devices.

Cost me 18 months of not being able to fill orders...you feel it when it's your livelihood.

Craig

Volhout
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Joined: 05/03/2018
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 1809
Posted: 05:58pm 19 Sep 2022      

Cmm2 = STM32H743 is not microchip

Tinine
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Joined: 30/03/2016
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1529
Posted: 06:11pm 19 Sep 2022      

  Volhout said  Cmm2 = STM32H743 is not microchip


Didn't say it was...MC screwed my business for awhile.

How's the ST supply chain working out?

Craig

stanleyella

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Joined: 25/06/2022
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 461
Posted: 06:11pm 19 Sep 2022      

  thwill said  Hi Bill,

I think that most (and it was only ever a handful) of the retro-computing fans who the CMM2 brought into the shed (probably via the 8-Bit Guy's video) have now wandered out again - retro computing, especially with non-real retro gear (or emulation/reproduction thereof) is a fickle hobby. That leaves mostly the electronics grognards and some new PicoMite adoptees and they don't play a lot of "games" by all accounts. We also seem to have (mostly) lost our stand-out games developer (Mauro) and our archivist (Jiri).

That said 4 out of 5 of the entries to the "MMBasic Programming Challenge 2022" were for the Colour Maximite 2, and most CMM2 stuff should also work on MMBasic for Windows; if more people were kicking then perhaps Peter could be persuaded to try and iron out the last few MMBasic for Windows vs. CMM2 inconsistencies.

> Mainly, I hate to think that all the apps I have written are for a dead system.

I believe 80% of what you've written should be relatively easily convertible to the PicoMite VGA, but honestly that is just transferring from one niche system to another. If you aren't doing it for yourself, then alas it probably isn't worth doing.

I wish I had a more positive outlook on this.

Best wishes,

Tom


Hi Tom. I am one of those "8bit guys" that only have used a picomite, no other "Mite" thingy.
For a new user it is very interesting both the rpi and mmbasic.
I only use the non vga mmbasic but like writing games on 320 x 240 lcd.... well trying. I am getting there but graphics and touch instead of buttons is new.
Using touch for games is new to me but seems better than more wires and buttons and pull up resistors. MMBasic ili9341 touch is well implemented and the blit command is fast.
I do not think nintendo games possible but missile command using touch screen could.... just got to slow down the draw line command. (I have draw line code).
Anyone interested in making mmbasic lcd games let me know.

matherp
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Joined: 11/12/2012
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 6619
Posted: 06:28pm 19 Sep 2022      

The CMM2 is alive and well and just waiting for the chip supply to correct itself. Only this afternoon I was working on the source upgrading to the latest versions of the compiler and the IDE (the new versions are more rigorous and found some coding errors   )

It is MUCH more powerful than the RP2040. Solar eclipse on the Pico 23 seconds at 378MHz, 7 seconds on the CMM2 at default speed and of course the graphics are also very much better.
Edited 2022-09-20 04:38 by matherp

Tinine
Guru

Joined: 30/03/2016
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1529
Posted: 06:46pm 19 Sep 2022      

ArmMite is my favourite but this number hasn't changed since December 2021:








Craig

pwillard
Senior Member

Joined: 07/06/2022
Location: United States
Posts: 186
Posted: 06:50pm 19 Sep 2022      

But if you can't *get* the core for the CMM2... it's effectively in a holding pattern and the only fanboys are the ones who already got one.  On the other hand, I can still buy a pico RP2040 whenever I wish, so it makes sense that it's the *hot* topic.

I mean... I was interested in a CMM2 and then realized there was no way to get one...

Hefty unrealistic price on available Waveshare's CoreH7's dev boards and the unobtanium status of the Gen2's STM32H743 chips...
Edited 2022-09-20 04:54 by pwillard

Nimue

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Joined: 06/08/2020
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 314
Posted: 07:03pm 19 Sep 2022      

I came for the CMM2 and stayed for the PICOMITE

My route in was looking for a modern "boot to BASIC" device to use in class - no retro agenda on the horizon.

What's interesting for me about the hardware, software and this community is that it's not a "retro" community aimed at preserving kit (full disclosure - I love my ZX81, Spectrum, Vic20 and Electrons) nor is it aimed solely at playing / coding new games (again, I love Chuckie Egg, The Hobbit and Horace) but rather putting the "kit" to use in the real world.

