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Old 18 May 2008, 10:18   #1
Cerberus73
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Big grin Amiga x86

Ok folks i know im new here, having been away from the amiga scene for years, but always kept a interest in the platform, i still have a fair collection of original amiga hardware/software and peripherals. but am frustrated to death with having to wrestle with 15 - 20 yo hardware, floppys misreading, broken etc, and having looked at the emulation situation and the new amiga hardware (amigaone, minimig etc etc) i have came to the conclusion that the scene seems to consist of two camps, the "classic" and "new" guys, ie, 68k and PPC, and the fighting with diffrent "owners" over the amiga ip, killing such projects amiathlon etc. not only this it seems any new amiga hardware because it has to be made in such small numbers will never be anywhere near cost effective, and only desirable by the most hard core, or the ones whom have a bottomless pity of cash to chuck at it.

I have a proposal, a germ of an idea, im sure others may have toyed with in the past, a "new" amiga running on commodity hardware, so no £600 motherboards, or £100 flickerfixers or other such nonsense, im meaning bog standard pc ATX and Mini ITX boards, a "custom" Amiga Micro ITX or Tower Case, new case badges etc, a remapped PC USB (PS/2 is a old old standard now!!) keyboard, with a custom "amiga" layout, ie new keycaps, with the amiga layout, and a remapped kb driver for X-amiga (minal linux to use E-UAE, and os 3.9) so as it feels just like using a "real" amiga keyboard, i propose contacting the developers of X-amiga if there seems to be enough interest in the idea to work on the keyboard remapping/driver. (my expertise is not in software, but web and graphic design) thus giving the amiga community the ability to use cheap off the shelf components, easily sourced, and far more reliable than using old patchy hardware, as there is a lot of amiga users out there that are just not interested in hacking old hardware and cludging it to get it to work, they just wanna play games, run the odd demo, and relive there youth, this kind of solution will also help the harcore users, helping to keep the platform alive, give them access to a reliable working second, fully amiga compatable computer, to supplement there aging 1200's, 4000's etc, it also gives us the choice to stay fully amiga, or to dual boot, like the intel macs can, (i read a old piece by hyperion about how dual booting would kill os4 if it was ported to x86... load of rubbish! macs are selling more than ever now!) and instead of all these so called new "amiga" boards doing the rounds, the bug ridden amigaone, the pegasos etc etc, settle on x86 hardware, and diffrentiate with design and os... hell if apple can do it! why cant we, even to a small degree, get amiga.inc involved, get the amiga back to a single platform, its easy to implement 68k emulation and power pc to a degree on fast x86 hardware, and a native version of the underlying os taking advantage of all the modern standards, SSE, PCIE, USB2, Blue Ray Drives etc for good multimedia (hell wasnt the amiga THE original multimedia comp!)

Im sorry if i have prattled on to much, but im excited by all this, its far easier to get a custom keyboard made and a funky casefront with a few badges than a whole motherboard with all the associated problems of cost, debugging, manufacture etc, and to consentrate our energy as a community into getting a working OS via X-Amiga Linux with os 3.x at present, and hopefully amiga os 4.x or 5 native to x86, hardware these days changes far to rapidly for the likes of such a small community as ourselves to keep up with new custom motherboards, the development times are unrealistic, by the time any product comes to market its woefully outdated, so x86 it is...

anyone interested in the project, let me know, especially you coding types... with C and Linux as well as Amiga experience, im working on a custom decal set for an existing PC keyboard, probably a cherry keyboard as there hard wearing, reasonably cheap, and most short run custom keyboard companys do replacement keysets. case design is a harder nut to crack, but one im sure we can overcome, getting a new faceplate made if enough are required for an existing model should be do-able. badges are easy to get done and cheap for a short run. im gonna fire up illustrator to do a few concepts, anybody else is welcome to have a go as well, and post in thread.
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Old 18 May 2008, 13:33   #2
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The way i see it that for the amount of Amiga software "that people just wanna play games, run the odd demo, and relive there youth" is too limited to go to the expense of producing hardware for. WinUae does the job very well and is a hell of a lot cheaper.
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Old 18 May 2008, 15:35   #3
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@Cerberus73

Indeed, a very ambitions project, and one will e watching with much interest

should this help for any inspiration or just to keep chugging at the project through the low points have a lookie here

