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      /  Amiga ECS and the deception of: “Read my lips – no new chips”
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Kronos 
Re: Amiga ECS and the deception of: “Read my lips – no new chips”
Posted on 26-Nov-2023 13:08:24
#221 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 8-Mar-2003
Posts: 2546
From: Unknown

@bhabbott

Plenty of PC games that offered more than just 256 colors.

Games that required multiple disk and had to be installed to HD, most never got an Amiga port since "noone" had an HD.
Games that had some basic enemy AI that wouldn't run on a stock 7MHz 68k dragged down by the chipset. Some were ported with downgrades, some were ported with enemy turns taking longer to calculate most were not ported as noone had a faster CPU.

Sure there was still some live left for good games but the writing was on the wall and C= croaked you could get a better "gaming PC" for less than what an Amiga costed.
It was innovate or die back then much more than it is today.


And for sure you can look the other way and find out what people are doing with CGA today when it is even more obsolete then OCS, which is all nice and fine but doesn't help a 1989 developer who had to finish a game within a certain time/budget.

_________________
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- blame Canada

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bhabbott 
Re: Amiga ECS and the deception of: "Read my lips - no new chips"
Posted on 26-Nov-2023 15:35:36
#222 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 6-Jun-2018
Posts: 315
From: Aotearoa

@Kronos

Quote:

Kronos wrote:
@bhabbott

Plenty of PC games that offered more than just 256 colors.

In 1990?

Quote:
Games that required multiple disk and had to be installed to HD, most never got an Amiga port since "noone" had an HD.

This has nothing to with the chipset.


Quote:
Games that had some basic enemy AI that wouldn't run on a stock 7MHz 68k dragged down by the chipset. Some were ported with downgrades, some were ported with enemy turns taking longer to calculate most were not ported as noone had a faster CPU.

Again, nothing to do with the chipset.

Please tell me about the PC games in 1990 which had 'basic enemy AI' that was too slow on 68000.


Quote:
Sure there was still some live left for good games but the writing was on the wall and C= croaked you could get a better "gaming PC" for less than what an Amiga costed.

In 1990?


Quote:
It was innovate or die back then much more than it is today.

No, it was 'grow the userbase enough to justify developing software despite rampant piracy', or die.


Quote:
And for sure you can look the other way and find out what people are doing with CGA today when it is even more obsolete then OCS, which is all nice and fine but doesn't help a 1989 developer who had to finish a game within a certain time/budget.

OCS wasn't obsolete in 1989.

In 1989 most PC games were EGA and/or CGA. VGA games often had an EGA and even CGA version too, because few PCs had VGA back then. That's 3 different graphics systems the coders and artists had to deal with at the same time. Then there were the various sound systems - PC speaker, PC jr / Tandy, CMS, Adlib (probably not Sound Blaster - that didn't exist until November 1989), and different CPUs (8088/286/386), different memory types and sizes, and different disk formats (360k, 720k, 1.2MB, 1.44MB).

Think about how much work was involved in all that, then compare it to the Amiga. One graphics chipset (with hardware scrolling, blitter, sprites, copper, dual playfield etc. to take load off the CPU). One sound system (with 4 channels of PCM sound that was unheard of on PCs), one disk format (or make your own for copy protection and/or squeezing more on the disk). No need for hard drive installation because disk insertions were automatically detected and volume names tracked by the OS, and the ROM-based OS made sure all the hardware was configured on boot (no memory managers, mouse driver etc. required). Whichever model the Amiga user had would boot off disk fine without any special handling. No setup program was needed to configure the game to the hardware because all models had the same chipset.

I know which platform I would rather have developed on (and did) with a certain time/budget, and wasn't the PC. What a nightmare!

(Actually I did develop some stuff for the IBM Jx, but not commerically. The first code I had to write was a mouse driver, because those idiots at 'Genius' thought it would be a good idea to hit the hardware when setting up the serial port. But the Jx has a different baud clock so 'standard' settings don't work. If only they had gone through the BIOS it would have been fine. Luckily for them I was an elite hacker - a regular customer would have returned their POS for a refund.)

So tell me - after having to support all that different hardware on the PC, why was porting a game to one well-documented set of Amiga hardware a bridge too far? Perhaps they were just worn out after having to produce and test all that stuff for the PC!

Last edited by bhabbott on 26-Nov-2023 at 03:39 PM.

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Kronos 
Re: Amiga ECS and the deception of: "Read my lips - no new chips"
Posted on 26-Nov-2023 17:22:18
#223 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 8-Mar-2003
Posts: 2546
From: Unknown

@bhabbott

Again throwing around years....

For a start "Plenty of PC games that offered more than just 256 colors" referred to what followed and while these sure aren't related to the chipset they sure were a reason why Amiga was left behind when games went in those directions.

OCS wasn't obsolete in 89 but it was for sure not cutting edge anymore and by the time C= went under OCS was obsolete and AGA was a strong *meh*.


Automatic disk detection didn't help with the facts that it was cumbersome, slow and unreliable hence many of these multi-MB games never coming over to Amiga.

Porting to Amiga was "a bridge to far" because:
- slow floppies (880k when PCs had 1.44/12MB) instead of fast HD
- slow CPU (compared to even the most basic AT)
- costumers that weren't the target group for those games
After 1990:
- obsolete, slow, low res and low color GFX
After 1992:
- declining user base in an overall growing market

_________________
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- blame Canada

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matthey 
Re: Amiga ECS and the deception of: “Read my lips – no new chips”
Posted on 26-Nov-2023 19:46:07
#224 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Mar-2007
Posts: 1943
From: Kansas

Kronos Quote:

Your are throwing around things from different timeframes and add some wishful thinking on top of that.


I made estimates based on available data for the 1990-1994 time frame. My "wishful thinking" looks like reasonable options although we don't know all the risks and rewards of choices in a quickly changing market. I said "consider" options not that I would have chosen all of them which depends on timing, actual costs and market research. I took a few steps back to look at the big picture as the thread had become focused on details.

Kronos Quote:

A $20 68ec20 in 1990 doesn't sound bad, but even without touching anything else that would have been a $50 price increase which just wasn't feasible for a low budget machine.


The "pricing trend" of Amiga hardware was usually dropping faster than $50/year according to the post C= bankruptcy documents.

model | 12/91 | 12/92 | 12/93
A500 $379 $252 $122
A1200 --- $389 $292
A2000 $842 $261 ---
A3000 $2335 $1480 ---
A4000 --- $1850 $1659

A $50 cost increase was not intolerable at this time. There may have been other costs but we are talking about chipset enhancements anyway. The AGA Amiga 1200 cost of chips is listed at $11 and AGA CD32 chips at $6 with no date given but obviously at least 1993 when the CD32 was released. Even fat AGA compared to ECS was relatively cheap by 1993. The 68EC020@14MHz had a cost of only $8 by this time and C= should have considered a 68EC030@28MHz which I estimate at $13-$15 for C= if they had a chipset that could run at 28MHz like they planned. The 2MiB of DRAM Memory cost more than the CPU and chipset combined at $50 and more expensive memory was required with a higher clocked CPU+chipset but this is already realized with 68EC020+AGA@14MHz.

Kronos Quote:

Whether other vendors were able to make bigger 500nm chips and have them run at higher clocks is irrelevant as MOS was running at it's limit with the chips how they were.


