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Old 03 July 2009, 01:06   #101
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If they had millions of dollars they would just have given management bigger bonuses that year nothing more.

The only thing that would have saved commodore was having enough cash to R&D a PPC machine with out of this world 2d/3d video and 16 bit sound to keep competitors away for 10 years.

The C64 game them enough cash to buy the Amiga. Selling Amigas should have given them enough time and cash to jump to PPC. From there who knows what would have happened.

Doing consoles was a waste of time, they should have invested in a software division making apps to show off the desktop Amigas (1000,2000,3000,4000) while getting good games ported to the games machines (500, 1200). All the other machines (500+, 600, cd32, cdtv) should never have been made. They should also have kept the 8 bit line going for cheap school/game systems.
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Old 03 July 2009, 01:57   #102
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since its all dreamy in here,

I would of prefered the A600 to of had an 020 and AGA but with only 1mb chip (upgradable of course)

that would of been a better stepping stone..... knockin out those units for £180 and the A1200's for £325 in the day...
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Old 03 July 2009, 02:41   #103
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Originally Posted by gilgamesh View Post
found here

MC680x0/AAA Architecture
A   new   Amiga   architecture,   based   on   the   Advanced   Amiga 
Architecture (AAA) chipset  and the Motorola MC680x0 CPU, is 
currently in development. Current plans for this architecture are to 
produce   a   high-end   personal   computer   system,   tentatively 
designated the A5000.
There are a number of significant issues related to this architecture 
that may indicate that it is not appropriate in view of Commodore's 
current position and overall strategy:
• The compatibility of AAA-based systems with existing 
software and hardware is expected to be very low. Basic 
applications that use operating system functions should, in 
theory, function. However, more sophisticated applications that 
directly access the Amiga hardware, such as the NewTek 
Video Toaster, DeluxePaint IV-AGA by Electronic Arts, and 
most entertainment applications will be incompatible. These 
applications, which will be incompatible with AAA, represent 
a significant portion of the market for Amiga systems.
The installed base of AAA systems must be sufficently large to 
justify the developers' effort to update existing products for 
compatibility and/or support for AAA or develop new products 
for this architecture. The likely result is a "Catch-22" in which 
AAA-aware applications are not developed because the 
installed base is small and the installed base remains small 
because AAA-aware applications are not available.
• It is not apparent that the market segments that MC680x0/AAA 
systems   are   intended   to   address   have   been   completely 
identified,  nor does it appear that  likely sales to these market 
segments will provide a significant return on the investment in 
this architecture.
Specifically, Commodore's most successful markets are home 
entertainment consoles (currently addressed by the CD32 
system) and low-end personal computer  systems (currently 
addressed by the A1200 system). Although AAA does provide 
improved graphics performance and sound capabilities, the 
time to market and impact on other longer-term projects may 
not be justifiable.
In the high-end personal computer market, the MC680x0/AAA 
architecture does provide performance and features equal or 
superior to those of other platforms at similar price points, 
such as Intel 80x86-based systems running Microsoft MS-DOS 
and Windows. However, such systems have a very significant 
advantage in software base and also benefit from major 
economies of scale, due to the very large installed base of 
systems, that allow rapid cost reduction. Because of these 
factors, and the long time to market of AAA-based systems, it 
is likely that high-end AAA-based Amiga systems will not be 
competitive when they are released.
• Development time and cost for the MC680x0/AAA 
architecture is very high. With current staff, it is estimated that 
minimal operating system support for the AAA architecture 
will require six months in the most optimistic possible 
scenario. More extensive support could require up to two 
years. This is particularly significant in view of the limited 
resources available, and the impact of such an allocation on 
other projects that have potentially greater short- or long-term 
If   sufficently   large   market   segments   for   the  MC680x0/AAA 
architecture   are   identified,   with   full   consideration   of   the 
compatibility  issues and development   time,  such systems should 
be   developed   as   near-term measure   to  maintain  Commodore's 
product line. In any case, the scope of any such project should be 
limited   to   addressing   identified  market   needs   to  minimize   the 
impact   of   this   project   on   longer-term  efforts,   such   as   the  PA-
RISC/3D Graphics Engine architecture.
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Old 03 July 2009, 16:06   #104
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CD32 may have survived for a time, but Sony and MicroSoft had the research, the funds and the smart marketing people to lead them the right way. Commodore did not. And what software developer would have signed on to develop CD32 when the parent company's financial position was well advertised?
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Old 21 July 2009, 14:59   #105
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Found another interesting bit (to me ):
Commodore had two architectures that were never released: Nyx with AAA and Acutiator with Hombre. The latter consisted of a PA-Risc Core at 100MHz, 3D Acceleration, PCI and would have run WindowsNT with m68k Emulation.

