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      /  THEA500 Mini is coming!
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Hypex 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 6-Jan-2022 9:16:31
#141 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 6-May-2007
Posts: 10706
From: Greensborough, Australia

@NutsAboutAmiga

Quote:
Well no, Amiga games do not busy loop x cycles to create delays, like old MSDOS games do, instead they sync to screen refresh, typical 50hz PAL, 60hz NTSC, but most game only do 25fps in double buffering, as long don’t change refresh rate you should be fine.


There is one common way to busy loop in games and that is playing modules. In the player interrupt when a one shot sound is started, it must set the sound off then wait a little while and reset the length so when it finishes it doesn't loop. They do so by waiting a few screen lines. Personally I would have issued writing code like this as an interrupt is meant to execute as fast as possible and here they busy loop!

The samples must be too short. Otherwise I don't know why it couldn't be done in the next interrupt. Set off the sound in one. Cancel it in the next. A typical PT player routine will run at 50Hz for an average module at 125 BPM. At 50 times a second, so surely there is enough time for even one short sample to play in one pulse and cancel in the next? Then again I don't think like other people. I like my code to be tight and efficient.

Last edited by Hypex on 06-Jan-2022 at 09:27 AM.

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Rob 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 6-Jan-2022 21:29:18
#142 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 20-Mar-2003
Posts: 6196
From: S.Wales

@matthey

Quote:
I guess most people only care about the eye candy unless they are low on memory. Pretty much every 68k web browser user could use more memory though. There is a more efficient competitor without the eye candy but it probably doesn't sell because Amiga users only want an eye candy frontend and don't care about what is underneath.


This is a consumer product aimed mainly at people who remember playing games on the Amiga in their younger days. Most of them will probably never used Workbench or have any idea what hardware powered it, just that he Amiga had great games. Modern consoles and retro minis have created are certain expectation in terms of presentation and ease of use and I don't see sense in Retro Games doing anything different considering the market they are aiming at.

Just accept that this isn't a product aimed at Amiga enthusiasts such as you and I.

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ferrels 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 6-Jan-2022 22:28:25
#143 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 20-Oct-2005
Posts: 898
From: Arizona

@Rob

Quote:
Just accept that this isn't a product aimed at Amiga enthusiasts such as you and I.


Well said Rob. I shouldn't be surprised anymore by the whining here since it's always the same folks on this forum who are bitching and moaning whenever another Amiga-retro product gets released that doesn't meet their every desire. They act as if someone is forcing them to buy said product. It also shouldn't surprise me that there's always one guy in particular who launches a series of monologues about why the product isn't for him and what's wrong with the product, that's so PEDANTIC and lengthy that I can only describe his posts as verbal diarrhea. But yeah, they still seem to surprise me.

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matthey 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 6-Jan-2022 23:01:34
#144 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Mar-2007
Posts: 1603
From: Kansas

Rob Quote:

This is a consumer product aimed mainly at people who remember playing games on the Amiga in their younger days. Most of them will probably never used Workbench or have any idea what hardware powered it, just that he Amiga had great games. Modern consoles and retro minis have created are certain expectation in terms of presentation and ease of use and I don't see sense in Retro Games doing anything different considering the market they are aiming at.


Some Amiga users are hoping THEA500Mini will spark interest in and rejuvenate the Amiga but it looks like a quick profit product that may spark short term interest but more likely will disappoint customers. Let's look at potential customer reactions.

Positive: Good product but I want more Amiga. This is the customer reaction wanted!
Neutral: Product is adequate and Amiga nostalgia satisfied. Now off to the closet after a bit of fun.
Negative: This product is cheap and not as good as the original. Now off to the trash.

Low quality hardware doesn't do much for the Amiga. AmigaKit stuffing Raspberry Pis in custom Amiga look alike cases would likely be similar and cheaper but still doesn't offer good value.

Rob Quote:

Just accept that this isn't a product aimed at Amiga enthusiasts such as you and I.


New Amiga enthusiasts must be created or the Amiga dies!

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amigang 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 6-Jan-2022 23:09:15
#145 ]
Super Member
Joined: 12-Jan-2005
Posts: 1873
From: Cheshire, England

@Rob
Quote:
Modern consoles and retro minis have created are certain expectation in terms of presentation and ease of use and I don't see sense in Retro Games doing anything different considering the market they are aiming at.


True, but it feel like even retro game ltd know what they got here with the line
“ Now other classic consoles are just toys! “ well based on what I see it feels very much like a toy and no different from pervious mini console effort with the exception of there being a mouse with it.

