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      /  THEA500 Mini is coming!
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PosterThread
matthey 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 8-May-2022 19:38:17
#421 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Mar-2007
Posts: 1487
From: Kansas

kolla Quote:

So you’re saying you and Matthey cannot even agree on an imaginary SoC… and you wonder why others cannot join efforts on real projects?


No. I believe Agami and I are on the same page. Agami gave reasonable enough base cost estimates for a quality SoC ASIC and board production which is difficult considering all the variables. The goal of an ASIC is to integrate as much functionality as possible into a SoC as this maximizes cost reductions and simplifies the parts supply chain and SBC. It is reasonable to suggest that hardware I/O functionality could initially be left out of the SoC and provided by commodity I/O chips due to time or financial constraints. Modern hardware I/O is not simple and easy. It would be good to find a hardware I/O expert like Joe Decuir.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_C._Decuir#Engineering_standards Quote:

Decuir made substantial technical and editorial contributions to wired and wireless communications engineering standards, including:

o ITU-T V-series modem standards: V.8, V.8bis, V.32bis V.34, V.80, V.90, V.250, V.251 and V.253
o ITU-T T-series facsimile standards: T.30, T.31 and T.32
o European Telecommunications Standard Institute (ETSI): ETS 300 642: AT Command Set for GSM Mobile Equipment (ME)
o Universal Serial Bus (USB) standards: USB 1.1 & 2.0, Interchip USB 1.0 and High Speed Interchip USB 1.0
o USB Communications Device Class, Wireless Mobile Communications and Network Control Model
o European Computer Manufacturers Association (ECMA International): ECMA-368, High Rate Ultra Wideband MAC and PHY Standard
o Wireless USB v1.1
o Bluetooth Core Specifications: v3.0, v4.0, v4.1 and v4.2
o Bluetooth Profiles and Services: RESTful API, Internet Protocol Support v1.0, HTTP Proxy Services v1.0


Joe is getting old but appears to be mentally sharp and may be interested in helping. He is already familiar with the Amiga hardware and has the experience of the original Amiga development team. Other ex-Amiga developers have helped or offered help with modern Amiga hardware projects like Davie Haynie. Bring back some of these guys and break out the old Amiga schematics and this turns into a very cool modernized retro project which would draw interest and publicity from around the world and could result in more financial and developer support.

kolla Quote:

Here’s your chance, both of you - figure out together here in the open how this imaginary SoC of yours will work, which hardware to use, what features the 68k CPU must have, what bus technologies to use, which operating systems and software you want it to run, and how that can accomplished in terms of drivers etc.


We can only look at goals and costs generally. We don't know our resources and budget. Without a budget and green light on a project we aren't getting quotes and have minimal interaction with potential developers and business partners. We have some technology and business understanding but we aren't hardware guys who we need input and advice from. Cost benefit analysis hasn't been performed. An IP lawyer hasn't reviewed the plans. This is not a hard project but more of a brain storming proposal and even if it did get a green light would require additional exploration. AmigaNG hardware R&D is currently about assembling commodity hardware which is trailing the technology leaders and falling behind. Agami and I are just thinking outside the box and exploring business ideas which are difficult but reasonable and I believe even compelling.

Last edited by matthey on 08-May-2022 at 08:31 PM.
Last edited by matthey on 08-May-2022 at 07:43 PM.
Last edited by matthey on 08-May-2022 at 07:38 PM.

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kolla 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 8-May-2022 22:30:10
#422 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 21-Aug-2003
Posts: 2118
From: Trondheim, Norway

@matthey

So you are all in on the concept of a 68k SoC with Linux as primary target OS, like Agima suggests.

Well, that’s news worthy. Awesome.

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matthey 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 9-May-2022 0:00:05
#423 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Mar-2007
Posts: 1487
From: Kansas

kolla Quote:

So you are all in on the concept of a 68k SoC with Linux as primary target OS, like Agami suggests.

Well, that’s news worthy. Awesome.


I would like to support having a 68k MMU and open enough hardware to allow Linux. Choice is good, extra sales for Linux improves economies of scale and hardware testing under Linux would likely benefit development. I'm not sure how popular 68k hardware would be for Linux with all the ARM competition though. The AmigaOS is quite nice on low end low resource hardware and has software including many games without requiring recompiling. I would hope there would be other alternative OSs including retro ones like for the Atari ST, x68000, Mac and NeXTcube/NeXTstation. Some of the hardware features may be missing but emulation should be simplified at least as Mac emulation was on the Amiga. A MMU would allow remapping memory locations for emulation. The AmigaOS could likely gain optional partial memory protection for new software and/or a new next generation AmigaOS could provide process isolation and memory protection.

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agami 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 9-May-2022 2:22:55
#424 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 30-Jun-2008
Posts: 962
From: Melbourne, Australia

@kolla

Quote:
kolla wrote:
@agami

So you’re saying you and Matthey cannot even agree on an imaginary SoC… and you wonder why others cannot join efforts on real projects?

First of all, @matthey and myself are not yet partners and this is not yet a fundend business venture, but we are very much philosophically aligned.
Quote:
as matthey wrote:
No. I believe Agami and I are on the same page.

We might have slightly different ideas on execution, but ultimately our goal is the same.


Quote:
kolla goes on to write:
Here’s your chance, both of you - figure out together here in the open how this imaginary SoC of yours will work, which hardware to use, what features the 68k CPU must have, what bus technologies to use, which operating systems and software you want it to run, and how that can accomplished in terms of drivers etc.

