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 Post subject: Website Activity Graph?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:57 pm 
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I'm curious if such a thing exists, because maybe I'm just reflecting my personal experience, but this website doesn't seem nearly as busy as it has in the past. I remember 93143 saying something about this a while ago, attributing it to me not asking so many questions. :lol: Koitsu, who also used to be a big member here, stopped appearing entirely however long ago. I guess I haven't made a BS General Stuff thread in quite a while, (other than this) so I could do that...


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:42 am 
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I think another reason is I haven't posted anything cool in a while, just because programming is like "meh, not this again" feeling nowadays.


Last edited by psycopathicteen on Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:34 am 
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I bet activity upticks when high school/university students are on summer break.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:35 pm 
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adam_smasher wrote:
I bet activity upticks when high school/university students are on summer break.

Definitely. I know it does for me. I've been too busy getting ready for college to want to program.

psycopathicteen wrote:
I haven't posted anything cool in a while, just because programming is like "meh, not this again feeling" nowadays.

I kind of feel the same way. I know for a while, I seriously considered getting into computer science and I was partially driven to make something for the SNES because of this, but I later found out how little overlap there is between old computer assembly programming and modern "programming" ( :lol: ).


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:13 pm 
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SNES was pretty much what Nintendo thought the future of computers would be like.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:48 pm 
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A clusterfuck? :lol:


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:00 pm 
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Espozo wrote:
A clusterfuck? :lol:

Actually Nintendo predicted that correctly, they just forgot to make the system powerful enough to hide the clusterfuckeriness with layers upon layers of abstraction.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:58 am 
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I wonder what the price would've been if the SNES had the CPU, PPU and APU shared a single fast SRAM chip.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:36 pm 
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Uniform Memory Architecture designs are tricky.

* you can do something like the VIC-20 / C64 and use a multiphase clock, but this slows down everything. And your bandwidth needs must be basically constant for everything, and ideally a ratio of small integers.
* You can stall the CPU whenever something else needs priority (N64, 7800)
* You can fake it, providing the appearance of a write-only UMA interface, and have some sort of queuing mechanism. If the queue exceeds its depth, you can fault, drop the data, or stall the CPU.

The SNES's total bus bandwidth is somewhere around ~3MB/sec (CPU) + ~11MB/sec (PPU) + ~1MB/sec (APU)

It might have been cheaper just in terms of cost of the RAM for the SNES to have a single 256 KiB RAM .... but the added complexity probably would have ruined the cost balance.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:50 pm 
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Fortunately, the CPU and PPU are already clocked at small integer ratios to the 21.47 MHz master clock, and the tolerance on the APU oscillator is loose enough that redesigning it for master/7 (instead of 24.576 MHz/8) is within spec. So assuming this:

  • The S-CPU makes one access every 6-8 cycles.
  • The S-PPU makes one even access and one odd access every 4 cycles.
  • The APU makes one access every 7 cycles or three every 21, in the order S-DSP, S-DSP, S-SMP.

Your proposed unified memory architecture would need a RAM that runs at master clock speed, which means 40 ns. Half the accesses would be by the PPU and the other half by the CPU and APU.

So to rephrase your question somewhat: How much would a 256Kx8 SRAM rated for 40 ns cost in 1990? Were SRAMs with a non-power-of-four bit capacity even common, or would it have instead been a pair of 62128s?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:56 pm 
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Espozo wrote:
I'm curious if such a thing exists

I would be very surprised if there wasn't. Measuring activity is an important thing for any web host to do.

If you're asking whether this usually-administrator-only tool is publicly visible, I don't believe it is. PhpBB probably does have plugins for that, though. There are a couple of user stats at the bottom of the main forum page already but they don't tell you a whole lot. (It does say that we had a peak of ~1000 users online at once a year ago September.)


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:38 pm 
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rainwarrior wrote:
(It does say that we had a peak of ~1000 users online at once a year ago September.)

I noticed that too; that's insane. :shock: I don't even know what was going on last September to warrant that level of activity.

psycopathicteen wrote:
Actually Nintendo predicted that correctly, they just forgot to make the system powerful enough to hide the clusterfuckeriness with layers upon layers of abstraction.

I'm surprised rainwarrior didn't comment on this. :lol:

psycopathicteen wrote:
I wonder what the price would've been if the SNES had the CPU, PPU and APU shared a single fast SRAM chip.

I don't know, but I would have loved it. I hate having all this WRAM and having no idea what to do with, having to devise ways to make the most of the puny 64KB of VRAM. 64KB of audio ram is just plain scary; it's like the hardware designers at Nintendo were playing a game of telephone, originally meaning to have the what uses 64KB of RAM have 128KB of RAM and vice versa.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:41 pm 
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Espozo wrote:
I'm surprised rainwarrior didn't comment on this. :lol:

I actually deliberately try to avoid discussing how past hardware could have / should have been designed. I sometimes slip, though.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:15 am 
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This is actually the first topic which i understand 100%


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:17 am 
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Espozo wrote:
psycopathicteen wrote:
Actually Nintendo predicted that correctly, they just forgot to make the system powerful enough to hide the clusterfuckeriness with layers upon layers of abstraction.

I'm surprised rainwarrior didn't comment on this. :lol:

I could be wrong about this. I think trying to do something in ASM on a modern system would be kind've scary.


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