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Old 12 November 2002, 07:43   #1
th4t1guy
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So what is the point of AmigaOne???

I've been reading about the AmigaOne, and I don't really get what the whole idea behind it is. At first I thought it was AmigaOS 4, but that's not even finished yet! So is it the AmigaOne motherboard? According to this site the only difference between an AmigaOne and a Teron CX is a chip that lets you run AmigaOS 4.
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Old 12 November 2002, 14:50   #2
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Quote:
I've been reading about the AmigaOne, and I don't really get what the whole idea behind it is. At first I thought it was AmigaOS 4, but that's not even finished yet!
AmigaOS4 is the important idea behind it. An AmigaOne will be a computer that runs AmigaOS4.

There are two reasons why the AmigaOne is already on sale, with OS4 not available yet:

1. There was a lot of demand. People wanted to have it as soon as possible, no matter if they would have to run Linux until AmigaOS4 arrives.

2. There's a competitor (Thendic/Bplan and their Pegasos motherboard). Both the AmigaOne and the Pegasos target the same market, and this market is (initially) very small. Whatever product coms first will have an important advantage. Both motherboards are finished, but the accompanying operating systems are both still in beta stage. Thendic decided to sell their Pegasos boards with a beta OS, that decision forced Eyetech to react. Eyetech now sells their AmigaOne systems with Linux.

Quote:
So is it the AmigaOne motherboard? According to this site the only difference between an AmigaOne and a Teron CX is a chip that lets you run AmigaOS 4.
Oh, this is going to be a loong posting ;-)

MAI manufactures a northbridge chip called "ArticiaS". The main target of the ArticiaS are embedded platforms, but it is also suited for desktop computers with PPC CPUs - actually it is the only PPC compliant northbridge avalailable in sufficient quantities (both the A1 and the Pegasos use the ArticiaS).

To provide embedded system developers with a development platform, and to give them a chance to make themselves familiar with the ArticiaS, MAI offers socalled "evaluation boards" (the "TeronCX" and TeronPX") that were designed for MAI by a third party. These evaluation boards had several disadvantages:

- produced in very low quantities (MAI is not interested in selling computers to endusers)
- very expensive ($3900) due to the low production runs
- extremely crappy BIOS (a Softex BIOS from 1995)
- only OS running on them was a very old TurboLinux distro
- not tested sufficiently (see below)
- only available in the US

Now Eyetech enters the scene - they're searching for a PPC motherboard design, as their original designers (Escena) are not interested anymore. Eyetech discover the TeronCX/PX evaluation boards and get in contact with MAI. The two companies enter a partnership that offers substantial benefits for both partners:

Eyetech are allowed to take the TeronCX/PX designs and ask the third party that originally designed them to make a few minor modifications (e.g. implement a newer southbridge chip). They now have a motherboard that exactly fits their needs and can sell it as the "AmigaOne".

The benefits for Eyetech should be obvious (they get their hands on a PPC motherboard design). But there are benefits for MAI too: MAI will be able to grab some AmigaOne motherboards and sell them as TeronCX/PX systems. These new Teron boards are a lot cheaper now ($500), due to the fact that the AmigaOne motherboards are produced in much higher quantities. Eyetech establish a beta tester program that puts a first production run of these boards under heavy testing (in fact, a bug in the ArticiaS chip was discoverd) and ports lots of up-to-date linux distros (I think there are 6 distributions available now). Additionally, Eyetech will make sure that the AmigaOne boards have a decent BIOS. And last but not least, Eyetech will act as a European distributor for TeronCX/PX motherboards.

So: Yes, the TeronCX/PX are identical to the AmigaOne - that's because they're a combination of the original Teron designs and Eyetech's efforts.

I'm not trying to tell you that Eyetech are the designers of the A1 - they aren't. I just think they found a pretty clever solution to provide me with exactly the hardware I desperately needed. It's completely irrelevant to me, if Ronald McDonald designed these boards. They're standard off-the-shelf hardware that does exactly what it's supposed to do.
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Old 12 November 2002, 17:20   #3
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Korodny, you wrote "actually it is the only PPC compliant northbridge avalailable in sufficient quantities".

So I have some questions: Where get Apple their chipsets from ? Have they designed and produce their own chipsets ?
And a few years ago there were apple clones available, where do they come from and are this manufactors all gone ?
And maybe wouldn't it be possible to buy mainboards from apple for use in the AmigaOne, they have already newer hardware available and nice notebooks.
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Old 12 November 2002, 18:18   #4
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Just a question, I thought eyetech have been working on the Amiga 1 for at least 3 years, they even showed up some funky motherboard some years ago. You mean they droped this development when Escena dropped out and just went for the PPC board that was out there?
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Old 12 November 2002, 19:50   #5
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if I remember correctly, and Korodny will correct me if I am wrong anyway , AmigaOS 4 might run on Macs.
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Old 12 November 2002, 20:23   #6
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@Korodny

So if MAI is selling their boards for $500, which is considerably cheaper than the AmigaOne board, you could buy one of those instead, and when OS 4 comes out, apply the dongel to that machine?

