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Thread: Cheap China retro-computing knock-offs. Good or bad thing?

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by ngtwolf View Post
    Well, I think technically glitch is doing some of that with some of his stuff.. improving on others designs. I'm not sure the 'china reproduction' houses are actually improving anything, but referring back to the original post, I actually don't know what these china reproductions are. The guys I see doing the cloning aren't Chinese production houses but rather one-man shops in other parts of the world. The only china reproductions I can think of off-hand are goteks, but they've been reproduced so long that I don't even know what the original is.
    I think the Goteks originated in Germany. I've met the guy who runs Monotech. He is quite an enthusiastic chap, runs his own computer business which has been around for a while and is committed to providing his products/parts for XT class systems. I do know he gets parts from our local branch of RS Components. Neat thing is he is in the same town I live in. Never realised that until I bought a XT-IDE card. The convenience factor of just popping down the road alone is worth it.
    Last edited by Caluser2000; July 9th, 2019 at 02:58 PM.
    Thomas Byers (DRI)- "You'll have a million people using the A> [MS-DOS prompt] forever. You'll have five million using [nongraphic] menu systems such as Topview, Concurrent PC-DOS, Desq, and those types. But there'll be 50 to 100 million using the iconic-based interfaces."

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by ejs View Post
    It's a very permissive license, but I still see people who don't follow those simple terms. The big one is not giving proper credit. I'm not asking much, but apparently there are people that desperately want to pass off a reproduction ISA card as their own work, doing things like replacing the logo and sending the modified card off to well-known YouTubers. It's super lame attention-seeking behavior.
    This is the real thrust of my problem with the knockoff crowd. I wouldn't stick open source licenses on my projects if I didn't want others to be able to do their own thing. I assume that others put open source licenses on their projects for the same reasons.

    Quote Originally Posted by ejs View Post
    If you're selling one of these cards as a kit or fully assembled, that's great! I don't make any money off these designs and I don't want the hassle of having to deal with manufacturing, kitting, fulfilling orders, etc. You are doing a real service to the retrocomputing community. But don't damage your reputation. Be a good citizen and provide proper credit.
    Agreed! There was a forum member running I believe the XT-IDE rev 3 somewhere in Europe because shipping and customs was too expensive. He did a run for him and his friends. Others have added features they wanted. There's another forum member working on a Tandy Plus card version of the XT-IDE rev 4, another great example of expanding on an existing open source design.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caluser2000 View Post
    I've met the guy who runs Monotech. He is quite an enthusiastic chap, runs his own computer business which has been around for a while and is committed to providing his products/parts for XT class systems. I do know he gets parts from our local branch of RS Components. Neat thing is he is in the same town I live in. Never realised that until I bought a XT-IDE card. The convenience factor of just popping down the road alone is worth it.
    Knowing him and being friends with him, and his new-found interest in old computers, does not mean that running boards and not complying with the license makes him less of a knock-off guy. It's not like we're asking for some percentage of profits or something, we're literally asking that open source licenses be obeyed. Ostensibly, that's linking to the project files and giving credit for the design used.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ngtwolf View Post
    Well, I think technically glitch is doing some of that with some of his stuff.. improving on others designs.
    Some of the stuff I work on is a straight up reproduction, made from 4000 DPI scans of original boards. All of those are things that have been out of production for decades, and I try to make sure someone else isn't already doing it first.

    A few of the projects I work on, like the XT-IDE, is expansion and improvement on existing open source designs. I strive to comply with all license requirements in those cases.

    The majority of the projects I work on are my own work, either new ideas that I haven't seen implemented anywhere else (both software and hardware), or something I'd seen and thought, "I can make a better, open source version of this." The Dallas clock module rework boards are an example of an improved open source version of existing hardware (Dallas/Maxim's own modules).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Malc View Post
    The XTIDE project has been a huge success IMO, Like any successful project, The trouble is the "Copy cats" who think they are onto a winner without doing the hard work, They churn out garbage PCB's and build them with inferior components, Amazes me that people buy them but they do Personally i wouldn't touch em with a barge pole.
    If you have not tested or seen the product how can you make that assertion?
    Thomas Byers (DRI)- "You'll have a million people using the A> [MS-DOS prompt] forever. You'll have five million using [nongraphic] menu systems such as Topview, Concurrent PC-DOS, Desq, and those types. But there'll be 50 to 100 million using the iconic-based interfaces."