I would like to thank Charlie for his help getting through the project blocks on that.
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Old 18 May 2008, 15:40   #4
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Im not thinking new hardware... theres everything we could need to interface with pretty much any bit of kit around... its more a modification of existing or future kit in a nice miggy styled casing, and a modern repro of a miggy keyboard, like those casings you used to get to stick a a1200 keyboard in for towering, but basically a pc keyboard with a more correct amiga style layout, ie help key, amiga keys etc, and a more configured version of xamiga linux, at the moment a lot of configuration of hardware is left up to the user, which is fine for the technically minded, but not so friendly for the first time linux user or those used to windows (shock horror! )

To clarify, i am proposing a custom configuration of a basic pc keyboard to be miggy friendlier, ie proper amiga keys and a remap of keyboard driver for xamiga, a custom casefront for a readily available existing pc model, or if cost is to high just some nice amiga branding, and the internals to be standard off the shelf pc parts, none of the stupidly expensive special "amiga" boards. im trying to keeps the cost of the hardware down to the 2 - 300 range for a base unit and keyboard, im not proposing building these myself for sale... just to clarify, but more a spec sheet for a "new" amiga compatable system, with similar base components, spec, and style, to be updated periodically as and when technology moves on

ah hell maybe its all just wishfull thinking...
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Old 18 May 2008, 15:57   #5
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this might peek your interest, although its highly like you have seen it already,

check this luscious linkie

and heres a couple of images for those to lazy to click.






wanna look inside? of course you do


they also have it available in black....



interesting me thinks...
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Old 18 May 2008, 16:28   #6
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Yep ive seen it Zetr0, it was seeing that which inspired me to think of a 1200 casing with pc gubbins... lovely case, and would make a great mod, one problem... lousy pc keyboard, lol i want an amiga keyboard, also i wear keyboards out FAST! i need one that is easily replacable, hense the idea of remaped keyboard with miggy keys (i was gonna buy some blank keytops and do my own water slide decals for lettering)

if only i could find one of thos micronik kits to change a A1200 keyboard into a PS2 one, or some way to hook up a 3000/4000 or CDTV keyboard to a PC either via PS/2 or USB, the nearest i can find is a keyrah, ok if i wanna build system in old 1200 casing, but crap if i wanna build a small tower or desktop with amiga keyboard, i dont want a tower and a 1200 case plonked on as a keyboard (im a stickler for neatness, and things looking "right")
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Old 18 May 2008, 17:02   #7
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@Cerberus73

indeed, the finish is the finish! I can certainly understand that.

talking about decales... heres a company that i have done business with.

http://www.craftycomputerpaper.co.uk/

you can get dry-rub on decal paper... so print out your own and rub them on. cover in a fine matt laqure / varnish, and you have a very sturdy result.

you can get bubble jet or like i got, laser compatible papers...

they also have lots of other mischivious things like heat shrinking paper, that turns to plastic. I was thinking of this for find embossed details like logos etc... lots to inspire and get the creative juices flowing...

Now insofar as using an existing A1000 / 2000 /3000/4000 keyboard, you can BUT you will need to use a PIC inbetween to read the signal in and convert it to AT/PS2 logic.. there are some plans on Aminet, and thanks to Jope i managed to find a project with brief but useful data... so i will look for it later and post it
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Old 18 May 2008, 20:39   #8
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Ah well, i decided today that i was gonna refurb a 1200 case, mouse casing, and psu covers. so headed to homebase, picked up some plasti-cote porcelian white (its got a slight grey/cream tint to it, but whilst there, seen they do a great, fantastic looking pearlesent white, man it looked fab, but i wasnt sure.. it kinda goes against my intention of keeping my project 1200 as stock as possible, but when i go for this x86 based miggy, im gonna deffo use this paint... was spying a funky new dremel as well... now i know why the girlfriend laughs when she sees me get all moist over powertools and old bits of hardware!
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Old 18 May 2008, 20:57   #9
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LOL, my wife just rolls her eyes these days LOL and tells me to just get on with....



(no thats not the sex were talking about here guys....)
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Old 19 May 2008, 00:18   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zetr0 View Post
@Cerberus73

LOL, my wife just rolls her eyes these days LOL and tells me to just get on with....