I don't know how true that statement is. I recall Davie Haynie saying that MOS/CSG could fab chips down to about 1000nm. There may have been limited processes and lower yields near their limit though. We may be recalling incorrectly too. In any case, they likely could have fabbed better than 5000nm NMOS which was a mid 1970s process. C= may have preferred NMOS over CMOS as fewer transistors and less area are required thus lowering costs but CMOS uses a fraction of the power allowing for cheaper power supplies and smaller fanless computer designs.

Kronos Quote:

Integrating the CPU, even if C= could have done it (in house or not) they would still have to get a license for it.


Yea. C= and Motorola were both bad at licensing technology too. C= may have been able to negotiate a good licensing deal due to the 1991 AIM alliance where the 68k became a non-core asset. MOS/CSG would not have been able to fab the SoC though.

Kronos Quote:

The reality is that the A500 was the only Amiga selling in real numbers and that was mostly due to it getting cheaper and cheaper to the point where margin were ... marginal.... prohibiting any mayor upgrades, forcing it to get cheaper in order to still ship in numbers.....


The C= post bankruptcy docs show a 24% margin for the Amiga 1200 and 43% for the Amiga 4000 at one point probably around 1993. That is better than often single digit grocery store and gasoline margins. Well, gasoline margins reach double digits sometimes now due to liberals shutting down refineries (along with oil production which also drives up the cost).

Kronos Quote:

The only real errors I see here is that given that AGA was done early both the A4000 and A1200 should have been 1991 releases and that the A1200 should have had a small 3.5" HD by default. Sure would have upped the prices but would have been real value.


An earlier AGA would have made a lot of sense and looks feasible from my perspective. They could have saved some transistors to make AGA available earlier like a 128 base color register EHB mode which uses less than half of the transistors of increasing to 256 color registers. The problem was the C= no new chips mandate from upper management in the early 1990s though. C= achieved their goal of reducing the cost of the Amiga 500 at $122 in 1993 to C64 levels only to find that is was now obsolete.

Last edited by matthey on 27-Nov-2023 at 02:31 PM.
Last edited by matthey on 26-Nov-2023 at 07:53 PM.

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Kronos 
Re: Amiga ECS and the deception of: “Read my lips – no new chips”
Posted on 26-Nov-2023 19:59:08
#225 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 8-Mar-2003
Posts: 2546
From: Unknown

@matthey

$50 extra on an only slightly updated A500 which could only be moved at lower and lower prices with next to no SW supporting and even breaking plenty other SW ....

..... well thats the story of the A500+ which sold like hotcakes!!

>The C= post bankruptcy docs show a 24% margin for the Amiga 1200
>and 43% for the Amiga 4000 at one point probably around 1993.

Neither sold in big numbers. Mind you for the A1200 we can only guess as the few they made were almost always sold out, but I doubt they could have sold millions/year as they did with the A500.

Also don't forget that these margins do need to cover development costs, something not true for the last in line merchant selling groceries or gasoline.

>They could have saved some transistors to make AGA available earlier like a
>128 base color register EHB mode which uses 1/3 of the transistors of 256 colors.

Not sure where the 1/3 would come from as the whole chipset would still be operating on 8Bit overall.
But.... AGA had been developed for the A3000+ and creating an AgA chipset would have meant opening up the designs generating massive costs which IMO would only made sense if that would have allowed them to forego outsourcing LISA to HP.

_________________
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- blame Canada

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cdimauro 
Re: Amiga ECS and the deception of: “Read my lips – no new chips”
Posted on 27-Nov-2023 6:17:00
#226 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 29-Oct-2012
Posts: 3497
From: Germany

@NutsAboutAmiga

Quote:

NutsAboutAmiga wrote:
@Kronos

I remember always wonder if Amiga can have been clocked higher with active cooling, it was strange that there were no overclocking kits for it back then. You always had to insert a new accelerator if wanted more speed, and that was costly $$, the different CPU sockets was big issue.

Overclocking does NOT work when talking about the chipset, as someone already pointed it out.


@Kronos

Quote:

Kronos wrote:
@cdimauro

Your free to live in whatever world you wanna do,

It's the same world where you live, but with a small difference: I'm informed about what I state and at least I spend time reading articles instead of parrotting the same things...
Quote:
but in this one OCS was pushing the limits of what MOS could do and any chance no matter how minor took a lot of effort to get it fully working.

Thats why ECS was all we get after 5 years and AGA required C= to bite into the sour apple of outsourcing a chip.

This clearly proves that:
- you don't read what people writes;
- you never opened the Amiga Hardware Manual and checked how ECS worked on.

So, and AGAIN, NO!
Quote:
8bit LowRes would saturate the 7MHz/16Bit bus just like 4Bit HighRes does.
Everything else would require a massive update to gain more bandwidth.

Same as above: I understand that reading is a costly operation because you've to invest some time, but do you care to read my second article before repeating exactly the same thing like a parrot?
Quote:
And no I was not talking bout 3D games as even an A1200HD wasn't capable of running them (beyond proof of concept, postal stamp sized screens).

Most Amiga games were simple 2D action titles were everything was preprogrammed and most AGA games were the same with slightly better GFX.

The reason is because... rolling drum, the lack of bandwidth / computation (Blitter) power.

I've mathematically proved here, in some thread, that AGA only allowed to switch from 32 to 128 colours, keeping the existing frame rate, by taking advantage of the more bandwidth of AGA's 64-bit fetch mode.

Which is not that much, right? Compare it to a Blitter which is able to move from 2.5/3 times the graphics of OCS/ECS and you can understand what could have been possible with my proposal...
Quote:
You may want to look what kinda "grown up" games existed for the OC in the late 80s and why so few of them ever got ported to Amiga.

Also, but see above: you also missed the enabler for them.

Adding more memory and/or an hard drive is much easier than adding the mentioned new features to the chipset...
Quote:

Kronos wrote:
@NutsAboutAmiga

OCing the Amiga meant OCing everything including the chipset.

Floppy going out of whack would be the 1st issue and soon after you would hit the wall of the chipset timing breaking down.

I think you could go as far as applying a 30MHz clock running the CPU a a whooping 7.5MHz but even that wasn't reliable.

Problem already solve: "just" read my second article...

@bhabbott

Quote:

bhabbott wrote:
OCS wasn't obsolete in 1989.

In 1989 most PC games were EGA and/or CGA. VGA games often had an EGA and even CGA version too, because few PCs had VGA back then.

