The Future of Sinclair ZX World

General Chit Chat about Sinclair Computers and their Clones
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gammaray
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Re: The Future of Sinclair ZX World

Post by gammaray » Fri Aug 25, 2017 10:10 pm

I remember offering my help.
Finish what you start. Truth is over the mountaintop or six feet under.
4 x TS1000, 2 x TS1500 , 2 x timex 2040 printer, 1/2 x timex 2020 cassette deck, ZXPAND, ZeddyNET, ZXBlast..., unfinished Spectrum...Still no life!

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robheaton
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Re: The Future of Sinclair ZX World

Post by robheaton » Fri Aug 25, 2017 10:44 pm

I'm also willing to take over the hosting/admin of the ZX World forums. I don't want to see them just disappear.

Paul has stepped forward first, so obviously discuss this with him initially.

Also happy to discuss merging the ZX World forums and the QLForum, maybe under something like sinclairforums.co.uk ?

If I can be of any help, please let me know.
Rob.

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Paul
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Re: The Future of Sinclair ZX World

Post by Paul » Fri Aug 25, 2017 11:13 pm

RWAP wrote:
Fri Aug 25, 2017 8:09 pm

By all means if the Z88 Forum and ZX80/ZX81 forum can be moved over to the professional web hosting company, and the domain names transferred that would be great. I still have concerns over how you ensure continuity based on past experience - for example, since I set up these forums, they have gone through 3 different web hosting companies as the companies ceased trading or simply turned off the website!

However, that is something for the ZX Team and other forum members to consider moving forward.
That sounds promising to us.
Let's mail about further steps.
@helpful people:
We are very thankful if some native English members would be ready to help in case of difficulties with the English language.
We would set up a closed subforum for such discussions.
Kind regards
Paul
In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is.

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1024MAK
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Re: The Future of Sinclair ZX World

Post by 1024MAK » Sat Aug 26, 2017 12:36 am

Paul wrote:
Fri Aug 25, 2017 11:13 pm
RWAP wrote:
Fri Aug 25, 2017 8:09 pm

By all means if the Z88 Forum and ZX80/ZX81 forum can be moved over to the professional web hosting company, and the domain names transferred that would be great. I still have concerns over how you ensure continuity based on past experience - for example, since I set up these forums, they have gone through 3 different web hosting companies as the companies ceased trading or simply turned off the website!

However, that is something for the ZX Team and other forum members to consider moving forward.
That sounds promising to us.
Let's mail about further steps.
@helpful people:
We are very thankful if some native English members would be ready to help in case of difficulties with the English language.
We would set up a closed subforum for such discussions.
Kind regards
Paul
It's great that there are some members willing to host these forums :D

I'm happy to help in any way I can.

Mark

Lardo Boffin
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Re: The Future of Sinclair ZX World

Post by Lardo Boffin » Sat Aug 26, 2017 7:57 am

I can't really offer any time as my spare time is very hit and miss(and limited) but am happy to put money towards costs.
ZX81 iss 1 (bugged ROM, kludge fix, normal, kit)
Iss 3 with ZXVid, another in nearly perfect box
TS 1000 iss 3, ZXPand AY, ZX8-CCB & ZX-KDLX
TS 1500
TS 2000
Spectrum 16k (iss 1 s/n 1499)
Spectrum 48k
Toastrack + DIVMMC future

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Re: The Future of Sinclair ZX World

Post by RWAP » Sat Aug 26, 2017 8:39 am

robheaton wrote:
Fri Aug 25, 2017 10:44 pm
I'm also willing to take over the hosting/admin of the ZX World forums. I don't want to see them just disappear.

Paul has stepped forward first, so obviously discuss this with him initially.

Also happy to discuss merging the ZX World forums and the QLForum, maybe under something like sinclairforums.co.uk ?

If I can be of any help, please let me know.
Rob.
I do think that in some ways merging the forums would be a good idea - at the moment, there is just no "one stop shop" for support and discussion, plus every instance of a forum needs another copy of phpbb, each of them being updated regularly (which is still not a very automated process).

That said, I do not think it would be easy to merge two or more large forums together - although a bit of searching on the internet may find others who have done it using phpbb.

People are losing faith with the WOS forums (me included as they are horrific to try and keep tabs on discussions which might interest you), and out of a very large community, it is rather fragmented across the ZX80/ZX81, Z88, QL, Spectrum, German forums, Spanish forums, Polish forums.

At the very least there could do with a "Sinclair" website which directs people to the various forums and information pages. That is really what is missing.

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gammaray
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Re: The Future of Sinclair ZX World

Post by gammaray » Sat Aug 26, 2017 6:52 pm

I could help with English translation if nothing else. With a mech' engineering degree, I do have exposure to microprocessors, electronics.
Finish what you start. Truth is over the mountaintop or six feet under.
4 x TS1000, 2 x TS1500 , 2 x timex 2040 printer, 1/2 x timex 2020 cassette deck, ZXPAND, ZeddyNET, ZXBlast..., unfinished Spectrum...Still no life!

z3dm4d
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Re: The Future of Sinclair ZX World

Post by z3dm4d » Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:00 pm

Actually, some non-profit org (something like a ZXTribe Foundation) is a really good idea. NetBSD and other groups have done well under such a plan. The main difference is that they already had a stream of income incurring.

One issue that community has had, from the perspective of other communities commenting on it (OpenBSD/FreeBSD), is that it has no formal direction. It seems here that the direction is pretty clear. Just to maintain availability. Perhaps other directions could be added over time. But the real issue seams to be bringing in people with not just interest, but already mentored competence. Perhaps not as pressing is getting the funding. Initially it looks like there are enough hands to fund a handful of years.

