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On 2/7/2024 at 6:50 AM, pjduplooy said:

Hi guys.

 

Sorry to necro this topic (I have binge read the thread applicable yesterday LOL, and watched a bunch of YT vids), but I am curious to find out whatever happened to Mike Kennedy of Chameleon fame?

I doubt he feels like talking about it but his handle on here is “parrothead.” You’ll learn more about it from the threads here than you would from him though. 

 

There’s a book written from one of his former friends called “Smoke and Mirrors.” The author is not a professional writer and it’s in need of an editor, so I haven’t made it all the way thru the 666 pages. https://www.colecochameleon.org
 

I believe in people’s right to be left alone and would urge you not to harass or stalk the guy. He’s not going to try and pull anything like that ever again. 

 

 

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Yeah, and we can sometimes all have our own 'moments' too. This one was a big deal, but was a fair bit ago, and is largely 'under the bridge' already. I'm also not sure that the average video game tradeshow/prelaunch BS really goes too much differently than the RetroVGS/Chameleon in terms of 'buffaloing.' 

 

With all the drama, we got some pretty cool stuff out of it. I don't just mean the 'reproduction chameleons' making the rounds, but for a time AA was the center of the vintage gaming community (probably its most culturally-relevant moment). 

 

And would we even have an Analogue Pocket if there wasn't a Chameleon? I don't think so. The pocket and all the rest of the analogue FPGA consoles have generally changed the way we game. FPGA gaming was out there already, but it was mostly the realm of commodore fans.

 

Time heals a lot, and I think 'gaming in general' actually made out pretty well in the end, with a story to tell too.

Man, that mad race to identify the board in the transparent shell was really something. And the 'core store' of turned out to be a pivotal moment historically. 

Edited by Reaperman
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3 hours ago, Reaperman said:

And would we even have an Analogue Pocket if there wasn't a Chameleon? I don't think so.

That's a bold statement imho. Kevtris refused to work for the Chameleon the same year he was hired by Analogue to work on Analogue Nt's video output. And Kevtris had the idea for his FPGA console for quite some time...

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4 hours ago, Reaperman said:

And would we even have an Analogue Pocket if there wasn't a Chameleon?

Oh you poor soul. Do you believe the Chameleon released?

 

Or do you think chameleons (the animals) somehow helped engineer the Pocket? Do you think @kevtris a lizard person?

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1 hour ago, roots.genoa said:

That's a bold statement imho. Kevtris refused to work for the Chameleon the same year he was hired by Analogue to work on Analogue Nt's video output. And Kevtris had the idea for his FPGA console for quite some time...

It's possible kevtris and analogue might have still gotten a system together anyway after the NT's HDMI drama, but still in a timeline that didn't have this other retroVGS FPGA drama. But do think this chameleon drama motivated the move from fpga fiddling being 'that thing kevtris posts about that looks neat,' to the lengthy 'maybe we actually get a zimba someday' thread.

 

As for the rest of these responses, are there multiple ways to read my words that I'm not aware of?

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4 hours ago, Reaperman said:

And would we even have an Analogue Pocket if there wasn't a Chameleon? I don't think so. The pocket and all the rest of the analogue FPGA consoles have generally changed the way we game. FPGA gaming was out there already, but it was mostly the realm of commodore fans.

 

Time heals a lot, and I think 'gaming in general' actually made out pretty well in the end, with a story to tell too.

Man, that mad race to identify the board in the transparent shell was really something. And the 'core store' of turned out to be a pivotal moment historically. 

The Analogue products would've happened anyways; I had FPGA cores done long before the chameleon was a thing.  I find it hilarious still that mike wasn't really thinking much about FPGA until I mentioned it on a skype call, then everything I talked about all of a sudden became features of the retroVGS (which is what it was called at the time).  I was showing off my Zimba 3000 idea and he glommed onto it.  After the first call (I believe there were only two total, maybe three?) I knew that it was dead in the water and I never wasted any time working on anything for them, especially since there was going to be no money in it.  He tried real hard to get my hyped up about it but I wasn't biting.

 

It sure was a lot of fun though trying to identify everything they posted though.  my favorite was the cardboard PCB with the parts glued down to it I think. 

