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Old 12 February 2018, 21:54   #61
Gorf
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Originally Posted by Foebane View Post
JESUS CHRIST, LOOK AT THOSE PRICES!! Who in their right mind would buy an underpowered and vastly overpriced PC in comparison to an A1200? Doom wasn't even out yet!
Marketing. And Commodore having obviously no clue about it since 1985.
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Old 12 February 2018, 22:15   #62
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Originally Posted by Foebane View Post
JESUS CHRIST, LOOK AT THOSE PRICES!! Who in their right mind would buy an underpowered and vastly overpriced PC in comparison to an A1200? Doom wasn't even out yet!
Maybe someone that wanted all recent games like Gabriel knight, Day of the tentacle, Eye of the beholder 3, Lands of lore, Blackthorne, Alone in the dark, Sam and Max etc?
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Old 12 February 2018, 22:31   #63
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Maybe someone that wanted all recent games like Gabriel knight, Day of the tentacle, Eye of the beholder 3, Lands of lore, Blackthorne, Alone in the dark, Sam and Max etc?
not much fun without a soudcard, that would cost you extra

Gabriel knight: 93
Sam & Max Hit the Road: 93
Lands of lore: 93
Day of the tentacle: 93

For gamers the PC was still not the right platform in 92.... but yes: the A1200 failed to fill that gap due to it's low specs. The rest is history.
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Old 12 February 2018, 22:52   #64
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Sorry, but I stayed with my Amiga 1200 until long after Doom came out and former Amiga owners I knew were moving to the PC for college coursework (I was quite the zealot about it, in fact, remember a couple of arguments in the lecture room) but it was only when Commodore went bust that I knew I'd have to move on, and I did, in February 1995: a modest multimedia PC (486SX2/50, if I remember right).
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Old 12 February 2018, 23:08   #65
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Sorry, but I stayed with my Amiga 1200 until long after Doom came out and former Amiga owners I knew were moving to the PC for college coursework (I was quite the zealot about it, in fact, remember a couple of arguments in the lecture room) but it was only when Commodore went bust that I knew I'd have to move on, and I did, in February 1995: a modest multimedia PC (486SX2/50, if I remember right).
my A3000 provided everything I needed until 2001. Including internet, games, typesetting, programming .... ended up with a CyberVision and a CyberStorm PPC/060

Considering I used it through the whole 90s and beyond, that was certainly not too much money spent.

Helping friends and family with their PCs, I always felt privileged to use a different system.
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Old 12 February 2018, 23:16   #66
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The Falcon was considered a step backwards (16Bit) to the full 32Bit TT.

At one side it was total overkill: DSP (plus DSP-port), IDE and SCSI, Expansion Port, 2 serial ports plus extra MIDI in and out, 2 digital mouse/joystick plus 2 analog ports, Local Talk port...

And on the other side it stupidly used a 16Bit data-bus for 32bit CPU and DSP!

That combination made it expensive an slow at the same time.

For the 1200:
The price difference to a 68ec030 could have not been more than 50$ probably less.
And "Budgie" in the 1200 is already capable of managing 32Bit FastRAM - just add some cheap (50 cent) SIMM-sockes and start with 1 MB Chip and 1 MB Fast (both upgradable with SIMMs)
Thanks for the precisions.
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Old 12 February 2018, 23:25   #67
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Thanks for the precisions.
some more precision: in Atari world the ST stands for "sixteen thirty-two" for the bus and the processor. TT means accordingly "thirty-two thirty-two". The Falcon is in this respect a successor to the ST.
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Old 12 February 2018, 23:55   #68
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we are talking about 10 - 15 % increase
Indeed, as I've said several times, that's on top of an already very expensive product, pricing it out of reach of many potential users.

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Oh, please!
that was probably the first thing I mentioned here: give it FastRAM
(1 Chip, 1 Fast soldered on, SIMM-sockets to upgrade both easily)
From your post:
Quote:
just add some cheap (50 cent) SIMM-sockes and start with 1 MB Chip and 1 MB Fast (both upgradable with SIMMs)
Note no mention of soldering at all. Anyway, as I pointed out, only having 1MB of chip RAM would further hobble game development.

Quote:
there is no "additional"!
So '030 chips cost the same as '020 chips? That's not what you said before...

Quote:
we just saw the GVP ad here. A much smaller company had obviously no problem in offering a whole range of cpu-boards at a reasonable price, while C= essentially had only 4 products left in 92, with the unchanged C64 being one of them.
And yet people weren't upgrading their CPUs...

Quote:
still not clear what percentage did or did not.
Given a easy and cheap possibility for more RAM, surly more would take that route...
True, but given the number of second hand A1200s on the market without any form of expansion, it has to be a low percentage that were upgraded. Otherwise, why the rather large appetite for brand new accelerators - even modest ones like the ACA1221?

