English Amiga Board


Go Back   English Amiga Board > Main > Nostalgia & memories

 
 
Thread Tools
Old 11 July 2018, 04:07   #61
nobody
Registered User

nobody's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: GR
Age: 41
Posts: 1,203
Commodore was selling a lot of A500s and C64 until 1991. C64 came to an end of it's life in 1991. When they announced A1200 all A500 sales came to a halt, they couldn't meet demand, the bills were pushing and in the end they collapsed. The CD32 was their last chance, when their factory in the east (Philippines?) didn't deliver due to C= debts to them and some patent problem in the US that was the final nail in the coffin.
nobody is offline  
Old 27 July 2018, 19:48   #62
Gorf
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Munich/Bavaria
Posts: 552
The 1200 would have needed to be "DOOM"-proof.
So a 68LC030 with 28MHz would be the minimum.
To make use of that speed it would have needed some FastRAM.
1.5MB Chip and 0.5MB Fast

A chunky 8-Bit mode would have been great, but even without it could have been enough for a couple of years.
Of course AAA would have been the best option... but is was not ready, while a stronger CPU with FastRAM was available and C= had already plenty of experience handling it.

Yes, it would be more expensive, that is why the A500 should have stayed as (ultra) low-cost option.
Gorf is offline  
Old 27 July 2018, 22:23   #63
duga
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Sweden
Posts: 351
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorf View Post
The 1200 would have needed to be "DOOM"-proof.
So a 68LC030 with 28MHz would be the minimum.
To make use of that speed it would have needed some FastRAM.
1.5MB Chip and 0.5MB Fast

A chunky 8-Bit mode would have been great, but even without it could have been enough for a couple of years.
Of course AAA would have been the best option... but is was not ready, while a stronger CPU with FastRAM was available and C= had already plenty of experience handling it.

Yes, it would be more expensive, that is why the A500 should have stayed as (ultra) low-cost option.
Yes.

A500 Plus (no A600 release)
A1200 with Fast Ram from factory
A4000
CD32 (with A1200 specs)
duga is offline  
Old 27 July 2018, 23:53   #64
van_dammesque
Registered User

 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: England
Posts: 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by duga View Post
Yes.

A500 Plus (no A600 release)
A1200 with Fast Ram from factory
A4000
CD32 (with A1200 specs)
No A500+
van_dammesque is offline  
Old 28 July 2018, 01:44   #65
Gorf
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Munich/Bavaria
Posts: 552
Quote:
Originally Posted by van_dammesque View Post
No A500+
The A500 (and A2000) should have been "+" from the very beginning 1987.
ECS is not much of an upgrade and uses the same technology.
Letting Jay Miner and the original team work on this small upgrade it would have been ready by than.

Offering the A500 together with a nice monitor, fully supporting the new "productivity" mode would have been a great selling point and a put the Atari ST into an early grave...
Gorf is offline  
Old 28 July 2018, 09:35   #66
Amigajay
醉拳
Amigajay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: >
Posts: 1,990
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorf View Post
The A500 (and A2000) should have been "+" from the very beginning 1987.
ECS is not much of an upgrade and uses the same technology.
Letting Jay Miner and the original team work on this small upgrade it would have been ready by than.

Offering the A500 together with a nice monitor, fully supporting the new "productivity" mode would have been a great selling point and a put the Atari ST into an early grave...
Of course it shouldn’t, the A500 already cut down a expensive A1000 system into an affordable version within 2 years, adding extras they werent available is like saying the ST should have been the STE from the get go!

As you already say ECS is not much of an upgrade, chipset wise 99.9% of people or games used it or made a difference over OCS, its a nice freebie for + buyers but nothing they would have known about.

The A500 spec and timeline was pretty good, the part Commodore fell flat on was cost reducing quick enough, instead of the + and A600, they should have released a A500 Slim (1mb) in a A1200 style case with A600 cheaper components xmas 91 for £299 with a (decent) joypad to target more gamers and remove the tag of 1 button gaming, by late 92 get this in as many homes as possible for £199.

