Author Topic: Marcel van Kervinck (Gigatron TTL Computer) RIP  (Read 2066 times)

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Offline monsonite

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Marcel van Kervinck (Gigatron TTL Computer) RIP
« on: May 28, 2020, 09:33:58 pm »
Dave, and all forum members,

It is with deepest regrets that I announce the death on Tuesday 26th May 2020 of Marcel van Kervinck - the creator of the Gigatron TTL Computer.

Marcel passed peacefully following a long illness. First surgery and then immuno-therapy failed him.  He gave up the struggle two days ago - aged in his early 50's.

To regular readers of the Gigatron forum, it was clear that in recent weeks he had increasing health problems, but none of us knew the full extent.

Marcel created the Gigatron in the Spring of 2017, based on his earlier idea to produce a VGA video generator from TTL counters, a RAM and a ROM. His progress and clever insights with the Gigatron architecture was fully documented in a series of posts to Hackaday.io

Within a year he had created the prototype, a double sided pcb, a full kit of parts, and written all the low level and high level software.

The community embraced such an elegant and comprehensive design, and it was not long before there was an assembler, an emulator, Tiny BASIC, Wozmon, a virtual 6502 which can run Commodore floating point BASIC - and just recently a fully compiled, modern BASIC with advanced string handling and other essential features. One of the last projects was a fully operational "clone" of an Apple-1 running 6502 code on the Gigatron hardware.

Approximately 1000 kits have been sold to date, (Edit - the 1000th kit was sold today) and there is sufficient stock to last the next couple of months, after which no more will be produced. Marcel's project partner, Walter, will handle the final sales and shipping until the current stock is depleted.

The project has been open sourced, and the manual will appear online as a legacy for the wider retro-computing community.

The original breadboard prototype has been gifted to a computing museum in the Netherlands.

I met Marcel last September in the UK at the Cambridge Computing Museum, and have never met such a charming, thoughtful and brilliant engineer. I have had a hardware career for nearly 35 years, but his optimism, tenacity and insight into the fundamentals of computing hardware and firmware were outstanding. He will be sorely missed.

It is a great loss to the Gigatron community to lose such a gifted founder, but with every Gigatron kit sold - Marcel exceeded his original ambition many times over.

Once the shock of this devastating news subsides, I hope that the Gigatron community will regroup, decide on a collective strategy and turn Marcel's Gigatron into a lasting legacy that truly reflects his dedication to the project which has been his lifeblood for the last three or more years.

Marcel's lasting legacy is that he has inspired so many people rediscover an interest in the fundamentals of computing technology.

I'm hoping to team up with Hackaday and create some sort of an annual competition, in his memory, that will consolidate the Gigatron project ethos and act as a lasting legacy to inspire a whole new generation of engineers.

If you have any suggestions - please send me a PM.


With Deepest Condolences,


Ken
« Last Edit: May 28, 2020, 09:58:42 pm by monsonite »
 
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Offline MK14

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Re: Marcel van Kervinck (Gigatron TTL Computer) RIP
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2020, 10:10:33 pm »
R.I.P.

The Gigatron TTL Computer, has become, quite a celebrity. Within hardware/Youtube circles.
I've seen (or part watched) a number of youtubers, mention, demonstrate and even build one.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Marcel van Kervinck (Gigatron TTL Computer) RIP
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2020, 10:11:35 am »
So sad, thanks for sharing.
I had many conversations with Marcel who helped out a lot  :-+
 
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Offline MK14

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Re: Marcel van Kervinck (Gigatron TTL Computer) RIP
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2020, 10:28:28 am »
For reference, these are two of the videos, that cover it. Not sure if any mail bag(s), covered it as well. The build video is > 4 hours long!





« Last Edit: May 29, 2020, 10:31:47 am by MK14 »
 
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: Marcel van Kervinck (Gigatron TTL Computer) RIP
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2020, 12:43:56 am »
For reference, these are two of the videos, that cover it. Not sure if any mail bag(s), covered it as well. The build video is > 4 hours long!

I've used the Gigatron in many other videos on EMC and is an ongoing project, I still have another video to do on that topic using a new shielded 4 layer gigatron.
 
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Offline MK14

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Re: Marcel van Kervinck (Gigatron TTL Computer) RIP
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2020, 03:47:14 am »
I've used the Gigatron in many other videos on EMC and is an ongoing project, I still have another video to do on that topic using a new shielded 4 layer gigatron.

I'd forgotten about the EMC videos, as it was a long time (if I remember correctly), since I watched it.
Large boards of 'TTL', are relatively rare these days. So, it makes sense to use the Gigatron unit, for such demonstrations.
 
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Offline chriva

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Re: Marcel van Kervinck (Gigatron TTL Computer) RIP
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2020, 03:58:20 am »
It's always the good ones... Life ain't fair :(
 
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