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GOL Game of Life v. 1.4 availability
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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.

GOL Game of Life v. 1.4 availability

by jaidee on Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:32 am

I have a 2 x 2 assembly of v 1.3 Game of Life boards which generally settles into a repeating/oscillating state, repetitively changing between two patterns, within about 60 - 90 seconds of activity.

I appreciate that oscillation is inherent within Conway's original GOL formulation.

However, for the purpose of a domestic display item it quickly becomes extremely irritating!

What I want is a constantly changing/evolving display.

I underrstand that the firmware has been upadted to a v 1.4 beta by the original designer of this project which eliminates the problem by detecting oscillating patterns and automatically re-setting.

Unfortunately, I have neither the equipment nor the expertise to reprogram one of my chips (I understand that only one of the four chips on my display needs to be changed).

Can Adafruit supply a chip with the updated firmware? If so what is the cost and how do I go about ordering?

Thanks

James
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Re: GOL Game of Life v. 1.4 availability

by adafruit on Sat Mar 19, 2011 4:17 pm

the problem is there is no way to detect -all- oscillation because it can be pretty long stable repetition. some people in the forum did make a 555 timer that resets the boards after every few minutes.

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Re: GOL Game of Life v. 1.4 availability

by stephanie on Sat Mar 19, 2011 5:24 pm

I've got one of the boards in my GoL array running the 1.4 firmware and it does work 'as advertised'. I can let it run all day long and it will reset only when needed.

If I remember right, it can detect oscillating patterns with up to 16 steps. I've been a little GoL-obsessed lately and the most complicated oscillating pattern I've seen yet was only 8 steps, which the 1.4 firmware can easily recognize.

Having said that - I'd love to help burn the chip for you but I'm on the 'wrong side of the pond'... It's not difficult but you do need something like the USBTinyISP to do it. Or I believe you can even do it with an Arduino.
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Re: GOL Game of Life v. 1.4 availability

by adafruit on Sat Mar 19, 2011 6:51 pm

thanks for letting us know stephanie, how many boards did you have hooked up?

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Re: GOL Game of Life v. 1.4 availability

by stephanie on Sat Mar 19, 2011 7:50 pm

I started with 6 (with the 1.4 firmware in one board right from the start.)

After a few weeks I went to 12. Now I'm at 16...

It'll be 20 soon, then it will be 'finished'. :)

Edited to add: There's a video linked in the original 1.4 thread I think, that demonstrates what it's doing and explains it quite well. The author uses either a 2x2 or a 3x3 grid and shows how the 1.4 firmware can identify the oscillating patterns and force a reset.
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Re: GOL Game of Life v. 1.4 availability

by jaidee on Sun Mar 20, 2011 6:05 am

Stephanie - many thanks for the info and the confirmation that v. 1.4 solves the problem.

Adafruit/Ladyada - as per original question, can you supply me with a chip with the v. 1.4 firmware???

Thanks

James
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Re: GOL Game of Life v. 1.4 availability

by adafruit on Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:36 pm

no we do not have chips that have the custom firmware

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Re: GOL Game of Life v. 1.4 availability

by stephanie on Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:20 pm

James - I have a spare ATMega48V that I could burn the GoL 1.4 firmware on for you. I'd be willing to try and mail it to you if you like?
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Re: GOL Game of Life v. 1.4 / help programing with boarduino

by jmvl on Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:41 pm

Hello to all,
This is my first post .. and call for help.
I got an Boarduino for developing sketches, and that is going fine, thanks to this wonderful community.

What I am not finding in the forum is how to use a Boarduino to program a blank ATmage48v-10PU.
I am building the Game of life from the PCB and need to Program the blank chip with the version 1.4 program.
My specific questions are:
1) Can I use the Boarduino as a standart AVR programer?
There is a hint to it in th ressources section
2) can I use the Arduino development environemen to load a Hex file and program th fuses of the ATmega48?
3) any link to the instructions would help greatly.

Thanks for your help.
From France with love,
JM

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Re: GOL Game of Life v. 1.4 availability

by chankster on Fri Apr 01, 2011 2:48 pm

JM,

This should do what you need:
http://code.google.com/p/mega-isp/
"This is not my sig", it said. - I looked at it suspiciously; Who's sig was it, then?

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Re: GOL Game of Life v. 1.4 availability

by jaidee on Sat May 28, 2011 1:18 pm

From my perspective, having built a small 2x2 matrix, the v. 1.3 firmware is flawed in its propensity for rapidly settling into an oscillating pattern.

The Adafruit blurb promises "a beautiful organic display out of randomness" and notes that the kit "Automatically resets if the colony has died or stagnated (regeneration)"

My experience is that the v. 1.3 firmware provides an extremely inorganic experience by locking into a two stage repeating pattern, usually in less than a minute, which can then only be broken by manually pressing the reset button.

I am surprised and disappointed that Adafruit, while continuing to actively market the kit, are not providing the v 1.4 firmware which is specifically intended to address the problem of repeating patterns.

I am sure I am not the only kit builder who has neither the expertise or equipment to be able to program my own chips.

I appreciate, however, that there may be licensing or other problems which make it difficult for Adafruit to supply the upgraded firmware.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I am EXTREMELY GRATEFUl to STEPHANIE who has kindly and generously provided her assistance and practical support in helping me to get my GOL project to produce the sort of display which the advertising blurb promises.
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Re: GOL Game of Life v. 1.4 availability

by adafruit on Sat May 28, 2011 8:58 pm

we will have a future set of kits with the v1.4 firmware. very few people have said they were frustrated with the firmware as is. glad to hear you got it working the way you want it, the kit is designed to be hacked!

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Re: GOL Game of Life v. 1.4 availability

by kirill on Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:40 am

Maybe a stupid question, but where to obtain the 1.4 FW? Is that the one on GitHub?

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Re: GOL Game of Life v. 1.4 availability

by stephanie on Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:28 pm

The 1.4 version was posted in a thread in this forum. Here's the link:
viewtopic.php?f=19&t=15669

It was created by user Dataman.

Cheers!
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Re: GOL Game of Life v. 1.4 availability

by adafruit_support_rick on Sat Sep 08, 2012 2:25 pm

Thanks, Stephanie!!

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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.