Quote:
AFAIK there are some boards with designated space for clock-chip and battery, so it seems it was already planed to have it on board.
(yes, that makes it even more expensive, by ... $5?)
Yep, all A1200s have the space on the board. See how much Commodore were trying to save money? Making $5 of parts a separate product, cutting one floppy disk from the Workbench set... These are the margins you're talking about, and it was *still* an expensive machine despite all these cost savings. Making the machine 10-15% more expensive is the opposite to what was happening there.
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Old 13 February 2018, 00:02   #69
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Originally Posted by Gorf View Post
my A3000 provided everything I needed until 2001. Including internet, games, typesetting, programming ....
Indeed, my A1200 was the same, in fact it was my main computer until around 2004, and is still in regular use all the time here.
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Old 13 February 2018, 00:43   #70
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Indeed, as I've said several times, that's on top of an already very expensive product, pricing it out of reach of many potential users.
sure: if C= would have been able to sell the A1200 for $100 they would have sold tenth of millions. That was not possible for a computer back than.

The relevant point is, that even with a little bit higher price tag, there was no competitor in that segment.
But instead of creating feature-wise disappointed consumers C= would have targeted a wider basis.

Quote:
From your post:

Note no mention of soldering at all. Anyway, as I pointed out, only having 1MB of chip RAM would further hobble game development.
In thought we had clarified this point already.
Again: while maybe not explicitly specifying soldered-on RAM, I did not exclude it in any way.
1MB ChipRAM is in most cases enough for double buffered 8-plane AGA.
The possibility to upgrade via a cheap SIMM, would have encouraged users surely the same way or more to do so, as the cheap 512k upgrade did for the A500.

Quote:
So '030 chips cost the same as '020 chips? That's not what you said before...
no, and you know I did not say so.
But how would the use of an 030 instead increase the prototyping cost in any significant way? Take into account, that C= had already many 030s laying around, did already manufacture motherboard and upgrades with that very CPU and is targeting a volume of serval 100K units.

Quote:
And yet people weren't upgrading their CPUs...
some did. How many? we can discuss statistics now...
the fact that C= went down, discouraged many, no doubt.
starting with a better CPU to beginn with, would have provided a more competitive system without the immanent need of a CPU-uggrades.

Quote:
True, but given the number of second hand A1200s on the market without any form of expansion, it has to be a low percentage that were upgraded. Otherwise, why the rather large appetite for brand new accelerators - even modest ones like the ACA1221?
Good point, but still no evidence without numbers. We see here only the ones that did not upgrade before, without comparison to the number that did.
Still astonishing how many rediscover their love for the system.

Quote:
Yep, all A1200s have the space on the board. See how much Commodore were trying to save money? Making $5 of parts a separate product, cutting one floppy disk from the Workbench set... These are the margins you're talking about, and it was *still* an expensive machine despite all these cost savings. Making the machine 10-15% more expensive is the opposite to what was happening there.
Wasting space on the board is not exactly saving money (same is true for the math-coprocessor field without socked....). This is more a evidence of mismanagement.
We all know that C= was in terrible shape back than, and the mistakes leading to this point are also well known.

How it all could have been done "right" since 88 is written down here:
Alternate Timeline

(probably still a good idea for a game: "Rescue C=")

in this thread I only wanted to point out some things C= could have done better in 92...

Last edited by Gorf; 13 February 2018 at 03:13.
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Old 13 February 2018, 00:55   #71
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Why didn't C= upgrade the blitter and copper in the a1200?
Was it too difficult to maintain falback compatibility modes?
Did they not have development budget?
Or did they just think what was there was good enough?
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Old 13 February 2018, 01:35   #72
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Why didn't C= upgrade the blitter and copper in the a1200?
Was it too difficult to maintain falback compatibility modes?
Did they not have development budget?
Or did they just think what was there was good enough?
while bringing OCS/ECS to the next level is surely no trivial task, there were several bad management decisions, that lead to the eventual outcome:
  • no member of the original Amiga-team was left at Commodore
  • bad or no documentation (especially Paula)
  • no resources spend
While development of AAA started as early as 88, this project was never given the necessary resources and supervision and ended nowhere.
At the time C= realized they desperately need a new chipset, AAA was far from ready.
Plan B was than to enhance ECS in very short time to fulfill the minimum requirements - project "Pandora" (later known as AA or AGA).
Dave Haynie booted the first prototype with AOS as early as February 91, but thanks to further mismanagement it took over a year for the A4000 to emerge.

Development budget was primarily wasted in the PC department, that was only losing money since 90...

Last edited by Gorf; 13 February 2018 at 02:49.
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Old 13 February 2018, 05:48   #73
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I thought AGA worked out rather well, actually. Who cares if it was slow? It looked GORGEOUS. And Paula was so ahead of its time that it was still valid in 1993, with 14-bit audio and everything.
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Old 13 February 2018, 07:07   #74
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IF c did what you lot want. At best Amiga would have become an souless OS with a constant moving hardware target. A PC. Where is The charm in that.

There is non.

