20/08/2021 - Latest TFW8b.com Updates / Products News
20/8/2021 - Shirley not another 499Range Title! - Grand Theft Cygnus - VIC20 (+8k)
We've don't it again.. Another fantastic 499Range title for the koolkidz of koolkidz computer the Commodore VIC20. This time we have a new programmer to welcome into the 499Range fold.. So please welcome Sheila Dixon (insert a round of applause & teary speech here) ;D
So what is Grand Theft Cygnus? Well, basically, you need to pilfer some of 'er maj's swans without getting caught. For more info & to grab a physical copy of Grand Theft Cygnus.. clickly click.
14/8/2021 - TUT-TUT - PET (32k) / MiniPET
From the fingers of Mr Tynemouth Software himself, we have the PET version of David Stephenson's TUT-TUT. Totally playable and very enjoyable to play! If you've got a PET/MiniPET grab a physical copy of TUT-TUT now!
10/8/2021 - Kung-Fu-Flash PCB update
Everybody loves more LED's and MORE choice right?
Well if you are everybody, you'll love the updates we've done to the TFW8b variant of the Kung-Fu-Flash. Partly because I got fed up with fitting 3 different buttons.. But also because our own in-house stumpy cart cases are so ace, you should have one in each colour!
Well if you are everybody, you'll love the updated TFW8b variant of the Kung Fu Flash? now in 10 case colours with 5, yes 5 LED's!
31/7/2021 - EU27 Postage solved? DTP FTW!
Good news? I've given up with the IOSS system! Frankly, implementation of the API's are just too much work for me right now.. Even more so, as I'm over a year behind moving to a new platform!
The actual GOODNEWS is.. I've got a far better deal out of DHL. This means EU27 customers can seamless DHL Duty-Taxes-Paid service a lot cheaper now. Expect to pay as low as £15.95 for DHL into the EU27 (Depending on order value/location)
To be clear, customers ordering from www.thefuturewas8bit.com in the EU27 will not get charged TAXES or a RANSOM fee at the border. We've taken care of that for you. :D
3/07/2021 - Postage.. Again!
Joy of joys.. I've temporarily removed standard postal services to the EU27. This time it's due to the IOSS system. The good news is, standard post will be back soon. The bad news is, I've also had to temporarily increase the price of DHL Express (EU27) to include PLT, so EU27'ers won't get mugged at the customs border. and yes, I'm still losing money! So please, check back soon if you are unwilling to pay what it's costing me right now. This should be a temporary fix.
9/06/2021 - MiniPET 40/80 Pre-Order
Yay it's here!!! The new MiniPET 40/80 - Click to find out more.. Or watch the video below :D
20/05/2021 - Mars Landing - VIC20 UnExp
It doesn't seem a moment goes by without Mr Hewco dropping us another epic 499Range title. Please welcome, Mars Landing :D
You have crash landed on the surface of Mars and your fuel pods are strewn across the Martian landscape.
Help Buzz collect all the pods and return to the lander before your oxygen supply runs out.
Obv's thanks goes to Mr Hewco for letting me make this physical :D
19/5/2021 - Plan C from Brexitland.
Ok, to save complexity I'm simply going to subsidise post to the EU27. Being small fry, frankly I think it's the best I can do for customers right now.
1/5/2021 - Oh Noes! More RODMÄN - C64
You can now enjoy all 3 Rodman titles from the comfort a single cartridge ;D Based on the Maria64 Cartridge, this Compilation includes Rodman, Ms Rodman and the all new Rodman JR+
#FUNFACT.. I pay Mr Misfit in Green Jelly ;D
20/3/2021 - Brick Rick: Graveyard Shift - ZX Spectrum 128k
Rick loves doing the night shift at the working site every now and then because it is quiet and, to be honest, he can slack a bit. Well, not on the night of Halloween! Looks like a group of monsters have popped in Rick’s job, and that’s something Rick’s boss is not going to like (specially after a recent alien invasion on the Amstrad CPC). Help our hero to get rid of this bunch, brick in hand, by completing 50 stages in this single screen arcade game.
It's nice to show a bit of love to our Speccy cousins!
18/4/2021 - Rip it up and start again
For the next month, I'll be giving EU 27 customers the Duties Paid Option again. Depending on take up, this it how it will stay.
18/3/2021 - Ch-Ch-Changes to EU shipping again, again
As a trail, I've removed all the 'Duty Paid' elements from EU27 shipping - Hence shipping is now cheaper, but you may have to pay your local customs office.
