Just the signal, not the noise

Welcome to the day named Friday 8Bit'ers,

This week we support your laziness and send you over to YouTube for our main story.

Can a human beat AI?

Depends on the task, right? But especially playing games is something, that ML can be trained very well at. And so it is anything but surprising that the Speedrun record holder for Super Mario Bros. (yes, the one from 1985) is a machine. But can it be beaten by a human? Find it out in this issue.

We keep it easy this time and stimulate your brain rather than your fingers. Summer is approaching quickly in the northern hemisphere 😎 and we do not want to make you sweat 🌊. 

Enjoy this issue, and look forward to the next one, #04 will be special. Very special.

Don't miss

Human Limit

Super Mario Bros. - Human vs. AI
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rIJNT7dCmE

A video game and endless series that all kids and gamers know since the middle of the 80's, is Super Mario Brothers. Initially the title was released as the arcade game Mario Bros. in 1983. It’s successors Super Mario Bros. made the Famicon as well as the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) widely successful and contributed a lot to kids spending more time in front of a monitor (or better TV set at those times).

Ever since there have been plenty of subsequent versions, for all sorts of systems, and in all kind of flavors. Especially in 3D. But the gameplay of the original title paved the way for one of the most loved genres: Jump’n Run.

It is not surprising, that gamers play Super Mario Bros. still today, and some of them have made a real science out of it. It is about Speedrun.

There are actually contests on how quickly a level or the whole game can be beaten by a player. And since it is 2021 and machine learning was applied to playing games quite early, it has - of course - been a machine on Mario's throne. Up until now…

Summoning Salt presents a beautifully performed piece of equally superbly researched work. Get yourself something to chew on the next 45 minutes and just enjoy the video of the week.

Share the signal:

Bootloader for Ben Eater's 8bit computer

Ben Eater 8bit Computer Extension
Source: https://github.com/dmytrostriletskyi/8-bit-computer-memory-init

Did you dare to build it? Ben Eaters 8bit computer seems to be the most famous one of Ben's projects. All of them have one thing in common: Ben's fantastic way of breaking complex issues into smaller problems, and in turn explaining them in a very understandable way to a wider audience.

That attracted a lot of people, and rightfully so. It also served as motivation for Dmytro Striletskyi who built an Arduino Nano based extension which solves one of the more painful problems of that machine.

Head over to his github, it is a nice project of him and could be interesting, if you actually own and assembled Ben's 8bit machine.

Share the signal:

Ahead of the wave

Restrict Yourself

BULB - S-Chip Interpreter
Source: https://internet-janitor.itch.io/bulb

Do you know CHIP-8? The interpreted programming language built by Joseph Weisbecker that first debuted in the COSMAC VIP? If so this one is for you. If not, this could become the new object of desire for leisure time, because CHIP-8 interpreters are available for all kinds of systems today. CHIP-8 is the VM of that era.

BULB on the other hand is a very tiny interpreted language created by the Internet-Janitor running on the CHIP-8 emulator.

Feel like playing around a bit? You can run the interpreter in the browser (of course) and you will discover a slightly different way of programming which … comes close to real functional languages.

Give it a try, but be careful, you can easily spend some hours ⏰.

Share the signal:


How does a USB Keyboard work?

Ben Eater USB Keyboard
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdgULBpRoXk

Ben Eater is literally pumping out new material. Ever since he seems to have abandoned the connection of the 6502 computer with the VGA graphics card, he puts his focus on a working keyboard. First it was PS/2, now you learn how USB works. As always - absolutely worth every minute.

Share the signal:

Commodore Music Maker in 2021

Retro Recipes - Commodore Music Maker
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2M4PYI7OFTk

Should not you know Perifractic already, I see you hitting the Subscribe button over at his channel Retro Recipes. In this recipode (how he likes to call his episodes 👾) he covers one of the marvels of C64 80's glory - The Commodore Music Maker.

And funny enough, the ear-catching soundtrack of his videos are all self-produced tracks created with the Music Maker. Trust me, you will like this one.


Share the signal:

What forgetting your Password was like

Password Reset Joke
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WiIqBB2QJB0

After being a little Youtube-heavy today, I want to end this issue #03 with a joke. Enjoy.

Share the signal:

No week passes by without any new and interesting 8bit news. It is amazing (at least to us) how much love 40+ years old technology still gets. But rightfully so!

We hope you enjoyed this issue. If so, feel free to drop us a line. If you did not like it, we are sorry. Any chance you help us out with some comments and help us improve? 

Bastian and I really enjoy talking to likeminded people. So do not hesitate, respond to this email and we will keep in touch.

Until next week … AND remember the date, 17th of June. Our next email will touch down in your mailbox on Thursday already. For a reason 🤓.

Stay safe.


This email was forwarded to you? You can sign up here to receive it directly.

View our privacy policy here.

Made with 🍉 in Berlin

More content like that - only for subscribers. Free of charge. Free of SPAM. Rich in retro.