That is the Amiga that would still be around if C= would had $$millions in '93.

Hombre was to be a complete system in two chips.
The first chip was the CPU chip and contained a RISC integer core, a blitter, a 3D colour rendering engine, audio, a CD interface, a peripheral interface, a bus interface and controllers for display and system memories. The second chip was the video data path and contained line buffers, a colour lookup table, etc. The chip set was designed so that with minimal external chips (ROM, DRAM) a complete low-end system could be built.
(see here)

That sounds quite cool and technically advanced. No more Kickstart on CD64.


EDIT: "could be sold either as a high end PCI graphics card" (Wikipedia) - Amiga the graphics card

Last edited by gilgamesh; 21 July 2009 at 15:22.
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Old 21 July 2009, 15:33   #106
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Old 21 July 2009, 15:39   #107
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Commodore didn't have a clue, likewise neither did Atari.

The only reason Commodore acquired Amiga was because Atari were too stupid, but up until then, Commodore had no plans to succeed the C64, they just seemed to wander aimlessly into successful computers, but that luck had to run out at some point.

They didn't have a clue how to market the A1000, and finally got their act together with the A500, but then they just rested on their laurels, sitting back counting the cash.

They then did the CDTV, which might have been a success had they got a god damned clue how to market it, confusing instructions given to sellers meant it wasn't a computer (though it clearly was), it wasn't an Amiga (natch!), it was a home entertainment system... something that hadn't been embraced yet.

But the biggest failure was the A1200, never mind the CD32.

It was good that they increased the colour pallete, it was good that they increased processor speed.... and thats where the good news stops!

Only 2meg chip ram....
Same 4 channel 8bit sound chip
Same blitter that now has to move 3 extra bitplanes around but running at the same speed!

Where the fuck was the hard drive as standard?

Why wasn't it at LEAST 68030?

Don't get me wrong, i like the A1200, its a nice machine, but it should have a been a real genesis of the A500.

As for the CD32.... jesus wept! Nice inside, why the fuck was it designed by morons? The CDTV was several years earlier and looked about a BILLION times better.

Commodore didn't give a flying fuck about the Amiga in whatever guise it took, so long as it was making money, thats all they cared about.

Commodore UK however, I had time for. David Pleasance did his very best to get software companies onboard, actually bothering to ask them what they wanted from the proposed A1200... and then Commodore US completely ignored what was asked for and just blithely went in their own direction!!!

The Amiga had a technological advantage that no other machine will EVER have again. No machine was that far advanced over the competition and lasted for so long.

Now technology moves too quickly, and whilst its nice to program for a machine where you know what graphics and sound it has and know that within reason you can program and it will work on them all, that kind of computer cannot exist today, they have to be modular and expandable in a way the Amiga was never really designed to be.

Even if the A1200 was a technological marvel like the first A1000, it would have taken the PC little under a year to beat it.

But first and foremost, Commodore were responsible, they just didn't have a clue.

As for piracy, that doesn't even warrant a response!
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Old 21 July 2009, 16:04   #108
2nd era...
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A fat wad of cash would never compensate for Commodore's stupidity.

Everything that came after the A500 was released behind the times or shouldn't have seen the light of day, hence PCs evolved faster into the dominant position by the mid-90s.
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Old 21 July 2009, 16:13   #109
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Yes, the management was incompetent. Everybody around here agrees.

But I don't see a flaw in the Hombre design. I think it had potential.
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Old 21 July 2009, 16:54   #110
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Originally Posted by gilgamesh View Post
Yes, the management was incompetent. Everybody around here agrees.
I don't.
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Old 21 July 2009, 17:34   #111
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The Amiga was in a downward spiral after the A3000. That was in my view the final true Amiga that showed progressive hardware development and forward thinking ideas because the development of that system had the money spent on its development to allow it.