OCS was obsolete and already in 1989 there were several games supporting the VGA/MCGA: https://www.mobygames.com/game/attribute:2/attribute:36/from:1987/platform:dos/until:1989/sort:date/page:1/

Examples:
https://www.mobygames.com/game/332/microsoft-flight-simulator-v30/screenshots/dos/39298/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/2964/impossible-mission-ii/screenshots/dos/16824/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/2099/688-attack-sub/screenshots/dos/9157/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/6055/archipelagos/screenshots/dos/24601/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/1969/drakkhen/screenshots/dos/1090275/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/1969/drakkhen/screenshots/dos/1090276/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/1737/f-15-strike-eagle-ii/screenshots/dos/558448/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/10796/millennium-return-to-earth/screenshots/dos/218065/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/1337/sargon-4/screenshots/dos/377955/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/2002/tunnels-of-armageddon/screenshots/dos/8674/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/1950/battle-chess/screenshots/dos/54406/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/1732/steel-thunder/screenshots/dos/30423/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/1434/space-harrier/screenshots/atari-st/182148/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/17986/fiendish-freddys-big-top-o-fun/screenshots/atari-st/344338/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/4562/revenge-of-defender/screenshots/dos/16947/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/1635/space-rogue/screenshots/dos/606498/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/6564/where-in-time-is-carmen-sandiego/screenshots/dos/26770/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/4590/faceoff/screenshots/dos/17363/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/1499/m1-tank-platoon/screenshots/dos/401117/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/1067/tongue-of-the-fatman/screenshots/dos/5091/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/6769/blue-angels-formation-flight-simulation/screenshots/dos/27818/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/588/budokan-the-martial-spirit/screenshots/dos/3132/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/221/mean-streets/screenshots/dos/931/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/1660/star-trek-v-the-final-frontier/screenshots/dos/75859/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/2467/a-10-tank-killer/screenshots/dos/18702/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/534/indiana-jones-and-the-last-crusade-the-graphic-adventure/screenshots/dos/10783/

Quote:
That's 3 different graphics systems the coders and artists had to deal with at the same time.

Is it your problem? No
Quote:
Then there were the various sound systems - PC speaker, PC jr / Tandy, CMS, Adlib (probably not Sound Blaster - that didn't exist until November 1989),

Same as above.
Quote:
and different CPUs (8088/286/386),

Only 8086 and 386 were important.
Quote:
different memory types and sizes,

See above: only two were important.
Quote:
and different disk formats (360k, 720k, 1.2MB, 1.44MB).

That's ridiculous. 3.5" floppies were already wide spread when VGA arrived.

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bhabbott 
Re: Amiga ECS and the deception of: “Read my lips – no new chips”
Posted on 1-Dec-2023 8:12:40
#227 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 6-Jun-2018
Posts: 315
From: Aotearoa

@cdimauro

Quote:

cdimauro wrote:

@bhabbott

Quote:

bhabbott wrote:
OCS wasn't obsolete in 1989.

In 1989 most PC games were EGA and/or CGA. VGA games often had an EGA and even CGA version too, because few PCs had VGA back then.

OCS was obsolete...

Repeating a lie doesn't make it true.

Quote:
..and already in 1989 there were several games supporting the VGA/MCGA: https://www.mobygames.com/game/attribute:2/attribute:36/from:1987/platform:dos/until:1989/sort:date/page:1/

Examples:
https://www.mobygames.com/game/332/microsoft-flight-simulator-v30/screenshots/dos/39298/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/2964/impossible-mission-ii/screenshots/dos/16824/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/2099/688-attack-sub/screenshots/dos/9157/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/6055/archipelagos/screenshots/dos/24601/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/1969/drakkhen/screenshots/dos/1090275/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/1969/drakkhen/screenshots/dos/1090276/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/1737/f-15-strike-eagle-ii/screenshots/dos/558448/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/10796/millennium-return-to-earth/screenshots/dos/218065/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/1337/sargon-4/screenshots/dos/377955/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/2002/tunnels-of-armageddon/screenshots/dos/8674/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/1950/battle-chess/screenshots/dos/54406/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/1732/steel-thunder/screenshots/dos/30423/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/1434/space-harrier/screenshots/atari-st/182148/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/17986/fiendish-freddys-big-top-o-fun/screenshots/atari-st/344338/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/4562/revenge-of-defender/screenshots/dos/16947/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/1635/space-rogue/screenshots/dos/606498/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/6564/where-in-time-is-carmen-sandiego/screenshots/dos/26770/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/4590/faceoff/screenshots/dos/17363/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/1499/m1-tank-platoon/screenshots/dos/401117/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/1067/tongue-of-the-fatman/screenshots/dos/5091/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/6769/blue-angels-formation-flight-simulation/screenshots/dos/27818/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/588/budokan-the-martial-spirit/screenshots/dos/3132/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/221/mean-streets/screenshots/dos/931/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/1660/star-trek-v-the-final-frontier/screenshots/dos/75859/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/2467/a-10-tank-killer/screenshots/dos/18702/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/534/indiana-jones-and-the-last-crusade-the-graphic-adventure/screenshots/dos/10783/

Your list proves my point. All but one of those games (Star Trek Final Frontier) had EGA and CGA graphics options.

Many of those games also had an Amiga version, and several of them have virtually identical graphics. Others have far fewer colors in the Amiga version than they could have, probably because they were ported from the PC EGA version.

Where in Time Is Carmen Sandiego?: VGA 31 colors, Amiga 31 colors.

Space Harrier: VGA 27 colors, Amiga 29 colors.

Fiendish Freddy's Big Top O' Fun: VGA 26 colors, Amiga 29 colors

Battle Chess: PC VGA 41 colors, Amiga 32 colors (visually they look identical).

Steel Thunder: only 25 colors in MCGA '256 color' mode.

Microsoft Flight Simulator 3: only 13 colors visible in MCGA '256 color' screenshot.

Space Rogue: VGA title screen 27 colors, Amiga 13.

M1 Tank Platoon: rear gunner view VGA 67 colors, Amiga 15, EGA 13.

Tongue of the Fatman: 28 colors in VGA title screen.

Blue Angels: 30 colors in VGA cockpit view, 16 in EGA, 4 in CGA.

Mean Streets: VGA 106 colors, Amiga 15, EGA 13.

Indiana Jones: Indy's Office VGA 169 colors, Amiga 16, EGA 16.

A10 Tank KIller: VGA 137 colors, Amiga 22 colors (but looks very similar).

Moby Games lists 100 VGA+MCGA games from 1987 to 1989. But the total number of PC DOS games listed for this period was 1,315. So that means 92% were not VGA+MCGA. For context, Moby Games lists 1,029 Amiga games in the same period. Since OCS beats EGA, that means Amiga games generally beat PC games. So much for OCS being 'obsolete' in 1989!

Quote:
Quote:
That's 3 different graphics systems the coders and artists had to deal with at the same time.

Is it your problem? No

I was an Amiga developer, so no, it wasn't 'my' problem - but if I had been a PC developer it would have been (I was once asked to port some Amiga stuff to the PC, but fortunately the deal fell through).

Quote:
Only 8086 and 386 were important.

Moby Games lists 821 DOS games that required a 286 minimum.

The 286's 16MB address space allowed it to use 'extended' memory, which was faster than the 'expanded' (banked) memory that XTs had to use to break the 640k barrier. Very few XTs had more than 640k, but 286s often had 1-2MB.

Quote:
Quote:
and different disk formats (360k, 720k, 1.2MB, 1.44MB).

That's ridiculous. 3.5" floppies were already wide spread when VGA arrived.

Not true. 1.44MB was introduced with IBM's PS/2 line in 1987, along with VGA. Even after that very few PCs had a 1.44MB drive until the 90's. 286 and 386 machines generally had a 1.2MB 5.25" drive, while XTs and 8086 machines had 360k 5.25" drives. A few popular machines had 720k 3.5" drives, eg. Tandy 1000RL in 1987, Amstrad PC2086 in 1988. Even in the early 90's it wasn't unusual to see high-end 386s and 486s with a single 1.2MB 5.25" drive.

Due to the large number of users with different disk drive types, producers were generally obliged to offer their software in different formats. Dealers had to stock 2 or 3 times more copies of each title to ensure that they had the right format for each customer. The Amiga never had this problem.

Last edited by bhabbott on 01-Dec-2023 at 08:24 AM.

