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kolla 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 7-Apr-2022 17:59:14
#221 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 21-Aug-2003
Posts: 2118
From: Trondheim, Norway

@number6

I believe linking to pirated w4r3z is against forum rules.

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number6 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 7-Apr-2022 18:06:22
#222 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 25-Mar-2005
Posts: 11428
From: In the village

@kolla

Good one.

So since most of Amiga IP is now accused of piracy or theft, we'll have to start editing thousands of forum postings now.

Consider the last posting a public announcement for RetroGames Ltd. in case they start to question why they are paying licensing fees whilst others apparently do not for the same offerings.

#6

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number6 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 8-Apr-2022 1:40:48
#223 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 25-Mar-2005
Posts: 11428
From: In the village

@thread

Another interview (text) with Darren Melbourne.

Dated April 8, 2022, so somewhat current. heh.

Game Central

Several interesting paragraphs about Commodore/Amiga ownership.

Quote:
The interesting bits, the bits that make the Amiga, the Commodore 64, the VIC-20, etcetera, work are 100% percent owned by Cloanto Corporation in Italy.


#6

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matthey 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 8-Apr-2022 3:46:41
#224 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Mar-2007
Posts: 1487
From: Kansas

@#6
Darren Melbourne is quite the game aficionado!

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agami 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 8-Apr-2022 5:14:53
#225 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 30-Jun-2008
Posts: 962
From: Melbourne, Australia

According to JB Hi-Fi and AusPost, my A500 mini will be delivered today.

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amigang 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 8-Apr-2022 23:13:46
#226 ]
Super Member
Joined: 12-Jan-2005
Posts: 1847
From: Cheshire, England

@agami

I got my brother A500 mini today, he really wanted one for the simplicity, I did offer to build him a Pi system of course (but then it did give me an excuse to get one and have a few days to play around on it)

Have to say it all been well built and put together, the Os is very snappy, most likely the biggest difference to a pi system, the mouse seems overly sensitive and joypad is a little small plus I don’t like the home / menu button I have pressed them wrong on a number of occasions now, I don’t know if swapping them over would of been better, or just making it the normal cd32 start/pause button and having these buttons some where else might of been the way to go.

There are some whdload that don’t work, apparently they are not using the latest whdload system. So hopefully they do update that. Had no chance to see if I could get workbench to work yet.

Far as I can tell so far it’s a solid product, easy recommend if it was half the price £60, but at £120 there is a far better Amiga experience can be had and I keep coming back to if your not fused about the eye candy, pi400+amikit xe/pimiga/retropi builds are cheaper and better unfortunately.

But if your on the fence get it in a sale, as the c64 mini in game.Co.uk was going for just £29.99 today.

Last edited by amigang on 08-Apr-2022 at 11:14 PM.

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number6 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 8-Apr-2022 23:58:23
#227 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 25-Mar-2005
Posts: 11428
From: In the village

@amigang

Some details on what has been discovered re:WHDLoad

http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=110320&page=3

#6

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BigD 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 10-Apr-2022 1:09:03
#228 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 6394
From: UK

@Thread

And the verdict from the D is ...

... it's an awesome solid product!

However, because it's not obvious I thought I'd clarify the gamepad controls for Worms: The Director's Cut:

A double tap of the Green button is for backflip (very useful).

And to use the cursor with the gamepad rather than having the mouse connected in the main menu/to select a home missile target/in the weapon select menu you have to hold the right shoulder button!!

You even have to have the right shoulder button pressed to select a weapon with the red button while in the weapons menu! Just pushing red won't work! By the way the weapons menu itself involves holding the right shoulder button and pushing blue!

This wasn't obvious at all and for a while I was sat by the TV with the tank mouse targeting worms with the homing missile for my sister and her boyfriend on command rather than them doing it themselves with the gamepad!

My kids picked it up quickly though.

The save slot system is great though! A+

Last edited by BigD on 10-Apr-2022 at 01:12 AM.
Last edited by BigD on 10-Apr-2022 at 01:10 AM.

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bobson 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 10-Apr-2022 21:02:02
#229 ]
Member
Joined: 19-Aug-2018
Posts: 35
From: Unknown

@BigD I agree. I love mine - a very polished product... dead easy plug and play. Now I just need to dig out all those levels I designed for worms... hundreds of them back in the day. I was a little obsessed...

