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Old 27 March 2020, 14:56   #1061
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Bare in mind that obsolete chip fabs have a tremendous advantage: they're paid off years ago, you only need to pay people to turn the crank.
Obsolete chip fabs have a big disadvantage in that they need more wafer space for the same functionality which is the biggest cost driving factor in chip production. Yield also drops exponentially with larger die space. Also old fabs often use smaller wafers which also means even less chips per wafer start. These factors are in fact the most important driving factor in semiconductor miniaturisation, NOT increased speed as many believe.
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Old 27 March 2020, 17:27   #1062
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I don't remember very well, was commodore market strategy good?
This made me laugh! Thanks but good god no!
Commodores marketting was astonishly appalling.

Commodore UK had some decent success because they actually seemed to have a clue what the machines were and how to bundle them.
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Old 27 March 2020, 19:45   #1063
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The UK had some success because of the presence of Pleasance
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Old 28 March 2020, 08:06   #1064
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Originally Posted by Kyle_Human View Post
Do you have any figures on the actual production costs?

Bare in mind that obsolete chip fabs have a tremendous advantage: they're paid off years ago, you only need to pay people to turn the crank. The commodore 64 was sold profitably at £40, and the inside of those was truly dinosaur grade.

It's the same principle in all kinds of industries. You ever seen a Lada, the old fiat based ones? They were still made in 2012 and managed to be the cheapest car in Russia, despite having totally obsolete and labour intensive production process. Why? The design was paid off, the production equipment was paid off, the only cost is labour and raw materials. With electronics labour costs is basically almost zero because you pick some poor third world place to exploit, easy.
This is easily the stupidest comment I've heard in quite some time. Yeah, there are obsolete chip fab plants all over the place just waiting for someone to walk in and turn on the lights. NOT!

If you believe that then you must also believe that there are obsolete Model-T Ford plants hidden in the suburbs or Detroit just waiting for someone to walk in and "turn the crank" and start rolling off "new" Model-T's once again because obviously there's a huge market for Model-T's these days....and 40 year old electronics.

I'm just going to assume that your mind really is "bare" since that's how you misspelled "bear" in your opening sentence. Pun intended.
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Old 29 March 2020, 14:12   #1065
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Obsolete fabs still have a lifetime, after which they're competing with other obsolete-but-newer fabs that are also paid off and essentially have the same operating costs to produce a much better product.

When Commodore went bankrupt, the CSG employees tried to save the old MOS plant but it went under pretty quickly as there were plenty of other old second-source fabs producing stuff with circa 1990 tech.

Of course the 1980-2010 period was a special time where IC process tech grew by leaps and bounds. Nowadays advancement is so slow and new fabs are so expensive to pay off, that 15-year-old fabs can still produce useful chips if they're priced low enough.
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Old 29 March 2020, 17:35   #1066
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The Amiga 1200 is not so bad but carefull, if You buye an amiga do check if all IC's are installed. I first did buy an Amiga 500 and one CIA was missing an the gary chip, sure this system could not boot. Now I got my money back so don't complain further.
The 1200 has all the chips and boots fast until the dreadful kick start floppy's.

If I would build a new Amiga, then a IBM Power 6 processor (64bit) PCI express sort slots, Max 64GB ram. No AGA culprit, no math processor since in processor , a korg 6 SSM2056 EG synthesizer chip with 61 polyphony. and USB3.1 , LAN 10Gbps, Wifi ac up to 5Ghz . Amiga OS should be entirely rewritten but I doubt that they would give the source code. Korg gives anough info, the Inel 10gbps lan chip also, IBM on their Power 6 also but AmigaOS is the big culprit.

Videocard: based on AMD video chipset cause nvidia refuses to send the API

Last edited by StefaanC; 30 March 2020 at 13:34.
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Old 29 March 2020, 22:08   #1067
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cd32 was a very genius things to do, but it's power, and above all , lack of support from developers, was a nail in the coffin
I myself have been talking about "what if they did this, added that etc"...
But if you think about it, the CD32 was always going to use as much stock stuff Commodore had in house to cut costs as much as possible..
So yea, even if a say 28MHz 020 was cheap at the time, they would still have to spend cash whereas, they probably had piles of the 14MHz EC020 used in the A1200 costing them "no new cash"... So unfortunately, I think whatever the A1200 got they would put into the CD32. Same goes for the memory chips I guess..
If you look at the motherboards, they use the same 020 CPU, same Alice chip, same LISA, same Paula, Same D/A converter... ChipRAM was (probably) off the shelf so brand could differ (Siemens, Panasonic etc).
Then they Removed Budgie, CIA, Gayle and mixed whatever they needed from those into a single AKIKO chip (cutting overall cost) (which also had CD controller, and the C2P thing everyone associates AKIKO with).

Someone called the CD32 "Commodore's last roll of the dice" and it turned out to be just that. With money bleeding out of the company, the CD32 was always going to be based on as much (already) available (in-house) parts as possible..