After that Commodore was starting to play catchup with the 16-bit consoles in gaming terms, and with the PC in computing terms. The A4000 was a cut down shadow of its original concept. Still a very nice and desirable Amiga at its launch, but not the next step in Amiga development by a long way. And the A1200, while a great Amiga and the most used these days, was also a cut down budget restricted design compared to the original ideas. And the CD32 was just their last ditch attempt to claw back into the gaming market by using their A1200 CD drive development.

However they were not alone. Atari were in a similar situation with the Falcon. The final released system being a cut down version of its full original design, and failing far quicker than the Amiga and Commodore.

I think the biggest problem was the speed at which computer technology was progressing. Not the dodgy dealings of the companies involved. At the start of the 80's 8-bit systems such as the C64 and Spectrum had very long shelf lives. Although some different models were released for certain makes containing more ram or a different keyboard, the core remained the same and the companies got used to having a static stable platform that was easy to mass produce for years with little change to the design, but which sold well. That all changed in the 90's. New hardware and development of existing hardware was getting faster and faster and it just wasn't possible to use the same long development cycles they had got used to.

This is where the modular mass produced nature of the PC market suddenly came into its own. The ability to chop and change the spec of a computer to suit each user, rather than buying a fixed platform and then trying to bolt extras on.

For a fixed platform gaming now had consoles. These retained their long shelf life and minimum continued development cost. Commodore saw this and tried to jump ship and become a player in the console market with the CD32 because that market fitted the development model they had become used to with the C64 and then the A500. What they failed to understand was the shear size of the budgets the console developers had to play with. Something Commodore didn't have.

The biggest failing of Commodore was as is so often mentioned that they just didn't know what to do with the Amiga. How to market it. Who to market it to, and what markets it fitted into.

Apple only survived because they did know their market and stuck to it. They never tried to seriously enter the gaming marketplace. They knew their core market was in DTP and design and so kept on making robust workstation like systems for the professional marketplace. A decision that is what allowed them to survive. The Mac was however a different market to the Amiga as it was restricted more so to certain professional userbases, so its marketing model cannot directly be compared.
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Old 24 July 2009, 00:02   #112
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Originally Posted by Retro-Nerd View Post
Apple is a US phenomenon. Style over technology. Well, it worked and still works...somehow.
You are missing the whole point of what makes apple successful here in the states. I think it is more "freedom from choice" than anything. You have one or two types of hardware, 1 music program, 1 photo program, one mail program, 1 calendar program and guess what? It is all best of breed and works flawlessly. No digging for drivers, no spyware, no hacking registries or spending all day on forums to get everyday tasks done.

As for the Mac going to intel chips rather than powerppc, who cares? The OS is exactly the same. Fact is, the intel systems are waaaaaaay faster and cheaer than the PPC systems ever were.

Getting back to the Amiga. It would have been nice of the OS would have progressed some more. I don't really care what hardware was under it, but it would have been cool if it did manage to progress like Apple where there are maybe 3 or 4 systems and no clones all running a superior operating system.
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Old 24 July 2009, 00:09   #113
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Originally Posted by illy5603 View Post
I think it is more "freedom from choice" than anything. You have one or two types of hardware, 1 music program, 1 photo program, one mail program, 1 calendar program and guess what? It is all best of breed and works flawlessly.
Sorry, but I don't get the "freedom from choice" bit together with the second sentence.
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Old 24 July 2009, 01:52   #114
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Good Grief. This thread is still alive?
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Old 26 July 2009, 19:09   #115
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I miss the old Amiga days. I spent more on my Amiga then than I did on my current Power House PC. With hardware and all I think I had around $4,000 invested. But worth every penny!
Old 26 July 2009, 23:04   #116
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Commodore failed to move with the times. If they had all that money to bail themselves out, then rather of invest in new technology, they would of wanted an easy buck by following the PC market. Commodore couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery as far as marketing was concerned... For anybody who's watched David Haynie's 'Deathbed Vigil' video Commodore had a fantasic talent of engineers in their realm, but with all the cutbacks over spending, they would of most certainly of gone done the PC route anyway, as that was where the money was for an easy buck, as they were a bunch of skinflints!
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Old 27 July 2009, 06:48   #117
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Commodore failures (not including management politics or third party offers such as Sun and licensing technology to others such as Epson):
- Running out of money to market A1000 in 1985/86
- Sacking original amiga team in 86/87 (leading to subsequent little R&D advances)
- Releasing "high-end" A2000 as little-upgraded spec to A1000/A500 in 87 (should also have had standard model with 68020)
- Spending sweet FA during 1985-1990 on R&D
- A3000 not having fast 256 colour and 16bit sound in 1990
- CDTV/A500+/A600 waste of time and money
- A4000 not having 16mill colours and 16bit sound, but instead slow 256 colours - nevermind the CD32 and A1200 they were both crippled by the hapless AGA technology too)

