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      /  Is an Amiga without custom chips a real Amiga?
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Poll : Is an Amiga without custom chips a real Amiga?
Yes
No
Pancakes
 
PosterThread
ppcamiga1 
Re: Is an Amiga without custom chips a real Amiga?
Posted on 1-Nov-2021 8:48:15
#61 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 23-Aug-2015
Posts: 408
From: Unknown

@OneTimer1

Amiga is computer that run Amiga Os or Amiga Os compatible enough clone.
(Which means Amiga Os 3.x, Amiga Os 4.x, AROS 68k, AROS ppc but no AROS x86 or ARM).
So new better Amigas (one) are selled under right name.

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IridiumFX 
Re: Is an Amiga without custom chips a real Amiga?
Posted on 1-Nov-2021 9:31:16
#62 ]
Member
Joined: 7-Apr-2017
Posts: 73
From: London, UK

@matthey

I remember the interview, and the timeline does not stick. I the interview Jay was clearly agry and lashed out at Commodore quite a few times. Rightfully so, I can agree.

Timelines: he A1000 was introduced in September 1985 and Hi-Toro comes from 1982, That's a significative timespan. I am sure you have seen the photos of the breadboards. Back in those days you did not have a workstation to run your verilog simulation and have a result in a couple hours.

I am open minded enough to consider that a genius like Jay (and genius he was), did not stop his brain after the A1000 release and started sketching a new creation. A new creation which was neither a continuation of the line, so essentially starting over, nor a simplified design so times would dilate. This creation should have come, however, after his own effort of the A1000 Cost Reduced, and here we're in 1986. The A500 and A2000 were released in 1987 and Jay was out.

This would have given Jay one year to overdo what it took him 3 in his previous effort, right ?

When he refers to "tested", I doubt he's referring to taped out silicon chips. He was probably about idea/design validation. Theoretical signal analysis but nothing more. How can you call something tested if the next sentence you say you don't have the board with the vram to do it ? Would it be the first time you tape out a first revision chip only to discover the signal constraints don't hold ?

The interviewed did not want to ask the obvious question: "Apart from specifications, notes and maybe some jumper cables on a dozen breadboards, what do you mean ?" but this is a moot point. There are archives of old commodore prototypes, including the Ranger. When you get discording words (Dale, Chris and Dave vs Jay), you should at least consider to accept the version of the people providing hard facts, like the prototype board, rather than the gospel of a printed magaine interview.

my 2 cents

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IridiumFX 
Re: Is an Amiga without custom chips a real Amiga?
Posted on 1-Nov-2021 9:33:54
#63 ]
Member
Joined: 7-Apr-2017
Posts: 73
From: London, UK

@ppcamiga1

Do you understand you have no decisional power, right ?
Your opinions, my opinions, the next random guy's opinions ... just stay as opinions.

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eXec 
Re: Is an Amiga without custom chips a real Amiga?
Posted on 1-Nov-2021 9:43:43
#64 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 21-Jun-2004
Posts: 956
From: Burkina Faso

@bison

Amiga is Amiga Workbench.

at least i think so.

no matter the platform it runs on it will still be
the amiga workbench.

i just dont get it why was there so much time
thrown into abyss with new and revolutionary
custom chips development.

i think that if only half the time was spent on port of
native run of workbench on actual ( for instance )
arm hardware, thing would be much brighter today.

but, thats just my small opinion.



_________________
____
...administration is for serious people only....

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Srtest 
Re: Is an Amiga without custom chips a real Amiga?
Posted on 1-Nov-2021 11:55:02
#65 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 15-Nov-2016
Posts: 258
From: Israel, Haderah

@eXec

It's a very familiar story dude. Contrary to peeps complicating things, reality's usually simpler than that. Amiga had a direction in terms of hardware. Nothing looks like the old amiga GFX or sounds like Amiga sound. However, once Amiga became a machine you can do stuff with, you didn't want to limit yourself. Now on that principle, either we're talking cars or computers, that is what the market is based upon. The Amiga's early success was based on a market which also performed like a specialized learning project within it. So, the general user had issues because despite the way some evaluation of the the past is based upon, seeing the present acceptance of computers, Amiga was basically for geeks. Unlike today's hardware and software.

Those geeks even if they were more blue collar based rather than the elites, understood something about gfx and audio and didn't want to limit themselves to one company's vision. I mean it's absurd when you think about the rich history of sound processing to go about it just through the Amiga glasses... I mean the Roland MT-32 still kicks ass for those who appreciate this analogue to digital fuzzy sounds of the late 80's through the middle and late 90's. You can that what worked for the Amiga early on, the unreliance on outside dependency, once the market of tech usage exploded, its design needed to be revamped to take advantage of that while still presenting its own way of communicating with combined processing and mixing different usages.

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fishy_fis 
Re: Is an Amiga without custom chips a real Amiga?
Posted on 1-Nov-2021 12:57:36
#66 ]
Super Member
Joined: 29-Mar-2004
Posts: 1967
From: Australia

Does it really matter?
The system in all its forms is archaic and very niche, the only exception being some of the hardware that aros will run on.