Last edited by eXeler0; 30 March 2020 at 10:24.
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Old 30 March 2020, 13:30   #1068
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Commodore should have much sooner decided to go to 32 bit. Instead of spreading out 8 bit as long as they can . The C128 should never be released. Sold from 1985 on but heck 16 bit was here in 1920 with Intel's 8086 and The 68K was here already in 1979.
The 68K is in fact a stripped down 32 bit processor and simply to avoid too much pins.
But internal the 68K is a 32 bit architecture with a reduces address bus and reduced data bus. So Commodore should have made commodore Amiga as successor on the C64. Then it was ok to pile up a stock 68K processors. And give the machine direct 2MB ram. The first amiga 4GB ram and 25Mhz, the next 8GB and 33Mhz , hen next 12MB ram and 40Mhz, the next 16MB ram and 50Mhz. Well be more aggressive in the competition with intel cause the 80268 is a full 16 bit processor Intel expected this CPU not to be used in personal computers . Max 25 Mhz on the end of the 80268.
The 80368 1985 : Intel based their processors always from the previous design upwards even until the I3/I5/I7 range to keep compatibility between the older CPU's.Adding more ram then the address bus is allowing is nothing new. The C128 was a 8 bit bus capable of 128KB ram. Nowadays some people have even 2MB ram on that 8bit machine.

The CD32 should never be released in the first place.
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Old 30 March 2020, 13:36   #1069
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Originally Posted by StefaanC View Post
Nowadays some people have even 2MB ram on that 8bit machine.
With bank switching you can have almost as much as you want. 1541U-II for example has a 16MB REU for the C64.
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Old 30 March 2020, 14:09   #1070
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Note: 2MB within the C128. , no REU's cause they are freaking expensive.
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Old 30 March 2020, 15:24   #1071
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This is easily the stupidest comment I've heard in quite some time. Yeah, there are obsolete chip fab plants all over the place just waiting for someone to walk in and turn on the lights. NOT!

If you believe that then you must also believe that there are obsolete Model-T Ford plants hidden in the suburbs or Detroit just waiting for someone to walk in and "turn the crank" and start rolling off "new" Model-T's once again because obviously there's a huge market for Model-T's these days....and 40 year old electronics.

I'm just going to assume that your mind really is "bare" since that's how you misspelled "bear" in your opening sentence. Pun intended.
I'm not sure how to respond to this because your criticism of what I said demonstrates that you don't understand what I said. You didn't misunderstand by a little but a lot. If it wasn't for you including me in a quote I'd have no idea you were even attempting to reply to me in particular instead of someone else.

I mean really, there is no way to get from what I said, to you rambling about how I "must think" there are 100 year old mothballed obsolete factories everywhere. That's a non sequitur so severe I guess you must be a bit "different".

Quote:
Originally Posted by AmigaHope View Post
Obsolete fabs still have a lifetime, after which they're competing with other obsolete-but-newer fabs that are also paid off and essentially have the same operating costs to produce a much better product.
At which time you close it and move forward to the newer obsolete fab. Commodore were doing this, many later day chips were made for them in HP fabs. They were even transitioning away from owning their own computer factories and instead contracting out assembly work. Like every other computer company the path is to get out of making and concentrate on designing.

Last edited by Kyle_Human; 30 March 2020 at 15:31.
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Old 30 March 2020, 17:29   #1072
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Commodore should have much sooner decided to go to 32 bit. Instead of spreading out 8 bit as long as they can . The C128 should never be released.
the C128 saved Commodores ass in 1985.
it was the only model that was ready and sold in numbers

(C= was almost bankrupt that year - without the C128 it would have been)

Quote:
Sold from 1985 on but heck 16 bit was here in 1920 with Intel's 8086 and The 68K was here already in 1979.
The 68K is in fact a stripped down 32 bit processor and simply to avoid too much pins.
But internal the 68K is a 32 bit architecture with a reduces address bus and reduced data bus.

and a reduced (16bit) ALU....
Actually it is a 16bit processor with 32bit registers

Quote:
So Commodore should have made commodore Amiga as successor on the C64. Then it was ok to pile up a stock 68K processors. And give the machine direct 2MB ram.
no chance in 1985 ... look at how many chips are needed for just 512KB in a A1000!
You would have needed a second motherboard to fit 2MB in ..
Und nobody would have wanted to pay for that much RAM

(the original Apple Mac from 84 had 128KB the model from 85 was upgraded to 512kb)

Last edited by Gorf; 30 March 2020 at 19:06.
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Old 30 March 2020, 17:31   #1073
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Note: 2MB within the C128. , no REU's cause they are freaking expensive.
they where so expensive, because RAM was expensive!
It would not been much cheaper to build it in
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Old 30 March 2020, 18:29   #1074
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In those days indeed but now the ram is much cheaper.
Even Reu's on eBay now are way too expensive.

I have a reel of 100 static rams Samsung 512Kx8 SMD components for a louzy 80 USD.
OK I buy a lot of Components on reel and that's a way to get prices down. That was in the old days also ir the price of the computers was far higher.
Ram was indeed more expensive due to mass production is not as it is now.