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OneTimer1 
Re: Amiga ECS and the deception of: “Read my lips – no new chips”
Posted on 1-Dec-2023 15:11:40
#228 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 3-Aug-2015
Posts: 947
From: Unknown

@bhabbott


Rainer Benda's* views:
From Amiga Developer Meeting May 92 in Frankfurt(?) Germany:


At the time of the C65 and the Amiga 600 (which was supposed to be called the A300 at first), Commodore was not yet able to present an AA machine. There was a developer meeting in Frankfurt (these were meetings in which registered software and hardware developers around the Amiga could participate in order to obtain information - if available - or generally express their views on the Amiga events, make requests to the developer support, etc.). I myself attended 2 or 3 of these meetings that took place in Frankfurt (there were also some outside Germany)

Commodore planned internally (!) the A300 (before it was renamed A600), ... two variants of an "A1000+".... The Amiga 1000+ was supposed to be available as an ECS and AA version in economy form. In a slimline desktop case (pizza box), .. with no real upgrade options,.. Zorro cards should not be usable. ... We never saw any functional devices, nor any other technical details. Only sheet metal chassis and a few front panels have arrived in Frankfurt.

... , the question on the part of the developers was when to expect new, more powerful devices. ESCO replied that this would take at least 12 months and that the management was thinking about bringing another ECS machine with a faster processor, more memory etc. to the market in order to shorten the waiting time until the AA computer ...

The result was then discussed again, with my objection that the development and sale of a new ECS machine would only result in further loss of time and capacity. In my estimation, Commodore would not use additional personnel for "AA" and it could happen that it would take us a lot longer until we could get our hands on a really new Amiga than Commodore itself had planned. In addition, a decision for another ECS machine would only have been seen as an argument against "AA" if we had made it clear to Commodore USA that we could survive another 12 months without new technology.

Commodore initially wanted to launch the A4000 in four variants, as 68020 and 68030 variants (if you take a look at the 68030 processor card from the A4000 from Commodore, you can find the designations of the A4000 prototypes at that time), with either 1 or 2MB CHIP RAM and as ECS/AA. The smaller ECS "4000s" were supposed to be called "A2200/A2400", but fortunately they didn't come.

The A4000 was actually no longer a salvation for Commodore. It could do more, but it also cost a lot more and Commodore didn't reach the right quantities. ... In my opinion, "AA" was important, because many software developers made their further work on the Amiga dependent on the fact that they could simply port their PC games with 256 colors to the Amiga at that time, without having to limit everything to ECS with 32 colors (or HAM).

... C= from the outside and C= from the inside was simply overrated. To the outside world, there was always the impression that Commodore had millions of employees in umpteen countries and that you only had to snap your finger to get a product... Commodore was never like that.


Some additions from Ralph 'Laire' Schmidt:

... It was frightening that there were several people in the Amiga developer scene who were still pleading for an A2000 ECS successor instead of AA. (I was strictly against ECS - Furthermore, I can't consciously remember an A1000+ here, but only an A2000 ""successor""... I think A2200 was mentioned here as a designation. A2400 was the A4000 designation. The A3640 cheap board in the A4000 came from the A2200 box.). Furthermore, the seriousness of the situation in the games market was not seen at all.

... the A4000, it came at the end of September 92...less than 12 months later.

Speaking of AAA... it died Dec. 93.....after that some svga/rtg project was started for a few months.
---

Rainer Benda, was one of the C= people doing things between high-level and developer support for Commodore in Germany, Germany (similar to the UK) where one of the best selling markets for Amiga/Commodore products. Rainer Benda worked a short time again for 'Amiga Technologies', he is not a hardware developer but had many insight in the designs that where made by C= USA and presented to their representation that should sell that stuff, even if they had no right to a say when it came to development decisions.

Ralph 'Laire' Schmidt, was one of the main software and driver developers at Phase5 and later on the MorphOS Team.

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OneTimer1 
Re: Amiga ECS and the deception of: “Read my lips – no new chips”
Posted on 1-Dec-2023 15:30:58
#229 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 3-Aug-2015
Posts: 947
From: Unknown

@bhabbott

Already in 1992 Imke Gisch (Produktmanagement CDTV) wrote a letter in which it was pointed out that the manufacturers hardly make any sales with the Amiga anymore... a fatal situation, but one that was not implemented here either, despite recommended marketing activities.

Shorted Content of the letter:

Software developers (Activision, Infograme, Electronic Arts, Lucas Games, Ocean, Psygnosis, Ubisoft
, ...) sying that demand for Amiga games has dropped dramatically, they are only making 9% of their sales with Amiga products.


So sales of Amiga programs where already in free fall before AA came.

Last edited by OneTimer1 on 01-Dec-2023 at 03:42 PM.

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bhabbott 
Re: Amiga ECS and the deception of: “Read my lips – no new chips”
Posted on 1-Dec-2023 17:29:41
#230 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 6-Jun-2018
Posts: 315
From: Aotearoa

@OneTimer1

Quote:

OneTimer1 wrote:
@bhabbott


Rainer Benda's* views:
From Amiga Developer Meeting May 92 in Frankfurt(?) Germany:...

the question on the part of the developers was when to expect new, more powerful devices. ESCO replied that this would take at least 12 months and that the management was thinking about bringing another ECS machine with a faster processor, more memory etc. to the market in order to shorten the waiting time until the AA computer ...

The result was then discussed again, with my objection that the development and sale of a new ECS machine would only result in further loss of time and capacity. In my estimation... a decision for another ECS machine would only have been seen as an argument against "AA" if we had made it clear to Commodore USA that we could survive another 12 months without new technology.

I agree with those sentiments, but 1992 was 3 years after 1989. A new decade, a new paradigm.

Quote:
The A4000 was actually no longer a salvation for Commodore. It could do more, but it also cost a lot more and Commodore didn't reach the right quantities. ... In my opinion, "AA" was important, because many software developers made their further work on the Amiga dependent on the fact that they could simply port their PC games with 256 colors to the Amiga at that time, without having to limit everything to ECS with 32 colors (or HAM)...

Some additions from Ralph 'Laire' Schmidt:

... It was frightening that there were several people in the Amiga developer scene who were still pleading for an A2000 ECS successor instead of AA. (I was strictly against ECS - Furthermore, I can't consciously remember an A1000+ here, but only an A2000 ""successor""... I think A2200 was mentioned here as a designation. A2400 was the A4000 designation. The A3640 cheap board in the A4000 came from the A2200 box.). Furthermore, the seriousness of the situation in the games market was not seen at all.

The truth of the matter is that the PC was crushing all competition in the home computer market, no matter what it was. It was a simple numbers game - even at its peak the Amiga was less than 10% of the personal computer market. The user base was barely large enough to attract OCS game development, let alone a radically new chipset with hardly any users. Add in rampant piracy and you see the problem.

IBM PC was the standard and it was everywhere, so why would you buy anything else? Only people who appreciated the Amiga's charms or were too poor to afford a PC bought an Amiga. During the 90's PCs became consumer items sold to people with no skills or desire to get them. 'DOS for Dummies' was a top selling book despite the insulting title, because customers knew they were dummies. But they bought a PC anyway because PC means personal computer. "What you say, there's another platform which is cheaper and more user-friendly? But is it IBM compatible? I was told that if it wasn't then I shouldn't buy it!".

Then Microsoft released Windows 95 and it was all over for the Amiga, because now any dummy could use a PC.