All hobbies have many facets, Amiga is no exception here.
Getting caught up in any one system, fanboying an architecture, praising/dismissing the heritage; all moronic and anyone who subscribes to any of that is, quite frankly, an f'wit.

Just enjoy what you enjoy. Whether it constitutes being part of the Amiga hobby or not matters to the sum of zero.
Unless of course you're a brand name follower simply for the sake of it, but at that point you've proven your opinions moot anyway.

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Hypex 
Re: Is an Amiga without custom chips a real Amiga?
Posted on 1-Nov-2021 16:10:20
#67 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 6-May-2007
Posts: 10357
From: Greensborough, Australia

@NutsAboutAmiga

Quote:
CIAA / CIAB chips is responsible for lot of stuff, disk drive, io ports, timing, vertical blanking, its central part, also for interrupts. Not having the CIAA/CIAB chip in AmigaONE is major blow.


That's because it was replaced by the VIA chip instead.

I think it was. CIA somewhat looses meaning on the A1. The only joyport mine had was on a SoundBlaster. You wouldn't want a pre-ECC parallel chip again. And the PowerPC has an on chip timer.

Did you know early versions of OS4 had a native CIA resource with interface? I wonder why as only 68K software used it and still needed to bang hardware. I coped the interface in CIAgent but will eventually drop it as it doesn't make sense to chnage the structure of CIABase when only 68K software uses it and pokes around in it.

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matthey 
Re: Is an Amiga without custom chips a real Amiga?
Posted on 1-Nov-2021 19:53:30
#68 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Mar-2007
Posts: 1294
From: Kansas

IridiumFX Quote:

I remember the interview, and the timeline does not stick. I the interview Jay was clearly angry and lashed out at Commodore quite a few times. Rightfully so, I can agree.


The interview was likely sometime after Jay Miner finished working for Amiga. While this may have provided a year or so to forget details, Jay seems sharp on design details which are needed by a good hardware engineer. The other Amiga guys who talk about Ranger often had a longer time to forget and some were not part of the other 9 employees left working at Los Gatos.

Jay was clearly not happy with how CBM handled Amiga after launch but was fair about CBM as he states the following in the interview.

Jay Miner Quote:

Commodore came along then and bought Amiga and saved us. Commodore was very good for Amiga in the beginning. They made many improvements in the chips. Commodore made a lot of improvements in the things that we wanted but didn't have the resources to accomplish. The Amiga originally only had three hundred and twenty colors across the screen, even in the six forty mode. They also improved the colors by moving the NTSC converter off the chip. They paid off the creditors including my loans to the company and the got us a beautiful facility in Los Gatos and most surprising in 1984, sent the entire company including wives and sweethearts out to New York for a grand Amiga launching party at the Rockerfeller Centre here in New York City and what a party that was tuxedos, champagne ... all to launch a computer. They really did it top notch.


Jay is usually described as having a patient fatherly type of personality and not a high strung individual with an anger problem. I don't buy that he was trying to smear CBM.

IridiumFX Quote:

Timelines: he A1000 was introduced in September 1985 and Hi-Toro comes from 1982, That's a significative timespan. I am sure you have seen the photos of the breadboards. Back in those days you did not have a workstation to run your verilog simulation and have a result in a couple hours.

I am open minded enough to consider that a genius like Jay (and genius he was), did not stop his brain after the A1000 release and started sketching a new creation. A new creation which was neither a continuation of the line, so essentially starting over, nor a simplified design so times would dilate. This creation should have come, however, after his own effort of the A1000 Cost Reduced, and here we're in 1986. The A500 and A2000 were released in 1987 and Jay was out.

This would have given Jay one year to overdo what it took him 3 in his previous effort, right ?


Jay was likely working on updates and improvements to the Amiga custom chips ever since the first revision was finalized but some of his time would have been taken for testing and management. Some of the ideas likely were in his head before the release of the Amiga in 1985 but maybe he was better able to focus on completing the design in the time period after the Amiga was released and while the Los Gatos operation was being wound down under budget cuts. I don't see the Ranger chipset, as we call it, as a complete "new creation" but rather as a significant revision change like ECS or AGA. I believe it was more advanced than ECS and closer to AGA minus a bitplane, larger color palette and HAM8 but perhaps better performance several years earlier. Granted, it was more applicable to the high end of the PC market initially due to the more expensive vram chip memory but the Amiga was bringing out a new high end computer, what became the Amiga 2000, which should have had a 68020 and Ranger chip set as standard, IMO.

IridiumFX Quote:

When he refers to "tested", I doubt he's referring to taped out silicon chips. He was probably about idea/design validation. Theoretical signal analysis but nothing more. How can you call something tested if the next sentence you say you don't have the board with the vram to do it ? Would it be the first time you tape out a first revision chip only to discover the signal constraints don't hold ?