I can't read the minds of those who have commented here, and I haven't even the experience with you all to try. But a guess is that most don't appeal to the idea of having committee meetings and spending the time voting on who does what. Not to mention dealing with disagreements on what should be done. Doing this monthly or even quarterly just seems like it is time taxing. However, NetBSD is an OS and those sort of things cause stagnation, where here stagnation is not an issue. Moving forward requires mainly preservation. Passing on the torch of know how, regarding the technical side of things, is a different issue. It may be important to establish what knowledge people are needed to have a working capacity in, and fill those roles as offices. If none are capable for some slots, perhaps ask if someone is willing to teach themselves or otherwise learn.

We may one day lose majority of the original machines to the dump when we pass away. I hope that happens more infrequent than frequent. But there are still emulators and clones born in the now. Many of the clones are schematically similar in nature. Therefore not one shred of knowledge should be allowed to pass with us into the grave.

I have my own interests for seeing longevity establish, but they are not inside the scope RWAP is concerned with. But even so, I am willing to commit to some establishment of a torch passing system.

I have a thought about Youtube. Some monetized Youtube channel could be established for the foundation in question, and users could submit videos for upload to it with a wide range of content regarding what the foundation is a foundation for. Playing games, writing games, fgpa/cpld, understanding timing and scope readings. All sorts of content that ties to a non-profit foundation's name developing interest in the the community of these machines and maybe even donations.

I admit that I am not speaking of only preserving the current community. I am speaking more about preserving what it is that the community has gotten out of these machines. I also admit that I am a bit of a dreamer.

Anyway, I think RWAP is seeing a bigger picture. But I think what needs to be decided is, "What exactly is it that we are trying to prevent from being lost?". If it is just connectivity to data for a hobby that dies with us and the memories we have attaching us to 8-bit machines; then we could just compile a record of all relevant data and share it among one another till the last of us is gone. One big bulk record that we all update and pass around. A few people could decide what gets added and every one that cares to contribute could just make sure that they download and seed the horde in a torrent or personal website.

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Re: The Future of Sinclair ZX World

Post by RWAP » Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:26 pm

z3dm4d wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:00 pm
Anyway, I think RWAP is seeing a bigger picture. But I think what needs to be decided is, "What exactly is it that we are trying to prevent from being lost?". If it is just connectivity to data for a hobby that dies with us and the memories we have attaching us to 8-bit machines; then we could just compile a record of all relevant data and share it among one another till the last of us is gone. One big bulk record that we all update and pass around. A few people could decide what gets added and every one that cares to contribute could just make sure that they download and seed the horde in a torrent or personal website.
Although the future of the Sinclair ZX World website and the z88world websites has been secured for the time being (thanks to the ZX-Team), they have still to be moved off my servers.

The QL Wiki has likewise now been secured (thanks to the QL Forum owners) and this has actually encouraged some work on the Wiki (although limited to one person and myself still !)

Unfortunately, there is just no willing pot of volunteers who want to get involved in a not-for profit organisation so I do not see anything ever progressing along those lines.

As to why I was arguing for an organisation rather than one or two people running these types of websites; my thoughts were:
a) Domain names have a value and as an ex-probate solicitor, I have seen what happens when people argue about the value of assets and what is to happen to them after someone dies; which can lead to things being tied up for years and the loss of access. This could potentially include the server on which files are stored.
b) A co-ordinated theme (and forum software) across the websites to form a brand and help grow the various communities without people having to register on 5 or 6 different websites
c) A central location for access to information about the SInclair range of computers (and possibly other 8 bit computers).
d) A means of driving innovation on projects and helping to share the knowledge, experience and approaches across more than one computer to help speed development for other similar computers. It is this knowledge and experience which we are most in danger of losing in the next 10-20 years - and the 8 bit range of computers remain one of the easiest and most accessible methods of people learning about hardware and software development - particularly with emphasis on electronics and programming to make the most out of limited hardware and memory (rather than the current tendency to simply produce massive bloatware projects which need people to buy the latest hardware / extra memory / graphics cards etc).

z3dm4d
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Re: The Future of Sinclair ZX World

Post by z3dm4d » Wed Oct 04, 2017 5:06 pm

RWAP wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:26 pm
d) A means of driving innovation on projects and helping to share the knowledge, experience and approaches across more than one computer to help speed development for other similar computers. It is this knowledge and experience which we are most in danger of losing in the next 10-20 years - and the 8 bit range of computers remain one of the easiest and most accessible methods of people learning about hardware and software development - particularly with emphasis on electronics and programming to make the most out of limited hardware and memory (rather than the current tendency to simply produce massive bloatware projects which need people to buy the latest hardware / extra memory / graphics cards etc).
And this is where we have gotten ourselves into trouble. Shiny is better, right? Cross Platform seems to be the missing link. Maybe there is a conflict of interest in this area? The interest in machine specific quirks vs unified development. Plenty of able hands, but who's way? The ZX Team has done some neat things, we could use more folks innovating like that. Maybe there should be a list of tools to implement across each platform. Providing some kind of common functionality. Just as long as it doesn't start looking like the very mess people would come to the 8-bit world to get away from. Then a common ground could be a github or something. Maybe a developers hub that could be accessed by they 8-bit machines. A database of machine specific addressing and the like might be nice. Then you could implement something one your machine, then a go and do a pencil whip port for some other machine. That would give the pros on that platform a chance to explain better approaches, and maybe suggest advice for better portability in the future.

I am glad to hear security seems to be, for the most part, accomplished.

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