18/02/2021 - EU Shipping again
We've had a few emails asking about 'import fees' from EU customers. Well, the good news is.. since the 'change'.. I've been shipping the bulk of EU orders 'Import Taxes Paid'.
EU IMPORT TAXES PAID:
At the time of typing, the following EU countries are shipped 'Paper Less Trade'
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
So, just like Pre-Brexit, you'll get the same service. DHL packages 'should' turn up without the need for Customs Paperwork, Custom Fee's or Local VAT. We've dealt with all of that for you.
Since around the 5th Jan, when I found out all of my Brexit 'readiness' wasn't quite working out as well as I had planned (More planning than UK.GOV obvs).. I've had to rework shipping at least One Million times, with the goal of the end to end service that TFW8b has been delivering to the EU for years. Obvs, I'm having to pay arounds 3 times the price for these services now. This turned my simple EU postage pricing on it's head. To be clear, each and every package I shipped to the EU since 'brexit' costs TFW8b around £43-48... So yeah, on small orders.. I was losing £30 or more. But customer service is our thing, so since Jan 1th to early Feb TFW8b was haemorrhaging money.
Basically the new price structure makes the shipping cheaper 'the more you buy', with the aim of offsetting my losses without not punishing EU customers for simply daring to trade with the UK. Price breaks for some regions £100 or £150
But anyways, one thing is for sure.. I'm keeping a close eye on the services available to me and as things change.. I'll adjust the shipping costs. (I've got a spreadsheet and everything!)
13/3/2021 - Escape 2020 - (VIC20 UnExpanded)
Hewco has done it again, but this time in no memory at all!
It is 2020. It has been 2020 forever. It will be 2020 forever more. You must escape 2020.
Collect all 44 keys from the rooms of 2020 and find the exit to escape. Your task won't be easy. There are monsters roaming the many rooms and they aren't looking to be your friend. Blast them before you become their dinner. Oh, did I say they have acid for blood? Well of course they do, this is 2020 afterall.
Obv's thanks goes to Mr Hewco for letting me make this physical :D
26/2/2021 - Cheesy Trials - (VIC20 +24k)
It's all about.................... timing
Control Echo the Mouse with the joystick and learn his abilities as you go. Collect the next piece of Cheese before the time is up. You have infinite clones, but must be successful to finish.
There are 36 rooms to master, over three experiments.
It goes without saying.. but special thanks goes to Mr Hewco for his excellent work.
05/02/2021 - EU Shipping update
After looking at my shipping invoices and doing a bit of 'Rod Maths' it wasn't much of a surprise to find out I was losing money on 90% of shipments to the EU. This isn't just because of the Brexit mess. It's also because I still don't have access to express road freight. This will change in the Future for that I'm sure. But in the mean time, I've had to increase shipping again. And just to be clear, it's still subsidised!
15/01/2021 - I'm getting better
Well, what a merry old week this has been. The good news is, for the most part I've got a handle on the EU shipping situation. I won't go into it in detail, because its mostly swearing. But yeah, if you are in the EU, feel free to order. From the customer point of view, it should work out as it did before Brexit. From an admin and cost point of view its insane! The current cost/postage setup is a stop-gap. International orders are currently shipped with DHL Express. The cheaper 'by road' option is currently not available. This as well as Packet post 'should' return if 'we' get covid sorted.
So yes, feel free to order wherever you are. The order backlog created by uk.gov has now been mostly cleared. Fingers crossed by the end of the weekend, I'll be back to my 'better than amazon prime' shipping times ;D
07/01/2021 - Led By Donkeys
Over the last 24 hours, we've been received a few emails regarding 'import' charges on EU shipments. (Even tho I've followed all the 'limited' advice we've been given. If you are in the EU and are effected in this way, my best advise is this. Either refuse the delivery, or pay the fee. But either way, let us know via the contract from.. My EU customers are very important to me.. and I'll be doing my best to make things good.
So, while I investigate what the hell is going on... and more than that how to fix it. I'll be pausing shipments of EU orders. Obv's this is now my number one priority, everything else will have to form an orderly queue. Keep an eye on this page or my twitter for updates.
04/01/2021 - Post Brexit Postal Changes
Well, it's happened. Lets try and avoid the politics and just get to the point.
Postage prices have changed.. 'Economy Packet Post' is currently unavailable. So in simple terms, all packages are now being sent via Express / Express Air. For the most part, Express Air works out at 3+ Working days, with UK Next working day.
Default UK Postage is now £5.99, but free for orders over £75.
