I had a blast building this- the kit is through hole so assembly went by very quickly what ended up taking more time was the getting a pretty enclosure and spending time actually working on writing code for this- I made a video about this if you want to check out how assembly went for me. https://youtu.be/QzF8xTOwsJM
Its a shame this has been out of stock for some time- it was a darn good kit with very nice assembly instructions!
Response from The Really Old-School Company Ltd | Aug. 22, 2023
I don't know how but I somehow missed this until now! Sorry about that!
Thank you so much for your order and for leaving this review, and thanks for your (awesome by the way!) YouTube video too! Really glad you enjoyed building the kit and it was amazing to see the build 😃
It's been a long road with the semiconductor shortage but stock is gradually becoming available again, it's selling out as fast as we can put kits together and I bet your video is helping with that, so thanks again 😊
I've built a number of retro-homebrew systems and find the Rosco-m68k a nice change from having to use CP/M and its ancient commands and compilers. Having a GCC-based toolchain opens up all sorts of possibilities to port existing modern code. If you're on Linux, I recommend still using 'brew' to install the toolchain, as there may be problems getting a current GCC to build the older version used in the toolchain.
Persistent storage would be nice, but it's not that bad to upload programs each time considering the tradeoff of not having to put up with CP/M.
Response from The Really Old-School Company Ltd | March 14, 2021
Thanks for the review Alexander, really glad you're happy with the kit :) A modern toolchain and development experience are an important goal for this project. Rest assured that various options for persistent storage is being worked on already, and will be available very soon :)
Having already purchased and played with the standalone 1.2 main board, I decided to put together a larger system - 9MB memory, where I would implement a 2M RAM Drive for a workspace. To get this done, I needed more memory so acquired the bus board and a memory card, with a second to follow down the road. The kit is straight forward to assemble and easy to configure. Only issue- you need a very small soldering tip because of the closeness of the contacts for the sole transistor on the board. I had to use an xacto knife to make sure that they weren't shorting. That said, the kit assembles in a few hours. Minimal tools needed: wire cutters, needle nose pliers, temperature controlled soldering iron (with small tip) and a VOM. Very clean assemble and except for the caution required in soldering the transistor, very easy to assemble. Great kit. Great support, Great value.
Response from The Really Old-School Company Ltd | Nov. 10, 2020
Thanks for the reviews, and for the kind words! Noted your points about the documentation and transistors, I'm planning to do a big overhaul of the documentation over the Christmas holidays, and will definitely be changing the transistor footprint in the next board revision.
Can't really fault this kit. Everything supplied, very good documentation and supporting software. It's still being very actively developed and there is a lot more potential. If you want to take advantage of the ongoing developments, a programmer would prove useful. This isn't a kit for someone wanting to boot straight into an operating system, it's more suited to someone who wants a platform for hacking m68k code and hardware. The documentation covers setting up the tool-chain, which can often be a challenge for the beginner, and I found this worked well on my Mac. Support from the developer is very good. Recommended.
Response from The Really Old-School Company Ltd | July 20, 2020
Thanks for the review, and your kind words :) Really pleased that you're happy with your kit, and super excited to have you in the community :)
Communication with the seller is great, very kind person to deal with. The Rev 1 board is perfect for a lot of experiments, but a new revision would be better if it supports a true backplane in a 19 inch rack. Soldering the board is easy, and should take just a few hours. There are no adjustments, it should work right "out of the box". I bought the almost complete kit (I had several components in stock), and everything is clearly labeled, down to each separate resistor! I have always favored the Motorola processors over all the Intel stuff, so I might be a bit biased :-). But the M68010 is a great CPU, and only the 68020 can top it, before things get really complicated. The board is very "open", so lots of add-ons are possible, and being worked on already! The software that you can download from Github contains a toolchain and lots of help to get started. Either in assembly as in C! All in all, I am very happy with this kit.
Response from The Really Old-School Company Ltd | May 22, 2020
Thanks for your review and your kind words!
Really glad to hear you're happy with your kit, and very pleased you got up and running quickly :)
I hear you loud and clear on the revision two :) All feedback is being taken on board and will be considered when the time comes to do the design for the next version - there will be a lot of community involvement in the future direction we take :)
Very nice board, quite easy to build. All resistors were clearly marked which is nice touch. On plastic bag there is also marking of chips and location where they go, but would suggest placing sticker on GALs and ROMs, other parts do not need more info. One small remark regarding PCB is that it would be better that memory chip pads and NE555 are larger (like on other components) that would make it even easier to solder. Nice coding examples and instructions for toolchain, so very interesting for further development. Testing with MC68000P10 but will try with MC68010 as well when I get one. Looking forward to new boards from you.
Response from The Really Old-School Company Ltd | April 25, 2020
Thanks for the review, really pleased you're happy with your kit and hope you have a lot of fun hacking on it!
Many thanks for the feedback, going forward we'll be adding stickers on both the ROMs and the 16V8s, and I've raised an issue (https://github.com/rosco-m68k/rosco_m68k/issues/35) to fix the pads on U1-U4 and the 555!
There's lots more to come for the rosco_m68k, with two new boards almost ready to launch and a video card at the breadboard stage, so be sure to check back regularly!
Thanks again, and happy hacking, Ross