Now matter which way you look at it the Amiga's days were numbered, no matter what hardware Commodore put in it - short of making it a PC clone. Thus all the clamoring for 256 colors, VGA scan rates, chunky pixels, high density disk drives etc. What everybody actually wanted was a cheaper PC. But PCs were already as cheap as possible for what you got. If Commodore put the same hardware in the Amiga it wouldn't be any cheaper, just incompatible.

BTW I just received my hard-cover copy of the book "Commodore the Final Years" by Brian Bagnall. I only read 3 random pages so far and already found out some very interesting stuff I didn't know about the subject. As usual, real history is a lot messier than the myths and legends behind current narratives.

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cdimauro 
Re: Amiga ECS and the deception of: “Read my lips – no new chips”
Posted on 1-Dec-2023 18:35:53
#231 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 29-Oct-2012
Posts: 3497
From: Germany

@bhabbott

Quote:

bhabbott wrote:
@cdimauro

Quote:

cdimauro wrote:

@bhabbott

OCS was obsolete...

Repeating a lie doesn't make it true.

Then don't look at the mirror...
Quote:
Quote:
..and already in 1989 there were several games supporting the VGA/MCGA: https://www.mobygames.com/game/attribute:2/attribute:36/from:1987/platform:dos/until:1989/sort:date/page:1/

Examples:
https://www.mobygames.com/game/332/microsoft-flight-simulator-v30/screenshots/dos/39298/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/2964/impossible-mission-ii/screenshots/dos/16824/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/2099/688-attack-sub/screenshots/dos/9157/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/6055/archipelagos/screenshots/dos/24601/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/1969/drakkhen/screenshots/dos/1090275/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/1969/drakkhen/screenshots/dos/1090276/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/1737/f-15-strike-eagle-ii/screenshots/dos/558448/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/10796/millennium-return-to-earth/screenshots/dos/218065/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/1337/sargon-4/screenshots/dos/377955/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/2002/tunnels-of-armageddon/screenshots/dos/8674/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/1950/battle-chess/screenshots/dos/54406/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/1732/steel-thunder/screenshots/dos/30423/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/1434/space-harrier/screenshots/atari-st/182148/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/17986/fiendish-freddys-big-top-o-fun/screenshots/atari-st/344338/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/4562/revenge-of-defender/screenshots/dos/16947/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/1635/space-rogue/screenshots/dos/606498/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/6564/where-in-time-is-carmen-sandiego/screenshots/dos/26770/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/4590/faceoff/screenshots/dos/17363/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/1499/m1-tank-platoon/screenshots/dos/401117/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/1067/tongue-of-the-fatman/screenshots/dos/5091/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/6769/blue-angels-formation-flight-simulation/screenshots/dos/27818/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/588/budokan-the-martial-spirit/screenshots/dos/3132/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/221/mean-streets/screenshots/dos/931/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/1660/star-trek-v-the-final-frontier/screenshots/dos/75859/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/2467/a-10-tank-killer/screenshots/dos/18702/
https://www.mobygames.com/game/534/indiana-jones-and-the-last-crusade-the-graphic-adventure/screenshots/dos/10783/

Your list proves my point. All but one of those games (Star Trek Final Frontier) had EGA and CGA graphics options.

Which is irrelevant.
Quote:
Many of those games also had an Amiga version, and several of them have virtually identical graphics. Others have far fewer colors in the Amiga version than they could have, probably because they were ported from the PC EGA version.

Where in Time Is Carmen Sandiego?: VGA 31 colors, Amiga 31 colors.

Space Harrier: VGA 27 colors, Amiga 29 colors.

Fiendish Freddy's Big Top O' Fun: VGA 26 colors, Amiga 29 colors

Battle Chess: PC VGA 41 colors, Amiga 32 colors (visually they look identical).

Steel Thunder: only 25 colors in MCGA '256 color' mode.

Microsoft Flight Simulator 3: only 13 colors visible in MCGA '256 color' screenshot.

Space Rogue: VGA title screen 27 colors, Amiga 13.

M1 Tank Platoon: rear gunner view VGA 67 colors, Amiga 15, EGA 13.

Tongue of the Fatman: 28 colors in VGA title screen.

Blue Angels: 30 colors in VGA cockpit view, 16 in EGA, 4 in CGA.

Mean Streets: VGA 106 colors, Amiga 15, EGA 13.

Indiana Jones: Indy's Office VGA 169 colors, Amiga 16, EGA 16.

A10 Tank KIller: VGA 137 colors, Amiga 22 colors (but looks very similar).

So, you counted the colours on SOME screenshots and this gives you the number of colours used by a game? Really?!?
Quote:
Moby Games lists 100 VGA+MCGA games from 1987 to 1989.

Indeed, but I've reported only some of them.
Quote:
But the total number of PC DOS games listed for this period was 1,315. So that means 92% were not VGA+MCGA. For context, Moby Games lists 1,029 Amiga games in the same period. Since OCS beats EGA, that means Amiga games generally beat PC games. So much for OCS being 'obsolete' in 1989!

You don't know where the logic and good sense stays, as well as where is the dictionary.

From the Collins: https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/obsolete
Something that is obsolete is no longer needed because something better has been invented.
So much equipment becomes obsolete almost as soon as it's made.


Or from the Merriam-Webster: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obsolete
a
: no longer in use or no longer useful
an obsolete word
b
: of a kind or style no longer current : OLD-FASHIONED
an obsolete technology
[...]
to make (something) old-fashioned or no longer useful : make obsolete


This clarified, now it comes your lack of elementary logic. According to YOU (and only you), it's all about "quantity": the more is equal to the better (and not obsolete).

With your ridiculous "logic" Windows was better than the Amiga o.s, and... rolling drum... DOS was even better. That's simply because DOS (and, far distant, Windows) was much MORE wide-spread & used compared to the Amiga o.s.. Which means that, by YOUR definition, DOS beats (SIC!) the Amiga o.s..
And, with the same odd logic, even PCs with an Hercules video card beat (RI-SIC!) the Amiga.

WOW! There's always something to "learn" with you.
Quote:
Quote:
Is it your problem? No

I was an Amiga developer, so no, it wasn't 'my' problem - but if I had been a PC developer it would have been (I was once asked to port some Amiga stuff to the PC, but fortunately the deal fell through).

Me too, and what's the problem?

How many developers were working for / with the PC? I assume way more than for the Amiga, since... I reveal you a secret... they developed games for plenty of different PCs hardware variants (even Tandys had a good support).

So, translated for your benefit: WHO FUNNY CARES if PCs demanded multiple versions! There were resources AND developers for it because the market was MUCH BIGGER.
Quote:
Quote:
Only 8086 and 386 were important.

Moby Games lists 821 DOS games that required a 286 minimum.

You look only at what you like to look and change the cards on the table as you wish.

We were talking about VGA/MCGA, right? Which were sold in 1987. After that you artificially (because it was convenient for your distorted propaganda) put a constraint to look at games up to 1989 (that's because 1990, which was the ECS year, had too many games supporting the VGA/MCGA, since the market for those cards EXPLODED).

But that's ok, I've only searched the games between 1987 and 1989, as I've reported on the link that I've shared. Restricting the search to that period (just because I like to be coherent), here is how many games required the 80286: 22.
And here's how many required the 8086: 746.
And how many required the 80386: 3.