What made Amiga, c64 awesome was the set hardware. Seeing people doing the impossible with the hardware restrictions.
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Old 13 February 2018, 11:09   #75
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The relevant point is, that even with a little bit higher price tag, there was no competitor in that segment.
But instead of creating feature-wise disappointed consumers C= would have targeted a wider basis.
Yes, but as I've said several times before, it was *expensive* in absolute terms. Expensive enough that I, and many other potential users, couldn't get one at the time. Lack of competitors doesn't mean a damn when it's unaffordable for many, and a higher sales price increases that segment of potential customers. Besides, you're making assumptions (perhaps based on your own usage patterns?) on the competition. When the A1200 was launched there was plenty of competition - the C64 was still a very popular machine in the home computer segment, and many kids were still getting them for Christmas in '92 and '93 as it was much cheaper than the Amiga. And, given that most people only used them for games, there was also competition from consoles - the Megadrive and SNES gave the A1200 a run for its money when it came to games, and very importantly, up-front cost.

Quote:
Again: while maybe not explicitly specifying soldered-on RAM, I did not exclude it in any way.
1MB ChipRAM is in most cases enough for double buffered 8-plane AGA.
Most cases, but then you add some nice sound effects and animation, and suddenly your code is more complex because you're now juggling assets between chip and fast RAM while keeping the impact of such transfers to a minimum.

Quote:
The possibility to upgrade via a cheap SIMM, would have encouraged users surely the same way or more to do so, as the cheap 512k upgrade did for the A500.
For which games? As I already said in this thread, there were lots of games that needed 1MB of RAM. Very few required more than 2MB. 512KB of RAM is pretty restrictive when it comes to developing on a machine like the Amiga. Yes, people would probably have upgraded the RAM if there were lots of games to take advantage of it... But there weren't.

Quote:
no, and you know I did not say so.
Of course I do, but you seem to be unable to recognise other obvious points I've made so I wanted to be sure.

Quote:
But how would the use of an 030 instead increase the prototyping cost in any significant way? Take into account, that C= had already many 030s laying around, did already manufacture motherboard and upgrades with that very CPU and is targeting a volume of serval 100K units.
The increase in development costs would be minimal, true, but it's still a concern no matter how small. CPUs already in stock still have a value as an asset - a value around $50 more per chip than an '020 by your reckoning. R&D budgets are funny that way, corners have to be cut everywhere - especially in a company like Commodore who massively underinvested in their development activities.


Quote:
Good point, but still no evidence without numbers. We see here only the ones that did not upgrade before, without comparison to the number that did.
Still astonishing how many rediscover their love for the system.
Exactly, and how many people discover their old A500 with an upgrade? How many discover their 1200s without one? Without accurate statistics you can still see an obvious trend with all the posts people make across various forums, Facebook groups and at user groups. Upgrading an A1200 with more RAM and a faster CPU is a huge topic everywhere because people don't already have these upgrades. The market is also very healthy, mainly I would say due to people upgrading their stock A1200s to use as WHDLoad machines. Anyway, my point is made in that there were so many people who, for whatever reason, did not upgrade their A1200s, despite upgrades being readily available.

Quote:
Wasting space on the board is not exactly saving money (same is true for the math-coprocessor field without socked....). This is more a evidence of mismanagement.
We all know that C= was in terrible shape back than, and the mistakes leading to this point are also well known.
You seem oblivious to the fact that this saves a lot of money against the original fully-loaded design, even though the saving per machine is tiny. Deciding to not populate the RTC portion of the board is a $0.5 million saving based on your figures.
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Old 13 February 2018, 13:45   #76
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Yes, but as I've said several times before, it was *expensive* in absolute terms.
Well, it seems we can only agree to disagree here.

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When the A1200 was launched there was plenty of competition - the C64 was still a very popular machine in the home computer segment, and many kids were still getting them for Christmas in '92 and '93 as it was much cheaper than the Amiga.
good for C=
Also a used A500 would have been a good low-cost option.
But still there was no better computer for a lower price.

Quote:
And, given that most people only used them for games, there was also competition from consoles - the Megadrive and SNES gave the A1200 a run for its money when it came to games, and very importantly, up-front cost.
sure, if a console is enough, and you don't want a computer, why not.
Now we could talk about bringing the CD32 earlier ... but that is a different subject.

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Most cases, but then you add some nice sound effects and animation, and suddenly your code is more complex because you're now juggling assets between chip and fast RAM while keeping the impact of such transfers to a minimum.
overall more RAM would always be preferable, but you said it needed to be cheap
Maybe a 1.5 MB Chipram to 0.5 MB FastRAM split would be better?

Quote:
You seem oblivious to the fact that this saves a lot of money against the original fully-loaded design, even though the saving per machine is tiny. Deciding to not populate the RTC portion of the board is a $0.5 million saving based on your figures.
It saves nothing, if your sales go down, because you do not meet customers expectations. That way you can "save" your company to death.
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