Plan for 2019

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exxos
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Plan for 2019

Post by exxos » Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:00 pm

After some thought, I am reluctantly going to have to "drop" Falcon and STE development including general repairs and diagnostics.

The first problem I basically have, is when I design the STFM booster for example, I then end up spending time doing a STE version. As the STE & STFM have their own quirks, I end up debugging the booster twice, then several more pcb revisions.. then a year or 2 is then gone. I will produce the plug in STE booster, and still sell the stuff already in my store, but There won't be anymore STE addons now. Others I know are working on boosters, so I imagine there will be some STE boosters by someone else in the future.

Similar with the falcon, with the epic of the RTC & clock patch drama, Something simple has turned into a huge epic. literally 500+ emails with it all. Its true the falcon has its own quirks, and debugging it all is taking a lot of time also. I am not sure at this point if its even worth selling anything Falcon related in the future. It's the same set of problems across all Atari machines, just "bugs" in all parts of the design. All things which take up much time. Time I do not have.

Also I won't be involved with any Falcon,STE,STFM (or MBs in general ) repairs in the future. Mostly takes up much time, plus again, with various issues , I don't want to add to my "problem machine list". I don't have time to even repair my own machines! Even basic stuff takes many emails and a day can be gone just doing that alone. I think reducing my email overhead will gain myself a fair bit of time.

So really sorry to people who need machines fixing, but I can't run my store, design upgrades, and do machine repairs all at the same time. If I concentrated on machine repairs, I would have to stop hardware development, which is basically what's happened over this past year. I am pretty much "done" trying to solve endless problems with all these machines. More and more problems are appearing as they age, and I just don't have the time or patience to endlessly spend diagnosing them all.

Keeping stock in my store is a challenge by itself. Even shipping stuff off to be assembled for me, I am still not keeping up with all the workload. Plus my work area is tiny.. mostly space taken up with stuff in development or boxes of parts which I need to test and put in my store. I am pretty much limited to a couple of foot floor space to do work!

So my plan is to basically concentrate on the STFM and the STF remake. Trying to work on Falcon and STE as well is just to many projects to develop all at once. My booster development should have been done years ago, but I am only finding time for a few days each year to work on it.. I am just getting nowhere, so something has to change.

The STFM becomes a test machine for the STF addons. So 1 project will do both machines. Also I hope the STF remake will become a stable platform to build upon, without having to spend months tracing odd noise faults etc. True the STF may have some issues, but at least PCB can be adapted easily. It literally took like a afternoon to build a STE booster, and like 2 years to get it stable on the STFM. So continuing to build addons for all machines is just a ongoing nightmare. I have multiple projects in the pipelines for years, and even what should be simple quick projects, end up taking months or even years. I have just run into a huge work pile where I am working flat out and not even making a dent in it! I just can't do this anymore.

I think spending time on the new STF project is a better investment of time. If we can all just build a reliable machine right from the start, then addons for it will be far easier to get working and a lot of mahine issues will simply not be there to start with. I've been doing mods/repairs for machines since the mid 90's, its just time to move on, and start creating something new which works properly! I'm not getting any younger either.

Not only that, as people know, my fingers are hurting these days, and I need to reduce the typing and soldering I am doing. I am finding it hard to solder these days and things are taking me a lot longer than jobs would normally take. My soldering seems to be getting worse as time goes on, so I am not a good person for this work anymore. I don't really find soldering enjoyable anymore either, After doing it daily for over 25 years, Its not something I want to keep on doing. Aside from that, I am getting a lot of back-ache bending over doing this stuff, I need a break from it! Most soldering jobs I am shipping out to someone else to solder these days anyway.

I also started a new thread about finding people who can do soldering/repair work viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1078
4MB STFM 1.44 FD- VELOCE+ 020 STE - 4MB STE 32MHz - STFM 16MHz - STM - MEGA ST - Falcon 030 CT60 - Atari 2600 - Atari 7800 - Gigafile - SD Floppy Emulator - PeST - HxC - CosmosEx - Ultrasatan - various clutter

https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/ All my hardware guides - mods - games - STOS
https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/last/storenew/ - All my hardware mods for sale - Please help support by making a purchase.

Atarian Computing
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Re: Plan for 2019

Post by Atarian Computing » Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:05 pm

I support this plan 100%

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rpineau
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Re: Plan for 2019

Post by rpineau » Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:19 pm

:cheers:
We totally understand and it makes sense for you.
Working ones : MegaSTE (68020) / TT030 / Falcon with AB040 & Eclipse / 1040STF
Need testing : Falcon with CT2

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Re: Plan for 2019

Post by Forgottenmyname » Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:28 pm

Gets my support too. I did say you only live once, so do what you enjoy :D

troed
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Re: Plan for 2019

Post by troed » Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:37 pm

If it's not fun, then don't do it.

*thumbs up*

mikro
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Re: Plan for 2019

Post by mikro » Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:50 pm

troed wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:37 pm
If it's not fun, then don't do it.
I second that. Sometimes, esp. with a big user base, we tend to forget that it's just a hobby after all.

Although it's sad news, I totally understand it. And you are right - if STF Remake makes it to the finish, the gain will be infinitely bigger.

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Icky
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Re: Plan for 2019

Post by Icky » Sat Sep 08, 2018 8:04 pm

Totally understand your thoughts and direction. As echoed by many here - you only live once. Have fun and enjoy what you are doing. We all love and enjoy the effort and support you have given the Atari scene and this direction makes lots of sense.

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exxos
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Re: Plan for 2019

Post by exxos » Sat Sep 08, 2018 8:17 pm

I'd love to do more stuff, but how slowly things are getting done right now, something has to change.. Its a bit sad not to do work on those machines, Though trying to do "everything" is just getting nowhere. Hopefully in the new year I can just concentrate on finishing the SEC booster and working on the STF remake.
4MB STFM 1.44 FD- VELOCE+ 020 STE - 4MB STE 32MHz - STFM 16MHz - STM - MEGA ST - Falcon 030 CT60 - Atari 2600 - Atari 7800 - Gigafile - SD Floppy Emulator - PeST - HxC - CosmosEx - Ultrasatan - various clutter

https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/ All my hardware guides - mods - games - STOS
https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/last/storenew/ - All my hardware mods for sale - Please help support by making a purchase.

KyleB
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Re: Plan for 2019

Post by KyleB » Sun Sep 09, 2018 1:00 am

I think you've made the right decision.

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Re: Plan for 2019

Post by Gargoyle » Sun Sep 09, 2018 1:44 am

Yep, wise move! It must be very wearing after a while. With the Falcon especially, it is quite a niche market isn't it? Doing this means you can make the very best STF remake there is (and possibly ever will be??) then work on new and interesting ideas/upgrades for it.

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