Posted on January 16, 2020
TZXduino vs ZXuiTape vs DigiWavuino
I’m writing this post to dispel comments coming in waves from the main owner of the TZXduino/ArduiTape project. But let me provide some background first. About 2 years I had an idea to build a small device to replace the tape deck inside an old 80s Sharp MZ700 with a micro-controller and an SD card. I’d actually owned a few devices like this for other retro computer I have. I actually built the code based on ARM based Arduino devices. ARM because I could get high-quality audio running at 44khz from the on-board DAC. However I struggled to make the Sharp MZ700 accept the audio. At this point I stumbled across the opensource firmware TZXduino and ArduiTape projects. I got in contact with a chap called DE (shortened for legal reasons). Now at first DE was quite cooperative in helping me out and in return I added a some value back into this project by developing 2 tools: One tool which makes it easy to update TZXduino devices without knowledge of Arduino programming called TZXduino-Uploader. The 2nd was developed out of a manual task DE had told me about in that if you want to you use UEF files in his firmware the UEF files had to be decompressed manually first. So I made a tool to automate that process so you can do UEF files in bulk called UEF Extractor. In addition I’d spotted and fixed a small bug in the TZXduino/AruiTape firmware when using OLED screens.
Over time I started producing my own devices for the TZXduino/AruiTape firmware . I felt that since the devices was of my design and I had separate design for each type of retro computer I would give each a separate name:
This move has upset DE because every time I communicate something about my devices DE is compelled to remind everyone in a very childish uncouth manner that my devices are a fake of his devices. Now there lies the quandary. DE also sells the devices under the name of the opensource projects. Every time I try to justify that they are not fakes DE is compelled to attack me a bit more, usually by changing his story somewhat to skirt around my view. My core argument is that the firmware is opensource and contains other opensource firmware, the layout of the hardware is of my design. DE believes the layout of the design is his intellectual property and skirts round the notion that the circuitry is decades old and even the idea of building such a device was ripped off the Tapuino project. Actually I checked the legality of DE’s claims and to fuel my argument the intellectual property and Patent for interfacing with a MicroController is owned by Casio; Patent: US9606852 . So I’m still unclear what part of my design is DE claiming is his? Is it the opensource software or the Interfacing a MicroController. Or maybe DE is claiming the intellectual property rights for adding buttons to a plastic case???
I’ve noticed community members on different Facebook groups are getting fed up of DE’s rants. So in an effort to not be goaded into a tit for tat exchange I drew out this table of facts so you understand my view. Its funny when I tell people about this the 2 responses are: I’m confused, I thought it was opensource. Or isn’t the generic name for them Tapuino.
The current state of play
I will not be bullied in to submission but at the same time I don’t want to upset the rest of the community guys. There are 2 other players in the TZXduino project who told me they don’t really mind what I’m doing and give me their blessing. I’m putting my energy in redeveloping my firmware DigiWavuino which I believe is now better than ArduiTape. And as a replacement for TZXduino I’m using MaxDuino which is a little further ahead IMO. I’m looking at extending to developing MaxDuino-Uploader shortly too. The sad part about all this is had DE not gone on the attack I’d still be helping out where I can with my little tools and bug fixes. I even developed my own forked Audio library which should have been folded into the ArduiTape project. As such I have started to remove all back links to DE’s website from my tools, and content which would have been driving some traffic DE’s way. I was happy with that as I’m a believer in Karma. What DE failed to recognize is a little competition is healthy for business and drives further revenue. If you still have doubts contact me direct. Thanks