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NEWS
The third TauonPC anniversary
 
About three years ago, the idea of an affordable educational computer for kids came to my mind.
This idea became a big hobby and a tiny business.
Since TauonPC reached the public, people have found various ways to use it.
Some use TauonPC as an emulation station to run games for retro platforms.
Some run Linux or DOS.
Some find even more extravagant compatible firmware, like BASIC Engine
And some, like myself, are using it to educate children.

I wish to thank every TauonPC user for being with me on this journey.

This is my small tribute to the Tauon third and ZX Spectrum fortieth anniversary.
I hope this will give you the right vibes.



Tauon Basic Script 0.80
 
We are pleased to inform our dear customers that a new revision of the Tauon Basic Script is released.

Important changes:
* IDE is now compatible with all modern Web Browsers.
* Source files loading/saving is now available in the Web version.
* Improved help system with a description of all TBS functionality and some examples built-in.
* Functions to work with filesystem added (rooted Android required).
* More functions for console-like text input and output (printAt, scanAt, input).
* Console functions now support Emoji font flawlessly.
* Improved Character/Emoji selection dialog, new Emojis added.
* CGA, EGA and VGA fonts used in IDE and for Console output.
* Emoji font is updated to Twemoji 13.1.
* Serious refactoring is done while maintaining compatibility with existing code.
* Various bugs fixed both in IDE and in the TBS engine itself.

Web version: https://tauonelectronics.com/TauonBasicWeb/
Web version examples: https://tauonelectronics.com/downloads/TauonBasicExamplesWeb.zip
Online help: https://tauonelectronics.com/TauonBasicWeb/help.html

Apk version: https://tauonelectronics.com/downloads/TauonBasicScript.apk
Examples: https://tauonelectronics.com/downloads/TauonBasicExamples.zip

Forum thread: https://tauon.boards.net/board/7/tauon-basic-script-programming

Sneak-peek into the Tauon Basic 0.8 new features
 







TauonOS 1.10
 
We are pleased to inform our dear customers that a new revision of the firmware has been released.

Critical bug fixes:
* Fixed bug that was causing dummy threads in Launcher app to spawn.

Most important changes:
* Video-driver improved, giving more performance and less heat.
* Initial setup (on the first boot or after firmware update) now takes less than 3 minutes.
* Some unused Android services were disabled to speed up things a little bit.
* Tauon Basic Script and Examples updated to v0.7

Minor changes:
* Lates version of Bromite WebView.
* Bugfixes in the Angry Monsters Hunter game.

RetroArch:
with the latest improvement of the video driver, you can run PS1 games at full FPS without frameskip.

DOWNLOAD

TauonOS 1.09
 
We are pleased to inform our dear customers that a new revision of the firmware has been released.

Critical bug fixes:
* Fixed bug that was causing HDMI audio to disappear if HDMI cable was disconnected, or TV turned off.

Most important changes:
* System will set a lower resolution if composite video output is used only on first boot.
* Active cooling detection is disabled - it`s found to be unreliable.

Minor changes:
* Improved version of the Angry Monsters Hunter, a Halloween-themed game is pre-installed.

RetroArch cores:
* PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16 core added and configured.
* We highly recommend using cores that are pre-installed. We can`t guarantee that updated cores will work better or work at all.

If your system has active cooling installed you will need to do the following in terminal:


su
settings put system cooling 1


Tauon will run fullspeed after reboot.

DOWNLOAD

TauonOS 1.08
 
We are pleased to inform our dear customers that a new revision of the firmware was released.

Critical bug fixes:
* Fixed bug that was preventing wireless mouses to work properly.
* Fixed compatibility issues with some USB Joysticks.
* Fixed bug that was causing an unexpected repeating of characters when typing.

Most important changes:
* Improved system keypress handling (works better with emulators)
* System now will set a lower resolution on boot, if composite video output is used.
* Newest version of Bromite WebView installed.
* You can see the notification progress in the notifications list.

Experimental feature:
* You can switch keyboard layout by pressing "Alt+Shift".
* For now, only the Russian alternative keyboard layout is supported.

TauonSpeccy:
* You can use the Pause/Break button to bring up the menu (consistent with Tauon RetroArch configuration)
* Configuration file now will be stored inside the TauonSpeccy folder.

RetroArch cores:
* We highly recommend using cores that are pre-installed. We can`t guarantee that updated cores will work better or work at all.

DOWNLOAD

TauonOS 1.07
 
We are pleased to inform our dear customers that a new revision of the firmware was released.