In reality 1991 was a still a great year for A500 with 1 million units sold even at £349 price, the market was there despite of PC owners saying the Amiga died in the 80s, 1991 was the single biggest year for the computer, had they cost reduced for 92-94 and forgot the AGA systems and had the balls to wait for hermes instead, the budget computer sector could have been alot different for another decade.
Amigajay is offline  
Old 28 July 2018, 10:29   #67
Gorf
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Munich/Bavaria
Posts: 552
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amigajay View Post
Of course it shouldn’t, the A500 already cut down a expensive A1000 system into an affordable version within 2 years, adding extras they werent available is like saying the ST should have been the STE from the get go!
the extra would have been at virtually no cost at all, since all ECS need is a slightly different mask in the chip process. And they changed the chip-packaging anyways for A1000 to A500...

Quote:
As you already say ECS is not much of an upgrade, chipset wise 99.9% of people or games used it or made a difference over OCS, its a nice freebie for + buyers but nothing they would have known about.
that situation would have been different, if the A500 would have had ECS from the start.
It would have helped to to be taken much more seriously for office work, CAD, DTP and so on.
Gorf is offline  
Old 28 July 2018, 12:06   #68
Amigajay
醉拳
Amigajay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: >
Posts: 1,990
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorf View Post
the extra would have been at virtually no cost at all, since all ECS need is a slightly different mask in the chip process. And they changed the chip-packaging anyways for A1000 to A500...



that situation would have been different, if the A500 would have had ECS from the start.
It would have helped to to be taken much more seriously for office work, CAD, DTP and so on.
Of course,but it all if's and but's, hindsight should at least be comparable to what was available at the time, Commodore didn't make ECS chipset until 1990, so imo its all a moot point to say it should have been included in the A500 in 1987, you might as well say AGA should have been, that only came out 2 years after ECS!
Amigajay is offline  
Old 28 July 2018, 14:51   #69
roondar
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 644
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amigajay View Post
Of course,but it all if's and but's, hindsight should at least be comparable to what was available at the time, Commodore didn't make ECS chipset until 1990, so imo its all a moot point to say it should have been included in the A500 in 1987, you might as well say AGA should have been, that only came out 2 years after ECS!
Indeed, hindsight is wonderful

Looking at the history, as I understand it, Commodore struggled to make money during the early 'Amiga years', in no small part due to the A1000 being well, expensive.

It was only after the A500 they started making good money and it probably took a while to recover the initial investments into the Amiga 'projects'. Looking at it from that angle, it's not so strange it took a while for them to try and build a better chipset - developing chips is expensive work and why put in the resources to improve a low-selling product.

With this in mind, I don't see the time line as so weird. That said, this hinges on my assumptions being correct and they might not be.
roondar is offline  
Old 29 July 2018, 12:47   #70
redblade
Zone Friend

redblade's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Middle Earth
Age: 34
Posts: 1,187
Quote:
Originally Posted by TjLaZer View Post
Good points, but in hindsight Commodore didn't know what would of happened if they released a faster CPU along with the ECS A500+. As we know, many frustrated users returned them due to ECS and OS2.x not being compatible with old A500 games.
I don't see why this is Commodores fault. If software developers didn't follow the guidelines and their software crashed. That's their fault. Maybe commodore shouldn't have released the hardware reference manual.
redblade is offline  
Old 29 July 2018, 12:58   #71
redblade
Zone Friend

redblade's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Middle Earth
Age: 34
Posts: 1,187
Quote:
Originally Posted by duga View Post
Yes.

A500 Plus (no A600 release)
A1200 with Fast Ram from factory
CD32 (with A1200 specs)
I like the A600, maybe they could have released it with a 68010 processor and maybe at 10Mhz??
redblade is offline  
Old 29 July 2018, 13:25   #72
idrougge
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Stockholm
Posts: 3,679
Quote:
Originally Posted by redblade View Post
I like the A600, maybe they could have released it with a 68010 processor and maybe at 10Mhz??
Er no, that would have offered absolutely no advantage and a lot of disadvantages.
idrougge is offline  
Old 29 July 2018, 19:08   #73
Gorf
Registered User

 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Munich/Bavaria
Posts: 552
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amigajay View Post
Of course,but it all if's and but's, hindsight should at least be comparable to what was available at the time, Commodore didn't make ECS chipset until 1990, so imo its all a moot point to say it should have been included in the A500 in 1987, you might as well say AGA should have been, that only came out 2 years after ECS!

