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Old 06 July 2017, 16:49   #61
Daedalus
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Yeah, EHB was introduced as an OCS upgrade during the A1000's life cycle. Only the early models lack EHB capability, the rest of them (and I guess all A500s) should have EHB modes.

More registers etc. would have been nice, but at the time I'm not sure they thought they would be extending the chipset so drastically - at the time, it was common for computers to be pretty much redesigned between generations, so the thinking might have been that a totally new chipset would be designed as a replacement, rather than simply extending the existing one. As a result, we were left with some funky implementation details on AGA, like fetch mode and the palette banks. Still, such things aren't difficult to work around, and are pretty much invisible if you use the OS.
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Old 06 July 2017, 17:01   #62
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All A500s and A2000s had EHB.

The CrossDOS software was available for 1.x systems quite early on as a separately purchased package. Dos2Dos was also available for money. If you had the 1020 drive, the 1.2/1.3 extras disk had PC floppy reading tools on it. However I agree that we should have had 720k PC floppy support with the OS earlier on.
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Old 06 July 2017, 17:18   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daedalus View Post
More registers etc. would have been nice, but at the time I'm not sure they thought they would be extending the chipset so drastically - at the time, it was common for computers to be pretty much redesigned between generations, so the thinking might have been that a totally new chipset would be designed as a replacement, rather than simply extending the existing one.
Even more reason, therefore, to have that set in stone from the outset.

It just seems to me to be such an incredible waste not to have 64 colour registers to go along with 6 planes.

This strikes me as being something so obviously useful that i'm guessing that this was at least proposed by somebody during development but likely rejected on cost grounds.

Unfortunate.

B
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Old 06 July 2017, 18:36   #64
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the interlace mode annoyed me alot too. before i got my a500 i saw an atari st with it's crisp black and white monitor.
this was out of this world.

even while most developer did it's best to create GUIs for the highres mode,
I think it never came close to the look of those "black and white" application on the AtariST.

i only was using a TV - but i wonder whether there was a technical way to get 640x400 resolution non interlaced
with standard tv displays - without scandoubler/flickerfixers? lower framerate but then non-interlaced?

and why they didnt introduced a standard file requester from the get go ...
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Old 06 July 2017, 19:19   #65
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Amiga architecture was defined in 82, actively developed in 83, stopped in summer 84 and restarted in late 84 for the transformation in a RGB computer.

This explains some of the limits in the chipset. For example Lorraine was supposed to ship with 32KB of RAM. Even 6 bitplanes and 32 colors looks overkill in this context.

Regarding the registers, one of the limits is the number of pins on the original Agnus (and the other chips). It had to fit in a 48 pin package. With this limit the RGA bus was constrained to 8 bit. 256 registers.

The original team was wise enough to leave the CLUT at the end of the registers address space. Was ECS that put new registers after the CLUT breaking forward compatibility with bigger CLUT. They should had add a new pin to the RGA bus and respin all the 3 chips.

So, IMO, the Amiga limitations are mostly due to the rush to complete it when it was Lorraine, with the focus on being a personal computer in the first years and then we the substantial lack of R&D after the release of the A1000.
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Old 06 July 2017, 19:58   #66
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the interlace mode annoyed me alot too. before i got my a500 i saw an atari st with it's crisp black and white monitor.
this was out of this world.
Yeah, the crisp display was nice alright... But it lacked colour, so you were choosing one or another.

Quote:
i only was using a TV - but i wonder whether there was a technical way to get 640x400 resolution non interlaced
with standard tv displays - without scandoubler/flickerfixers? lower framerate but then non-interlaced?
Nope, TV is interlaced by its very nature, so you needed a special monitor to get those sorts of resolutions without flicker. The highest vertical resolution you can have is 288 lines, some of which is lost to overscan beyond the borders of the screen, hence the standard 256-line PAL resolutions. The ECS chipset can do it with a suitable monitor - Productivity mode is 640x480 non-interlaced in 4 colours, and worked on most VGA monitors of the time.