Fingers crossed, I'll have the Economy Packet Post service available to me again in the Future.
21/12/2020 Border issues
Due to the heady mix of Brexit and Covid, road borders have closed earlier than expected. As a quick fix, I've removed all international post services. And as from the 1st Jan, EU Express gets the new Brexit surcharge, so unfortunately packet prices will rise. Obv's it goes without saying, I'll be doing what I can to improve on this. But as everything is still undecided, my hands are tied.
10/12/2020 - TFW8b goes Kung Fu Fighting
And it is nearly fast as lightning!
Some of you may already be aware of the fantastic work by Kim Jørgensen with the creation of the Kung Fu Flash. TFW8b now brings you our own in house variant, made to our legendarily high standards. Currently PAL only, its Shirley is the easiest way to access EasyFlash Files as well as PRG and Dxx images (Multi Disk not currently supported) - Definitely a cartridge worth adding to your C64/C128 'load stuff in via SD Card' hardware toolkit.
Video contains mild swearing #whooopies
13/10/20 - Crazy Blaster CPC was Brroken
It turns out that I've been shipping a silent version of Crazy Blaster for the CPC. :( Anywho, if you have a silent (See #Rare) Crazy Blaster (CPC) and you'd like it swapping out.. Please let us know via the contact form.
Special thanks to @Chinnyvision for pointing this out to me. If you don't know who ChinnyVision is, click the clicky to find his youtubes. One of the few retro youtubers that use REAL hardware for just about everything.. and one of the few channels I actually watch! #FACT
25/08/20 Mini PET pops up on 'The 8bit Guy'
He's also spun out a rather natty keyboard PCB for Cherry switches.. You'll can buy the PETSKEY PCB here
2?/08/20 499 Cassette Range
Wow this has been a long time coming! Long before Covid-19 we started working on a Ragne of Cassettes to go with the 999 Range of carts. Anywho.. so we're at least a year into this now.. But we've finally launched I think 14 tapes on day one, with 2 more brand new titles not far behind.. and still more in the 'works'
Anywho, please checkout what I've listed so far.. And if you are a programmer and would like your stuff made physical, please email us at..
17/07/20 Mini PET - v1.42 / v1.44 Twister
Unfortunately the first versions of the MINI PET PCB's had a school boy error, the USERPORTs PCB layout. This was identified after we had shipped the first batch of orders. Even though the userport is rarely used on the PET, we have decided to send all MINI PET 1.42/1.44 owners a twister board in case they ever need to use it..
The layout has since been corrected and the updated boards shipping from 16/7. MINI PETS shipped from this date do not require the twister board.
26/06/20 Mini PET - NOW SHIPPING
(Pre-Order batch 1)
Great news. The MINI PET is now shipping. Off the top of my head, we've got enough for all pre-orders.. and as I type this I have already packed about 75% of them. We've got a second batch on the way to us as I type. I'd expect to be shipping them later this week. Depending on demand after that it will probably become a 'all year round' stock item.
If you've not seen it already, here's the edited down version of my MINIPET live build. ;D
25/05/20 Mini PET - PRE ORDER NOW
(Shipping in approx. 'Two Weeks')
A fully functional 6502 based computer, compatible with a Commodore PET 2001N-32 (3032/4032*).
One quarter of the size and the tenth of the power consumption!
40x25 text mode outputs to PAL/NTSC composite video or can drive PET 9" or 12" monitors
Full IEEE-488 port, User port and one datasette port (with a header for a second port)
Onboard piezo buzzer as found on later PETs.
32K RAM, 28K ROM, selectable BASIC 1/2/4 with support for normal or business** keyboard.
Uses all new, currently in production parts, including WDC 65C02S CPU and W65C21N/22N IO chips.
All parts are through hole for easy assembly. High quality turned pin sockets provided for all ICs.
Kit A: Stand alone unit with 73 key tact switch normal / graphics keyboard. Optionally comes with TFW8b 9V main power supply.
Kit B: Replacement board to fit in PET case, uses the PETs power supply, keyboard, monitor and internal datasette (if it had one). Comes with board to connect to PET power supply (5 pin or 9 pin) and a connector for an internal datasette (as drive ID 1 or 2). Suitable replacement for 2001/2001N/30xx/40xx PET cases, also 80xx and 80xx-SK but will still be 40 column output.
SD2PET SD card disk drive, the ideal companion to either kit. Fast loading of PRG files of D64/D80/D82 disk image files from SD card.
