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      /  What should "entry level hardware" be like?
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PhantomInterrogative 
What should "entry level hardware" be like?
Posted on 23-Jan-2006 23:55:41
#1 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 10-Sep-2004
Posts: 741
From: The Interrogative Lair

Good evening fellow Amigos y Amigas,

With many of the recent threads concerning choice of processor, processor speed, and processor price, I did some thinking about Commodore's hardware strategy. Before the 1994 bankruptcy, many Amigans criticized C= for selling underpowered machines in comparison to Apple. When Apple was selling 68040 based Macs, C= was still selling 7mhz 68000 machines. Although I used to criticize C= for selling underpowered machines, I no longer do so.

Commodore was selling "entry level" machines which could be expanded at a later date with 3rd party hardware. This kept the price of new machines down for consumers and created a market for hardware manufacturers to make accelerators.

Taking into consideration how responsive and fast-feeling my 25mhz A4000 was up to the time I got rid of it in 2004, I really do not need something with 2.04ghz minimum specs. I would be happy with keeping an entry level machine at 800mhz or lower (I currently own an 800mhz A1XE. It is more power than I know what to do with.). Why not sell a sub $500 underpowered AmigaOne?

My question to the community is, "Why shouldn't hardware manufacturers (Troika, Eyetech, etc.) make 'underpowered yet expandable' systems to keep consumer costs down and to create new hardware/accelerator markets?"
Give me the pros and cons if you have them.

-The Phantom "?"

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Samwel 
Re: What should "entry level hardware" be like?
Posted on 24-Jan-2006 0:12:00
#2 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 7-Apr-2004
Posts: 3396
From: Sweden

@PhantomInterrogative

Well it was a different market back then. The A1000 was the best when it came.
The custom chips made it possible for Amiga's to stay ahead for several more
years, not needing a faster CPU than the competition.

Nowadays we have no edge so making a entry level machine will atract Amiga
freaks and maybe some old users. It will NOT atract any huge numbers of new
users.

$500 is a REALLY EXPENSIVE entry level machine! They need to have a complete
Amy'05 board+OS4+case & stuff ready for less than $350 to atract the masses.
And even then it will need several millions spent on PR.
That may not even be enough as we have no important software available yet,
like a office package and a browser.

Sorry, but that's the truth. If nothing dramtic happens we will always be a hobby
computer that's expensive to buy and probably never go beyond 5000-10000 users.

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PhantomInterrogative 
Re: What should "entry level hardware" be like?
Posted on 24-Jan-2006 6:10:27
#3 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 10-Sep-2004
Posts: 741
From: The Interrogative Lair

Good evening Samwel,

No offense, but to claim both that an entry level Amiga will not attract huge numbers and that an Amiga would have to be less than $350 to attract new users seems contradictory. Could you explain better what you mean in noncontradictory terms?

$500 may be expensive for a Dell PC; yet, $500 for a full system is inexpensive in relation to current Amiga prices. It would be great to pay under $350 for a full Amiga system. Considering the scalability of OS4.0, it should run on such a budget system.

Your point about PR and entry level price is well taken.

-The Phantom "?"

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AmiGame 
Re: What should "entry level hardware" be like?
Posted on 24-Jan-2006 8:44:11
#4 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 23-Mar-2004
Posts: 3599
From: Peterborough, UK, Planet Earth (I think...)

@PhantomInterrogative

YES, as I mentioned in other threads, we need a "cheap" But upgradable Entry-Level-System with for example an upgradable cpu (sold with a G3, you could upgrade it to a G4, maybe even a G5...)

@PhantomInterrogative & Samwel

Quote:
pay under $350 for a full Amiga system.

Can you find a Mac under $350 (not second-hand, no Ebay,...)?

PS: Yes you can find a PC for less than $350... You can also find that an MP3 Player is cheaper... Or even a kg of Orange (or bananas if you prefer). So don't compare PPC System with x86 system...

Jerry

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- AOS has been ported to ex-86 ! It's called AROS and WinUAE... Or E-UAE on Linux !