Most important changes:
* Android system UI optimized to free a lot of RAM and to improve performance.
* Memory compression and swapping disabled to improve performance.
* Amstrad CPC core for Retroarch was fixed and now works with the keyboard.
* Active cooling allows GPU frequency to be set to the maximum.
* External Card application improved.

In RetroArch you can now save the current state by pressing F4 and load it with F3.

DOWNLOAD

TauonOS 1.05
 
We are pleased to inform our dear customers that a new revision of the firmware is released.

Critical bug fixes:
* Fixed bug that could cause HDMI sync to fail on some TV.
* Fixed bug that could cause WiFi disconnects.
* Fixed bug that could cause system slowdown if a non-standard keyboard was connected.

Most important changes:
* OS-controlled CPU cooling significantly modified.
* Performance control system implemented to prevent overheating.
* System automatically detects active cooling during the boot process.
* When active cooling is detected, the system would use a more powerful configuration.
* Notifications are handled now by the launcher app itself.
* Notification showing CPU temperature warns users if active cooling is advisable.

New cores added to RetroArch:
* Commodore 64 core added and fully configured.
* Amstrad CPC core added (for now, only games that rely entirely on Joystick controls will work properly)
* Default "Gamepad" keyboard layout is mapped to Kempston Joystick in the Fuze ZX Core.

DOWNLOAD

TauonOS 1.01
 
We are pleased to inform our dear customers that a new revision of the firmware is released.

Most important changes:
* New boot sound.
* Boot sound is now playing when the desktop appears.
* Better file manager pre-installed.
* Internal apps (Downloads and External Card) adapted to work with the new File Manager.
* Documents application allows access to documents and MTP devices (you can connect your phone or camera with photos to the TauonPC)
* Application to manage notifications added.
* Desktop has now the "Others" category to put less frequently used apps.
* Tauon Basic v0.60 with full interactive help and latest examples.
* Tauon Speccy v1.01 with some bug fixes.
* Newest Bromite WebView.
* Better chess game.

DOWNLOAD

Tauon Basic Script 0.60
 
We are pleased to inform our dear customers that a new revision of the Tauon Basic Script is released.

Important changes:
* Built-in interactive help system with a description of all TBS functionality and some examples.
* All functionality is now accessible through simple function calls and through global objects.
* New functions for console-like text output.
* SourceCodePro font is used in IDE and for console output (wider ASCII characters support)
* More Canvas drawing functions provided (getPixel/putPixel, getImageData/putImageData, drawImage, etc...)
* Math functions added along with a description of Math global object in the help.
* New pre-defined event handlers.
* Serious refactoring is done while maintaining compatibility with existing code.
* Various bugs fixed both in IDE and in the TBS engine itself.

Web version: https://tauonelectronics.com/TauonBasicWeb/
Online help: https://tauonelectronics.com/TauonBasicWeb/help.html

Apk version: DOWNLOAD
Newest examples: DOWNLOAD

Tauon OS 1.00 released
 
We are pleased to inform our dear customers that a new revision of the firmware is released.

Critical bug fixes:
* Fixed bug that could cause screen glitches in 1920 x 1080 mode (active cooling is still a plus).
* Fixed bug that could prevent firmware update to start from SD Card.

Most important changes:
* Improved overall performance.
* Improved firmware update speed - now it takes just 5 minutes for the system to set up.
* Now you can use 1920x1080 and HDPI resolutions without active cooling.
* Highly improved user interface.
* Built-in tutorial.
* Apps can be categorized and hidden from the desktop.
* Improved External Card application.
* Improved Screen Resolution app (supports low-res TV modes, true 1920 x 1080, and HDPI modes)
* Apple IIe emulator now comes pre-configured and ready-to-go.
* Newest version of RetroArch.
* Newest Bromite WebView.
* TauonBasic 0.5 and latest examples.
* TauonSpeccy 0.97 with support for low-res modes.
* wget command line tool added to the firmware.

New cores added and fully-configured in RetroArch:
MSX
Atari 7800
Electronika BK0010-01 (Soviet computer)
Fuse - with the full support of ZX Spectrum multi-color modes.

DOWNLOAD

Tauon Unreal Speccy 0.995 Released!
 
0.995 version of Tauon Unreal Speccy Emulator.
* You can save the emulator`s current state inside Basic (good for ZX Basic development)
* Fixed bugs related to Cursor Joystick mode
* Rare "sticky keys" bugs fixed
* Improved special symbol input, as on PC keyboard
* Help page (F1) shows real special symbols and keys location on TauonPC

DOWNLOAD


Cyber Monday Offer
 
Cheers!
Quick update - we have a 30% discount until December 3 on TauonPC-1
SHOP

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.


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.