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NEWS
Entertainment Category in the Tauon Home app
 
We have added a new category to the Tauon Home app - Entertainment.
There you can find links to tested and verified for compatibility Retro-style games for your Tauon PC.

The list will grow over time.

If you have found an exciting game that works well on Tauon - feel free to send a link to our contact email address or post it on the forum here.

Tauon Basic Script v0.32
 
We are pleased to inform our dear customers that a new revision of the Tauon Basic Script is released.

Important changes:
* Full and easy access to the Canvas 2D functionality.
* Improved IDE.
* Improved source code SAVE/LOAD handling in IDE.
* Exit from IDE functionality.

Bugfixes:
* Fixed bug that could cause emojis from the wrong font to appear (createSpriteFromEmoji function)


Now you can use canvas functions like this:
Canvas.init("green");
Canvas.fillRect(100,100,200,200);

All available functions you can find here.
New TauonBasicScript app you can download here.

TauonOS 0.994 released
 
We are pleased to inform our dear customers that a new revision of the firmware is released.

Important changes:
* "External Card" application improved.
* Tauon Basic Script 0.30 (and examples) preinstalled.
* Improved application installation speed.
* Improved firmware update speed.
* New version of Tauon Speccy.
* New default browser "Lightning Browser" provides much more desktop-like experience.
* Some pre-installed apps were updated to the latest version.
* "Acrylic paint" application replaced with much more powerful yet simple to use "Pocket
Paint"
* "RetroArch" comes now with 4 cores pre-installed and pre-configured.

Bugfixes:
* Minor bugfixes.


To reset "RetroArch" configuration using the Terminal application:
Launch Terminal and type:
su
reset_retroarch.sh

To reset "RetroArch" cores using the Terminal application:
Launch Terminal and type:
su
reset_retroarch_cores.sh

This will revert all cores to the ones found in the firmware.


TauonOS 0.993 released
 
We are pleased to inform our dear customers that a new revision of the firmware is released.

Important changes:
* "External Card" application created to allow SD Card mount/unmount operations.
* Tauon Basic Script 0.28 (and examples) preinstalled.
* Improved application installation speed.


Bugfixes:
* Critical bug fixed, that was causing micro freezes every second if SD Card was not inserted.
* Bug fixed that could cause screen flickering during boot on some HDMI TV.
* Fixed bug in TauonSpeccy in regards to save/load state shortcuts.
* Minor bugfixes.


TauonOS 0.9921 released
 
We are pleased to inform our dear customers that a new revision of the firmware is released.

Most important changes:
v 0.992
* Improved temperature control.
* Tauon Unreal Speccy now uses VTRDOS Archive instead of World Of Spectrum.
* Improved launcher text visibility.
* Launcher bugfix.
* RetroArch configuration improved.
* Specialized apps are not installed by default. You still can find them in /sdcard/ folder.
* Various bugs fixed in Settings application.

v 0.9921
* Small improvement in the video driver
* Critical issue fixed that was producing distorted sound in some games and apps.

Now you can reset RetroArch configuration using Linux shell command.
In Terminal write:
su
reset_retroarch.sh

This command is useful if you screw up your config or lost it after an update, etc.

The pre-configured RetroArch cores are: FCEmu, PicoDrive, PCSX ReArmed.
You can download them freely in RetroArch. They don`t require BIOS files, so this would not constitute copyright infringement.
System UI has stopped
 
This error might appear in firmware v0.99 and v0.991

If you get "System UI has stopped" error after system update:
1. The good solution would be to flash the newest firmware version available, v0.9911 or higher.
You can download firmware and find instructions on how to flash it here: DOWNLOADS

2. You can temporarily fix the issue by launching the Terminal application.
In the Terminal type "su". Press Enter.
Then type "service call notification 1". Press enter.
The official forum for TauonPC community
 
We are glad to announce that the official community forum is now available:
https://tauon.boards.net/

Feel free to ask questions about your device, share photos, videos, and your experience.

TauonOS 0.99 released
 
We are pleased to inform our dear customers that a new revision of the firmware is released.

Most important changes:
* Better performance of the computer.
* Improved temperature control.
* Fine-tuning of Dalvik Virtual Machine.
* New tools for screen adjustments and power control.
* PAL / NTSC firmware versions are now available.
* Improved compatibility of Gamepad mode - more android games now compatible.
* Improved keyboard input subsystem in the android core.
* A better version of ZX Spectrum Emulator.
* RetroArch now comes pre-configured and well-tuned. Use FCEmu, PicoDrive, PCSX ReArmed cores for a better experience.