It’s a shame to overlook the serious side of Amiga, specially when it has a mouse, I get it that not the focus of the product, and the fact that when I ask people if they remember the Amiga the few that do just remember the games. It’s a dam shame really because as we lot know it was a dame fine computer too. I feel you could of had a nice Amigaos desktop setup on here (who knows it still might) with a few serious apps that could show this off, it’s shame this mini computer just might reinforce the image that it was just a gaming computer.

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agami 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 7-Jan-2022 1:00:53
#146 ]
Super Member
Joined: 30-Jun-2008
Posts: 1037
From: Melbourne, Australia

@amigang

Quote:
It’s a shame to overlook the serious side of Amiga, specially when it has a mouse … this mini computer just might reinforce the image that it was just a gaming computer.

I share your sentiment.

I’m fine with this retro appliance being primarily focused on games and to have a simple game launcher UI.
My hope is that the producers enable a “plus” mode, even if it is a paid DLC. If they don’t, hackers surely will. It shouldn’t take much work to have this thing boot into AROS 68k.

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Nonefornow 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 7-Jan-2022 1:29:53
#147 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 29-Jul-2013
Posts: 308
From: Greater Los Angeles Area

@kolla
Quote:
I don’t see many Cloanto products there, do you?


Well, the whole AF DVD is a Cloanto product, and it contains Cloanto software for the Amiga like

Amiga Explorer
AmiToRTF
CheckIconSize
CopyIcon
DeviceUnit
DirDiff
GetAFC
GetIconPos
Personal Paint
Personal Write
SetIconPos
Shutdown
WriteCheck

Some of the OS3.1 is a Cloanto product and also some of the HP drivers.


Last edited by Nonefornow on 07-Jan-2022 at 01:43 AM.

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Hypex 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 7-Jan-2022 10:12:08
#148 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 6-May-2007
Posts: 10706
From: Greensborough, Australia

@amigang

Quote:
True, but it feel like even retro game ltd know what they got here with the line “ Now other classic consoles are just toys! “ well based on what I see it feels very much like a toy and no different from pervious mini console effort with the exception of there being a mouse with it.


I kinda didn't get that. Looked like the marketing department wrote that. It implies the A500 mini is a console like the rest. But the A500 wasn't a console. It was a full computer. A mini fake keyboard doesn't change anything. And including a mouse confuses it. What console came with a mouse? There was also no gamepad nor beige joysticks when the A500 came out I'm aware off.

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Nonefornow 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 7-Jan-2022 15:49:42
#149 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 29-Jul-2013
Posts: 308
From: Greater Los Angeles Area

@Hypex

Quote:
What console came with a mouse?


A mouse was available for Sega Dreamcast.

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BigD 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 7-Jan-2022 15:59:18
#150 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 6480
From: UK

@Hypex

Quote:
What console came with a mouse?


The SNES also had a mouse and not just for Mario Paint!

https://videochums.com/article/super-nintendo-mouse-compatible-games

_________________
"Art challenges technology. Technology inspires the art."
John Lasseter, Co-Founder of Pixar Animation Studios

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ppcamiga1 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 7-Jan-2022 17:29:06
#151 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 23-Aug-2015
Posts: 448
From: Unknown

@ferrels

This is just plastic case for commodity hardware with generic mouse and pad.
This crap is worth no more than 25 EURO.
They ripped naive people for about 125 EURO.

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Rob 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 7-Jan-2022 17:38:10
#152 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 20-Mar-2003
Posts: 6196
From: S.Wales

@ppcamiga1

How is a tank mouse clone and a revised CD32 joypad generic?

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ppcamiga1 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 7-Jan-2022 20:21:03
#153 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 23-Aug-2015
Posts: 448
From: Unknown

@Rob

Yes. It is ordinary usb pad and mouse in fancy plastic case.
It should cost no more to 10 euro to made mouse and pad.

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matthey 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 7-Jan-2022 22:23:57
#154 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Mar-2007
Posts: 1603
From: Kansas

Hypex Quote:

I kinda didn't get that. Looked like the marketing department wrote that. It implies the A500 mini is a console like the rest. But the A500 wasn't a console. It was a full computer. A mini fake keyboard doesn't change anything. And including a mouse confuses it. What console came with a mouse? There was also no gamepad nor beige joysticks when the A500 came out I'm aware off.


IMO, the Amiga 500 and Amiga 1200 were crossover or convergence products between a personal computer and console.