It's been hard trying to find out any info on what AmigaOS 4 really will be. I saw the screenshots, but they don't tell you a whole lot, except that their implementing new pyrotechnics (transparent menus, oooh!). Does anyone know what the focus of AmigaOS 4 is? What will you be able to do with it, will there be a web browser, ect.?

It would also be interesting to hear exactly how well linux runs on these machines. Does anyone know if someone is creating a specific distro that installs easily?
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Old 12 November 2002, 23:24   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Akira
if I remember correctly, and Korodny will correct me if I am wrong anyway , AmigaOS 4 might run on Macs.
Nope It doesn´t as well as MacOS won´t run on an AmigaOne
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Old 13 November 2002, 00:31   #8
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MacOS runs on PPC Amigas using that ppclinux emulator that Korodny mentioned before

Thanks for clearing that up though!
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Old 13 November 2002, 01:03   #9
Korodny
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@rgen:

Quote:
So I have some questions: Where get Apple their chipsets from ? Have they designed and produce their own chipsets ?
Actually I'm not even sure what northbridges Apple uses. But if their Northbridges are no a custom design, they're probably of the "works with both x86 and PPC" kind and their manufacturer won't even consider production runs below 500.000. You get into real trouble nowadays if you are trying to produce hardware in limited quantities.

Quote:
And a few years ago there were apple clones available, where do they come from and are this manufactors all gone ?
"A few years ago" means "heavily outdated". There are PPC motherboards out there (even IBM has a few designs available), but lack an AGP slot, only have ATA-33 etc... And none of them has USB.

Quote:
And maybe wouldn't it be possible to buy mainboards from apple for use in the AmigaOne,
I doubt that. And even if Apple would do this, the resulting computers would be damn expensive.

Quote:
they have already newer hardware available
"Newer"? Don't think so. I'm no Apple expert, but I don't think their motherboards do any fancy stuff the A1 doesn't...

Quote:
and nice notebooks.
Well, that's true. And everybody within the OS4 team is quite aware of that fact. Let's wait and see, miracles happen (sometimes)...

@cv643d:

Quote:
Just a question, I thought eyetech have been working on the Amiga 1 for at least 3 years, they even showed up some funky motherboard some years ago. You mean they droped this development when Escena dropped out and just went for the PPC board that was out there?
Eyetech don't have any hardware engineers. They are a "solution provider" (not sure if this is the correct english term). If they need to have something designed, they simply contract external developers.

About four years ago, Escena (who previously did contract work for various Amiga companies including Villagetronic (IIRC) and DCE) announced the "Brainstormer": A G3/G4 CPu card for A3000/4000 computers that would fit into the Zorro3 slot of these machines (don't ask - the concept made somewhat sense, actually). However, the brainstormer was heavily delayed (while all other announced G3/G4 cards were cancelled or the companies behind them went bancrupt).

When Amino took over Amiga Inc. in early 2000, Eyetech wanted to provide a sensible upgrade path for current Amiga-Owners, hence the original "AmigaOne1200/4000" design was born. As Escena's Brainstormer implementation pretty much fitted Eyetech's requirements, they were contracted to expand the design to fit Eyetech's special needs (though the original design was not even working yet).

At that time, an AmigaOne was a computer with a x86/PPC/Mips/... CPU running AmigaDE natively. Eyetech's plan was to build such a computer (with a G3/G4 CPU), but with a 68k emulator integrated in the BIOS, and a connector for classic Amiga motherboards. Such a computer would have been able to boot OS 3.9 (still 68k, just executed by the onboard 68k emulator). It would have been faster than a classic Amiga, and it would have had PCI + AGP slots, USB etc. At the same time it would have been able to boot AmigaDE, which was supposed to be the path towards the future.

Late 2000/early 2001 (the Brainstormer/A1 design is still not working), Amiga Inc. decides that they need to continue development of AmigaOS (something they completely refused to do until then), The idea of a PPC native AmigaOS4 is born. An AmigaOne is now defined as "a PPC computer running AmigaOS4". Eyetech have to adopt their plans (slightly) - the AmigaOne1200/4000 will now run AmigaOS4.