The firmware update process is made easy, please follow instructions on download page.


How to change screen resolution
 
If you have TauonPC with firmware 0.97 or lower, please download our tool "Screen Resolution", set preferred resolution and reboot your device. This tool would be included in the next revisions of firmware.
Unboxing the TauonPC-1
 
TauonPC is here!
Fully assembled, with manual, power supply, and mouse!









Size comparison
 
Size comparison of TauonPC with old great computers of the past:

Amiga 500, Timex Sinclair 1000, Amstrad CPC 6128,
ZX Spectrum +2, TauonPC-1, Commodore 64




The cutest TauonPC setup in the world
 


Small 4.3" TFT display is connected through composite output.

How different SBCs fit into the Tauon case?
 
We designed the case in a way that allows different single board computers to be installed.
You can order a "pro-kit" to get additional plastic supports, screws, and active cooling fan.


TauonPC-1 board


Orange Pi Lite


Orange Pi PC


Raspberry PI Zero W


C-Sky board

Cardbox samples
 
Our assembling company has received samples of the card box packaging.



Now we expect fully assembled TauonPC samples to arrive at our Dominican Republic office.
A final step to check quality of every piece of the product.

Samples of the users guide
 
Our assembling company has received samples of the user manual.
All 2000 PCBs arrived at their office too.



Samples of keyboard modules and top covers
 
Our assembling company has received samples of keyboard boards and top covers with prints.



Upon confirming that everything works as expected, and parts are of high-quality, order for mass production would be placed.

Tauon OS v0.96
 
The new stable release of TauonOS v0.96 contains:
1. Bugfixes in keyboard input and in video output libraries.
2. AWSD keys now work as DPAD in Gamepad mode.
3. Some changes in the list of pre-installed software.

The first 2000 TauonPC boards
 
The first 2000 TauonPC-1 boards were produced, and are undergoing testing now.


Each board is manually tested to confirm the operation of all ports and chips.





Boards have TauonOS v0.95 as firmware.

Manufacturing SD card extensions
 
Our supplier is fulfilling the order on SD card extensions cables.





New stable TauonOS v0.95
 
We have a new stable build of TauonOS.
This build has improved stability and many bugfixes.

New big feature: "Gamepad mode".
Press the Gamepad key and the keyboard will transform itself into the gamepad with 6 buttons, 2 shoulder buttons, Start, Select, and a DPAD.
This allows the user to play many Android games that have gamepad support.
These buttons will be marked on the keyboard with corresponding symbols.



After testing was done we decided that this version is stable enough to be burnt into the first batch of TauonPC computers.
The order to produce the first 2000 boards was placed with Sunvell Electronics Ltd.

Final PCBA samples received
 
We have received final samples of PCBA from our partner Sunvell Electronics Ltd.
TauonOS v0.93 was burned into the firmware.



If PCBs will pass all tests we will place an order for mass production.

SLA printed case
 
Our partner, Yuyao Jianjin Plastic Co., Ltd. has sent us a high-quality SLA 3d printed case samples.
We are on the straight line to make metal mold.
The metal mold is required to produce plastic parts in big quantities.



Small changes are still required in the 3d model, so this is not the final version.

Tauon Basic first game in development
 
The development of the first game, written completely in Tauon Basic, is started.

This educational game will have 3 play modes:
1. Dino jumps when you press the SPACE key.
2. Dino jumps only if you press a correct numeric key (appears on screen).
3. Dino jumps upon pressing a correct alpha-numeric key.



Learning of the keyboard layout never was so fun!

Tauon Basic Script music functions
 
We created powerful music and sound engine for the Tauon Basic.

You can write simple melodies like
"Twinkle Star."

playMusic("CCGG AAG* FFEE DDC* GGFF EED* GGFF EED* CCGG AAG* FFEE DDC*");

twinkle_star.ogg

Or even complex music with up to 8 channels:

"Ode to Joy."

playMusic("L2 O4 EEFG GFED CCDE E.D/D*", 0);
playMusic("L0 O2 C G C G ", 1);
playMusic("L2 O4 EEFG GFED CCDE D.C/C*", 0);
playMusic("L0 O2 C G C G/ C/ ", 1);
playMusic("L2 O4 DDEC DE/_F/EC DE/_F/ED CDE* ", 0);
playMusic("L0 O2 G G G G ", 1);
playMusic("L2 O4 EEFG GFED CCDE D.C/C*", 0);
playMusic("L0 O2 C G C G/ C/" , 1);

ode_to_joy.ogg

Music written for ZX Spectrum with BEEP commands can be converted easily to Tauon Basic Script.