Which is obvious, since the games of that time didn't required so much memory. In general, not even 1MB was needed, but much less.
Quote:
The 286's 16MB address space allowed it to use 'extended' memory, which was faster than the 'expanded' (banked) memory that XTs had to use to break the 640k barrier. Very few XTs had more than 640k, but 286s often had 1-2MB.

Maybe because, as I've stated before, it wasn't required to use so much memory?

How many Amiga games in that period required more than 1MB? And how many required more than 512kB?
Quote:
Quote:
That's ridiculous. 3.5" floppies were already wide spread when VGA arrived.

Not true. 1.44MB was introduced with IBM's PS/2 line in 1987, along with VGA. Even after that very few PCs had a 1.44MB drive until the 90's. 286 and 386 machines generally had a 1.2MB 5.25" drive, while XTs and 8086 machines had 360k 5.25" drives. A few popular machines had 720k 3.5" drives, eg. Tandy 1000RL in 1987, Amstrad PC2086 in 1988. Even in the early 90's it wasn't unusual to see high-end 386s and 486s with a single 1.2MB 5.25" drive.

I've never talked about 1.44MB drivers: I was only talking about 3.5" drives!

Why don't read what people has really written? And giving proper answer, of course.
Quote:
Due to the large number of users with different disk drive types, producers were generally obliged to offer their software in different formats. Dealers had to stock 2 or 3 times more copies of each title to ensure that they had the right format for each customer. The Amiga never had this problem.

Same as above: WHO CARES?!? The PC market was so big that it can afford supporting multiple hardware variants, drives included.

Amiga hadn't that problem simply because the market was so tiny compared to the PC one that the builtin floppy was usually the only media used for games. Even when games came on multiple floppies, supporting a hard drive was a rare bird. And not even talking about the CD-ROM, which was a mythological creature on the Amiga land...

Overall statement: WHO CARES! PC had NUMBERS and MONEY to support WAY MORE hardware variants!

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BigD 
Re: Amiga ECS and the deception of: “Read my lips – no new chips”
Posted on 2-Dec-2023 10:48:32
#232 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 7274
From: UK

@cdimauro

Quote:
Even when games came on multiple floppies, supporting a hard drive was a rare bird. And not even talking about the CD-ROM, which was a mythological creature on the Amiga land...


Hard drives were easily available in the 90s and PCMCIA SCSI and direct plug in CD-Rom drives were available. Amigans wouldn't upgrade and were addicted to X-Copy! Why would they buy the superior CD32 version of Speedball 2 on a CD for £12.99 when they could play the OCS original on pirated disks?

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

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bhabbott 
Re: Amiga ECS and the deception of: “Read my lips – no new chips”
Posted on 2-Dec-2023 22:46:06
#233 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 6-Jun-2018
Posts: 315
From: Aotearoa

Quote:

cdimauro wrote:
@bhabbott

from the Merriam-Webster: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obsolete
a
: no longer in use or no longer useful
an obsolete word

Does that describe the Amiga in 1989? No, it doesn't.

Quote:
With your ridiculous "logic" Windows was better than the Amiga o.s, and... rolling drum... DOS was even better. That's simply because DOS (and, far distant, Windows) was much MORE wide-spread & used compared to the Amiga o.s.. Which means that, by YOUR definition, DOS beats (SIC!) the Amiga o.s..

Microsoft released Windows NT in 1993. It was way more advanced than DOS and Windows 3.1, and more advanced than Windows 95 and 98 too. So by your logic all PCs not running NT after 1992 were obsolete, until 2000 when Windows XP came out.

But what about hardware? Intel released the i386 CPU in 1985. That means all PCs produced after that with an 8086/8 or 80286 CPU were obsolete, right? Intel released the i486 in 1989. Now all PCs using a 386 CPU were also obsolete, right? And in 1993 they released the Pentium CPU. Now all 486s were obsolete!

In 1987 TSeng Labs introduced their ET3000 'SuperVGA' chipset, which did 256 colors in 640x480 and 800x600, 16 colors in 1024x768, and 132x44 line text. This instantly made all other lesser VGA chips obsolete, right? And all those games that stuck to 320x200 were obsolete too!!!

No, they weren't. A thing doesn't automatically become obsolete when something 'more advanced' comes out.

Quote:
And, with the same odd logic, even PCs with an Hercules video card beat (RI-SIC!) the Amiga.

For some things they did. Not games though.

Quote:
We were talking about VGA/MCGA, right? Which were sold in 1987. After that you artificially (because it was convenient for your distorted propaganda) put a constraint to look at games up to 1989 (that's because 1990, which was the ECS year, had too many games supporting the VGA/MCGA, since the market for those cards EXPLODED).

I didn't set that constraint. It started with Hammer and his '1989 era Amiga' rant, then you said "We know that the Amiga chipset was too much obsolete on 1990 and it required a major redesign. The PCs were already very ahead...". But I was replying to Kronos who was talking about a "1989 developer who had to finish a game within a certain time/budget".

Quote:
But that's ok, I've only searched the games between 1987 and 1989, as I've reported on the link that I've shared. Restricting the search to that period (just because I like to be coherent), here is how many games required the 80286: 22.
And here's how many required the 8086: 746.
And how many required the 80386: 3.

So 97% of PC games in that period only needed an 8086? I have an Amstrad PC2086 (released in 1988) with 8MHz 8086, onboard VGA and 640k RAM. It runs VGA games [i]very slowly. But according to you this was the latest technology that made the Amiga obsolete. In the real world we knew different.

Quote:
How many Amiga games in that period required more than 1MB? And how many required more than 512kB?

You said 386 was 'important'. From that I presumed you weren't restricting it to 1987-1989, since (as your own numbers show) 386 was not important during that period. In 1989 the most popular selling PC in the US was the 80286 with over 3 millions units sold, followed by 8088 with 2 million, and 80386 trailing with 1.25 million. However 386 systems were very expensive, so almost all home PCs were 8088s or 80286s - and very few of them had VGA.

However 1989 was the year that 286 sales peaked. By 1990 386 sales were catching up, surpassing the 286 in 1991. This was largely due to the introduction of cheaper systems using the 80386SX (introduced in 1888) and AMD's AM386DX (1991). So 1990 was when the paradigm shift began in the PC world that became a threat to the Amiga's existence. Amiga sales peaked in 1991 and then went into a steep decline as (relatively) cheaper more capable PCs hit the market.

Quote:
That's ridiculous. 3.5" floppies were already wide spread when VGA arrived.

Quote:
I've never talked about 1.44MB drivers: I was only talking about 3.5" drives!

So you are saying that 720k 3.5" PC drives were 'already wide spread when VGA arrived'? That's an interesting claim. IBM introduced the 720k floppy drive with its Convertible laptop in 1986.

I don't know of any desktop PC that had 720k drives before 1986 apart from the IBM JX, a rare model that was initially only sold in Japan. It had had 720k drives software limited to 360k by double-stepping the heads. I got a BIOS upgrade ROM for mine - which, in conjunction with DOS 3.2 (also released in 1986), provided the full 720k.

Quote:
WHO CARES?!? The PC market was so big that it can afford supporting multiple hardware variants, drives included.

See above. Kronos talked about a "1989 developer who had to finish a game within a certain time/budget". Having to support several different floppy drive formats was definitely a factor, as was having to support several different graphics formats. Can you not see how this could be relevant?