The whole point to this thread is what "should have been" and startet with better specs for the A1200 ...

I pointed out, that a faster A1200 would have been possible since faster CPUs where available. It would have been more expensive, so C= should have continued to sell the A500 in the (very) low-budged segment.

Someone argued, that the plus-model (ECS and OS2.x) was a failure. I do not agree. ECS did not cause most of the problems, with exception of the absence of SlowRAM, but the new Kickstart did... and it only did, because C= as not updating the Kickstart often enough:
They should have released new versions every year - and rearrange the Kickstart-Modules every time, so everybody would use the jump-table and no direct addresses.

The question is, would ECS be a realistic goal in 87?
I think yes, because the changes are rather small. Instead of letting Jay Miner develop the "Ranger" prototype during the same time period, he could have created a small update very similar to ECS - allowing a productivity mode.

The absence of such a gfx-mode was the main argument why Mac or ST were better suited for work.
Gorf is offline  
Old 30 July 2018, 21:56   #74
Marle
Pixel Vixen

 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: UK
Posts: 178
I think the only thing I'd change about the Amiga 1200 would have been to have it launched in October 1990. It was still a fairly decent home computer system in late 1992 for the price (386's and Mac LC/LCIIs for example) still couldn't get to its core price (although add in something like a multisync monitor and hard disk and you're not far off a bottom end 386SX).

But it was definitely squeezed out, as it could never compete on price compared to the SNES / Mega Drive on the console end and then for around £800 you could have a Windows 386SX VGA PC. Once you wanted to use the A1200 for any pleasant home computer usage e.g. WordWorth definitely benefited from a hard disk - see the Computer Combat/Innovations pack for example, plus you'd want a half decent monitor (CBM 1942 perhaps) so you didn't have to type in 640x256 with distorted fonts... And that would have been say £700 in late '93. The Windows PC doesn't look a bad option especially if it had MS Works included... Sad as though that is.

But a 68EC020 14MHz 2MB machine in the latter part of 1993 for £299 was a bit of a steal still. But then the Amiga never did really have a chance even on price, see Amiga 1000 vs IBM AT vs Macintosh Plus...

For all it's flaws, it's a flawed gem, and I remember picking up my first A1200 in 1996 having worked my knuckles and shoulders to the bone (I had a massive 250 free local newspaper round back in the day which I had to do over 2 nights... including inserting all the leaflets, all for £9 a week at minimum... bloody Gazette and Advertiser lol) and it was such a big improvement over my A600 even in its stock.

I sort of have forgotten about the what if, and tend to look at the Amiga in isolation to everything else, because we all know how it ended up, but without it, well...I'd probably still be making a living cleaning rooms in the Brighton Travelodge, as it happens, given I made my first HTML code in 1995 thanks to CU Amiga and had to test it on a friend's Pentium 75 (AMosaic on a 1MB A600... hahahaha) and although my photography is what really did it, without those web skills I'd not have the head over my roof and food in the oven.

No apologies for my whimsy it's just who I am

So I think apart from the timing of its release, the Amiga 1200 was a good solid system but trapped in the middle. Imagine the AGA games we would have had in late 92 with developers getting a better handle on the quirks and nuances. Looking back I'm actually quite surprised at how badly AGA was taken advantage of even by late 1993, I think in Amiga Format's CD32 special which I re-read recently it said there were only 12 AGA games by August 1993! It was late 1994 before we started seeing things like Banshee and Beneath and Steel Sky, or even the slightly cut back Lion King port, but by then the Amiga was sadly commercially dead to the mainstream publishers.

Still, can't help but love that last gem from George Robbins really Even though I've not had an Amiga 1200 since mid-2000!
Marle is offline  
Old 30 July 2018, 22:19   #75
AdvanceFollow
Registered User

 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Sweden
Age: 34
Posts: 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorf View Post
The 1200 would have needed to be "DOOM"-proof.
So a 68LC030 with 28MHz would be the minimum.
To make use of that speed it would have needed some FastRAM.
1.5MB Chip and 0.5MB Fast

A chunky 8-Bit mode would have been great, but even without it could have been enough for a couple of years.
Of course AAA would have been the best option... but is was not ready, while a stronger CPU with FastRAM was available and C= had already plenty of experience handling it.