the famous "Frere Gustav" example from ZX Spectrum Manual

beep(1,0); beep(1,2); beep(0.5,3); beep(0.5,2); beep(1,0);
beep(1,0); beep(1,2); beep(0.5,3); beep(0.5,2); beep(1,0);
beep(1,3); beep(1,5); beep(2,7);
beep(1,3); beep(1,5); beep(2,7);
beep(0.75,7); beep(0.25,8); beep(0.5,7); beep(0.5,5);beep(0.5,3);
beep(0.5,2); beep(1,0);
beep(0.75,7); beep(0.25,8); beep(0.5,7); beep(0.5,5); beep(0.5,3); beep(0.5,2);
beep(1,0);
beep(1,0); beep(1,-5); beep(2,0);
beep(1,0); beep(1,-5); beep(2,0);

frere_gustav.ogg

TauonOS 0.9
 
Beta version of Tauon OS v0.9



Features:
1. Simple desktop interface
2. Keyboard keys now work like in desktop OS
3. Decent open-source software list pre-installed
4. The right mouse button works as in desktop OS

First full-size case printed
 
The first full-sized case printed on FDM 3d printer.

Empty case.


The SD card port.


With the main PCB installed.

Tauon Basic Script
 
Every educational computer should have an easy-to-learn programming language.
At first, we were planning to use the LUA language for this purpose.

But later, we decided to use JavaScript, extended to handle graphics, and sound in an easier way.



A custom bitmap font made for this language:


The font is based on Terminus but has many more graphical symbols.
This font would be available as a separate download in the future.

Case design
 
While working on case design, we set these goals:

1. The case should be able to house not only our PCB but other popular SBC too.
2. It should be able to withstand harsh treatment.
3. It should have enough space inside so that users can upgrade their PC (add batteries, active cooling, additional electronics)
4. It should provide proper airflow for passive cooling and distribute heat evenly.
5. Attaching peripheral devices or expansion ports on the outer side should be easy.

OS development
 
We settled every hardware detail with the manufacturer and made initial payment for the PCBs. We have received all the required software to start working on the OS.
The SDK consists of a modified Android Open Source Project 7.1. Tools were provided to burn firmware to PCB flash memory.

Key features we set for the TauonOS:
1. Simple interface.
2. The keyboard should behave as in desktop OS.
3. Ability to play games using a keyboard without glitches in emulators.
4. Ability to use the right mouse button in apps.
5. Keyboard "Gamepad mode" - to play Android games that have support for gamepads.
6. The computer should come with enough software to fulfill all the essential computer functions.
7. No IP infringement - all software should be Open Source or be in Public Domain.

Some of these points will require modification to the Android kernel.
The default way Android handles keyboard presses is causing buttons to "stick".
ESC key and Right mouse button are hardcoded to work as the "Back" button by default.
Some other keys have behavior that differs from what you can expect in the desktop OS.

The Prototype
 
After weeks of emails, calls, and negotiations, we received many samples from different China-based companies. It was tens of different SBCs, keyboards, and keyboard membranes.

We tested all SBCs and decided to stick with the solution offered by Sunvell.
The situation with casing was a bit more complicated, as we didn`t found any keyboard that had enough space inside to fit all the stuff we wanted. So it had to be made from scratch.

The first, (almost) fully-functional prototype was assembled like Frankenstein`s monster, with some soldering, cutting and stitching:




It`s alive!

First thoughts
 
The first idea was to use Raspberry PI Zero W and a small case, that might be attached to the usual keyboard.

However, after the first tests, it was clear that this is the way to nowhere.
Pi Zero ports were too sensitive.
And CPU power was so low that it could bring only frustration, but not fun.

Full-size PI would not fit either - the $35 price tag makes more than half of the target price for the commercial product, which I set at $50 level.

Another issue was the Operating System.
Raspbian, while being very handy for advanced users, was too complicated for kids.

No educational computers on the market? What...?
 
I have a growing boy.
When he reached the age of two, I start looking on eBay and AliExpress for some kind of educational computers for kids. And to my surprise I found nothing!

What do they call an educational computer today:



You can`t see what you spell, and it has minimal vocabulary.

It is even more primitive than kids toys from the 80s:



I grow up with Sinclair ZX Spectrum clone.
There I experienced first computer games and have written my early programs.

So I decided to start a new project - an educational computer for kids of ages 2+


© Tauon Electronics. Products for the People.