In other words, all this stuff happened before 1992 by which time it was too late, and all of the latter parts late eighties to 1992 during the height of amiga sales were not due to lack of money. More R&D was conducted by original amiga team 1983-1985 than 1985-1994 with commodore. Just look at Paula chip and 8bit sound and non-HD floppies as an example. If this simple thing was not upgraded in a decade then more money would not solve anything if the will and direction is not there.
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Old 28 July 2009, 14:19   #118
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You know... with a decent management on C='s part....

With a decent 68k emulator, they could mayhaps a pulled a 3rd gen Amiga off.... I mean, Apple did it with the PowerMac, and later they managed to pull off a decent PPC-emulator so the older programs for the PowerMac's worked on the Macintel's.

I agree with the Paula discussion... although one of the most sophisticated 8bit soundchips ever (if not THE most), the 4c/8bit scenario was slightly outdated with the dawn of the AB16 and AWE and those.... heck, just "updating" it to use 8channel/16bit would've been a far jump ahead of the Creative chips. Especially when you think about how it also handled more or less all the disk-IO and also had a hand (or a byte :P) in other areas.

Denise could've been so much more in the Aga (Was that Alice? I never remember which of Agnus and Denise got the Alice-name )... I have been playing with the idea of whether or not it would be possible to make her use bitplanes up to 256 colours, then go chunky for 8/16/24bit colours. And given 4 MB dedicated RAM instead of 2 MB shared with the other special chips, she could've pulled off another generation of gaming.

Then, the chipset itself should've been upgraded.... speedwise, that is. Even with an 06/75MHz CPU on an accelrator card, the chipset itself only wen't on 14 (as was the CPU speed in the A1200)... upping the chipset speed to 25 or 33 MHz, would've given the Amiga a new lease of life "right there" and would yet again soar past the competition.

Would this be enough to save C= in the long run? probably not. However, if they could've taken more notice of David Pleasance' notes on what the cutomers wanted, and target the hardware threreafter, I would hope they could at least have lasted for another 5 - 6 years.

After which, the intel and AMD spaghetti-CPU's was going at 400MHz+.... and so the 4th gen Amiga should've gotten something even better..... I'm led to believe the PPC's at that time (1999 - 2000) could run at about 300 MHz? couple this with a chipset at 100MHz, a faster gfx-chip and a Paula-derivate capable of 64channel/24bit sound......

With just these small adjustments (and probably millions of £ in R&D to get them together :P) I believe the Amiga would've had a fighting chance.

But... it probably wasn't meant to be.... at least not with the people at the head of C=... I'm sure the shoenumber (in UK sizes) of the one with the biggest feet, was bigger than the combined IQ of them.
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Old 23 August 2009, 18:28   #119

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If Commodore had only survived 1 or 2 more years when the internet exploded they could have continued to sell Amiga's with Netscapes browser and maybe done very well. Bundle in a 24 bit card on big box Amiga's and or a 24 bit add-on for the A1200 and they would have been fine. Hell Netscape ran on the then crappy Mac OS 8 that didn't even multitask.
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Old 23 August 2009, 20:31   #120
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Wow, I love this thread.

Netscape ran on old and cheap PCs as well. The internet connection fees were expensive in those days, not the hardware. There is no advantage for the Amiga here.
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