I still use my CMM2 if not daily, weekly in class.  But to be honest, the price / feature set of PicoMite means that I currently have x7 of those setup and in use daily.   I've even managed with great success to use PuTTY on Linux as the PC to tether to.  (I really need to 3D print some cases for the 'mites)

Granted, I re-flash the Pi's with Circuit Python occasionally as this is some schools preferred route up from Scratch.

I live in an education world dominated by Microbits / Pi's and Arduinos -- BUT the children are hampered by their limited coding prowess in C or Python (and have even seen a JavaScript flash). And to be fair, more hampered by the skills (or lack thereof) of those teaching them. And, the blocky, drag drop affairs are an abomination!!!  

The pairing of MMBasic (Windows) and an MMBasic flashed Pi (PicoMite) is a really sweet proposition for me.  Take a class through coding something (computer suite, Windows).  Then code it on the real hardware (almost identical, expcept for the actual I/O).   Now if I could link Windows MMBasic direct to the PicoMite (Click here to send to PicoMite) - that would be Golden, but that's 1% in something that is already 95%!

Is the CMM2 dead - no, but I suppose we need to reflect on the purpose of such equipment.  They are "hobbyist" devices - or used to support limited commercial use cases where a MCU / MMBasic combo works out.  Yes, you can capably write and play games on them, but that is not what they are designed for.  In my opinion that's a bonus.

/nerd mode on/
I see the CMM2 as the Enterprise, with the PicoMites as the "Galileo" - they keep getting upgraded and eventually will surpass the Enterprise. That is until the guru's here release a cloaking device
/nerd mode off/

From the retro side, I watched with horror as the Commander X16 morphed into some commercial mash up aimed  (as far as I can see) at playing old C64 games / writing new ones.  It promised so much at the start.

The Agon (https://www.thebyteattic.com/p/agon.html) seems to offer a "modern" BBC basic with GPIO.  But regardless of the GPIO, the use case seems to be again "games" - so time will tell.

For me, the community here is a great balance of outright technical Titan's and people like me.  Granted, at times (increasingly?) I sense unnecessary angst - I reflect all the time that we are contributing / partaking in a community that is essentially based on collective goodwill not profit.


So, like I say - come for CMM2, stay for the company.

N

Mixtel90

Guru

Joined: 05/10/2019
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 3141
Posted: 07:12pm 19 Sep 2022      

Not dead, only sleeping. (We hope!)

stanleyella

Guru

Joined: 25/06/2022
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 461
Posted: 07:42pm 19 Sep 2022      

  Nimue said  I came for the CMM2 and stayed for the PICOMITE

My route in was looking for a modern "boot to BASIC" device to use in class - no retro agenda on the horizon.

What's interesting for me about the hardware, software and this community is that it's not a "retro" community aimed at preserving kit (full disclosure - I love my ZX81, Spectrum, Vic20 and Electrons) nor is it aimed solely at playing / coding new games (again, I love Chuckie Egg, The Hobbit and Horace) but rather putting the "kit" to use in the real world.

I still use my CMM2 if not daily, weekly in class.  But to be honest, the price / feature set of PicoMite means that I currently have x7 of those setup and in use daily.   I've even managed with great success to use PuTTY on Linux as the PC to tether to.  (I really need to 3D print some cases for the 'mites)

Granted, I re-flash the Pi's with Circuit Python occasionally as this is some schools preferred route up from Scratch.

I live in an education world dominated by Microbits / Pi's and Arduinos -- BUT the children are hampered by their limited coding prowess in C or Python (and have even seen a JavaScript flash). And to be fair, more hampered by the skills (or lack thereof) of those teaching them. And, the blocky, drag drop affairs are an abomination!!!  

The pairing of MMBasic (Windows) and an MMBasic flashed Pi (PicoMite) is a really sweet proposition for me.  Take a class through coding something (computer suite, Windows).  Then code it on the real hardware (almost identical, expcept for the actual I/O).   Now if I could link Windows MMBasic direct to the PicoMite (Click here to send to PicoMite) - that would be Golden, but that's 1% in something that is already 95%!

Is the CMM2 dead - no, but I suppose we need to reflect on the purpose of such equipment.  They are "hobbyist" devices - or used to support limited commercial use cases where a MCU / MMBasic combo works out.  Yes, you can capably write and play games on them, but that is not what they are designed for.  In my opinion that's a bonus.

/nerd mode on/
I see the CMM2 as the Enterprise, with the PicoMites as the "Galileo" - they keep getting upgraded and eventually will surpass the Enterprise. That is until the guru's here release a cloaking device
/nerd mode off/

From the retro side, I watched with horror as the Commander X16 morphed into some commercial mash up aimed  (as far as I can see) at playing old C64 games / writing new ones.  It promised so much at the start.

