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 In Memoriam - Marcel van Kervinck 
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Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:23 am
Posts: 106
It is with deepest regrets that I announce the death on Tuesday 25th May of Marcel van Kervinck - the creator of the Gigatron TTL Computer.

Marcel passed peacefully following a long illness and to regular readers of the Gigatron forum, it was clear that in recent weeks he had increasing health problems.

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 will handle the final sales and shipping.

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 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.

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 dediction to the project 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.


Last edited by monsonite on Thu May 28, 2020 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Wed May 27, 2020 10:11 am
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Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:54 pm
Posts: 1419
Goodness me what a shock. My condolences to everyone who knew him.

Gigatron is - still is - a marvellous and excellent project, making accessible the foundations of computers. Inspiring indeed.


Wed May 27, 2020 12:17 pm
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Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2019 12:56 pm
Posts: 35
That's very sad news - thanks for sharing it here. It's good to see that the project he dedicated himself to will live on in his absense as a lasting testament.


Wed May 27, 2020 9:10 pm
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