Quote:
and why they didnt introduced a standard file requester from the get go ...
Indeed. Like the Productivity modes, that came in 1990, but for a long time after that companies still decided to implement their own interface elements, I would presume for backwards compatibility reasons.
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Old 07 July 2017, 02:15   #67
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thanks for the replys.

a good monitor was a bit to much at that time, in addition to the amiga itself.
so i blame the tv standard guys

some of the early requester were only a box with a single input line,
sometimes they added some description what to do with it ....
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Old 07 July 2017, 14:36   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jope View Post
All A500s and A2000s had EHB.

The CrossDOS software was available for 1.x systems quite early on as a separately purchased package. Dos2Dos was also available for money. If you had the 1020 drive, the 1.2/1.3 extras disk had PC floppy reading tools on it. However I agree that we should have had 720k PC floppy support with the OS earlier on.
Well, as you say, Workbench came with support for PC disks at least from version 1.3. It's just that it didn't support 3,5 inch PC disks. Not that those were very common at that point in time.
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Old 07 July 2017, 15:36   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idrougge View Post
Well, as you say, Workbench came with support for PC disks at least from version 1.3. It's just that it didn't support 3,5 inch PC disks. Not that those were very common at that point in time.
Yep, it's important to remember what the copyright date for 1.3 is. :-)
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Old 07 July 2017, 20:52   #70
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In my town we had Atari, Electronic Arts, Inmac and Lotus (123 spreadsheets)
Every week or 2, me and a couple mates would visit each of these companys very late at night and dive into
the Dumpster/Skip/Bins whatever you want to call them. We would come home with anything of value but were
specifically looking for 3.5" Floppys. We got anywhere from a handfull each to 700+ each

Obviously we rejected the ones covered in coffee with 12 sugars and other shite as we found them.

Point is, 95% worked perfectly fine after a single format with verify via Xcopy (3 extra drives were handy)
Everything from the SINGLE sided Atari OS discs to the coveted TDK Gold HD

All the discs are pretty much the same just the quality of the magnetic coating.

I only noticed a drop in quality of coating AFTER the demise of Atari and CBM then more so with the rise
of the multispeed CD Burners.

I dont think there was much to fault with the 1000/500/2000
10MB harddrives were HUGE in the early days, full hight 5.25 beasts, would never have fitted in the 1000
and would have been a pretty big box next to a 1000

I do think that the 1200 should have come with the HD floppy as standard, the AGA games were not going to
work in a 500 up until now anyway!

In the early days there were alot of high persistance monitors available (the phospher takes longer to go
from light to dark) Im guessing these would have made interlaced modes work fine, may have even been a
pleasure to use but I never tried one.
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Old 10 July 2017, 16:47   #71
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I do think that the 1200 should have come with the HD floppy as standard, the AGA games were not going to
work in a 500 up until now anyway!
Yep, but adding a HD floppy was an expensive proposition. Standard HD drives were most likely cheaper than the standard DD drives fitted, but the A1200 couldn't use them since Paula couldn't handle the data rates. So the options were to develop an upgraded Paula chip (would've been nice but very expensive), use a custom HD drive like the A4000 (expensive), go with standard DD and be compatible with 99.9% of the Amiga disks out there at the time, or bodge a standard HD drive in and ignore its HD capability (the AT approach).
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Old 10 July 2017, 17:59   #72
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Ok, I didn't read this thread, so maybe this was already mentioned before, but for me the worst feature of all the early Amiga models was the limitation to display only 50 or 60 FPS on PAL or NTSC and with the terrible interlace flickering, a real pain for your eyes. Without a flickerfixer these Amigas were just unusable. I could use my A2000 with a flickerfixer, the ECS Denise and the Euro36 monitor driver at 724*512@56, but that was still far from perfect, and Commodore never fixed it! I'm very glad to use WinUAE nowadays.
At least on an A1200 you can use a VGA dongle (of course most monitors don't support 15.5 khz ).
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Old 11 July 2017, 01:15   #73
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At least on an A1200 you can use a VGA dongle (of course most monitors don't support 15.5 khz ).
the A1200 can give you 30kHz on all the usual resolutions. (dplPAL, dplNTSC)

But AGA was still missing a good productive mode.
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Old 11 July 2017, 02:33   #74
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@gorf and Thorham:
Quote:
... for me the worst feature of all the early Amiga models was the limitation to display only 50 or 60 FPS on PAL or NTSC
When I say early Amiga models I'm thinking about the A1000, A 500 and A2000. Not the A1200, the A3000 or whatever.