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number6 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 10-Apr-2022 21:32:00
#230 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 25-Mar-2005
Posts: 11428
From: In the village

@thread

Obviously these folks listen to the public and react extremely fast as updates are already underway:

http://eab.abime.net/showpost.php?p=1540533&postcount=85

and the post following:

http://eab.abime.net/showpost.php?p=1540538&postcount=86

#6

Last edited by number6 on 10-Apr-2022 at 09:33 PM.

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number6 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 11-Apr-2022 0:29:25
#231 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 25-Mar-2005
Posts: 11428
From: In the village

@thread

Positive reviews from many countries so far and too many to list.

I believe this one is somewhat influential?

#6

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mcbone 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 11-Apr-2022 14:52:16
#232 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 24-May-2013
Posts: 533
From: Unknown

@AmigaOldskooler

Hello


just Q: why would you buy a500 mini when their is MINIMIG .
And you can get amigaforever on pc and mac computer ?

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matthey 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 11-Apr-2022 18:47:21
#233 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Mar-2007
Posts: 1487
From: Kansas

mcbone Quote:

just Q: why would you buy a500 mini when their is MINIMIG.
And you can get amigaforever on pc and mac computer?


Reading the comments from the nintendolife.com link #6 posted above gives a clue. Several comments asked how THEA500 Mini is better than emulation on the PC. Some people who were buying it liked the convenience of the assembled ready to plug and play package and the value it provided. The review criticized THEA500 Mini for being "More expensive than its rivals" and some posters didn't see enough value but commented that they may buy it on sale. Value added options that were mentioned were the ability to easily add more games and the save game feature with multiple slots. The comments make it sound like there are customers from a Nintendo web site for a non-Amiga branded device that is barely more than an eye candy gimmick lacking value. Better value could be provided with more general purpose computer features like the original Amiga. Despite shortcomings, I suspect that THEA500 Mini has already outsold all AmigaNG computers combined. It doesn't do much for the Amiga base though as users are mostly isolated from the Amiga community. A more open ended device with internet connectivity and a store to buy and download games would boost the value. Dropping the cost with a 68k Amiga SoC ASIC could allow a tremendous jump in value. That would be a return of the Amiga as a retro device, with some modern features, instead of a gimmick.

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Neuf 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 11-Apr-2022 20:27:58
#234 ]
Member
Joined: 17-Apr-2017
Posts: 45
From: Unknown

@matthey

I have been checking their website and forum this morning. The one thing I noticed is that the A500 has been hacked to allow the use of Workbench. I didn't delve very deeply into the video to see exactly what was done however.

Another point you have brought up is about a 68K SOC. My understanding is that NXP has for now blocked this.So, at present there will be no 68K SOC. This is why Gunnar has not gone the asic route. Much as they wanted to they could not block the FPGA.

A lot of people are buying the A500 Mini---I, however, won't be one of them. While I have owned and used Classic systems over the years, I have absolutely no objection to emulation I think for now it is The best way to proceed for most people.

We now can use Workbench on the Mini with many more upgrades to come.

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kolla 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 12-Apr-2022 2:12:46
#235 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 21-Aug-2003
Posts: 2118
From: Trondheim, Norway

@Neuf

It’s not “hacked”, it’s simply a whdload slave for workbench, it’s old news - you can “hack” your own “real” Amiga the same way.

And NXP isn’t blocking anyone, it’s simply that there is NO interest in making asic 68k for such a tiny market. Gunnar&co DID ask around how much it would cost, the answers were way, way out of reach. You cannot reuse old factory equipment and remake old chips - these are long gone, you would need to redesign everything from scratch, not just the chips, but also facilities to produce the chips.

Last edited by kolla on 12-Apr-2022 at 02:25 AM.
Last edited by kolla on 12-Apr-2022 at 02:22 AM.

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matthey 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 12-Apr-2022 7:21:08
#236 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Mar-2007
Posts: 1487
From: Kansas

Neuf Quote:

I have been checking their website and forum this morning. The one thing I noticed is that the A500 has been hacked to allow the use of Workbench. I didn't delve very deeply into the video to see exactly what was done however.


Most other Amiga hardware is a better choice for using 68k productivity software that THEA500.

Neuf Quote:

Another point you have brought up is about a 68K SOC. My understanding is that NXP has for now blocked this.So, at present there will be no 68K SOC. This is why Gunnar has not gone the asic route. Much as they wanted to they could not block the FPGA.


Did you read the following thread?

