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RE: [N8VEM-S100:321] S-100 community project

Hi!  Thanks!  I believe if the community is to thrive then many hands need the skills to make it happen.  The community project is a great forum for builders to learn through new experiences.  Builders can get involved and learn to make things outside of their previous experience which benefits everyone.  “Software people” can make hardware and vice-versa.  Learn by doing.


Time and money will limit most everyone’s participation to some degree.  Personally there are some projects which interest me more than others and those tend to get my focus even if they are not popular.  However if you remember the early home brew computer clubs there was a lot of sharing knowledge and skills quite freely.


I can pay for some prototyping but not too much so I have to be selective like anyone else.  It is only a hobby so I cannot let the costs become a problem at home. 


Community projects can let the collection expand to include boards which others find important.  For example, Nik really wanted an ECB cassette interface.  He basically did all the work with a little occasional help from me and his board works great.  It supports KCS just like he intended and is a neat board. 


There have been several builders who’ve made boards other than me which I think is really great.  It is a fun hobby but it takes lower priority than family, work, etc.  I think the S-100 SPI board would be a neat community project since it is not a board I would be personally interested in but has tremendous potential for bringing the powerful SPI mini board concept to vintage computers.


I am glad to help as much as I can but the community is much stronger with multiple able builders going in their own directions.  The last thing we want is to set up a process that is dependent on any given personality since it will collapse if anything happens to them.


Thanks and have a nice day!

Andrew Lynch




From: n8vem...@googlegroups.com [mailto:n8vem...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Douglas Goodall
Sent: Sunday, June 19, 2011 8:36 PM
To: n8vem...@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: [N8VEM-S100:321] S-100 community project


I think these "Community Projects" will come in different forms. Mike is an example of

someone that can provide files necessary for board production, and some newbies

like myself are quite a ways from that point today.


I think it might be good for Andrew to keep a hand on the process, and help out where

needed, when he has time... He can let us know what he needs to make things work

more smoothly. Some boards he probably feels strongly enough about adding to the

N8VEM collection, and he has been willing to finance the initial phases.


He gets back some of his initial costs over time when he sells the boards. If we expect him

to pay the upfront costs, it is only reasonable he gets to sell the boards.


If he is not going to manufacture and sell the boards, it is folly to expect him to finance

the initial development. I think that needs to be clear when we are talking about a new

project, whether we expect Andrew to order and stock the boards.


If one of us wants to do a similar thing like Andrew, sponsoring the development of a

board, and doing what it takes to make boards available to the community, that would be 

nice, and would expand the scope of what we can do. Andrew can mentor us in how this 

is done.


Someday, I would like to do that, but I have a lot to learn to get there.


Andrew and John have limits to how much they can do and still have lives, When the

time and costs of this activity start to threaten their schedules and budgets, it would be

reasonable that they could ask for help from us, whether it is financial, or to get more

people to roll up their sleeves and help with build and test.


I very much want to learn about digital design and test,  and it is worth money to me

to see this activity continue. Building and debugging these boards is providing a wonderful

framework for my education, and I am having a ball.


We all have different skills and talents (and resources), and if we work together to 

support this process, we can continue to benefit as we have been doing.


What do you think Andrew?





On Jun 19, 2011, at 1:12 PM, Brian Marstella wrote:

I agree about the logistical issues. I'd much rather see Andrew, John, and others who have the technical skills and the required hardware be able to concentrate on the on-going projects and the technical end. Due to financial constraints, a lack of an S-100 machine, and space issues, I can't be much help on the technical and prototyping end. However, I'd be willing to help with logistics issues, maybe compiling a list of interested persons, etc., if that would help keep Andrew and others from being overwhelmed.

On Sun, Jun 19, 2011 at 4:16 PM, mike <mi...@pikeaero.com> wrote:

Hash: SHA1

On 11-06-19 01:03 PM, Andrew Lynch wrote:
> Since John is already fully busy with S-100 8086 CPU board and other
> projects, I'd like to attempt a new development approach.  Since Mike
> already has a design including a schematic, PCB layout, parts list, etc, we
> could do a community build and test.  Basically this would be we take the
> existing design, gather up some funds, get some prototype boards, and send
> them out for initial build and test.

Hi All,

I like the community-build concept, it sort of forces those interested
to belly up to the bar right up front.

Andrew, I think the details may need a little clearing up though. For
example, the gathering of the funds. How should that be done? Perhaps,
should those interested parties, pledge a commitment, and after enough
pledges are tallied to make it feasable to proceed, we go ahead and
collect the pledges, or collect on delivery...anyway, something like that?

After the project funding is sorted out, then who handles the logistics,
currently, Andrew, you seem to be handling the bulk of that, would that
continue to be that way in the "community build" model?

If Andrew, you where to handle the logistics, then I would suppose you
probably would not care to be burdened with PCB work and so on, but
simply the collecting of funds, the ordering, and the distribution? If
this is the case, then boards being submitted for "community build"
would need to be provided to you with finished artwork with Gerbers and
Drill files attached, correct?

Sorry for very basic questions, I guess I'm just trying to clarify the
details somewhat so we can all be on the same page with this. I guess
the core of what I'm driving at is that even in the "community build"
model, you still need some sort of centralized point to handle the

I dunno, thoughts, comments?


Mike Sharkey
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