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    Quote Originally Posted by glitch View Post
    Knowing him and being friends with him, and his new-found interest in old computers, does not mean that running boards and not complying with the license makes him less of a knock-off guy. It's not like we're asking for some percentage of profits or something, we're literally asking that open source licenses be obeyed. Ostensibly, that's linking to the project files and giving credit for the design used.
    He has responded to those who have pointed out to him about linking to attributions, source files etc.
    Thomas Byers (DRI)- "You'll have a million people using the A> [MS-DOS prompt] forever. You'll have five million using [nongraphic] menu systems such as Topview, Concurrent PC-DOS, Desq, and those types. But there'll be 50 to 100 million using the iconic-based interfaces."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Caluser2000 View Post
    He has responded to those who have complained to him about linking to attributions, source files etc.
    Indeed, he did so personally to me when I offered to help with the NuXT problems. Yet I still see nothing in his XT-IDE listing text or on the board itself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glitch View Post
    Indeed, he did so personally to me when I offered to help with the NuXT problems. Yet I still see nothing in his XT-IDE listing text or on the board itself.
    Do you have a rev 5 design?
    Thomas Byers (DRI)- "You'll have a million people using the A> [MS-DOS prompt] forever. You'll have five million using [nongraphic] menu systems such as Topview, Concurrent PC-DOS, Desq, and those types. But there'll be 50 to 100 million using the iconic-based interfaces."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Caluser2000 View Post
    Do you have a rev 5 design?
    Bumping the revision number does not mean you don't need to give credit for the prior work you based it on. At best, he can claim that none of the design is based on my work (extremely unlikely given some of the design choices) and that it's all based on the old rev 2 design which was "open source" but IIRC was never assigned a proper open source license.

  9. #39
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    From his README.mb under credits:

    Design uses schematic from Glitchworks, with a few small changes to switches https://github.com/glitchwrks/xt_ide

    XT-IDE Universal BIOS https://code.google.com/archive/p/xtideuniversalbios/

    Changelog:

    rev 5.3: Re-design PCB layout. Schematic unchanged. Improved routing.

    rev 5.2: Re-design PCB layout. Schematic unchanged.

    rev 5.1: Slightly different PCB shape so switches no longer protruded past PCB edge, getting in the way when pushing the card into a tight slot. Some silkscreen documentation clarifying. Changed capacitor hole spacing to much more common 5mm.

    rev 5: Initial release
    Thomas Byers (DRI)- "You'll have a million people using the A> [MS-DOS prompt] forever. You'll have five million using [nongraphic] menu systems such as Topview, Concurrent PC-DOS, Desq, and those types. But there'll be 50 to 100 million using the iconic-based interfaces."

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by glitch View Post
    The majority of the projects I work on are my own work, either new ideas that I haven't seen implemented anywhere else (both software and hardware), or something I'd seen and thought, "I can make a better, open source version of this." The Dallas clock module rework boards are an example of an improved open source version of existing hardware (Dallas/Maxim's own modules).
    Those are handy, I know a few people who've purchased that and swear by it. I was super lazy and just bought new (or maybe NOS, who really knows) dallas chips, but eventually I'll break down and go this route in 10 years when the chip dies again.

    Since you're involved in making IDE interfaces, maybe you have more input on this... is there a reason there aren't really competitors to things like SCSI2SD or DREM/PDP8.NET as well? I'm assuming to open source versions of those?
    -- Brian

    Systems: Amstad PCW 8256, Apple IIe/II+/Mac+/Mac 512k, Atari 800/520STFM, Commodore 64/Amiga 3000/PET 4032/SX-64, IBM PS/1 2121-B82, Kaypro II, Osborne 1, Tandy 1000 SX, TI-99/4A, TRS-80 Model 4 GA

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