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Old 29 May 2011, 05:27   #30
Photon's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Hult / Sweden
Posts: 4,452
Originally Posted by gilgamesh View Post
I see it this way: Add USB and flash rom slots, and you can have a full blown home computer. Some people will use it that way, some will only play games and some will eventually dump it (as many have dumped the Amiga when PCs and PlayStations became fashionable).

Maybe it's not the true gospel, but I don't see how it can possibly do more harm than good. Maybe it will interest people in Amiga that never had anything to do with it before.
I wasn't saying there couldn't be Amiga-like hardware solutions apart from the Amiga solution (there already are), just that Amiga-in-a-joystick is an ugly idea I can build a better joystick than that in the C64 DTV and put a Minimig in it, that's not the problem. The problem is that it would be a waste of time with no commercial success, and I want success for those who dev a real Amiga!

But (seemingly) I aim for a brighter/longer future than you. I'm talking about a platform that the people that didn't stop (or temporarily stopped) using Amiga, or never used Amiga, can have as a solid platform to continue on, perhaps years from now. Not a novelty retro gaming system. That's what emulators are (mostly used) for, and also any hardware/software solution that emulates 68k.

Any 68k (or replacement) core to be dropped into "FPGA" will be a kind of emulation of course, even if much closer to 100% cycle-exacty and with the possibility of full speed with full speed access to off the shelf memory.

There's no two ways about it, full 68k and chipset implementation with off the shelf components is the only way to continue an Amiga that is an Amiga. Anything else will have to compete with WinUAE for Amiga-likeness, and WinUAE is currently much better and more useful and easier to get software running with than current non-Amiga hardware. Neither emulators nor emulating hardware will ever be a real Amiga.

The real Amiga will also have to compete with WinUAE, which is a hard task but certainly less impossible than with Amiga-like hardware. This is where ethernet comes in. Like using the emulator, the platform must not be cut off from the internet.

There's lots of web resources and software to build to make it a solid platform, but if it's compatible we have an existing software base to start out from. Later it would get faster in hardware (because the platform is in modern components) and more useful in software (because it's an actual platform being used).

Certainly there is lots of talent and knowledge in all current Amiga projects and commercial products, if they agree with this goal and work together towards it, I can't see a problem with a platform coming forth that is more alive than real Amiga in terms of being used as a modern computer, not home computer, with new software and hardware releasable for it.

This new, real Amiga would be able to do more than an A4060, but it would do it as an Amiga. If you have a PPC Amiga you are using the PPC Amiga and a different OS for most of the stuff and using the real Amiga the PPC sits in occasionally. That's not a new real Amiga.

Similarly, if you would add a modern CPU to run a web browser or add a graphics card, you run the risk of a platform that is used the same way. While those who love Amiga would see an emulator in PC as a more useful AND more Amiga-compatible platform.

The way out of this is 68k cores at higher speeds or multiple cores, and expanded custom chips (once the exact behavior of the current chipset is implemented). An example would be converting the chipset to DMA all memory, of which the first 2MB just happens to be chip memory. Then 32-bit video modes could be added, because Denise could show it and Agnus could blit to it. The thinking goes, if Commodore-Amiga had added a non-bitplane video mode, 32-bit blitter, or Motorola had made a multi-core, parallel-instruction-issuing CPU in the 1990s, the devs had said "Thank you, finally" and continued deving for it. (At least the odds had been a bit better )

Apparently a lot of the Amiga userbase used it almost exclusively for games and so they jumped to consoles. But both for these AND for Amiga-lovers who use their Amiga for other things, a new real Amiga is the most attractive solution.

I write how I feel about this, which is a lot. I'll shut up now and launch the site where I detail the plan that crystallized over the last year instead.

As for the topic, from the in-progress projects I only consider the A1k mobo and Clone-A to be in the ball game. I will buy any of these (or a Minimig) when and if they require a physical 68k CPU and/or Kickstart. From Jens' scant info, Clone-A already seems the most interesting and relevant to the Amiga future I dream of.
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