At those days, the Atari ST could already do 70 or 72 FPS without any flickering! (Not that much colors, of course)
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Old 11 July 2017, 13:40   #75
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Yep, but adding a HD floppy was an expensive proposition. Standard HD drives were most likely cheaper than the standard DD drives fitted, but the A1200 couldn't use them since Paula couldn't handle the data rates. So the options were to develop an upgraded Paula chip (would've been nice but very expensive), use a custom HD drive like the A4000 (expensive), go with standard DD and be compatible with 99.9% of the Amiga disks out there at the time, or bodge a standard HD drive in and ignore its HD capability (the AT approach).
Another thing that should have taken care of in the early days. HD floppy drives for the A500/2000 would have certainly helped a great deal later down the line.

More shortsightedness from the clowns running the C= show, IMO.

B
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Old 11 July 2017, 14:25   #76
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HD 3.5" floppy drives in a computer released in 1987? This drive was introduced by the IBM PS/2 that very same year, no-one else had it before that. Add to that the chipset not being able to keep up with it, I would give them a bit of slack..

There are many other things the bosses at C= did that warrant being called clowns, but this one probably is not one of them. :-)

I do agree, that just in general they should have poured more money into updating the chipset earlier. We all know how it went down with management changing all the time + the new guys killing off all old projects when they joined..
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Old 11 July 2017, 14:44   #77
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I do agree, that just in general they should have poured more money into updating the chipset earlier. We all know how it went down with management changing all the time + the new guys killing off all old projects when they joined..
That's the point. HD floppies just being another small part of it.

The Amiga represented the state of the art in personal computer technology in 1985. But the C= management didn't want to spend the dollars in maintaining that lead over the competition. We got an updated Agnus later on, so why not a revision of Paula in '87 when the drives became available? If not for the A500, then certainly for the 500+. And, I propose, absolutely for the AGA machines.

B
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Old 11 July 2017, 16:05   #78
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That's the point. HD floppies just being another small part of it.

The Amiga represented the state of the art in personal computer technology in 1985. But the C= management didn't want to spend the dollars in maintaining that lead over the competition. We got an updated Agnus later on, so why not a revision of Paula in '87 when the drives became available? If not for the A500, then certainly for the 500+. And, I propose, absolutely for the AGA machines.

B
Commodore didn't do major upgrades to the C64 for like 10 years, even if it was extremely profitable. Why they shall do them to Amiga line? The biggest upgrade C= ever did was the A3000 from A2000, which is a real beast, compared to the previous models. The previous such big upgrade of models was from the VIC-20 to the C64. especially considering the VIC-20 was created to sell the unwanted 6560 video chip (unwanted because it didn't support the already standard by the time 80 columns).
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Old 16 July 2017, 14:19   #79
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I would say : see the features of an Acorn Archimedes with either RISC OS 2 from 1989 or the latest 3.11.
See the features of the Amiga.
List Archimedes features - Amiga features.
Remove the pre emptive multitasking feature of the OS, which is good (not the OS but the pre emptive feature)
Remove the ability to set on or off the sound filter which is good
Remove the planar screenmodes which are a plus for 2D.
Remove the joystick port.
Then you have your list.

Last edited by Zarchos; 16 July 2017 at 14:24.
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Old 16 July 2017, 14:39   #80
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MIDI for sure. If the Amiga had a build in MIDI probably Cubase would have started with it.
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