15/01/2014 By the middle of January the production version of FIGkeys 1.1 became available. Currently over 22 have been sold.
11/2013 I spent a lot of time working on FIGKeys 1.1 the commercial version of the PS/2 Keyboard adapter and developed working prototypes by the end of the month.
2013 Most of 2013 was spent working on FIGnition inFUZE for RS Components. I upgraded the firmware to 0.9.8, adding the high-speed blitter so that arbitrary bitmaps can be copied to the bitmapped screen at high speed.
**/10/2012 In the latter part of 2012 I sold another 160 FIGnitions to Strathcylde University. I also upgraded the firmware to 0.9.7 rewriting the Forth ROM entirely in Forth and upgrading the firmware to 0.9.7
23/03/2012 Since November I've sold another 140 FIGnitions and I've just updated to a new PCB: FIGnition Rève, which includes the Audio Circuit and a degree of Arduino hardware compatibility. Bitmapped graphics works; I've been to the GEEK2012 game exhibition and I'm working on enhancements to the development environment as well as other great stuff!
01/11/2011 Although I haven't updated the Progress page very much since mid-May, in fact a lot of developments have happened in the meantime. Firstly, and probably most importantly, I've now sold over 300 FIGnitions; the most recent 100 in October alone. Also, the FIGnition firmware has been substantially modified: FIGnition now has a properly working Virtual Flash Disk, which can purge the Flash of replaced sectors; there are now 16 UDGs; Several games have been contributed; Forth executes about 3 times faster than before and has a useful debugger (written in Forth). At the moment I'm working on fulfilling a larger order; preparing for Replay Expo and developing a 160x160 Bitmapped video mode!
27/05/2011 More people have been building their FIGnitions and getting them to work - really exciting! I assembled 20 kits and sent 18, which basically completes the Batch 1 dispatch :-) :-)
26/05/2011 At least one person has built a kit now and it worked - thanks Rich for being the first to build one! More are planned to be built this week. Today I was working on firmware. I needed to support multiple Flash chips, because I can't guarantee there will be adequate supplies to make them all Amic A25L040, some are A25L40s (and Batch 1 is A25L80). Importantly, the Batch 1 extras use A25L40s and the A25L40s are asymmetrical (ugh) with bottom boot sectors and the disk itself starts at block 0x100. So I updated the VFlash firmware to cope and fixed a few editor bugs. I also fixed a firmware mistake which caused the display to be disabled when the SwUart was disabled! Hence today I couldn't send any new kits out (I expected to send 20), but there's a firmware update.
25/05/2011 More people are receiving their kits and some have started to build theirs! Another 23 kits have been assembled which means that the entire Batch 1 (but not the Batch 1 bonus kits) have been assembled and sent. Another 22 people have been invited to the Google group. Batch 2 components have been ordered, people are starting to buy Batch 2 FIGnitions :-) !
24/05/2011 More people are reporting that they've received their FIGnition kits and will be building them soon! Another 20 kits have been assembled and 23 dispatched today. Another 18 or so people have been invited to the FIGnition google group! Another ebay advert was placed (for Batch 2 this time).
23/05/2011 Another 20 kits have been assembled and 17 of them have been dispatched. 50+ people have been invited to the FIGnition google group.
20/05/2011 37 Kits have now been dispatched! The Bonus batch of FIGnition computers sold out early this morning! Preliminary Build-It documentation was added!
19/05/2011 36 Kits have now been assembled for delivery and the bonus Batch of FIGnitions were advertised on Ebay!
18/05/2011 I received the PCBs yesterday afternoon! Then I completed the build instructions for the production kit; followed them and now I have a working production FIGnition - the KIT WORKS! So, for the next two days or so I'll be processing the FIGnition orders and so you should be getting your kits starting on May 19, a day or 2 ahead of schedule :-) (later orders should receive their kits on May 20 or May 21, mainland European customers a day or 2 after).
