Delivery and call for donations
Dear Atari-Community. The delivery of the second Firebee-series has finally begun.

Since we currently are receiving the modified boards in small batches from the assembly company as announced before, the computers will be sent out in the order they were ordered. Thank you once again for your patience. The computers will have, as had been mentioned several times, two years of warranty.

We now also know the exact costs for the whole "game" with the busdriver-components. All in all, Medusa Computer Systems now has to pay 2720.- Euros extra for searching the cause of the problem and for refitting the boards. Since we calculated the prices very narrowly in order to be able to pass on the 40.- Euro price reduction to you, we don't want to just increase the fixed ...

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FreeMiNT at ColdFire EVBs
An new exciting development was finished regarding FreeMiNT on Freescales ColdFire 547x/548x Evaluation Boards

As the well known Atari developer Vincent Rivière announced, at the new freemint mailinglist , mintv4e.prg now runs perfectly on ColdFire Evaluation Boards. With these boards there is another hardware plattform aside the FireBee itselve, which can run FreeMiNT for ColdFire natively. Using EmuTOS from 20160606 or later, preferably the soon upcoming 0.9.7 version, you can boot the EVBs from dBug, TFTP servers or directly (auto-boot) from Bas_gcc. Note that if you want networking in MiNT, you'll need BaS_gcc in flash.

Bas_gcc is used at the FireBee as well, and maintained for some years now by Markus Fröschle who ported it to the ColdFire 547x/548x EVBs like the FEC.XIF network driver.

By the use of EmuTOS Operating System as basis ...

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Working Boards
This week Medusa Computer Systems received a first fully functional board from the assembly company.


The bus drivers had been removed from the computer, isolated with Kapton tape and soldered back on afterwards. The system is now running perfectly and the chips are not getting warmer than 45 degree celsius even after several hours of operation. ...

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Board Status

Switching out the bus driver from a TI- to an NPX-model unfortunately did not solve the problems. This presents a true challenge for Medusa, since some of the behaviours of the board still are a mystery. You can probably imagine the enormous pressure this puts mostly on Fredi Aschwanden, in order to finally begin delivery of the computers. Nevertheless, we will only start with that as soon as all problems are actually solved. We want the computers to work a 100%, just like the first series. For this reason, we would like to thank all of you end-users for your infinite patience. Especially those, who have made a down payment a long time ago already.

As next steps, we will ...

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News about the boards

In the meantime Medusa identified one part at the new boards, that seems - as already suspected - to be responsible for the problems. The communication with the assembling company and the producer, Texas Instruments, didn't lead to any hint yet for the exact causes of the behavior of the busdriver. The part behaves namely not as noted in the specifications, and in bizarre manner also not as the same ones of the 1. series. Especially aggravating is that the busdriver additionally changes his behavior after several minutes of usage. To fix this quickly, while we still will search for the true cause with the assembling company and the part manufacturer, Medusa ordered now extra identical constructed parts from NXP. We ...

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Delivery delay of the new series - the whole truth
The new FireBee series should already be delivered by now. Today we will ruthlessly uncover why this isn't the case yet. Read here exclusively what ACP has to fight with. Some already had a hunch; others were informed in personal mails about it. Now, the whole world will come to know. The new series of FireBee computers has a delivery delay.

It all began with the fact that the orders for the new series were processed in the new year - after the holidays. Unfortunately, the Swiss manufacturer could not meet the production period of 12 weeks that was agreed upon in 2015. Therefore, the new agreement was that the computers would arrive at MCS around the end of May 2016. But then there was another delay at the manufacturer, and the end of June was communicated to MSC as the new delivery date (including an apology for the delay). So far, everything was still just about OK, especially since we had decided to also produce the LED-/speaker-clips, which would have delayed the production by a few more weeks anyway.

In ...

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A GEM coding guide for AHCC
Peter Lane, the well-known developer, creates a very interesting coding guide.


Peter Lane has developed several applications running on the Firebee which we had mentioned before, like the Sokoban game, BibFind and many more. Lane mainly develops his GEM applications with the C programming language under AHCC. Today he provides all ...

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A new version of AHCC.
On the beginning of the June month, Henk Robbers has released an update of his well-known Pure C compatible compiler: AHCC v5.4. Although this version is not directly linked to the FireBee, it brings some bug fixes and improvement that gives extra comfort and significant to any developer.

The main improvement on the compiler consist in a bug fix on register health analysis where, in rare circumstances, too many operations were discarded.
On the Shell (not AHCCST) side, a new item has been added on menu: from folder. This addition is really interesting and useful to make new project file, like a kind of workspace area, by building a skeleton project from file names in a given folder (only one deep).
The Editor has been rechecked and a bug has been found, and fixed, on the risk to loose sync by the ^2 when searching for next unequal lines.

Please visit the Henk Robbers web site for more details and downloading files: http://members.chello.nl/h.robbers/


LED- and Speaker-Clip
The mini-cases of the FireBee are made by a metal-working company in Vienna in small batches. While we are very pleased with these high-quality aluminium casings, the small series still meant that we had to accept a certain reduction in quality due to the manual manufacturing finish.


This pertained to the final assembly of the speaker and LEDs in the case itself. Clearly, we had to get rid of the need to attach them with hot glue. In order to achieve this goal, shortly after the first case ...

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EmuTOS 0.9.6
EmuTOS is one of those projects that gets continously enhanced.

As a reminder; this Open Source Operating System is -emenating from the released sources of Digital Research- being developed further more or less since the turn of the millennium. Even if the development of the FireBee influenced EmuTOS in the last years, and if there is a certain personnel overlap of the developers and a mutual support, EmuTOS is a matter of a generally distinct and independent project.

This Operating System is our only completely free Open Source alternative and is flashed directly into the ROM, where it co-exists with FireTOS. At every reboot of the FireBee the desired Operating System can be choosen. For a permanent selection there are the small DIP switches at the board.

Probably, the ...

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Latest Comments

Andres2019-09-27 20:38:44
Una guía de programación GEM par ...
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