- A1XE-G4 up and runing with:
512MB Ram / 200GB and 80GB HardDisks on Sii0680.
AOS4 Final Update / AmiZilla 0.1 Alpha

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BigGun 
Re: What should "entry level hardware" be like?
Posted on 24-Jan-2006 9:04:17
#5 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 9-Aug-2005
Posts: 438
From: Germany (Black Forest)

@PhantomInterrogative

Hi Phantom,

I agree with you.
I think there are two ways to sell more Amigas and to attract users.

a) Selling really inexpensive entry machines
b) Selling super high powered machines to geeks

Super high powered machines like a quad CPU G5 are not usefull for AmigaOS.
As the OS is not designed to make use of more than one CPU.
The fastest possible machine for Amiga would be a sub 2,0 Ghz G4.

But I think going for rather inexpensive entry machines could be the key to success.

Actually I think something like the EFIKA from Genesi. - is a splentid idea.
EFIKA WEBSITE

- Its real cute and small.
- To many people such a small computer as very appealing, even as 2nd or 2rd computer.
- 128 MB of ram and 466 Mhz should be plenty for AmigaOS.
- IMHO Genesi aims to sell them for below $100 when going into bigger production.
That would be reasonabale cheap to call them entry systems.


Just my 2cents

Gunnar

Last edited by BigGun on 24-Jan-2006 at 09:05 AM.

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AmiGame 
Re: What should "entry level hardware" be like?
Posted on 24-Jan-2006 9:27:14
#6 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 23-Mar-2004
Posts: 3599
From: Peterborough, UK, Planet Earth (I think...)

@BigGun

Quote:
466 Mhz should be plenty for AmigaOS

PDA HP 4700 I believe has a 600MHz cpu... If it could run AOS4 it would be great !

Jerry

_________________
- AOS has been ported to ex-86 ! It's called AROS and WinUAE... Or E-UAE on Linux !

- A1XE-G4 up and runing with:
512MB Ram / 200GB and 80GB HardDisks on Sii0680.
AOS4 Final Update / AmiZilla 0.1 Alpha

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BigGun 
Re: What should "entry level hardware" be like?
Posted on 24-Jan-2006 14:49:32
#7 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 9-Aug-2005
Posts: 438
From: Germany (Black Forest)

@Jerryuk007

You joker you! :)
The PDA has no PowerPC CPU.

Our thread was talking about HW on which OS 4 could run.

Cheers
Gunnar

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olegil 
Re: What should "entry level hardware" be like?
Posted on 24-Jan-2006 15:09:05
#8 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 22-Aug-2003
Posts: 5886
From: Work

@BigGun

It seems EVERY ####ING THREAD has to fall back to the same discussion, so why bother?

It's obvious that noone can fulfill the needs of every Amigan, so I personally am not going to try. If I fulfill my own needs and wishes, then I'm happy

_________________
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wegster 
Re: What should "entry level hardware" be like?
Posted on 24-Jan-2006 20:05:07
#9 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 29-Nov-2004
Posts: 8554
From: RTP, NC USA

@olegil

Quote:
If I fulfill my own needs and wishes, then I'm happy


Don't you know that can make you go blind? :

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yoodoo2 
Re: What should "entry level hardware" be like?
Posted on 24-Jan-2006 20:21:01
#10 ]
Super Member
Joined: 4-Aug-2003
Posts: 1322
From: Stourbridge, UK

I think we should forget about marketing OS4 as a computer towards anything but the ex-amiga/retro market.

For wider penetration (oh er missus) think 250 dvd recorder/pvr thingy that can launch 100 classic amiga games from disc or browse the web or do some officy stuff. Files would be saved to USB stick. Keyboard/pointy device via USB.

Ah, we don't have browsers or office stuff. Hmm problem.

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wegster 
Re: What should "entry level hardware" be like?
Posted on 24-Jan-2006 20:35:09
#11 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 29-Nov-2004
Posts: 8554
From: RTP, NC USA

@BigGun

Quote:
Actually I think something like the EFIKA from Genesi. - is a splentid idea.
EFIKA WEBSITE

- Its real cute and small.
- To many people such a small computer as very appealing, even as 2nd or 2rd computer.
- 128 MB of ram and 466 Mhz should be plenty for AmigaOS.
- IMHO Genesi aims to sell them for below $100 when going into bigger production.
That would be reasonabale cheap to call them entry systems.