THIS IS A PRE ORDER PRODUCT. FINAL DESIGN PCB's are a currently being made. Shipping approx 12th June 2020.
05/04/20 - Covid update
Just like most of us right now, things are very different for me. I'm currently in protect the 'day job' mode, as like many other UK businesses we're in lockdown.
What about TFW8b?
Well is business as usual for the most part. But if you follow me on twitter @futurewas8bit you may have noticed I'm not around as much as I used to be, due to pressures of covid vs dayjob.
TFW8b is still shipping 5 days a week tho.. But it is worth mentioning, that some regions are now harder to ship too. Special mention goes to the USA.. I've removed the 5-35 day 'post' service in favour of the 3-5 day Express. Some regions including US/OZ/NZ are currently not accepting 'packet post'. So, I rather than having items returned as undelivered, I've removed these services until everything returns to normal.
Other than that, I was hoping to be announcing some new bits and bobs, but due to current lockdown circumstances, we’ll have to wait for one or two UK suppliers to re-open.
Anywho, that’s it for now. Please stay safe and REMAIN INDOORS.
31/1/20 - SD2USB
After years of me totally refusing to use a C64Mini I finally dragged one out from behind the fridge.. Why, well because I suddenly decided that it would be cool if it had a matching SD card reader.. Heck I've got the parts!.. So if you have a C64Mini or THEC64 or even if you'd just like a 1541 themed SD card reader for your Pi or PC.. Click here to find out a little more.
30/1/20 - Marina 64
With the 999range ever growing, we needed a larger cart for the larger titles. So we've spun out a C64 1MB Magic Cart style PCB for production. In the mean time, while I wait for those to arrive from the factory, I've added some blank test/prototype PCBs to the store.
26/1/20 - SD2PET+ Refunds Completed
Just a quick message to say all SD2PET+ refunds have been issued.
08/11/19 Crazy Blaster Added to the 999 Range
Get your 'Jazz Hands' ready, because Mr Misfit has gone CRAZY with Crazy Blaster (C64)
You and your superior spaceship are the most important part of the Tech Wise Astro Team. Your mission is to rescue the Universe.
A bunch of poor cosmonauts are missing and you must find them all. Visit different planets. Destroy all those nasty outer space enemies, collect all items and go back to the base.
May the rubber goddess of the deeps be with you.
26/10/19 - SD2PET+ Delayed :(
Due to reasons beyond TFW8b’s direct control, the SD2PET+ remains delayed.
So I have come to the decision that the best thing to do is refund all SD2PET+ Pre-orders.
The reason for this? I simply cannot guarantee the SD2PET+ will be ready to ship before the end of the year. And rather than adding another ‘quarter’ to the release date, I will refund all orders (in order) and relaunch the completed product in the New Year when it’s ready to ship.
I’d like to say a big thanks to all of you that seem more than happy to hold on for the completed product. But it just makes me uncomfortable holding on to pre-orders when I can’t confidently give customers a shipping date.
So in brief, all SD2PET+ pre-orders are to be refunded. In the meantime, the SD2PET Future is available from stock. The SD2PET+ will return as a completed product in 2020. RH
06/11/19 Update: Just under half the orders have now been refunded.
13/9/19 - Ragne
Happy Friday the 13th!
What better day to launch TFW8b 9.99 Range. With or without the deliberate typos, the 9.99 Range is a selection of low cost cartridges priced at £9.99, £14.99 & £19.99. Not only are they good value, the range is aimed at anyone that fancy's a go at publishing their own cartridges. Click for more info and here to look at our launch titles
9/8/19 - Postage
Did someone say FREE?
Well yes, but maybe for only a moment. I've extended the orders over £60 free shipping to our friends in France, Germany and Finland as a little test. Obviously this will be costing me money, so the deal may get changed or removed at anytime. But right now UK/FRA/DE/FIN can ship for free
Some of you may already know I've been 'integrating' new services into the website. Anywho, as it turns out.. the shipping info wasn't being emailed to customers that used the new Packet Post service. Tracking was available if you created an account, but that's not a lot of good to Guest users. Anywho, this has now been resolved.
1/8/19 - Thanks Jani
Rust Testing Is The Future: 1541 Diag Test Cart
I 'reached out' to Jani of WorldOfJani only a few days ago regarding his extremely useful '1541 Diag Test' Rom. Anywho, I'm happy to say Jani was more than happy for TFW8b distribute his ROM.. So if you're still spinning rust. Why not give your disk drive the de-facto workout with the 1541 Diag Test Cart.