I mean Commodore went bankrupt in 1994 so the price of ram's where dropping. According to wikipedia Commodore went Broke due to mismanagement at the end only Europe was still good selling points for C64 C128 and Amiga but USA was terrible.

The Amiga 600 was in fact a Amiga 500, stripped down numeric keyboard,minus the zorro slot, But added IDE and PCMCIA , the cost to priduce was lower then the Amiga 500 so original as Amiga 300 bit sales made Amiga 600 . The Amiga 600 was a flop.

The Amiga 2000 came out with it's 7,14Mhz 68K processor while the Amiga 3000 was already sols on the market with its 68030 at 25Mhz. Sales blunder.

En Apple sold already 68040 machines. So sales problems.

The dealers went confused and hated the ways that Commodore was treating them.

So a company that is not progressing it's products may expect failure.
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Old 30 March 2020, 19:22   #1075
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Originally Posted by Gorf View Post
the C128 saved Commodores ass in 1985.
it was the only model that was ready and sold in numbers
(C= was almost bankrupt that year - without the C128 it would have been)
It's really hard to understand, why Commodore was almost always on the brink of bankruptcy, if they released a monster like the C64 just years before.
And then they had the A500 in 1987, which wasn't a success like the C64, but still really decent.

You'd think they had some war money in their pockets.
Was the 264 line such a money grave for them?

(I never understood why people thought back then, that releasing a shitty computer that's much worse than your current mega success offering would sell like hot cakes)
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Old 30 March 2020, 19:34   #1076
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It's really hard to understand, why Commodore was almost always on the brink of bankruptcy, if they released a monster like the C64 just years before.
And then they had the A500 in 1987, which wasn't a success like the C64, but still really decent.
in 84/85 they made some very stupid decisions after Tramiel left.
The C16 and Plus4 were incompatible and utter failures

Tramiel started these projects to compete with something ultra-cheap like Sinclair ... but after he left they tried to sell these machines for a much higher price and nobody wanted them ...

C= also invested money in a Z8000 based workstation that was never sold and the "Commodore-LCD", a portable machine, that actually would have sold like cake, but the interim CEO did not believe in it an canceled it...

Also 83/84/85 were bad years to sell computers in Europe and UK, since the Dollar was extremely high ... that only changed in late 85 when the Japanese, German, British and French national banks intervened after Ronald Reagan told them to do so...
only after that, the C64 became a huge success in Germany

and in later years the failure has a name: Mehdi Ali

Last edited by Gorf; 30 March 2020 at 19:40.
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Old 30 March 2020, 19:47   #1077
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But also the British computer companies made big mistakes...

Acorn did something similar stupid with the Electron...
after it failed, the majority of the company was sold to Olivetti in 85.

Sinclair was so cheap it never made big money ... the 68k based QL was no exception there ... and so it was sold for just 10M pound to Amstrad in 86.
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Old 30 March 2020, 19:48   #1078
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@Gorf, the amiga 500 released instead of the C128 was a far smarter choice.
Now those who migrated to a C128 do not massive step over to Amiga.
The 500 still used the same type of ram , the 1200 used 512Kx8 rams. At the time of the 1200 these where a few years out. So don't com with the fact that ram was expensive in fact , the simpler the pcb the more cheaper the computer. Commodore did find China for PCB and a side note that it did not went so well, all their PCB's contained small errors so all boards have some extra wiring. The introduction of the C128 was a big problem, the system would even not boot and with a bit of luck by letting the Z80 start instead of the 8502 saved the day. What I mean is, commodore was a company with many ups and downs. They had to buy amiga, inc so Commodore did not invent the amiga in the first place. It costed them so much that they struggled from that moment on and when Jack Tramiel left Commodore they addes a new chairman with no knowledge of computers and sales failed year after year. Commodore should have gone anyway, but sure years later.
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Old 30 March 2020, 20:12   #1079
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@Gorf, the amiga 500 released instead of the C128 was a far smarter choice.
but the Amiga was not ready in the first half of 85 - and until the end to the year C= managed to produce only about 50 thousand.
It was not so much, that the A1000 was too expensive - it was just not available in numbers in 85
C= had no problem to sell all of these 50k units ...

the C128 was easy to produce (all chips already there) - the OS was ready and it could be sold with some margin, while the C64 was earning no money at this point.
The C128 is considered the best selling new computer in 85.

they just could not do otherwise without going bankrupt.
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Old 30 March 2020, 20:30   #1080
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@StefaanC

The big problem for Commodore were not the C128 or the C64 or any other 8-bit computer from that area. The problem back than was not even the PC - that became only later a real competitor.

The big problem was the Atari ST. And the other way around it was exactly the same:
Atari's biggest problem was the Amiga.

There was simply not enough room for both.
If they would have merged into one company and maybe even swallowed Acorn and Sinclair ... then they could have had a read chance to survive.

In that alternate history Apple would have probably been bankrupt in the early 90s or maybe turned PC manufacturer and the "Amtari" would be the only platform competing with Wintel.

Last edited by Gorf; 30 March 2020 at 20:42.
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