AFAIK EFIKA doesn't have video in it's current incarnation, so isn't overly useful for this purpose. A cool little board, no doubt, and might be fun to do some playing on Linux with, but without video and additional ports...

@other comments
It's not too realistic to expect a system for < $500 at this point that can compete with modern x86 systems, or even Macs, while not running on commodity hardware.

Failing being 'competitive' hardware-wise in the near future, the next best thing, or maybe first, is inexpensive. Something like the Efika with video/keyboard/mouse/sound etc, or the ACK, is hte best case we can expect. Again, I think anything < $500 USD is a fair starting point- not for 'explosive' growth, but to at least increase the numbers over today, get OS4 out the door, and then see what can be done with respect to commodity hardware, ports, etc.

I think the ACK (or if a system similar to Efika with changes was to become available and run OS4) is as close to ideal as we can hope for for 'cheap and reasonably ok for now,' and something liek the Troika or Peg2 (which we know won't happen now anyway..), IF they arrive, are good enough for 'higher priced/specs.' Only once the market expands enough, or gains enough money or traction to allow investment, do I think we'll have a chance of seeing anything reasonably high end at the prices most are saying they want.

Porting to commodity hardware is the way around that, but I expect that still requires some $$ and time to see happen, so failing either having the $$ right now, the above is likely what's needed...hopefully followed by some ports.

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lafranka 
Re: What should "entry level hardware" be like?
Posted on 24-Jan-2006 20:41:27
#12 ]
Member
Joined: 9-Jun-2005
Posts: 17
From: Unknown

Hi,

I think, now (in 2006) the minimum specs for a lowend-Amiga should be:

- a Mini-ITX-Board with the following components onboard
- G4 1,0-1,1GHz (MPC7447A)
- 512 MB Ram (upgradable)
- Radeon 9xx0 onboard, 128 MB VMEM
- Sound/Ethernet/USB2 onboard
- 1 free PCI-Slot
- an 80 GB HD
- a slimline CD/DVD/writer
- in a nice, small and nearly noiseless (Amiga-only-) desktopcase.

And the minimum specs for a highend Amiga should be:

- a micro ATX-board
- G4 1,6-1,7 GHz (MPC7448 - now available, 376$ excl. FAT!)
- 1 or 2 GB Ram
- Radeon 9800 (on a card, 128 MB VMEM)
- Sound / Ethernet / USB2.0 onboard
- 3 free PCI-Slots
- a 200 or 250 GB HD
- a slimline CD/DVD drive
- a slimline DR/DVD-writer
- in a nice, small (Amiga-only-) towercase

Greetings from Germany.

Last edited by lafranka on 24-Jan-2006 at 08:45 PM.
Last edited by lafranka on 24-Jan-2006 at 08:43 PM.

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Samwel 
Re: What should "entry level hardware" be like?
Posted on 25-Jan-2006 0:11:29
#13 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 7-Apr-2004
Posts: 3396
From: Sweden

@PhantomInterrogative

Well I wrote it a bit strange didn't I..

What I mean is:

* Amiga can't succeed without any major software (like office & browser).
* Amiga's can't be "as cheap as" PC's, they need to be cheaper to have edge.
* Or have a killer application that does not exist on other platforms.
* Or have killer hardware that people would die for.
* Even with all this it would need alot of PR to succeed.

What I also meant was that MAYBE they can have a semi success if they sell
the new Amy with a complete OS4 install and case & stuff for sub $350.
I really don't know how many of the +4 million ex Amigans that are willing to
go back to Amigas these days. Many of those users are so called power users.
They want the absolute best and Amiga can't offer that today.

Last edited by Samwel on 25-Jan-2006 at 12:18 AM.

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Samwel 
Re: What should "entry level hardware" be like?
Posted on 25-Jan-2006 0:17:28
#14 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 7-Apr-2004
Posts: 3396
From: Sweden

@wegster

Hey we're not talking realistic here, we're talking Amiga

Realistically Amiga should have died long ago.
Realistically Amiga have NO chance at a comeback.
Realistically a sub $500 is needed for it to sell, above that will only actract
the usual crowd of Amiga freaks,

Last edited by Samwel on 25-Jan-2006 at 01:16 AM.
Last edited by Samwel on 25-Jan-2006 at 12:19 AM.

