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Old 02 June 2018, 22:34   #1
richardjdare
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Does anyone know anything about the Rambrandt graphics card?

Back in the 90s my UK newsagent used to sell the occasional American computer mag. One of these was the Amiga World Video and Animation Special issue which featured an ad for a very interesting looking graphics card; Rambrandt from Progressive Peripherals.

you can see the ad here:

On the basis of the ad, this looked like a very impressive piece of kit for the time, with what looked like a graphics processor, a maths co-processor and a 3d API.

This really got my imagination going - however, I never heard a thing about it again!

Does anyone know anything about this graphics card? It has a page on the Amiga Hardware Database, but I can't find anything else about it.
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Old 03 June 2018, 09:08   #2
Zack
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When reading about PPS itself on Amiga Hardware Database, it says that a fire burned down their factory in mid 1992, and they never recovered from that http://amiga.resource.cx/company/company.pl#pps
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Old 03 June 2018, 17:56   #3
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Ah, that's a shame. The mag is from early 1992, so I guess the fire happened just as they were in the process of releasing the card.
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Old 12 June 2018, 10:37   #4
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I suspect arson.
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Old 13 June 2018, 21:53   #5
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I suspect arson.
By Microsoft?
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Old 14 June 2018, 13:41   #6
Retro1234
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By Microsoft?
Bill Gates doused the factory in petrol?
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Old 14 June 2018, 14:45   #7
Pyromania
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It was confirmed that M$ did it!
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Old 14 June 2018, 20:23   #8
Gorf
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It was confirmed that M$ did it!
Says "Pyromania" .... nomen est omen.
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Old 19 June 2018, 01:10   #9
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Some trivia about the graphics processor from Texas Instruments seen on the Rembrant card..
The TMS 34020 (and the 34010 before it) was actually a very early "APU" or combined CPU/GPU and was frquently used in arcade 3d games.
Aparently TI was even trying to convince Nintendo & SEGA to create a 3d capable console based on this chip. (Or maybe it was games for a console someone else would have built, this part is unclear to me.) Anyway it would have been interesting..
The 34010 was released in 1986 and the 34020 in 1988 so I guess Commodore could have chosen it somewhere along the road instead of developing AAA.
Would also have been interesting... ;-)
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Old 19 June 2018, 02:35   #10
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Commodore were well aware of the TMS34010. http://amiga.resource.cx/exp/a2410
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Old 29 July 2018, 18:45   #11
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Wow... Why did they even bother with the AGA shit if that was available?

I had no idea Commodore had made graphics cards (apart from the onboard one in the A3000 obviously).
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Old 29 July 2018, 19:32   #12
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Wow... Why did they even bother with the AGA shit if that was available?

I had no idea Commodore had made graphics cards (apart from the onboard one in the A3000 obviously).
Commodore also released the "Hedley"-Controller (390562) on a card, that hat the same logic as the A2024-Monitor did internally, allowing a 1024×1024 resolution derived from OCS/ECS.
(and a mix of Hedley and Amber should have been in the A3000 to compete with other workstations from that time...)

The problem with the TMS34010 card was of course the same as with any other RTG-Card for Amigas: it was not compatible to the old gfx-modes.

So sure: they just could have stayed with ECS and build in an additional gfx-card ... but that is of course much more expensive.

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Old 29 July 2018, 21:06   #13
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the onboard one in the A3000 obviously
???

Amber? It was just a flicker fixer, nothing like a "graphics card".
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Old 29 July 2018, 22:33   #14
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Wow... Why did they even bother with the AGA shit if that was available?
Are you TRYING to troll? AGA is not "shit".
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Old 29 July 2018, 23:10   #15
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Wasn't AGA "the shit"
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Old 29 July 2018, 23:47   #16
Foebane
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At least AGA was following the same design principles of the Amiga chipset, but in 32 bits instead of just 16 bits. The things that make Amiga graphics unique is the use of bitplanes, overscan, blitter, copper and HAM.

Let me ask you this question: If all of this unique hardware design is ditched in favour of something entirely different, like a 24-bit frame buffer or a chunky display... is it still an Amiga?

Not to mention that so many graphics applications would have to be either completely rewritten or use some kind of conversion (c2p, for example). If the world of personal computers was headed for byte-per-pixel chunky graphics, then at least Commodore were headed in the right direction with the Akiko chip: keep the same hardware whilst moving to a future way of utilising graphics. And even though Akiko was not readily available everywhere, there are plenty of optimised software c2p routines in use.
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Old 30 July 2018, 00:13   #17
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???

Amber? It was just a flicker fixer, nothing like a "graphics card".
well - you can call it a farmebuffer. Many gfx-cards back than did not more.
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Old 30 July 2018, 02:31   #18
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I like the adverts on the previous page for the PRO-RAM 3000, 64mb ram expansion in 1992 for the Amiga 3000. No prices mentioned. I'm guessing the studios would have been buying those up.
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Old 30 July 2018, 03:24   #19
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Yeah ok, calling Amber a "graphics card" might be a bit of a stretch.

Honestly don't see how you can say AGA isn't shit though. Painfully slow, and pathetically low resolution screenmodes (unless you like flickering).

If AGA was half as good as what the PC's had to offer back then, the Amiga would have been far more usable and may have even stood a chance.
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Old 30 July 2018, 04:21   #20
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I agree that AGA was "shit" in some sense; the A1000 chipset was ahead of its time at introduction, while AGA was trailing behind even when it was first released.

CyberGraphX proved that chunky was perfectly usable in an Amiga environment, albeit not backwards compatible. It would have been up to Commodore to solve that.
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