Personal Computer
keyboard and mouse included
hardware expandability
flexible OS included
higher performance and price

Console
joypad/joystick controller(s) included
compact integrated standard hardware
minimal/thin OS included
performance and power balanced with a lower price

The initial impression was to see the keyboard and mouse and think PC. The Amiga had highly integrated custom chips and standard hardware more like a console yet it allowed for reasonably good expandibility. The AmigaOS is both minimal like for a console and flexible like for a PC. The performance and price were between a console and PC while CBM lost the advantage of the integrated custom chips to reduce power by not improving them adequately. Reducing the power leads to another potential crossover product.

Embedded
bare SBC is cheapest
compact integrated standard hardware with special expandibility needs
minimal/thin OS desirable but so is some flexibility
performance and power balanced with as low of price as possible

IMO, the Raspberry Pi is a convergence of PC and embedded hardware. The Raspberry Pi 400 is a Raspberry Pi SBC embedded in a keyboard case and a SBC can likewise be embedded into a console (though none officially from the Raspberry Pi Foundation yet). The same hardware can be used for both a PC and console which was realized very early. Similar Jay Miner designed hardware was used for both the Atari 400/800 PCs and Atari 5200. Like the Amiga hardware, it was originally designed for a console but the volatile video game market meant it was used in a PC first. It is surprising that CBM was not able to break into the console market but they were following the market instead of leading it. There are synergies by using similar hardware for different markets and different markets reduce cyclical risks as the cycles are often different.

PC: cyclical market
Console: cyclical market
Embedded: defensive market

While profit margins are often lower for embedded hardware, the defensive market can be a life saver and the high volumes can improve economies of scale. CBM was too big of business to sell into such a narrow market of products. They almost succeeded to fully crossover between PC and console at the end with the Amiga 1200 and CD32 but they made too many mistakes along the way, especially being late.

Many of the advanced consoles have supported a keyboard and mouse add on but usually only a few software products take advantage of it. The minimal OS of consoles have usually been lacking to support a wider range of software although newer consoles now have more advanced OSs. The Amiga CD32 had one of the most advanced OSs for a console of the time and allowed for hardware and software openness and customizability rarely matched since that time. The PS3 opened some of the hardware to allow customizable OSs and software but then Sony changed their minds. Most consoles have been closed systems in the name of security since. Even if a web browser is allowed for example, it is often an inferior browser with no choice and it is only allowed to operate in a walled environment. This is a different philosophy to the Raspberry Pi hardware. The Raspberry Pi Foundation could endorse standard hardware for a Raspberry Pi console although it would be best with a standard OS and there is little game infrastructure to build on. This is where an Amiga product could do better in a similar way as before but cost reduced and enhanced to be competitive. More open hardware can penetrate the embedded market as Raspberry Pi sales demonstrate as well.

Last edited by matthey on 07-Jan-2022 at 10:26 PM.

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agami 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 7-Jan-2022 23:17:48
#155 ]
Super Member
Joined: 30-Jun-2008
Posts: 1037
From: Melbourne, Australia

@Nonefornow

Quote:
A mouse was available for Sega Dreamcast.

Available is very different from “Comes with”.

The Amiga is credited with ushering in the keyboard+mouse gaming era, because every Amiga came with a keyboard and mouse.

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agami 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 7-Jan-2022 23:49:24
#156 ]
Super Member
Joined: 30-Jun-2008
Posts: 1037
From: Melbourne, Australia

@ppcamiga1

Quote:
This crap is worth no more than 25 EURO. They ripped naive people for about 125 EURO.

As a person who actually works in the hardware production space, I can tell you that there is no way to market a product such as the TheA500 MINI for €25 without losing money.

First off, this is a product that will ship in low volumes. All upfront and fixed costs are distributed across fewer units, which means higher price per unit.

Second, in the hardware game the rule of thumb is to price your product at cost of hardware x 3. This accounts for warranty, support, return/replacement logistics, and profit margin.

Additionally, the included games and Amiga ROMs requires licenses to be paid.

Now maybe when we take all those things into account, the actual retail price should be €90, but there is no obligation on behalf of the the producers to sell it at this price: That’s not how capitalism works.

In capitalism, it’s not about what an item is actually worth, it’s about what is it worth to you, i.e. What is the consumer prepared to spend?

I am part of the “naive” first waive that is prepared to spend the full asking price. When the market no longer accepts this price, the producers can lower it to €99 and get another waive of buyers and still make a profit. If they don’t sell all the stock, they can then lower the price to €75 and still make a little bit of profit, or break even on the remaining units.

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agami 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 7-Jan-2022 23:57:44
#157 ]
Super Member
Joined: 30-Jun-2008
Posts: 1037
From: Melbourne, Australia

@matthey

Quote:
Console
joypad/joystick controller(s) included
compact integrated standard hardware
minimal/thin OS included
performance and power balanced with a lower price

You forgot:
Plugs into a TV.