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3 hours ago, Reaperman said:

It's possible kevtris and analogue might have still gotten a system together anyway after the NT's HDMI drama, but still in a timeline that didn't have this other retroVGS FPGA drama. But do think this chameleon drama motivated the move from fpga fiddling being 'that thing kevtris posts about that looks neat,' to the lengthy 'maybe we actually get a zimba someday' thread.

 

As for the rest of these responses, are there multiple ways to read my words that I'm not aware of?

Silly statements get silly responses. You still didn't answer if you thought kevtris was a lizard since chameleons were responsible for the Pocket.

3 hours ago, kevtris said:

The Analogue products would've happened anyways; I had FPGA cores done long before the chameleon was a thing.  I find it hilarious still that mike wasn't really thinking much about FPGA until I mentioned it on a skype call, then everything I talked about all of a sudden became features of the retroVGS (which is what it was called at the time).  I was showing off my Zimba 3000 idea and he glommed onto it.  After the first call (I believe there were only two total, maybe three?) I knew that it was dead in the water and I never wasted any time working on anything for them, especially since there was going to be no money in it.  He tried real hard to get my hyped up about it but I wasn't biting.

 

It sure was a lot of fun though trying to identify everything they posted though.  my favorite was the cardboard PCB with the parts glued down to it I think. 

Everything you've made is owed all to seeing that cardboard PCB.

 

🤭

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17 hours ago, Reaperman said:

As for the rest of these responses, are there multiple ways to read my words that I'm not aware of?

If you meant it sarcastically, I missed that.
 

But it sure read to me as if you were saying, without a hint of irony, that Kevtris got the idea for making an FPGA-powered multi-system from Mike Kennedy and Coleco Chameleon. 
 

I don’t see how that could be a serious statement, that’s all. 

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@kevtris Thanks for popping by to clear that up.  I know you're generally very busy and I'm sure someone(many?) have asked this before, but before analogue you did the HiDef NES kit which was fantastic and is fantastic.

 

I'm aware of a few oddities with that one, such as not saving your preferred sound channels for expanded audio (VRC 6) etc.  Was there ever going to be a like final update to that to flesh out any untied ends on that one or, since it's not like game breaking or system stalling, it's at a happy place where it is at and that's that?  I've been wanting to ask about this for some time, but had no idea how to reach out.

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11 hours ago, Flojomojo said:

But it sure read to me as if you were saying, without a hint of irony, that Kevtris got the idea for making an FPGA-powered multi-system from Mike Kennedy and Coleco Chameleon. 

Lord no. 🤣 

More 'responsible for' as in unintended butterfly effect from the drama. The 'core store drama' is when kevtris's nifty but generally solo fpga hobby started really gaining steam, right inside the vgs thread, and he created the big FPGA system thread we have today. It's mentioned in the first post:

 

Quote

Welll, some people seemed interested in my FPGA Videogame doodad that I presented in the RVGS thread and it was suggested I make a post about it, how it works, and what it does. I still don't have immediate plans for selling it, but if there's enough interest, that could change. I will attempt to explain what it is, how it works, and what a sellable version of it would entail, so let's go!

The 'core store' season of ColecoVGS drama starts here. It's my favorite chapter of the VGS adventure by far, with second place going to the 'mad race to find the board in prototype #3'

 

 

Spoiler

Big rambly edit:

I even found my first post over there (below screengrab), and certainly felt the same way BITD. 
M890t16.png

 

Incidently that other fpga system I mention higher up in the post, that got me to join AA (back in jan '08)--does it sound familiar to anybody?, I forgot the name.  It was a vertical clamshell handheld, IIRC looked like a big altoids tin, never got past the rendering stage(?) so technically not as far as the VGS's snes 😁, and for that render they just hired ben heckendorn to do that part. (I remember that bit because I was on his forum at the time)

 

when the project went silent and its forum died, I remembered that a bunch of people I met there were from here and joined up. 

 

Edited by Reaperman
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@Reaperman Thanks for taking the time to explain what you meant, with receipts! Butterfly effect is a good way to put it. I added my “like” (for a total of 41, a lot for AtariAge) to that Kevtris post. 

 

He ended up adding all those cores to the NT Mini Noir, which was an awesome piece of tech and my second-favorite Kevconsole. 
 