The Agon (https://www.thebyteattic.com/p/agon.html) seems to offer a "modern" BBC basic with GPIO.  But regardless of the GPIO, the use case seems to be again "games" - so time will tell.

For me, the community here is a great balance of outright technical Titan's and people like me.  Granted, at times (increasingly?) I sense unnecessary angst - I reflect all the time that we are contributing / partaking in a community that is essentially based on collective goodwill not profit.


So, like I say - come for CMM2, stay for the company.

N


As a new user I jumped in at the deep end and converted existing other basic to mmbasic. It works with changing syntax.
I write games for the challenge and what one learns trying. I got retropi ie emulation station on rpi 400 if I want retro games.
(nostalgia is not what it used to be).
Games are not as simple as they look when it comes to re-coding them.
I am working on the classic "snake" game but using touch and using defined sprites as  coloured bits of the snake. Luvin it,stan
Mmbasic can do interesting stuff but horses for courses.
picomite is not a rpi. Tried freebasic with rpi? no fbide like win, got to use geany :(

JohnS
Guru

Joined: 18/11/2011
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 2922
Posted: 10:32pm 19 Sep 2022      

  Nimue said  Now if I could link Windows MMBasic direct to the PicoMite (Click here to send to PicoMite) - that would be Golden

What's stopping that?

John

JohnS
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Joined: 18/11/2011
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 2922
Posted: 10:33pm 19 Sep 2022      

  Tinine said  ArmMite is my favourite

F4, H7 or L4?

(Are any of them available to buy, though?)

John

lizby
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Joined: 17/05/2016
Location: United States
Posts: 2367
Posted: 10:36pm 19 Sep 2022      

  Nimue said  Now if I could link Windows MMBasic direct to the PicoMite (Click here to send to PicoMite) - that would be Golden


There are ways to do this. Considering that MMBasic Windows can act like a user typing at the ">" prompt, you could write an MMBWin program which prompted for the name of a basic program to be sent to the PicoMite.

The PicoMite would have to have OPTION SERIAL CONSOLE uartapin, uartbpin. These pins would be connected to a USB/Serial module on the PC.

When you have the file name (and maybe have confirmed validity), you send via serial Ctrl-C--CHR$(3)--and pause a second or two to allow any running program to break, send "AUTOSAVE"+CHR$(10), read and send the program, and terminate by sending Ctrl-Q -- CHR$(17).  Then send "RUN"+CHR$(10). (I think Linefeed -- CHR$(10) -- is the correct end-of-line character, but maybe carriage return -- CHR$(13).)

Not tested, but I think this should work--perhaps with fiddling.

thwill

Guru

Joined: 16/09/2019
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 2830
Posted: 10:50pm 19 Sep 2022      

  lizby said  The PicoMite would have to have OPTION SERIAL CONSOLE uartapin, uartbpin. These pins would be connected to a USB/Serial module on the PC.


Unless there is something "special" about MMB4W I don't think you need that. The MMB4W program can just open the COM port directly to the PicoMite USB and pretend to be a terminal. This is how gonzo which I use for my PicoMite development works on MMB4L - though its terminal emulation is a bit "buggy" currently.

Note that MMB4L has an advantage over MMB4W here because it can leverage the Linux console which is already VT/XTerm compatible.

Best wishes,

Tom

stanleyella

Guru

Joined: 25/06/2022
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 461
Posted: 11:02pm 19 Sep 2022      

This will sound silly but where is the download link for mmbasic for windows please?
I downloaded then deleted mmbasic for dos.
I was told to use mmbasic for windows or is that mm4win... I do not know.
I do not know what mmbasic for windows does since where does the picomite  come in or is there a simulator?

lizby
Guru

Joined: 17/05/2016
Location: United States
Posts: 2367
Posted: 11:24pm 19 Sep 2022      

  thwill said  The MMB4W program can just open the COM port directly to the PicoMite USB and pretend to be a terminal.


D'oh! -- of course, and that is exactly what I have previously done.

lizby
Guru

Joined: 17/05/2016
Location: United States
Posts: 2367
Posted: 11:29pm 19 Sep 2022      

  stanleyella said  This will sound silly but where is the download link for mmbasic for windows please?


Look through this thread for the latest post containing MMBasic.zip.

~
Edited 2022-09-20 09:31 by lizby