The Innovative retro DIY 8-bit Computer from nichemachines, for only £19.95 as featured on the BBC
Around 180 FIGnition computers have been sold in the first month of release and many people have built theirs already, producing working machines
; having fun with Forth and contributing ideas! This is the sixth Batch 2 Ebay ad, the second batch to go out with the new Forth interpreter, which runs at near native 8-bit machine code speeds
In around an hour with just a soldering iron, some solder and a multimeter you can build your own retro computer from 46 simple parts! Connect it to a TV and experience the retro vibe all over again in 8Kb of RAM and wonderful monochrome graphics! FIGnition comes with a full set of parts including the PCB, Chip sockets; a fully-programmed, ready to go processor, and mind-blowingly clever keypad :-) !
FIGnition is designed to be built by novices and even people who have never soldered before have successfully built a FIGnition: Parts have standard 0.1" spacings, the instructions are clear
and care has been taken to make the machine easy to put together.
FIGnition runs a simple language - Forth. It comes ready to be programmed in-situ with an editor better than most early 80s computers. It offers the following features:
- A Boot-up time of <1s!
- 8Kb of RAM, enough for around 2000 lines of Forth code.
- At least 384Kb of Flash Storage. You can edit your programs and store them for later use, building up your own libraries of code.
- 16 User-defined graphics! - FIGnition is designed to be used practically (within its hardware limitations), it's not a crippled machine designed to let you print "Hello World." FIGnition allows you to write a variety of games using your own graphic designs.
- Upgradeable firmware - which can be downloaded from the Fignition website and uploaded to your FIGnition via USB (over 8 upgrades since early May including bug-fixes and new features)
- A fantastic 4 spare I/O ports for you to attach your own electronics! Control your own power station eh?
- FIGnition now uses the high-speed interpreter and runs 12 x faster than the definitive Forth computer, the Jupiter-Ace (which routinely sells on Ebay for hundreds of pounds) and several times faster than any early 80s home computer running Forth.
FIGnition will be completely open-sourced and will be fully documented as soon as is possible:
- Discover how to create a real video image using nothing more than two resistors and two diodes.
- Understand how FIGnition uploads new firmware.
- Explore the complexities of Flash storage.
- Get to grips with keypads and LEDs.
- Learn how a real computer language works and how it converts text into programs.
So Buy It
FIGnition was at the Computer History Museum's Hacker's Delight
event last weekend (August 6-8) and caused a stir at the UK's Retro Computer Museum's
Open Weekender on Saturday, May 7. To quote the show's founder (and FIGnition customer):
“FIGnition is a fantastic bit of educational kit! Something I can build and use with my children and great for the Retro Computer Museum for learning Electronics and of course programming!” Andy Spencer.
Don't wait 12 months for a sub £20 computer that you can't even build - buy FIGnition now and enjoy exploring a new retro DIY computer platform!
Note#1: All kits for the current batch are in stock.
involves the use of hot substances and building electronics components
involves an element of risk, whose responsibility rests solely with the
person who builds the kit; not nichemachines.
Note#3: A RevD board is shown and has staggered keys to make building and typing on it easier.