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Subject: Re: New wooden chess computer by me.

Author: Keith Evans

Date: 17:25:40 01/29/05

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On January 29, 2005 at 04:09:46, Steve B wrote:

>>What if someone took the guts out of a palm (or maybe bought something like a
>>gumstix board with 400 MHz xscale processor) and jammed it into an excalibur
>>grandmaster? (You might not want to risk one of your beautiful old wooden units
>>on such a beast.) You could have quite a powerful dedicated unit, but would you
>>be willing to pay $1000 for such a hack?
>
>well there are two points here..
>First  ..i am not  so interested in modified computers
>the new dedicated computers that we are talking about will be avaialable to the
>general public
>there will be perhaps 50 or more sold
>a prototype has competed in head on competiton with all of the other dedicated
>units and won going away
>
>SECOND..the new dedicated computer will have two programs and it will be
>upgradeable through a pc serial port built into the module
>a wed site will be maintained by the seller which will allow upgrades to be
>downloaded from the site directly into the computer to all registered owners
>
>so all together i think its a nice package and worth the money and so do many
>other collectors
>
>what you describe is interesting ,but the concept of taking an existing computer
>and modifying its processor or over clocking ,etc etc is not a new one
>generally i do not acquire these sorts of computers
>
>
>
>now with all of that aside, if you can do what you described for say..$500..you
>have your first sale
>:))
>
>i like the idea you picked the GM board..its a great board to play chess on
>
>Best
>Steve

I'm not actually doing such a project. I also have a wife that wouldn't be too
happy seeing disemboweled chess computers in the house, but unlike you I don't
have a basement workshop. And I spend all day at work on electronics, and need
definitely need a break from that after work. It seems like a good undergraduate
project though!

I was more interested in what it takes to actually make something interesting
for collectors. The excalibur grandmaster was available for about $100 new in a
few places a while back but when I just looked on EBay there weren't so many of
those units available. If I were going to do such a hack then I would want to
pick something still in production so as not to receive bad karma from upsetting
the serious collectors.

For me a dedicated unit is not interesting unless it includes some kind of
chessboard which can be used to directly enter the moves. If you are required to
enter moves on a keypad or something, then my personal opinion is that you might
as well be playing on a pc, palm, or gameboy. I can understand the interest of
units lacking such an interface from a historical point of view, but that's it.
I am not sure about the details of the project being done by Ruud Martin. Is it
a module designed to slide into an existing unit?



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