16/05/2011 Today I fixed a long-standing bug with expect (the basic command line editor). It didn't properly handle pressing <enter> at the beginning of a line (it would repeat the entire previously entered line), nor if you type too many characters (it would buffer-overflow and immediately execute the line). I also improved vlist so that it waits for a key press after showing each screen of definitions. I also found I could increase the number of UDGs to 16 (the maximum there will be). I also measured the performance of plot, it's about 10KPixels/s (vs about 932Pixels/s on a Jupiter-Ace).
13/05/2011 Today I received some more components. I created and tested a plot command and corresponding pen command, so simple graphics plotting is now possible. I also tested and largely debugged the new Virtual Block editor. Now all you need to do is type n edit to edit the block and it'll automatically assign new physical Flash pages to your new block.
12/05/2011 Today I received some of the components and I did some work on improving the performance of FIGnition - it now runs about 50% faster than before on average (see Performance). I also did some work on Virtual Disk management. Today most of the components arrived, which means I can start to check Kit assembly! I added the Forth commands vlist and forget to the built-in dictionary (in fact I used my FIGnition to develop them and then I converted them for use in the Forth ROM!)
11/05/2011 Today I ordered all the components and packaging for the first batch, and I've also sold out of the entire first batch - the Ebay advert sold 40 in just 28.25 hours - totally totally amazing! It means that I won't be accepting orders for more FIGnition computers for the moment. Many thanks to everyone for making it such a success so far!
10/05/2011 Today I managed to get FIGnition to display the FIGnition logo, fairly adequately and then put an advert up on Ebay! It's selling really well, about 15 units in about 6.5 hours, that's a rate of 2 every hour!
08/05/2011 The Code It section now contains basic documentation for most of the built-in definitions. I'm going to be selling FIGnition via ebay over the next week, so you'll find the normal instructions for paying for FIGnition removed in the next day or so.
07/05/2011 Today I spent about 11 hours at the Retro Computer Museum's open weekender. It was an interesting and fun event with quite a large number of RCM's machines set up for interactive use and quite a lot of game-playing with older games consoles. I managed to demonstrate FIGnition; sell some machines and those who saw it thought that it was really amazing - which it is ;-) !
06/05/2011 Today I spent most of my time updating the documentation to cover more of the Code It section and some of the Understand It section. I also spent quite a bit of time preparing for my trip to the Retro Computer Museum's open weekend where I planned to demonstrate FIGnition and sell some if possible.
04/05/2011 Today I made numerous changes to the google site. I've expanded the Documentation to cover a substantial part of the Use It section, a small part of the Code It section and a placeholder for Understand It. I've added the Schedule so that readers can see what I'm expecting to achieve by certain dates. Importantly, I've added the Fignition logo, designed by mrgonaka! The next week will be predominantly spent on Documentation ready for when customers receive their FIGnitions in mid to late May.
03/05/2011 FIGnition's bootloader now runs while you hold down the top-left keypad key. This means you no longer need a special jumper to upgrade the firmware. Today I ordered the new PCBs which should be delivered to me around May 17.
30/04/2011 The FIGnition firmware has been updated - it now supports UDGs: 8 User-definable graphic characters in true and inverse video. This means it'll be possible to write better games for FIGnition :-) I'll update the site sometime in the new week (after Monday) with a test program! Later, I'll update the firmware to support 16 UDGs.
28/04/2011 Today FIGnition was featured on the BBC website and at one point was the 5 most popular article. Thanks very much to Makerfaire UK, Mark Ward, Andrew Webb, John Honiball for choosing to feature FIGnition :-) Also, the FIGnition firmware has been updated to V0.1.0. The editor was updated to support line insertion and deletion and FIGnition now supports a Sinclair-style inkey command instead of ?terminal (which is normal for FIG-forth). The real development was in being able to show that a real piece of software (in this case a simple game, see Examples) can be written and run reasonably well.
27/04/2011 The FIGnition firmware was updated from the version sent to the BBC with the following changes: Negative numbers are now displayed correctly. Nested definitions can now be compiled correctly. Command lines now support the delete key so typing corrections can be made. The display is now rock-steady. A little stack space has been saved.