Meanwhile the Amiga only had one disk drive and one graphics format to contend with. This was even more important on the Amiga because (as you concede) the user base was smaller. It is particularly important to understand that introducing a new graphics chipset would not result in widespread adoption overnight. It would take several years to displace OCS, if ever - which is exactly what we saw with AGA. This is why it would have been better to introduce AGA earlier (sadly, due to Commodore's delusions of grandeur, that wouldn't happen).

Quote:
Overall statement: WHO CARES!

Many of us cared. And as you can tell from the current discussion, many of us still care.

Personally I am just happy that we got what we did. AGA was late, but they still got it out - and the A1200 is an awesome machine. That doesn't mean I am not interested in what might have been, but without the finger pointing and vitriol towards the people who gave us the wonderful stuff we got. I am sick of Amiga fans dumping on Commodore for being so incompetent as to produce over 5 million machines, which were so well designed and built that we are still using them today.

Last edited by bhabbott on 02-Dec-2023 at 10:55 PM.
Last edited by bhabbott on 02-Dec-2023 at 10:48 PM.

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cdimauro 
Re: Amiga ECS and the deception of: “Read my lips – no new chips”
Posted on 3-Dec-2023 8:14:50
#234 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 29-Oct-2012
Posts: 3497
From: Germany

@BigD

Quote:

BigD wrote:
@cdimauro

Quote:
Even when games came on multiple floppies, supporting a hard drive was a rare bird. And not even talking about the CD-ROM, which was a mythological creature on the Amiga land...


Hard drives were easily available in the 90s and PCMCIA SCSI and direct plug in CD-Rom drives were available.

Which were expensive.
Quote:
Amigans wouldn't upgrade and were addicted to X-Copy! Why would they buy the superior CD32 version of Speedball 2 on a CD for £12.99 when they could play the OCS original on pirated disks?

With this principle no videogame was ever be released for the Amiga.

Piracy was a global problem, whatever was the platform (with an exception represented by consoles on the 80s, because cloning their cartridges was still expensive).


@bhabbott

Quote:

bhabbott wrote:
Quote:

cdimauro wrote:
@bhabbott

from the Merriam-Webster: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obsolete
a
: no longer in use or no longer useful
an obsolete word

Does that describe the Amiga in 1989? No, it doesn't.

Cherry-picking whatever you like will not change the really, but only proves your perfect Intellectually dishonesty.

I've reported ALL relevant definitions before, and you cut and used only the ones which you like.
Quote:
Quote:
With your ridiculous "logic" Windows was better than the Amiga o.s, and... rolling drum... DOS was even better. That's simply because DOS (and, far distant, Windows) was much MORE wide-spread & used compared to the Amiga o.s.. Which means that, by YOUR definition, DOS beats (SIC!) the Amiga o.s..

Microsoft released Windows NT in 1993. It was way more advanced than DOS and Windows 3.1, and more advanced than Windows 95 and 98 too. So by your logic all PCs not running NT after 1992 were obsolete, until 2000 when Windows XP came out.

My logic takes into account the context: Windows NT was released only for professionals, since it lacked support for games (e.g: no direct hardware access was possible and it had limited media APIs).
Quote:
But what about hardware? Intel released the i386 CPU in 1985. That means all PCs produced after that with an 8086/8 or 80286 CPU were obsolete, right? Intel released the i486 in 1989. Now all PCs using a 386 CPU were also obsolete, right? And in 1993 they released the Pentium CPU. Now all 486s were obsolete!

In 1987 TSeng Labs introduced their ET3000 'SuperVGA' chipset, which did 256 colors in 640x480 and 800x600, 16 colors in 1024x768, and 132x44 line text. This instantly made all other lesser VGA chips obsolete, right? And all those games that stuck to 320x200 were obsolete too!!!

Exactly!
Quote:
No, they weren't. A thing doesn't automatically become obsolete when something 'more advanced' comes out.

They were, by definition.
Quote:
Quote:
And, with the same odd logic, even PCs with an Hercules video card beat (RI-SIC!) the Amiga.

For some things they did. Not games though.

Hundred of games were release for the Hercules video cards...
Quote:
Quote:
We were talking about VGA/MCGA, right? Which were sold in 1987. After that you artificially (because it was convenient for your distorted propaganda) put a constraint to look at games up to 1989 (that's because 1990, which was the ECS year, had too many games supporting the VGA/MCGA, since the market for those cards EXPLODED).

I didn't set that constraint. It started with Hammer and his '1989 era Amiga' rant, then you said "We know that the Amiga chipset was too much obsolete on 1990 and it required a major redesign. The PCs were already very ahead...". But I was replying to Kronos who was talking about a "1989 developer who had to finish a game within a certain time/budget".

Then can we go back to 1990? That was the year were ECS was released and it was the scope for my articles.

And, as you can see, I've already reported the ECS was TOO MUCH (emphasized for you) obsolete on 1990.
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But that's ok, I've only searched the games between 1987 and 1989, as I've reported on the link that I've shared. Restricting the search to that period (just because I like to be coherent), here is how many games required the 80286: 22.
And here's how many required the 8086: 746.
And how many required the 80386: 3.

So 97% of PC games in that period only needed an 8086? I have an Amstrad PC2086 (released in 1988) with 8MHz 8086, onboard VGA and 640k RAM. It runs VGA games [i]very slowly. But according to you this was the latest technology that made the Amiga obsolete. In the real world we knew different.

You clearly don't understand the concept of minimal requirements, which does NOT guarantee you that a game runs smooth on system like your.
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How many Amiga games in that period required more than 1MB? And how many required more than 512kB?

You said 386 was 'important'.

Yes. For DEVELOPERS, because the 386 requires a radically different support for games (e.g.: a DOS Extender or the "Unreal mode").
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From that I presumed you weren't restricting it to 1987-1989, since (as your own numbers show) 386 was not important during that period.

It was/is a more general question, because it depends on what type of games which we were talking about. The most demanding games required a 386.

But you don't necessarily need a 386 for the games of the time.
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In 1989 the most popular selling PC in the US was the 80286 with over 3 millions units sold, followed by 8088 with 2 million, and 80386 trailing with 1.25 million. However 386 systems were very expensive, so almost all home PCs were 8088s or 80286s - and very few of them had VGA.

OK, and? Maybe because almost all games of the time haven't required super powerful CPUs?

8086 systems were common on PCs like the almost the same old 68000 was common on Amiga...
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However 1989 was the year that 286 sales peaked. By 1990 386 sales were catching up, surpassing the 286 in 1991. This was largely due to the introduction of cheaper systems using the 80386SX (introduced in 1888) and AMD's AM386DX (1991). So 1990 was when the paradigm shift began in the PC world that became a threat to the Amiga's existence. Amiga sales peaked in 1991 and then went into a steep decline as (relatively) cheaper more capable PCs hit the market.

It doesn't work: the PC market was already much bigger than the Amiga since years. So big that developers supported several hardware platforms.
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That's ridiculous. 3.5" floppies were already wide spread when VGA arrived.

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I've never talked about 1.44MB drivers: I was only talking about 3.5" drives!

So you are saying that 720k 3.5" PC drives were 'already wide spread when VGA arrived'? That's an interesting claim. IBM introduced the 720k floppy drive with its Convertible laptop in 1986.

I don't know of any desktop PC that had 720k drives before 1986 apart from the IBM JX, a rare model that was initially only sold in Japan. It had had 720k drives software limited to 360k by double-stepping the heads. I got a BIOS upgrade ROM for mine - which, in conjunction with DOS 3.2 (also released in 1986), provided the full 720k.