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Colin_Camper 
Re: What should "entry level hardware" be like?
Posted on 25-Jan-2006 0:40:48
#15 ]
Super Member
Joined: 6-Jul-2003
Posts: 1188
From: Unknown

@PhantomInterrogative

Quote:
"Why shouldn't hardware manufacturers (Troika, Eyetech, etc.) make 'underpowered yet expandable' systems to keep consumer costs down and to create new hardware/accelerator markets?"


Indeed!

I will be happy with a 1 watt/400Mhz Powervixxen as long as it has a decent graphics option and a decent IDE. USB would be nice as well.

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Colin_Camper 
Re: What should "entry level hardware" be like?
Posted on 25-Jan-2006 0:43:11
#16 ]
Super Member
Joined: 6-Jul-2003
Posts: 1188
From: Unknown

@Samwel

Say Buddy,

If you are going to use the word 'Realistically' several times - could you please run it past a spell checker first!

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Samwel 
Re: What should "entry level hardware" be like?
Posted on 25-Jan-2006 1:17:29
#17 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 7-Apr-2004
Posts: 3396
From: Sweden

@Colin_Camper

I thought I misspelled that word Thanks for telling me!

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PhantomInterrogative 
Re: What should "entry level hardware" be like?
Posted on 25-Jan-2006 8:22:42
#18 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 10-Sep-2004
Posts: 741
From: The Interrogative Lair

@Samwel

Thank you for your clarification. My original question was dealing with things from a hardware marketing perspective. In this respect, I think we are on the same page (Amiga hardware needs to have an attractive price to succeed). If we were to discuss software, though, that would be another thread. In one respect, even in the C= days, Amiga did not have great software support; however, C= still sold machines.

-The Phantom "?"

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BigGun 
Re: What should "entry level hardware" be like?
Posted on 25-Jan-2006 9:03:05
#19 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 9-Aug-2005
Posts: 438
From: Germany (Black Forest)

@wegster

Quote:
AFAIK EFIKA doesn't have video in it's current incarnation, so isn't overly useful for this purpose. A cool little board, no doubt, and might be fun to do some playing on Linux with, but without video and additional ports...

Failing being 'competitive' hardware-wise in the near future, the next best thing, or maybe first, is inexpensive. Something like the Efika with video/keyboard/mouse/sound etc, or the ACK, is hte best case we can expect.


Hi Wegster,

The EFIKA has a PCI/AGP bridge.
So you can plug in a normal GFX card with VIDEO-IN and -OUT if you want
just like you can in the AmigaONE or Pegasos.
The EFIKA board is about as big as a normal PCI card,
the GFX card will lay on top of it - like a sandwich.

So it has sound and video, and you can of course attach mouse and keyboard too.

I'm not saying that the EFIKA is the best AMIGA that I can imagine,
but its that type of entry level hardware which could really sell well.
It could be sold as Setop Box and Digital Video Recorder, for example.
People could use it to watch TV, sort their Digital images, read email etc.
If you do this with AmigaOS inside then you can smuggle a huge number of Amiga into the homes.
Add some games etc...

People are saying that our main problem is that we have not many applications.
Thats true.
But if you sell entry level hardware like the Efika as commodity (VCR) with AmigaOS installed to
many thousands of homes then you have created a market where it will pay of to again develop
software for. And quickly we will have more software.


Cheers
Gunnar

Last edited by BigGun on 25-Jan-2006 at 09:15 AM.

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PhantomInterrogative 
Re: What should "entry level hardware" be like?
Posted on 25-Jan-2006 9:26:42
#20 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 10-Sep-2004
Posts: 741
From: The Interrogative Lair

@Samwel

A little over ten years ago, many people thought that the automobile market in the US could not allow for anyone other than GM, Ford, Chrysler, Honda, Toyota and Nissan. Despite such discouragement, Daihatsu, Hyundai, Kia, and Daiwoo broke into the US auto market. I haven't seen a Daihatsu or Daiwoo in a while, but Kia and Hyundai are still around. It is possible to break into a seemingly impregnable market; thus, it is not unrealistic to think that Amiga could make a comeback. A better description for the Amiga's comeback is "unlikely but possible."

-The Phantom "?"

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