(no thats not the sex were talking about here guys....)
Oh I bet it is Zetr0


@Cerberus73, good luck with your A1200 Case Mod and such, remember to have fun and let your imagination run wild if you wish to do so
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Old 19 May 2008, 12:10   #11
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I don`t see any reason why we cant have winuae call windows code ie directX functions, thats what I`m waiting for an amiga emulator that can use all the hardware of the host machine through a coman interface.
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Old 19 May 2008, 13:49   #12
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Im waiting till june till these new intel atom boards come to market, should be plenty fast enough to run x-amiga linux and emulate a miggy at a decent pace (the atom chip is what is basically in the asus eeepc ya know the tiny laptop that runs linux, or xp from solid state disk, like a miggy with cf) the motherboards are tiny, 170 x 170 mm, chip uses less than 3w power, whole system benchmarked at 40w power draw for mobo, hdd, dvd drive, hell thats gonna be cool running! in meantime ive gotta decide, a1200 case with replaced gubbing, or a modified mini itx case with miggy branding and find a workaround to hook up a amiga big box keyboard to ps/2 or usb, i know i can use keyrah in a1200 but no easy solution for big box external keyboard.
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Old 22 May 2008, 11:46   #13
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The atom chipset isn't in the eeepc yet!

How about OpenPandora?
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Old 22 May 2008, 14:34   #14
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well one... it isnt anywhere near being a product yet... Open Pandora that is... 2 it STILL is not an Amiga Keyboard (This is vital to me) 3 I know i want small but not that small, i want something that is comfortable to type on for extended periods.
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Old 22 May 2008, 15:26   #15
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Sorry if I missed the point here, but are you just talking a custom case and keyboard?
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Old 23 May 2008, 00:42   #16
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yep just a custom case and keyboard, along with a little help from the guys at x-amiga, to ensure it has support for keyboard layout. rest of machine commodity x86 hardware, its cheap, fast and plentifull, and can range from tiny cd case sized mobo to full atx, so it can be as expandable or as compact as required.

ok i know x86 hardware is not as elegant as the amiga solution of custom co-pro's, but hey these days of dual and quad core CPU's with Graphic GPU used in conjunction (i have a rendering engine that utilises the power of the GPU along with CPU when doing 3d renders, so with clever programming its all possible)

Hell if only the complete cocks at amiga.inc would opensource the rights to the amiga OS, then we as a community could all pull together to create a modern, fast, lightweight on resources but memory protected update of the amiga os to run on current cheap hardware, apple has proved that switching over to x86 hardware and diffrentiating on design and user experience (after all new macs are just PC's in a fancy suit these days) the only diff being use of a EFI chip on board instead of bios. then we the amiga could as well
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Old 23 May 2008, 02:38   #17
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Hello Cerberus73, i read your first post just a while ago, and went thru Zetr0´s awsome 1200 x86 project! Very Cool Stuff!!! Five Stars!!!
I too stayed away from amiga scene from quite some time, still catching up, and learnning and relearnning everyday!

An "Amithlon" x86 is a good solution!

I guess One could made the case mold, and then replicate it in fiberglass.
Like this yet rough example (Be careful, there´s Madness in my thinking )
Polyurethane foam can be used to shape the case mold.
Could submerge an amiga 1200 case in liquid vaselin, to prevent the foam from glueing to it. Some pieces of plastic could also be placed with silicon glue in the case opennings to make it more like a single piece and facilitate later extraction.(Like keyboard opens, vents, back opennings, floppy drive/pcmcia etc..)
Could then use a hard paper card box to place the A1200 case in, only one part at a time...if possibly suspended in the middle with some nylons.
The Card Box will then force the foam around the Case and shape a new mold.
After two hours or so its ready for extraction.
This is also a mix of Brainstorming...but the above process works in similar things.
The nice thing is that One could make several custom fiberglass Cases with one mold.
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Old 23 May 2008, 08:54   #18
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Ah its a case (pardon the pun) of finding enough willing victims... pmsl i mean happy amiga users that would want to help for the common good, ie we pool our skills and resources, come up with a design, (one Mini ITX format, and one ATX tower) and if anyone in the forum has experience of plastic or firbreglass moulding, to fabricate clip on plastic or glasfirbre casefronts (most pc cases ive came accross have a removeable full front facia, the main chassis with the drive cages etc is just a basic steel or ally box so no point inventing the wheel twice, pick a standard plentiful, long running keyboard design (like a cherry or a logitech model, and modify it into an amiga keyboard, ie replace windows keys with Amiga keys etc
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Old 23 May 2008, 12:12   #19
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Plastic molds are very expensive, plastic needs to be injected into the mold at a very high pressure with very expensive machinery, only worth for mass production.
By the way are you familiar with the AMIKIT project?
http://amikit.amiga.sk/
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Old 24 May 2008, 23:26   #20
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Well here is my refurbed A1200 Casing, pristine in plasticote porcelian white. did not only the comp casing but mouse and psu covers.



Unsure whether to use this with the original internals, or do the whole mod for a x86 board with keyrah
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