 

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23 hours ago, Tanooki said:

@kevtris Thanks for popping by to clear that up.  I know you're generally very busy and I'm sure someone(many?) have asked this before, but before analogue you did the HiDef NES kit which was fantastic and is fantastic.

 

I'm aware of a few oddities with that one, such as not saving your preferred sound channels for expanded audio (VRC 6) etc.  Was there ever going to be a like final update to that to flesh out any untied ends on that one or, since it's not like game breaking or system stalling, it's at a happy place where it is at and that's that?  I've been wanting to ask about this for some time, but had no idea how to reach out.

that wasn't a bug, it was conscious design decision.  the reason is someone will turn one of those on, forget about it then wonder why there's weird noises coming out of their tv.  so the solution is to make them reset when the power is cycled.  there isn't a super good solution to the problem, and that was the one I came up with.  (playing non-expansion sound games with one or more expansions turned on can cause the expansions to still make sound anyways, when the games write to their mapper chips which tend to mapped into similar areas.  the best solution would be to somehow ID/fingerprint the game first and automatically turn the correct ones on, but that won't work for flash carts since their menus run first and would defeat any kind of identification.  also I was totally out of space in the FPGA.  it's a bit over 95% full right now)

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2 hours ago, kevtris said:

that wasn't a bug, it was conscious design decision.  the reason is someone will turn one of those on, forget about it then wonder why there's weird noises coming out of their tv.  so the solution is to make them reset when the power is cycled.  there isn't a super good solution to the problem, and that was the one I came up with.  (playing non-expansion sound games with one or more expansions turned on can cause the expansions to still make sound anyways, when the games write to their mapper chips which tend to mapped into similar areas.  the best solution would be to somehow ID/fingerprint the game first and automatically turn the correct ones on, but that won't work for flash carts since their menus run first and would defeat any kind of identification.  also I was totally out of space in the FPGA.  it's a bit over 95% full right now)

You know what, now that I know what you were thinking, it's the best solution to a bad situation.  I mean if flash kits just didn't exist, or there was some easy button that would let it do as you wish having anything properly ID'd that would be nice, yet it's impossible.  It does make sense given there's just too much uncertainty.  I don't really think there would be some bulletproof was to ID/fingerprint the stuff.

 

I'm not sure why but you saying that makes me think of the retched CRC checking the Retron5 does on games before dumping the cart to run on their emulator.  It's just not good, and it's very testy to where over time even a game you may have owned since the 80s just won't validate on it anymore some day when it did just a week earlier.  It makes me wonder if a proper ID system could honestly be done, it's inviting some problem down the line where things would or could just fail.  I imagine given your 95%+ fill on the FPGA being an issue too, the space just isn't there.

 

In the end it's a great core, loved that thing for years now having one installed into my top loader as it's just reliable.  I just never got why that stuff couldn't just stay on, and now I(we) know which is good.  Thanks.

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yeah the only real way to ID games would be to CRC the upper 8K or so but even that isn't bulletproof- many mappers can start up in any bank so that means you'd have to store a CRC for every possible bank.  though, for this application it isn't quite that bad- it only has to identify a fixed set of games and not the entire library.  still it doesn't help the flash cart situation.  it would be possible to have some kind of register that can be written to enable the required expansions, but that'd require flash cart devs to add that to their code.  I actually do have that feature in there- the NSF player hack I did for the powerpak uses it, and automagically turns the correct expansion chips on for you. 

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Thanks for that added detail.  It seems you covered all your bases as best you could given the variables involved outside of your control.  It's not like you can just wrangle a global level of cats and get them to do what you want to get the end result that would accomplish such things, and even then you'll still have some decades old X factor involved with some old game that could muck it up.  I'm just glad it does all it can do, and now owning an AV Famicom since last year it's clear you hit it quite well expanded audio included.

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  • 3 weeks later...

That's coincidence, I wandered over to this forum also wanting to know whatever happened to Mike NOT-THAT-Kennedy, did he ever apologize, own up to the scam ?? In fact he did, under the parrothead account that Flojomojo mentioned. I thought all these years he just disappeared, went dark!

 

There is a 2018 thread you're looking for and I think famicommander pretty much said all that needed to be said about the matter:

He effectively "promised/vowed" not to ever pursue any gaming ventures/businesses again, ask people for money... so that's good I guess ? ; )

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