Quote:
PC: cyclical market
Console: cyclical market
Embedded: defensive market

This is good to point out.

In many ways, the old Commodore management displayed attitudes toward Amiga computers which considered it less cyclical and more defensive, especially when you consider the embedding of Amiga hardware in specialized uses-cases such as the nascent digital video market.

Last edited by agami on 08-Jan-2022 at 12:04 AM.
Last edited by agami on 08-Jan-2022 at 12:03 AM.

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Nonefornow 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 8-Jan-2022 0:04:54
#158 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 29-Jul-2013
Posts: 308
From: Greater Los Angeles Area

@agami

Quote:
by agami on 7-Jan-2022 15:17:48

@Nonefornow

Quote:
A mouse was available for Sega Dreamcast.

Available is very different from “Comes with”.

The Amiga is credited with ushering in the keyboard+mouse gaming era, because every Amiga came with a keyboard and mouse.


Yes, but the Amiga is a computer not a console.

Last edited by Nonefornow on 08-Jan-2022 at 12:07 AM.

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matthey 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 8-Jan-2022 2:32:26
#159 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Mar-2007
Posts: 1603
From: Kansas

agami Quote:

As a person who actually works in the hardware production space, I can tell you that there is no way to market a product such as the TheA500 MINI for €25 without losing money.

First off, this is a product that will ship in low volumes. All upfront and fixed costs are distributed across fewer units, which means higher price per unit.


What do you consider low volumes?

agami Quote:

Second, in the hardware game the rule of thumb is to price your product at cost of hardware x 3. This accounts for warranty, support, return/replacement logistics, and profit margin.


What do you think the profit margin is for Raspberry Pi Foundation products?

My perspective: THEA500 Mini is a one and done low risk test product with high profit margins. The Raspberry Pi Foundation products are very competitive products with low profit margins designed to take market share and build a platform. They obviously don't follow marketing rules of thumb like x3 hardware cost pricing but may employ loss leaders or just plain subsidization. It would be interesting to see their books. Regardless, the Raspberry Pi Foundation is changing the computer world while the THEA500 Mini will likely be gone in a year or two with no real benefit to anyone but the investors. My respect is with the Raspberry Pi Foundation. It is like the difference between the investors Warren Buffett and Carl Icahn. Buffett is a builder and Icahn is an opportunist.

agami Quote:

You forgot:
Plugs into a TV.


Historically, that was somewhat true. Many early low cost PCs did plug into TVs though. Nearly all consoles plugged into TVs. More recently, digital output (HDMI) has become the most common standard for both. Both now display similar resolutions and colors. The convergence makes it even easier to target both markets with similar hardware yet it has not been successfully done.

Quote:

This is good to point out.

In many ways, the old Commodore management displayed attitudes toward Amiga computers which considered it less cyclical and more defensive, especially when you consider the embedding of Amiga hardware in specialized uses-cases such as the nascent digital video market.


It was the PC market becoming saturated that devastated CBM rather than a crash but this is cyclical too. Amiga products were enough different from PC clones that they sold for higher margins even as CBM sold off their own PC clone line, perhaps shortly after trying to rotate away from the Amiga and to the PC market. CBM upper management was arrogant and this was all they could see. Ironically, the once small NewTek with embedded products which started in Topeka, Kansas considered buying the once mighty CBM who was the top PC producer in the world. Too bad NewTek didn't team up with Commodore UK to make a bid but they were two very different companies with different philosophies. They were both successful and depended on CBM products for survival though.

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kolla 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 8-Jan-2022 9:24:17
#160 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 21-Aug-2003
Posts: 2212
From: Trondheim, Norway

@matthey

Quote:


Console
joypad/joystick controller(s) included
compact integrated standard hardware
minimal/thin OS included
performance and power balanced with a lower price


Huh, no joystick or joypad was included with my A1200 "Desktop Dynamite" despite coming with two games (Dennis and Oscar) that pretty much required it - I had to buy joystick seperatly. It did however come with a mouse, of course, and manuals for both OS and the software titles it cames with - WordWorth, PrintManager and DeluxePaint IV AGA.

And "minimal/thin OS"?
Sure, it lacked the Installer 3.0 floppy disk (because it came without hard drive), but other than that it wasn't at all "minimal".

Last edited by kolla on 08-Jan-2022 at 09:25 AM.
Last edited by kolla on 08-Jan-2022 at 09:24 AM.

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