Is 68k a proprietary instruction set?
https://amigaworld.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=44500&forum=17

The original trademarks are not a problem because trademarks are generally good for 20 years so they are all expired. Copyrights are not a problem because the Apollo Core is a new 68k implementation. NXP/Freescale no longer develops the 68k or similar ColdFire architectures so they most likely don't care about new developments. The Natami Team contacted Freescale about an Amiga solution, tested a ColdFire chip which was deemed inadequate and politely asked Freescale if they had a problem with others developing a 68k core which they stated they did not. I don't see much difference between a FPGA and ASIC as the HDL defined logic is similar between them. The big difference is much more efficient routing and optimized resources in an ASIC. My perspective is that a FPGA core is closer to an ASIC core than an emulated core and none can be blocked from reimplementing an architecture.

Neuf Quote:

A lot of people are buying the A500 Mini---I, however, won't be one of them. While I have owned and used Classic systems over the years, I have absolutely no objection to emulation I think for now it is The best way to proceed for most people.

We now can use Workbench on the Mini with many more upgrades to come.


Emulation gives the lowest quality simulation of hardware and is in many ways the least efficient way to simulate hardware. THEA500 Mini isn't really a step forward for the Amiga as emulation is likely already the most common way to simulate Amiga hardware. FPGA hardware simulation is generally more accurate, allows more parallel work and is lower latency than emulation but larger FPGAs start to get expensive. MiSTer FPGA simulation beats Mini device emulations all day and anyone buying very many Minis should consider it instead despite the lack of barely collectable eye candy and the convenience of an assembled package.

kolla Quote:

And NXP isn’t blocking anyone, it’s simply that there is NO interest in making asic 68k for such a tiny market. Gunnar&co DID ask around how much it would cost, the answers were way, way out of reach. You cannot reuse old factory equipment and remake old chips - these are long gone, you would need to redesign everything from scratch, not just the chips, but also facilities to produce the chips.


It's no secret how much an ASIC costs.

https://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/7042/how-much-does-it-cost-to-have-a-custom-asic-made

I expect THEA500 Mini will show that the 68k Amiga market is far from "tiny" and it is just scratching the surface. It is starting to get into impulse purchase territory but lacks value. As far as the cost of an ASIC being "way, way out of reach", it probably is for Gunnar and his clique. If he says it is not possible and rejects plans to make it a reality then that becomes a self fulfilling prophesy.

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Kay 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 12-Apr-2022 9:31:57
#237 ]
Super Member
Joined: 9-Mar-2003
Posts: 1411
From: Norway

I got my THEA500 Mini last night, and I'm absolutely loving it so far. Some key points:
* The unit looks lovely, as does the included joypad and mouse
* It is very easy to use, just choose the game you want to play and go
* You can easily change key mappings and tweak emulation settings for each game
* You get four slots for save states for each game
* Adding your own games is trivially easy

I understand that this is a bit pricier than other Mini systems, and I get that there are other emulation options, but as far as I am concerned, this is easily worth the asking price. You should not underestimate the value of something which is convenient, works well, and feels right. This is a polished product, and it is obvious that a lot of thought went into it. I appreciate little details like how the save slots are represented by floppy disks, with the screen from the state used as the disk label. Or how you can make the power LED simulate Amiga behaviour instead of being always on. These may seem trivial, but taken together, little touches like these do have an impact.

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kolla 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 12-Apr-2022 11:19:37
#238 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 21-Aug-2003
Posts: 2118
From: Trondheim, Norway

@matthey

Quote:

I expect THEA500 Mini will show that the 68k Amiga market is far from "tiny" and it is just scratching the surface.


But the THEA500 mini market is NOT AT ALL the same market as the 68k Amiga market - what on earth gives you that idea?!

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number6 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 12-Apr-2022 13:07:15
#239 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 25-Mar-2005
Posts: 11428
From: In the village

@thread

With hundreds of stories worldwide, I'm just trying to stick to some major outlets:

The Guardian

#6

Last edited by number6 on 12-Apr-2022 at 01:42 PM.

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matthey 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 12-Apr-2022 17:57:32
#240 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Mar-2007
Posts: 1487
From: Kansas

kolla Quote:

But the THEA500 mini market is NOT AT ALL the same market as the 68k Amiga market - what on earth gives you that idea?!


Take away the 68k emulator and the 68k games and THEA500 mini will be "NOT AT ALL" in the 68k market. It is in the 68k market but it has limited competitiveness due to the inefficiency of ARM emulating a 68k CPU. Some customers may try to use it for general purpose and productivity use but I will be very surprised if anyone uses it for 68k embedded use.

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