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Old 02 June 2020, 16:13   #1
nar001
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What are your thoughts on Commodore UK/Escom?

So I was curious if there was a consensus about it, I know David Pleasance is very active around the Amiga scene, with his book and multiple interviews etc. I also know that him and Petro Tyschtschenko aren't really on great terms (Which is understandable considering the failed bid etc).



So my question is, who in your opinion was right/more right than the others? It's been a while, so I don't think airing opinions would be damaging, and most people seem to be on the side that the Escom buyout was a mistake, what's your take on it?
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Old 02 June 2020, 17:38   #2
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You mean, we should decide between reality and an alternate reality? Since Amiga went bust in reality, the alternate reality can't be any worse, right?
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Old 02 June 2020, 17:40   #3
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What gets me is this Petro Dude ---
Thinks he is someone ---
to go signing Amiga Cases
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Old 02 June 2020, 17:42   #4
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You mean, we should decide between reality and an alternate reality? Since Amiga went bust in reality, the alternate reality can't be any worse, right?

Honestly I guess I was more wondering if you thought that Petro was more in the wrong than David! Since in the end it may have turned out that way, but I'm sure he thought he was doing it for a reason, didn't he? I know lots of people tend to take David's side, but Petro seemed like he really tried too, in some ways
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Old 02 June 2020, 17:51   #5
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Personally I had bad feelings towards Petro T. back in the day. To me he was appealing too much to emotions on the side of the customer base for the promised future products they supposedly were developing and which never materialised. I didn't really see much in the Walker that would have caused me to buy it instead of my A1200. At the time I thought it should have been a matter of some weeks or months to make an A1300. Now I know (or believe in reports) that they just couldn't pick up where Commodore dropped the ball but had to reverse-engineer the chipset to improve on it and actually put a lot of work into that.

So in hindsight I guess he did the best they could at the time. I also believe that restarting Amiga production was a bigger task than I would have thought 25 years ago. David Pleasance may have had the better ideas but I fear their Amiga-alternate reality would have had more difficulties with funding for the time until Escom went bankrupt.
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Old 02 June 2020, 18:08   #6
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Why did Escom go bankrupt so quickly anyway? They only lasted 2 years after buying out commodore? Didn't they have a plan?
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Old 02 June 2020, 18:36   #7
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ESCOM went bankrupt because they held too large a stock of PC components they then had to sell under price. It had nothing to do with their investment into the Amiga.
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Old 02 June 2020, 18:41   #8
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I had a similar thread and question here:
http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=100723

Look at the post 2, there is an interview of David where he mention the plans they had, if they acquired Commodore.
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Old 02 June 2020, 21:48   #9
nar001
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I had a similar thread and question here:
http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=100723

Look at the post 2, there is an interview of David where he mention the plans they had, if they acquired Commodore.

Yeah I already knew about it! Even bought his book hah. Honestly that's also a reason I made that thread, I was curious what people thought of it, thanks for your thread though!
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Old 04 June 2020, 14:16   #10
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Yeah I already knew about it! Even bought his book hah.
Seems like a nice guy David Pleasance and obviously very smart. But seems there would have been funding/liquidity issues there.
So if had won I think 'Commodore UK' would have just ended up, eventually, as the sole Amiga patent holder. And I think that is what he/they were really after.
However, there may have been just slightly better organisation/stability/unification etc in terms of licensing and none of the successive owner mess, court case saga, setbacks and disappointments. These not only wasted huge amounts of time and money but further split, divided and perhaps ultimately decimated the brand completely.
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Old 04 June 2020, 15:13   #11
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Commodore UK would have been a better option as clearly there was more love for the Amiga but whether they would have done any better? I agree with above - Playstation was a death knell even I bought one and had always been a computer snob and never owned a console before but the games...
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Old 04 June 2020, 21:56   #12
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Commodore UK would have been a better option as clearly there was more love for the Amiga but whether they would have done any better?
Maybe they would have done a bit better, but not much. By that time it was clear that nothing could compete against the PC Juggernaut.

Any new Amiga design would just be less compatible with earlier models, fracturing a tiny market even more. Escom managed to push out a few more A1200s, and that was good enough for me (I even sold some in my shop!). I think Commodore going down the tubes and freezing the Amiga architecture at that point was a good thing. The pace of development was accelerating so fast that nobody had time to catch their breath, and each hardware generation would have been left in the dust long before it was fully exploited. That is not the Amiga way.

Commodore UK might have been able to extend the sales of AGA machines for a bit longer, encouraging a bit more software development so there would be more machines and titles for us to enjoy today. But there are plenty already. We can thank Commodore UK for what they did do.
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Old 04 June 2020, 22:46   #13
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Stick out tongue

My thoughts are that this OS 3.5 promotional video makes me cringe every time I watch it. Bad actors, and at 03:55 into the video you can watch Petro's Tyschtschenko inept gaming skills as he tries to dodge the meteors in the Amiga game Super Star Dust by moving in his chair

Here is the cringe worth Amiga OS 3.5 promotional video for your viewing pleasure

[ Show youtube player ]

Last edited by Hercules; 04 June 2020 at 22:58.
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Old 06 June 2020, 00:40   #14
nar001
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My thoughts are that this OS 3.5 promotional video makes me cringe every time I watch it. Bad actors, and at 03:55 into the video you can watch Petro's Tyschtschenko inept gaming skills as he tries to dodge the meteors in the Amiga game Super Star Dust by moving in his chair

Here is the cringe worth Amiga OS 3.5 promotional video for your viewing pleasure

[ Show youtube player ]



Honestly that's kinda sad, maybe we should've had Pleasance instead if only so that video would never have been made
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Old 25 June 2020, 12:39   #15
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Commodore UK would have been a better option as clearly there was more love for the Amiga but whether they would have done any better? I agree with above - Playstation was a death knell even I bought one and had always been a computer snob and never owned a console before but the games...
The Playstation didn't have particularly advanced hardware. What was unique about it was its design of having a fast (albeit shit-quality) geometry transformation engine that had a fast easy-to-program interface to the rasterizer.