The details of the above can take quite a bit of time, but it wouldn't take too long for @matthey and myself to have a bullet-point list. Which of course will only be a wish list of a target SoC/board + software environment, saying nothing of the intermediary steps, nor duration or effort, until funding is available to allow for a more detailed design and plan.
Quote:
as matthey wrote:
Without a budget and green light on a project we aren't getting quotes and have minimal interaction with potential developers and business partners. We have some technology and business understanding but we aren't hardware guys who we need input and advice from...

Last edited by agami on 09-May-2022 at 02:24 AM.

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amigang 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 13-May-2022 15:42:51
#425 ]
Super Member
Joined: 12-Jan-2005
Posts: 1847
From: Cheshire, England

Looks like a first firmware update for A500 mini out,

firmware update includes –
• Adds ADF (floppy) file support
• Adds Playlist support
• Adds Hot-Crop
• Adds Keyboard control of the user interface
• Allows the Virtual Keyboard to be accessed at all times
• Allows controllers to be physically swapped during play
• Swaps our THEJOYSTICK fire buttons
• Fixes the Virtual Keyboard Cursor-Right button

Pleased to see ADF support add, good on retro game adding that official, odd it wasn't their from the start, but still no HDF support and iso support would be nice.

there are reports this disables host run and might make some hacks not work, so i maybe hold off for more testing
https://retrogames.biz/support/thea500-mini/manuals/update-1-1-0/

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BigD 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 13-May-2022 15:52:27
#426 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 6393
From: UK

@amigang

It doesn't seem to play nice with Pandory, the most interesting emulation soft mod only released a couple of days ago itself! Hold off for a bit IMHO.

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kolla 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 25-Jun-2022 22:20:49
#427 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 21-Aug-2003
Posts: 2118
From: Trondheim, Norway

So how’s it going with the mini?

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BigD 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 25-Jun-2022 23:26:46
#428 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 6393
From: UK

@kolla

Pros
We have 4-player adapter game support and 2-player mouse game support through Pandory.

The 1.1.1 firmware update adds multi-disk ADF support and corrects the button mapping on THE JOYSTICK (but PLEASE see Cons before updating).

CD32 games plus CD music support works well now (see the Discord group).

Cons
The 1.1.1 update takes away Pandory compatibility (this can be mitigated with the PCUAAE but only if set up BEFORE updating the stock firmware).

The 1 Amp power supply recommended does not seem sufficient for stable updating of firmware. 2 Amp power supplies are recommended to avoid bricking your console during updates!

AMiniMiga Deluxe Paint IV & V implementations has some major bugs which limits its use for animation.

Some demos run slow on the RGL Carousel as does Jim Power.

Summary
A great bit of kit but you need a 2 Amp power supply, PCUAAE, the firmware 1.1.1 update installed on a memory stick AFTER installing PCUAAE then Pandory and AMiniMiga in addition to the standard RGL Carousel to get the most out of the system IMHO. And even then Deluxe Paint is buggy at the moment under AMiniMiga (the only way to run it)!

P.S. I haven't installed PCUAAE or firmware update 1.1.1. myself because I use a 1 Amp power supply and am scared of bricking the machine! It still works great and I use a separate memory stick for use with my THE JOYSTICK with different mapped controls configs for ALL my sideloaded games (set up manually) so that I can use it with all my favourite games either with a pad or joystick (depending on preference on the day) without upgrading the firmware. I have also softmodded it to play single disk ADF games with the 1.0 firmware. It works for me.

Last edited by BigD on 25-Jun-2022 at 11:37 PM.
Last edited by BigD on 25-Jun-2022 at 11:36 PM.
Last edited by BigD on 25-Jun-2022 at 11:30 PM.

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outrun1978 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 26-Jun-2022 9:21:29
#429 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 22-Feb-2015
Posts: 594
From: Unknown

@BigD

Quote:
The 1 Amp power supply recommended does not seem sufficient for stable updating of firmware. 2 Amp power supplies are recommended to avoid bricking your console during updates!


Thanks for that tip, I did wonder why mine bricked after I did the update and was struggling to find any info about that online. Thankfully Amazon arranged for a replacement which was delivered the next day.

Based on my very positive experiences with a C64 Maxi, I'd be very tempted to buy a full size version of the A500 mini as it desperately needs a keyboard and some extra USB ports for proper use especially with the AminiMiga package.

_________________
Amigaone X5000/20 4GB Radeon RX 550 Polaris 12 AmigaOS4.1 Final Edition Update 1
Amiga 1200 Workbench 3.1.4
Amiga CD32

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number6 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 5-Jul-2022 15:00:34
#430 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 25-Mar-2005
Posts: 11428
From: In the village

@thread

Somewhat related. Evercade utube discussion.
Includes talk of the relationship with RetroGames Ltd., licensing and sublicensing, C64 coming to Evercade, and a few comments about Amiga that might be connected.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAJq5ggkTj8&ab_channel=BaconIceCreamProductions

About 5 and 1/2 minutes in, but perhaps more is worth a listen.

#6

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number6 
Re: THEA500 Mini is coming!
Posted on 7-Jul-2022 19:10:28
#431 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 25-Mar-2005
Posts: 11428
From: In the village

@thread

A bit more on the topic in an article today:

Here

Scroll down for Amiga mention.

#6

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