Author Topic: How long before SpinASM/FV-1 disappears/stops working?  (Read 2502 times)

ElectricDruid

How long before SpinASM/FV-1 disappears/stops working?
« on: June 06, 2018, 09:10:14 AM »
I've been trying to get myself set up to be able to do some coding for the FV-1 using SpinASM. This involves getting Windows installed on some machine around here. So I check to see which versions are supported, and I see "NEW!! Windows 7 64-bit support!". And this on a website whose copyright notice reads "(c)2007 Spin Semiconductor". Not massively encouraging...

Given there's only one product, the designer of that product is now dead, and the website and assembler hasn't been updated in years, how much longer can we expect the FV-1 to be useable?  Sooner or later, Microsoft will drop support for the "latest" version of windows that runs it and the wheels will start to come off, if they're not already doing it.

It's a real shame since I think it looks like a great chip and Keith Barr had some very interesting ideas and a clever way of doing more with less, but unless they show some activity soon, they'll be some kind of SpinZombie Corp.

octfrank

Re: How long before SpinASM/FV-1 disappears/stops working?
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2018, 12:02:09 PM »
Yes, it has been a while since we have updated the site. I removed the "NEW!! Windows 7 64-bit support!" and will update the copyright later, it is a graphic. Forum needs updated as it has been failing to send confirmation emails lately, something between the s/w and the hosting companies SMTP server but it is not throwing errors in the logs so need to spend time tracking that issue down.

Only one of the designers of the FV-1 is dead, I am the other one and still alive. We haven't updated the assembler because it simply has not needed it, I do not do updates just to do updates. We did move the chip to a different fab a few years back to a better process so we do keep the chip current.

The chip is planned to be in production for as long as we can run it, new companies are designing it in every day.

You should have posted this on the Spin forum or used the contact form on the EN site to ask these questions rather than posting on a site that has no relationship with Spin.

ElectricDruid

Re: How long before SpinASM/FV-1 disappears/stops working?
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2018, 07:53:10 PM »
Hi Frank,

Thanks very much for such a quick and complete response. To be honest, I wasn't seeking or expecting an answer from Spin Semi or someone related to them, or I would have probably tried the Spin site. But I know some people around here use the chip, and I wondered what people's thoughts were. I've seen you around DIYSB, but didn't realise you'd had a hand in the chip itself.

It's certainly true that people around here seem to be using it more and more. I think that's partly the DIY world gradually overcoming its fear of "Digital" and "SMD"!

So..a quick practical question while you're here, to which I couldn't find the answer on the Spin site: What versions of Windows does the Spin assembler run under? What are the OS/RAM/Disk space requirements?

Thanks again for popping up to allay my concerns.

Tom

octfrank

Re: How long before SpinASM/FV-1 disappears/stops working?
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2018, 08:30:40 PM »
Good question, I run the current version on 10 with all current patches without any issues. Last time I did a full test across everything from XP to 10 it worked on everything but that was about 2 years ago so it has not been tested with current patches on XP through 8. Looking around I don't think we have any non 10 machines anymore. Executable is small (smaller than a megabyte) and not a memory hog so no real RAM and disk requirements, should run on almost anything.

Yes, I could do better updating the Spin site but that would mean less time designing FXCore.
Frank Thomson
Experimental Noize

Zerikin

Re: How long before SpinASM/FV-1 disappears/stops working?
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2018, 12:05:59 PM »
I don't think your forum moderator on spinsemi is active, I created an account over there a month ago and never got activated.

octfrank

Re: How long before SpinASM/FV-1 disappears/stops working?
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2018, 12:53:09 PM »
Yeah, the email is supposed to be automated but they sometimes fail with no error so I need to figure out what is going on. Message me your username there and I will enable the account.
Frank Thomson
Experimental Noize

ElectricDruid

Re: How long before SpinASM/FV-1 disappears/stops working?
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2018, 06:17:11 PM »
That's the kind of thing I mean, Frank. With a lot of people you won't get a second chance with stuff like that - they'll just assume the site is dead, and that the product is similarly "life limited". If you want to keep the chip alive, you need to make sure it looks like things are happening and this is a current business.
I suspect it's not just me that had my doubts. I was happily proved wrong, but not everyone will be. They don't all hang out around here, for a start, and if getting on the SpinSemi forum is difficult, you'll be losing customers before you've even got them.

T.

GuitarPhil

Re: How long before SpinASM/FV-1 disappears/stops working?
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2018, 04:12:00 PM »
The FV-1 chip is still used in many current devices from many manufacturers including Catalinbread, Keeley, StanleyFX and Blackstar so I think there's plenty of lifetime remaining for this great little chip.


I run SpinASM on the latest Windows 10, before that it ran on Win 7 and XP with no issues.


Phil.

Benoi31

Re: How long before SpinASM/FV-1 disappears/stops working?
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2018, 08:09:03 AM »
That's sad, the Spin FV1 is really a great chip for making custom digital effects, and is accessible to everyone with a software like SpinCAD.