You are talking about when the 3.5" drives were introduced on PC market...
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WHO CARES?!? The PC market was so big that it can afford supporting multiple hardware variants, drives included.

See above. Kronos talked about a "1989 developer who had to finish a game within a certain time/budget". Having to support several different floppy drive formats was definitely a factor, as was having to support several different graphics formats. Can you not see how this could be relevant?

How it could be relevant since we were talking about minimal things regarding videogames?

Do you know how games worked on PCs? Most of them just used the... DOS! Yes, they do NOT killed the DOS for running. So, supporting multiple disk formats was super easy and even hard drive support was practically "for free".

Compare it to how the Amiga games were developed and working, and you'll the HUGE difference (that's something which I might talk on a future article. It's already on the backlog since a while).
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Meanwhile the Amiga only had one disk drive and one graphics format to contend with. This was even more important on the Amiga because (as you concede) the user base was smaller.

Not only for that: see above for the disk support.
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It is particularly important to understand that introducing a new graphics chipset would not result in widespread adoption overnight. It would take several years to displace OCS, if ever - which is exactly what we saw with AGA.

Right, because a new hardware requires some time to get used by developers and graphics artists. That happened with the VGA/MCGA introduction too, as it can be seen by the games supporting it.
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This is why it would have been better to introduce AGA earlier (sadly, due to Commodore's delusions of grandeur, that wouldn't happen).

AGA sucked with its 7Mhz Blitter. And less important, but still important for games, it sucked with the same Paula / audio subsystem.

It carried over technologies which were TOO OBSOLETE (I remark it again for your convenience).
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Overall statement: WHO CARES!

Many of us cared. And as you can tell from the current discussion, many of us still care.

Cared about what, since having multiple hardware platforms was a burden of PC developers?!?
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Personally I am just happy that we got what we did. AGA was late, but they still got it out - and the A1200 is an awesome machine.

I did it as well, but for a good reason: it was cheap and affordable for my pockets.
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That doesn't mean I am not interested in what might have been, but without the finger pointing and vitriol towards the people who gave us the wonderful stuff we got.

That's your problem because you are a fanatical which blindly defends all Commodore decision.
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I am sick of Amiga fans dumping on Commodore for being so incompetent

That's, again, your problem because your're a blind fanatical.

FACTs are the only things that matter and Commodore incompetence is well know at all levels.
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as to produce over 5 million machines, which were so well designed and built that we are still using them today.

Do you know that the Commodore 128 sold the same amount of machines with a single variant and in much less years?

I had this machine as well (read: I wasn't able to afford an Amiga 1000), but I've mostly used as a C64 because of the bad decisions of Commodore at all levels.

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ppcamiga1 
Re: Amiga ECS and the deception of: “Read my lips – no new chips”
Posted on 3-Dec-2023 11:15:49
#235 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 23-Aug-2015
Posts: 696
From: Unknown

ECS was good enough.
In ESC times games were better on Amiga than on affordable pc.
It was AGA that made Commodore bankrupt.
No chunky pixels in AGA and rest is history.

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Kronos 
Re: Amiga ECS and the deception of: “Read my lips – no new chips”
Posted on 3-Dec-2023 11:38:53
#236 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 8-Mar-2003
Posts: 2546
From: Unknown

Lets just wrap this thread up (and some others):

Everyone who designed chips 30+ years ago which had some sort of shortcoming was not restrained by economics or the tools&knowledge at hand at that time, they were all incompetent as proven by some knowitall writing endless "articles" grounded in... well certainly not reality as we know it.

_________________
- We don't need good ideas, we haven't run out on bad ones yet
- blame Canada

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cdimauro 
Re: Amiga ECS and the deception of: “Read my lips – no new chips”
Posted on 3-Dec-2023 13:02:05
#237 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 29-Oct-2012
Posts: 3497
From: Germany

@Kronos

Quote:

Kronos wrote:
Lets just wrap this thread up (and some others):

Everyone who designed chips 30+ years ago which had some sort of shortcoming was not restrained by economics or the tools&knowledge at hand at that time, they were all incompetent as proven by some knowitall writing endless "articles" grounded in... well certainly not reality as we know it.

Since you're unable to rebut my writings you resort to this ridiculous personal attack against me.

As usual, with you.

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OneTimer1 
Re: Amiga ECS and the deception of: “Read my lips – no new chips”
Posted on 3-Dec-2023 14:22:39
#238 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 3-Aug-2015
Posts: 947
From: Unknown

@cdimauro

Quote:


Since you're unable to rebut my writings you resort to this ridiculous personal attack against me.


Since you should know all what the developers did and what problems they ran into, I believe the troll here is you.

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cdimauro 
Re: Amiga ECS and the deception of: “Read my lips – no new chips”
Posted on 3-Dec-2023 19:15:47
#239 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 29-Oct-2012
Posts: 3497
From: Germany

@OneTimer1

Quote:

OneTimer1 wrote:
@cdimauro

Quote:


Since you're unable to rebut my writings you resort to this ridiculous personal attack against me.


Since you should know all what the developers did and what problems they ran into, I believe the troll here is you.

This is a Red Herring and another personal attack.

Plus, I don't need to know what all developers did: that's something which is completely non-sense.

Unless you prove it that it's required to confute my writings. In this case I'm here waiting and can't wait to read your rants.

If you don't prove it, then your position is like Kronos.

Which wouldn't surprise me, since it looks like that the number of people which hasn't opened the Amiga Hardware Manual and read the ECS section seems to be increasing over time...

Last edited by cdimauro on 03-Dec-2023 at 07:16 PM.

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bhabbott 
Re: Amiga ECS and the deception of: “Read my lips – no new chips”
Posted on 6-Dec-2023 20:20:39
#240 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 6-Jun-2018
Posts: 315
From: Aotearoa

@ppcamiga1

Quote:

ppcamiga1 wrote:
ECS was good enough.
In ESC times games were better on Amiga than on affordable pc.

True. However there was a perception among Amiga fans that ECS was not enough, since it had fewer bitmap colors than VGA. Bad ports from other platforms reinforced this view.

In a previous post I showed that many early VGA games touted as being superior had no more colors than the Amiga was capable of, and some had the same or even less colors than their Amiga counterparts. But PC EGA and CGA games generally looked pretty awful, so PC users (rightly) considered VGA to be much better in comparison. This made Amiga fans feel inadequate because their 'superior' machine had fewer colors. Never mind all the other things that contributed to the Amiga having better games, it was only what it didn't have that they wrung their hands over.

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It was AGA that made Commodore bankrupt.
No chunky pixels in AGA and rest is history.

This is ahistorical. Before 3D texture mapped games became popular chunky pixels weren't an issue, and weren't even relevant for less than 256 colors. 3D games also required a very fast CPU (66MHz 486 recommended for Doom) which most Amigas didn't have. Doom was released on the PC in December 1993, more than a year after AGA. Even if AGA had chunky pixels it was unlikely to get a Doom port before April 1994 when Commodore went bankrupt. It certainly wouldn't have saved them.

As for AGA itself, most fans agree that far from making Commodore bankrupt, it helped stave it off. If only AGA had been released a little earlier Commodore might have lasted a while longer.

Last edited by bhabbott on 06-Dec-2023 at 08:22 PM.

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