The interviewed did not want to ask the obvious question: "Apart from specifications, notes and maybe some jumper cables on a dozen breadboards, what do you mean ?" but this is a moot point. There are archives of old commodore prototypes, including the Ranger. When you get discording words (Dale, Chris and Dave vs Jay), you should at least consider to accept the version of the people providing hard facts, like the prototype board, rather than the gospel of a printed magazine interview.


I doubt there was a full prototype Ranger chipset Amiga created. So called Ranger prototypes are sometimes just post Lorraine prototypes with minor chipset revisions. I agree that tested likely means the logic was tested (verified). However, Jay was a reliable person and experienced engineer and says the design was complete and tested which I believe. CBM had good reason to take possession of everything Ranger related to protect their property especially with Los Gatos being closed. It's not like the CBM deathbed vigil where engineers were taking stuff and CBM didn't care much because they were dead.

Michele Battilana says he aquired a huge amount of CBM documentation with his Amiga Inc. acquisition. It would be interesting to hear if there is anything Ranger chipset related in there.

Last edited by matthey on 01-Nov-2021 at 07:55 PM.

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matthey 
Re: Is an Amiga without custom chips a real Amiga?
Posted on 1-Nov-2021 23:27:14
#69 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Mar-2007
Posts: 1294
From: Kansas

agami Quote:

The chipset(s) defined what was the Amiga.


From the other poll, most Amigaworld.net users believe both the AmigaOS and Amiga hardware defined what the Amiga was.

agami Quote:

Jay Miner, and quite possibly a large portion of the team, would not have cared about an OS. Why would they, they're hardware engineers after all.

But not even Jay could have denied that in order for a "Lorraine" console to be expanded into a full-fledged computer, it would've required an OS. All the Commodore purchase (bailout) did, is prioritize the computer part of the equation, and accelerate the need for the OS.


I believe Jay wanted a quality OS to compliment the hardware but he didn't know what was needed because it wasn't his area of expertise. Fortunately, passionate software developers were hired and created the AmigaOS. I would say Jay was delighted how the AmigaOS turned out.

Jay Miner Quote:

The unique spirit at Amiga was such that people worked tirelessly on their various projects, remembering that the software was well on the way to completion before any silicon had been pounded into the graphics chips. Carl Sassenrath was brought in to do the operating system and was asked at the interview "What would you like to design?". He just replied that he wanted
to do a multi-tasking operating system, and thus was born the Exec which lies at the very heart of the Amiga. Carl has maintained his close links with Commodore and was instrumental in designing CDTV. Incredible really that they opted for such a sophisticated backdrop for a games machine. Already, strange things were afoot....


https://web.archive.org/web/20071020201326/http://www.amigau.com/aig/comment-5.html

The advanced functionality of the AmigaOS was good for Jay's vision of a PC but it also was thin enough for a game machine which made it perfect for the Amiga. There were 2 camps at Hi Toro/Amiga that were pulling in different directions for a low cost game machine (original investors, Dave Morse, RJ Mical) and those who wanted an expandable PC (CBM, Jay Miner, Carl Sassenrath, Dale Luck). It turns out that the flexibility of the AmigaOS and Amiga hardware to do both and more turned out to be very valuable even though the focus and image of the Amiga as introduced was important.

Jay Miner Quote:

No one does, or at least no one should, remember Commodore as some benevolent savior of Hi-Toro/Amiga. I think it was partially the opportunity to rapidly get a creative PC to market to compete with Apple's Macintosh, but my cynical side thinks that for Commodore's upper management it was more about kicking Atari in the proverbial nuts.


Jack Tramiel at Atari offered $1 per share for the Amiga and CBM gave them $4.25 per share. As much as Jay felt CBM later went off track with the Amiga, even he said CBM "saved us" (see quotes from Jay in my previous post). Jay had his house mortgaged to pay Amiga debts and there was no guarantee he would have been payed back if Atari won the bidding for Amiga. CBM had "internal issues" but it wasn't all bad. As for your theory that upper management (more likely powerful investor Irving Gould) played a hand in keeping Jack from obtaining Amiga, that would be the kind of "internal issues" CBM had.

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ppcamiga1 
Re: Is an Amiga without custom chips a real Amiga?
Posted on 2-Nov-2021 7:40:33
#70 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 23-Aug-2015
Posts: 408
From: Unknown

@IridiumFX

Thread like this are pure bs.
Even my a500+ connected to VGA monitor works like NG.
No custom copper list, cpu only because blitter is too slow.
And this hardware is from Commodore and 30 years old.
So yes. Amiga without chipset is Amiga.

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Samurai_Crow 
Re: Is an Amiga without custom chips a real Amiga?
Posted on 2-Nov-2021 16:34:59
#71 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 18-Jan-2003
Posts: 2317
From: Minnesota, USA

Perhaps a better question would be: Are Vulkan capable GPUs custom chips.

To which my answer is: They can be! They just need a Minimig or similar derived core to convert the planar graphics into a texture so the new chips can render them to a window, blow them up to full screen or apply filters like gaussian blur to get that CRT like look.

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