The GTE ASIC was not particularly fancy, and any company could have designed it. Tons of companies had already produced 2D rasterizers that could have easily rendered its output. What was different about the GTE was that it sacrificed quality for transistor-count to make it easy to produce, while all the other geometry engines on the market from companies like SGI, Fujitsu, and Lockheed were focused more on accuracy for industrial and military markets, and were thus larger and way more expensive, and other systems brute forced their geometry with multiple general-purpose DSPs.
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Old 25 June 2020, 13:41   #16
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The Playstation didn't have particularly advanced hardware.
That may be.
But I have read somewhere that Sony made a deal with bunch of developers (some of them were ex-Nintendo developers, disappointed with Nintendo strict rules), and many games were ready after PS launch.

So, I am thinking, if Commodore did similar effort, on, for example CD32, or even CDTV, it could have been a miracle. Few 3D flat shaded, and fast games for CD32 (something like "No Second Prize" for A500), few 2D beautiful games with Aga graphics, and then we would have a different story.

Long story short: smart marketing sells, and games, not hardware.
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Old 25 June 2020, 15:21   #17
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I think Amiga would have been in better hands with Commodore UK, David certainly seemed to have a decent relationship with UK developers, but unfortunately, I feel it would only have delayed the inevitable.

1994-95 what software was being released for Amiga was stuff that was too far along in development to stop, so it was going to get released, whatever the quality.

Psygnosis had been bought by this point, and it was only a matter of time before either Psygnosis stopped Amiga games, or were told to by Sony.

Once you start losing a big name publisher like that, the writing is on the wall, they won't be coming back.

We'd already lost LucasArts and Sierra (not so bad for the latter!), because the games they would want to do were not distributable on Amiga anymore.

CD32 was living on borrowed time just as every other console was before the Playstation behemoth entered the ring.

When the Amiga first started, its hardware was incredible because the likes of ATi and 3Dfx were in their infancy.

Competing against these companies in 1994 was impossible, it would be cheaper to simply stick one of their cards in or get them to develop a graphics solution for a future Amiga, and in that case, we're getting closer to PC than we are to Amiga.

Motorola stopped at the 68060, so either way, the Amigas future lay in another processor, and frankly, it should have been ARM, but they would probably have opted for PowerPC and that was short lived.

It would have delayed the inevitable for maybe a year or so, the end result was the Amiga was going to die either way.

The Playstation may not have been the best technology in the world, but Sony realised a cost effective way to produce good enough results that people didn't care.

I suppose an Amiga could have been developed with that in mind, but its not just about the machine, its the marketing, and Sony had deep enough pockets to ensure the Playstation brand was saturated everywhere.

Commodore...... not a chance.
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Old 25 June 2020, 16:40   #18
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Yep, it still hurts to read that bleak story even though it's 25 years later
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Old 25 June 2020, 17:29   #19
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I suppose an Amiga could have been developed with that in mind, but its not just about the machine, its the marketing, and Sony had deep enough pockets to ensure the Playstation brand was saturated everywhere.

Commodore...... not a chance.

Any change in the fortunes of Commodore in the 90's would have had to have started back in the 80's when Commodore was still a major player in the industry.

They needed forward-thinking leadership and they never got it.
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Old 25 June 2020, 19:46   #20
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I never was a big fan of Petro T. Most of the time, his hands were tied due to lack of funding, but he was just an accountant and a logistics manager. Maybe a really good one, but an accountant running a tech company in trouble? Not a match made in heaven, IMHO. And his idea of Amiga marketing ("Get Boinged!", Annex...) still makes me cringe.

David Pleasance, on the other hand, simply disappeared after the Commodore auction. Showing up again 20 years later, allegedly after having run into some financial difficulties himself, claiming he would have done so much better than Petro does not give me all that much confidence in his leadership skills.

Here's what we know about Pleasance's big business skills: His group had won a major Asian manufacturer (Newstar) as an investor for the Commodore takeover - but got outsmarted by ESCOM who convinced Newstar it would be much cheaper not to buy the technology themselves but to license it from ESCOM instead, once the latter won the auction. I get that he's pissed about that, but that's how business works. Commodore Uk fucked up, before they even had the rights...

Pleasance might have been the slightly better option, but the emphasis is on 'slightly'. In the end, it didn't matter much, IMHO.

Oh, btw.: Somebody was claiming Commodore Uk had "more love for the Amiga": Neither Pleasance nor Petro have ever used an Amiga (their words, not mine). They're sales people, it's their job to "love" the product. And they are (or were, in Petro's case) getting paid for their appearances at Amiga Events...
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