27/7/19 - Happy Days
Pre-Order: No more
SD2PET Future is now shipping from stock. Pre-Orders will ship first #obvs. Hopefully, they'll all be in the post by Monday (29th).
16/07/19 Soo.. What’s going down, in groove town?
Postie Thing: DHL Express & Deutsche Post
Only the other day, David Bowie himself didn't ask me if I had cha-cha-cha-changed my postal services. Well It's taken months 'backend' work, but now tfw8b has more/better options.
So whats the deal? Well for a start, I've removed the 'economy' untracked delivery. Frankly, we got fed up of people asking for a tracking number after they had chosen not to have one! Now all shipments are tracked. The bulk of shipments will now ship via Deutsche Post with DHL International Express services for those that choose to upgrade. Royal Mail are still in the mix, but they'll mostly be used for UK customers.
Ok, so we'd better talk about mother.. ok the costs: Well for the most part the new services out preform the old and best of all at a lower cost!. (Off the top of my head, the average cost of tracked international was about £12.00.. So the new standard charge of £7.49 is a bargain right? The untracked service (£3.95) has now been removed. UK Orders now mostly default to DHL Express. This is also priced at £7.49.. With free post kicking in @ £60. (Kinda work in progress, need to get a feel for how much it costs me to subsidise postage this way)
Released Thing: SD2BBC
The SD2BBC had a few last minute changes.. I ditched the smoked case and swapped it out for a nice beige box with a winking owl (1).. As you do ;D Also I just noticed I failed to upload the new download pack including the relevant SD2BBC files. #MyBad #FixedNow
Late Thing: SD2PET+ & SD2PET Future
Juggling too many projects always means delays. But the good news is we've got a limited number of SD2PET Futures in the wild with users checking out the release firmware. I don't want to say too much.. But I am hoping we'll be shipping to customers real soon. The SD2PET+ will follow the release of the SD2PET Future. To be honest, that wasn't the original plan, but it’s just the way it’s working out.
25/05/19 Product News - So what’s going on at TFW8b towers? Well, a heck of a lot.
NEW Thing: SD2PET+ & SD2PET Future
SD Card interfaces for the Commodore PET machines. Hang on… Two versions? Yep, I know!. The SD2PET+ is similar to SD2IEC's that I already build. It looks like a real 2031 LP style drive and has extra features via the physical buttons. Whereas the SD2PET Future is the 'cost reduced version', that'll hide behind your PET, never to be seen again but has an LED indictor and drive reset button ;D
Both SD2PET+ and SD2PET Future are discounted while on pre-order. It's getting tight now, but we are still aiming to ship end of Q2 2019
Another New Thing: SD2BBC
Speaking of SD Card interfaces, the SD2BBC. Following in the same formula as our SD2IEC we are happy to add to our ever growing list of retro things a simple SD Card interface for BBC B/BBC Master/BBC Master Compact. In production as I type, Pre-Order now.
Updated Thing: SD2IEC+
Adding +'s to things is good right? Well you may have already noticed, but the SD2IEC has gained a plus! What’s an SD2IEC+ ?? Basically it's our lasted tried and tested SD2IEC in v5 form, but soon owners of SD2IEC+ drives will be able to choose between standard SD2IEC firmware and our own in house SD2IEC+ firmware. The new firmware is being been spun out of some of the magic at the heart of the SD2PET devices :D More info as our testing continues.
Click here for the SD2IEC/SD2IEC+ Info page
Another Thing: USERPORT SAVER – SD2IEC Power Adaptor
Created for those of you that like to plug as many things as possible into your trusty Commodore! It includes a USERPORT pass-through and space for an IDC header. 5v SD2IEC cassette port header, so you can use your cassette drive at the same time as your SD2IEC. And now, the updated version also includes a 5vDC monitor for peace of mind.
Updated Thing: Penultimate+ Cartridge (VIC20) – DeadTest+
The PU+ for the VIC20 has had a recent update to include DeadTest+. DeadTest+ tests your VIC20’s RAM and ROMS and is ideal for soak testing. This function can be found via the PU+ menu or by holding down the MENU button at start-up for 10 seconds.
Thing-k Pink: Commodore C64 & VIC20 Cartridge cases
Just in, Pink.. Yes PINK C64 cartridge cases! Totally smashing colour if I do say so myself. We've also added Clear to the standard SX64 Grey and SX64 Blue C64 case line up. And not forgetting the Clear and Black VIC20 Cartridge cases.