Yes, it would be more expensive, that is why the A500 should have stayed as (ultra) low-cost option.
With a more expensive system, Commodore would either have sold fewer of them or had to reduce their profit margins, which would just have accelerated their demise. The A1200 needed to be a mass market machine with maximized profit margins.

Also, I'm not sure the above system would really have been "Doom proof". My A1200 had a 40 MHz '030 and 16 MB of Fast RAM, and it really struggled in 3D games using large windows and 1x1 pixels. It would have taken at least a 50 MHz '030, maybe a 25 MHz '040 and at least 2+2 MB RAM to make Doom run well.

Keep in mind that Doom came out in late 1993, the A1200 in 1992. The best way to fight off "Doom envy" would have been if the A1200 had come out in 1991 or even 1990 instead. Then it would have arrived in a landscape dominated by the SNES and Mega Drive and scrolling 2D games, instead of coming out at the dawn of 3D graphics. By 1993-1994, it would IMO have taken something completely different than a slightly souped up A1200, ie. AAA and RISC.
AdvanceFollow is offline  
Old 30 July 2018, 22:47   #76
rare_j
Zone Friend

rare_j's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: London
Posts: 864
Like a pincer movement, the playstation was approaching on one front, and advancing on the other were vga, windows 95 and the pentium, followed by 3dfx.
28mhz or no, even with hindsight it wasn't looking good for the old girl.
rare_j is offline  
Old 31 July 2018, 00:27   #77
Amigajay
醉拳
Amigajay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: >
Posts: 1,990
Quote:
Originally Posted by rare_j View Post
Like a pincer movement, the playstation was approaching on one front, and advancing on the other were vga, windows 95 and the pentium, followed by 3dfx.
28mhz or no, even with hindsight it wasn't looking good for the old girl.
Still was a market for a budget computer in all of that, had a £199 ocs and £399 hermes Amiga would have imo taken Commodore to the late 90s in the budget sector.
Amigajay is offline  
Old 01 August 2018, 11:03   #78
sokolovic
Registered User

sokolovic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Marseille / France
Posts: 187
The first AAA chipset had a chunky pixel mode along with the bitplan ones, 8 channels Paula, wider sprites (not sure how many hardware sprites thought...), 2 x8bits dual playfield and a faster blitter.
This is what the A1200 lacked I think.

Last edited by sokolovic; 01 August 2018 at 11:10.
sokolovic is offline  
Old 01 August 2018, 12:44   #79
roondar
Registered User

 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 644
AGA sprites where wide enough (64 pixels is plenty wide). Their two weaknesses were mainly that you couldn't display enough of them side by side and that all 16 colour sprite channels shared one 16 colour palette.
roondar is offline  
Old 02 August 2018, 21:07   #80
d4rk3lf
Registered User

d4rk3lf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Novi Sad, Serbia
Posts: 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdvanceFollow View Post
Also, I'm not sure the above system would really have been "Doom proof". My A1200 had a 40 MHz '030 and 16 MB of Fast RAM, and it really struggled in 3D games using large windows and 1x1 pixels.
I am a complete hardware noob...

Would it be possible for Commodore at that time to develop custom chip that would help 3D stuff run much faster on (slower) Motorola processors? Something better then Akkiko. Maybe something like PS 1 had.

Amiga always had that multitask multiprocessor advantage, and some custom stuff that could push 3D, could be at that time something revolutionary.
d4rk3lf is online now  
 


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
ACA 1221 unlocked to 28Mhz but only running at 17Mhz markpaterson support.Hardware 19 20 April 2016 21:17
For Sale: Boxed Very White A1200 + Mtec 1230 28mhz 8MB Wasagi MarketPlace 32 10 August 2010 00:21
MTEC Viper 68030/28mhz, opinions? illy5603 support.Hardware 19 07 September 2008 00:46
Blizzard 1220 28Mhz for sale On AMIBAY adonay MarketPlace 0 27 March 2008 15:56
Viper 68030 @ 28MHz + 68332 FPU Jherek Carnelia support.Hardware 3 12 March 2002 23:44

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 03:38.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Page generated in 0.09260 seconds with 13 queries