This has entirely to do with my feelings about how JM conducts his affairs.
As regards the N8VEM/S-100 boards, I thought the charter of the community was to help people learn about electronics, the vehicle being vintage style microprocessors and accessories. That happens a lot in the area of the ECB boards and other little boards as well.
New builders always get the help they need from the community, and often the board's designers as well.
As a hardware newbie, I have gained a great deal of respect for the people in the community that make themselves available to provide support at various levels to builders and designers.
There are plenty of people in the community that have different styles of engineering than I do, and I respect and allow for that.
Now as for JM and his boards, I have several issues that concern me. One, and probably the most cogent issue is the total lack of concern on his part about whether the builders who buy his boards ever get what they wanted out of them. He states openly that his boards are only for, "People who know what they are doing". He states openly that he is too busy to "productize" his products.
Another aspect of the JM core experience is his decision that providing a parts list is too time consuming, and he leaves it to others to create what he calls, "shopping lists".
My personal experience with him includes volunteering to do build and test on an early version of the 8086 board, and after I had built up the board and had a question about a descrepancy between the pcb and the schematic, he refused to answer my simple question and told me to just wait for the production board. So the time and money I spent building the board went nowhere because he is too important to answer any questions
Then there is the issue of his focus and direction. His plan for future boards is to design them to run DOS and Windows. Although Andrew assured me he remembers the eighties and doesn't want to re-experience them with N8VEM, he and JM are busy designing support boards to allow Microsoft operating systems to run on S-100.
I didn't join the N8VEM community to experience frustration trying to stabilize Microsoft's lousy software.
So here I am feeling that I don't want to deal with him because he has already left me high and dry, and I no longer trust him as a supplier. He does not stand behind his product/work.
I also disagree strongly with his decision not to supply at least one supportable configuration with system software. Each builder will have to start from scratch creating an operating system to run on the boards.
Andrew mentioned he has ported CP/M-86 to his 8086 board, but he doesn't provide that port to his customers.
Just how hard would it be to provide a Boot-Rom image and a method of creating a bootable disk?
I am just voting with my wallet. I don't feel like giving him my money under the circumstances. I don't feel I am going to get my money's worth
In fairness, I am sure there are some people out there who have built and enjoyed his boards. I just don't happen to be one of them.