In spring 2001 a first batch of AmigaOne boards gets produced - they are still not working. Escena keeps promising that the boards will be finished on time. More and more people (including Amiga Inc., Haage&Partner (who were supposed to do OS4), Hyperion...) start to loose their faith in Escena and apparently, the guys simply stopped working on the A1 design at that time (without telling anybody).

In September/October 2001, Eyetech finally realise that Escena will never deliver anything, drops them and starts searching for alternatives. A few months later, they come up with the slightly modified TeronCX/PX design.

I hope that answers your question

@Akira + RetroMan:

Well, Akira said "might run on Macs", indeed OS4 "might" get ported to Macs...

@th4t1guy:

Quote:
So if MAI is selling their boards for $500, which is considerably cheaper than the AmigaOne board, you could buy one of those instead, and when OS 4 comes out, apply the dongel to that machine?
OS4.0 (note the "dot zero" - no decision yet for following versions) will only be available bundled with hardware. You won't be able to buy it seperately. Anyway, you wouldn't have much luck applying the dongle, so you'd have to use a cracked version anyway.

Actually, you identified one of the reasons (one, there are lots more) for the dongle scheme: If you could buy a Teron board and run OS4 on it, nobody would buy an AmigaOne. If Eyetech would be faced with such a situation, they wouldn't produce the AmigaOne at all. No AmigaOnes mass-produced = no cheap TeronCX/PX boards = no reason to buy OS4. See the problem?

Quote:
Does anyone know what the focus of AmigaOS 4 is?
http://os.amiga.com/os4

The focus is to make an up-to-date version (PPC native, memory protection, virtual memory and one hell of a fast kernel) of the world's best operating system. I already love it.

Yes, there will be a browser (Ibrowse 2.3 SE).

Quote:
It would also be interesting to hear exactly how well linux runs on these machines. Does anyone know if someone is creating a specific distro that installs easily?
That is already done. RedHat, Suse, Mandrake, Gentoo, TurboLinux, YellowDog. Pick your favourite. Additionally, MacOnLinux is working fine.
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Old 13 November 2002, 01:51   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Korodny
Well, Akira said "might run on Macs", indeed OS4 "might" get ported to Macs...
[...]
Additionally, MacOnLinux is working fine.
Am I a good padawan or not? even while I hate this whole thing I learned properly what's it all about

Thanks Korodny-sensei
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Old 16 November 2002, 19:58   #11
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Korodny, a masterly job of explaining.

http://www.eyetech.co.uk/search.php?...SearchCat=AMA1

My excuse for not getting one is; I've just got a house and lost my job!
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Old 17 November 2002, 20:22   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Korodny
I doubt that. And even if Apple would do this, the resulting computers would be damn expensive.
Oh really? I don't agree

(A post from ann

GBP1,399 for the 800MHz G4 "power" system.
AmigaOne-XE (7451 G4 cpu @800MHz)
80GB HD
DVD-Rom
CDRewriter drive
512MB memory
CPU Cooler
Floppy Drive
Soundblaster Live sound card
ATI Radeon 8500 graphics card
PS/2 multimedia keyboard
Optical, RF wireless, rechargeable mouse
7-bay Midi ATX tower
SuSE Linux PPC Distribution inc manuals
LinuxPPC & UAE preinstalled
OS4-enabled BIOS (& OS4 license with Earlybird systems ordered and paid for before 31 December 2002)
Onboard ethernet and USB
Assembled, tested and burnt-in

Or, for GBP50 LESS, you can buy an Apple G4 Mac with DUAL 867MHz G4s -
Dual 867MHz PowerPC G4
256K L2 cache
& 1MB L3 cache/processor
133Mhz System Bus
256MB PC2100 DDR SDRAM
60GB Ultra ATA drive
DVD/CD-RW drive
NVIDIA GeForce4 MX
56K internal modem
(plus, of course, onboard USB and FiewWire plus keyboard and mouse)

Personally i prefer the mac config for the money!

Oh and there will never be AmigaOS4 for a mac so long as Amiga INC/eyetech have their ridiculous hardware licensing rules.

I think AmigaONE basically sucks. Its nothing special. Might as well buy a cheap fast x86 motherboard. The amiga to me is much more than the OS. Maybe they should have made a x86 version of the OS. Probably would sell more copies then.

I think ill stick with my a4000 and laptop.

Last edited by BuZz; 17 November 2002 at 20:28.
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Old 17 November 2002, 20:48   #13
Syko
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BuZz, gotta be honest, I'm hoping that Amiga Inc are porting to x86 64bit for the Hammer CPU's. That means we get MORE POWER than just about anything around for anywere near the price...

Picture this XP3500 64bit with 512MB DDR and a GeForce4 running AmigaOS 4 native..... oh yes, it will be mine!
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