I am currently writing a tutorial about it on my blog, and I really wanted to include SpinCAD because assembly is not easy for beginners out there...
Do you think it would be possible to make a version available for download there? That would avoid the process of subscribing to the forum with the manual validation request.

Digital Larry

Re: How long before SpinASM/FV-1 disappears/stops working?
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2018, 09:54:08 AM »
That's sad, the Spin FV1 is really a great chip for making custom digital effects, and is accessible to everyone with a software like SpinCAD.

I am currently writing a tutorial about it on my blog, and I really wanted to include SpinCAD because assembly is not easy for beginners out there...
Do you think it would be possible to make a version available for download there? That would avoid the process of subscribing to the forum with the manual validation request.
I presume you are talking to me.  You (or anyone) can offer SpinCAD for download so long as you comply with the GPL Version 3 license.  I'll leave it up to you to figure out what that means.  In general I discourage that, because for example I have a few updates I am planning on publishing soon, and if you put version "X" on your blog then you'd either have to pay attention to when I did updates or live with an outdated version.

Signing up on my forum also gives you access to a number of sample patches and several years worth of posts which people in general might find useful.  I do make an attempt to pop in every few days and assist people who request it.

BUT.  Let's be clear.  I cannot legally prevent you from doing it.  You just have a legal obligation (spelled out at the link above) if you choose to do so.

I did work at a company about 10 years ago that used open source in its product and did not initially comply with the GPL license.  The bonehead CEO had no idea what the relevance of the letter he received from the Open Software Foundation was so he chose to ignore it.  The company was subsequently sued by the OSF and wound up paying about $20,000 in legal fees.  I certainly have better things to do than sue people, but the OSF takes these sorts of things pretty seriously.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2018, 10:11:43 AM by Digital Larry »
Digital Larry
DSP tinkerer and former transistor twister

octfrank

Re: How long before SpinASM/FV-1 disappears/stops working?
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2018, 01:21:43 PM »
We do plan to fix the forum issue, we only learned about it recently since it is not showing errors in the log and most users did not let us know they did not receive the confirmation email. Things looked fine in the logs so we didn't go looking for issues.
Frank Thomson
Experimental Noize

Mark Hammer

Re: How long before SpinASM/FV-1 disappears/stops working?
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2018, 06:41:48 PM »
The FV-1 chip is still used in many current devices from many manufacturers including Catalinbread, Keeley, StanleyFX and Blackstar so I think there's plenty of lifetime remaining for this great little chip.


I run SpinASM on the latest Windows 10, before that it ran on Win 7 and XP with no issues.


Phil.
When I spoke with Robert Keeley at Summer NAMM, he indicated they would be migrating away from the FV-1.  As I understood it, he had plans for more than what an FV-1 can deliver.

Ice-9

Re: How long before SpinASM/FV-1 disappears/stops working?
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2018, 10:58:46 AM »
The FV-1 chip is still used in many current devices from many manufacturers including Catalinbread, Keeley, StanleyFX and Blackstar so I think there's plenty of lifetime remaining for this great little chip.


I run SpinASM on the latest Windows 10, before that it ran on Win 7 and XP with no issues.


Phil.


Octfrank has a new DSP under development which I am eagerly waiting for its appearance, I will certainly be looking into some new designs when this hits the market and will be getting the dev board ASAP. I wonder if this is what Robert Keeley is also looking at or another DSP altogether?
When I spoke with Robert Keeley at Summer NAMM, he indicated they would be migrating away from the FV-1.  As I understood it, he had plans for more than what an FV-1 can deliver.
www.stanleyfx.co.uk

It's fairly straight forward, if you want to start it , press start. You can work out the rest of the controls for yourself !

Benoi31

Re: How long before SpinASM/FV-1 disappears/stops working?
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2018, 06:07:54 AM »
Quote
I presume you are talking to me.  You (or anyone) can offer SpinCAD for download so long as you comply with the GPL Version 3 license.  I'll leave it up to you to figure out what that means.  In general I discourage that, because for example I have a few updates I am planning on publishing soon, and if you put version "X" on your blog then you'd either have to pay attention to when I did updates or live with an outdated version.

Signing up on my forum also gives you access to a number of sample patches and several years worth of posts which people in general might find useful.  I do make an attempt to pop in every few days and assist people who request it.

BUT.  Let's be clear.  I cannot legally prevent you from doing it.  You just have a legal obligation (spelled out at the link above) if you choose to do so.

I did work at a company about 10 years ago that used open source in its product and did not initially comply with the GPL license.  The bonehead CEO had no idea what the relevance of the letter he received from the Open Software Foundation was so he chose to ignore it.  The company was subsequently sued by the OSF and wound up paying about $20,000 in legal fees.  I certainly have better things to do than sue people, but the OSF takes these sorts of things pretty seriously.

Cool.

Completely agree with the GPL licensing. Maybe a link to the forum would be enough as the software is updated frequently.

p_wats

Re: How long before SpinASM/FV-1 disappears/stops working?
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2018, 05:30:53 PM »
I just signed up for the Spinsemi forum without any issues, so that's good.

Now to actually learn where to start (aside from the couple pedalpcb builds I've done).