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hardware OS4   hardware OS4 : Interview with Mr Adam Kowalczyk - ACK Software Controls.
   posted by shoe on 30-Nov-2005 19:16:01 (33418 reads)
It was back in December 2004 when we heard about the plans from ACK Software Controls on PowerPC-based expansion-cards for the Amiga 1200. A year has now passed and no one seem to have heard anything from ACK regarding these cards. Are the plans put on hold, or even canceled? Many questions without answers, only silence. So SAFIR decided to put on the Sherlock hat and took out the magnifying glass to get to the bottom of this mystery.

Enjoy the full article in English, Spanish and of cource Swedish.

[Edit 06-Dec-2005]
I'm glad to let you know that ACK Software Controls will indeed produce graphics cards for the PowerVixxen LT, and provide full specs for 3rd party developers.

Adam also verifies that the card works with the Mediator bus board.

/Shoe
[/Edit 06-Dec-2005]


A big thanks to the SAFIR-crew for helping out, especially tomazkid for the English translation and Jonas for fixing my broken HTML, also Hugo Espiñeira for the Spanish translation.
    

STORYID: 2730
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hatschi 
Re: Interview with Mr Adam Kowalczyk - ACK Software Controls
Posted on 8-Dec-2005 23:37:21
#141 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 1-Dec-2005
Posts: 2328
From: Good old Europe.

@amipal: Didn't you know, size does matter!



Personally, I love the design of the A500. However, a A1000 with a Powervixxen would be even better.

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herewegoagain 
Re: Interview with Mr Adam Kowalczyk - ACK Software Controls
Posted on 9-Dec-2005 2:23:12
#142 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 8-Jan-2003
Posts: 3270
From: Charlotte, NC

@Walter

Quote:
I wouldn't be surprised if
half a dozen boards sold just to members of our local club
(NCAUG).


Geez, you guys are still alive! We (our group NCSCAUG) tried to contact multiple groups on the East Coast a year or so ago to establish an east coast association, but never got anywhere with it. PM me if interested.

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Rogue 
Re: Interview with Mr Adam Kowalczyk - ACK Software Controls
Posted on 9-Dec-2005 12:10:35
#143 ]
OS4 Core Developer
Joined: 14-Jul-2003
Posts: 3999
From: Unknown

@tjaoz

Same old story from you.

Quote:
So give Elbox a break! It's not their fault that OS4 is not ready yet.


FWIW, I saw the so-called Prototype of the Shark on a show I think in Neuss. We never got that prototype.

The non-existance of the Shark has zero to do with OS 4. It doesn't exist because it doesn't exist. If Elbox had any interest, they would have provided us with a prototype by now to adapt OS 4 to it (unless they still think that the AmigaOne version will run unmodified on their Shark, or that it will magically adapt itself).

I've stated in the past that a kernel adaption will take about one or two months. So to have a SharkPPC version of OS 4 ready we would need to see the hardware at least two months prior to release. However, there is none. If it where, I am quite sure we would have received a prototype in the meantime.

So whatever you or Elbox say, the statement that the Shark will be out when OS 4 final is released is a fantasy, nothing else. If the hardware doesn't exist NOW it will not exist in two or three or four months either. Blaming it on the non-availability of OS 4 is just shifting blame to someone that is completely unrelated to their project. The AmigaOne hardware also was available before OS 4 is released, as much as the Pegasos was produced before a final MorphOS version came out - that is because the hardware needs to actually exist to write software or adapt an OS for it.

Especially considering the current void of hardware for OS 4 I would guess that actually producing a hardware now could satisfy a certain need and generate a few sales... But hey, it's because OS 4 final is not released.. Sure.

Yes, OS 4 is late, much later than we wanted. Have to live with that. That's not Elbox fault, and I am not trying to excuse it.

Yes, the Shark is late. But sorry, that is not our fault, and any attempt to explain it like that is just simply and alibi for their own failure.


_________________
Seriously, if you want to contact me do not bother sending me a PM here. Write me a mail

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hatschi 
Re: Interview with Mr Adam Kowalczyk - ACK Software Controls
Posted on 9-Dec-2005 13:02:19
#144 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 1-Dec-2005
Posts: 2328
From: Good old Europe.

Quote:
FWIW, I saw the so-called Prototype of the Shark on a show I think in Neuss. We never got that prototype.

This one I guess (?):
http://www.amiga-magazin.de/magazin/a03-02/interview_s4/interview_01.jpg

Quote:
If Elbox had any interest, they would have provided us with a prototype by now to adapt OS 4 to it. However, there is none. (...)
If the hardware doesn't exist NOW it will not exist in two or three or four months either.

Getting back to the topic of the thread, ACK has stated the same as Elbox:
"Further on Adam tells us that they plan to release the Vixxen in relation to when the OS4 gets done for the AmigaOne. Since the OS4 will be bundled with the card, there is no major meaning to release any product before OS4 is done."

So did you guys already get a prototype from him or have there been any negotiations?

I guess what everybody is interested in are rather what kind of options there are currently so that we can see a release of both hardware and final OS4 within the next 6 months.

I am just missing some statement from Hyperion on what is possible.

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Rogue 
Re: Interview with Mr Adam Kowalczyk - ACK Software Controls
Posted on 9-Dec-2005 13:29:23
#145 ]
OS4 Core Developer
Joined: 14-Jul-2003
Posts: 3999
From: Unknown

Quote:
This one I guess (?):


Yes. Unfortunately this was the only time I ever saw it. I don't have one so I cannot adapt OS 4 to run on it.

Quote:
Getting back to the topic of the thread, ACK has stated the same as Elbox:


With a notable exception. Adam is part of the OS 4 team, and he can actually work on it himself (and actually does so). Elbox can't so I would need a prototype.

Sure, there is no point in releasing a hardware that you don't have software for, but my point is that if the hardware is not available to the developer of the OS, then it isn't going to happen. For Adam, it is. However, I am not going to do any announcements for him about the state of his hardware - that's not for me to do.

Quote:
I guess what everybody is interested in are rather what kind of options there are currently so that we can see a release of both hardware and final OS4 within the next 6 months.

I am just missing some statement from Hyperion on what is possible.


What kind of statement? If someone is interested in producing hardware for OS 4, he should contact us (we have a dedicated web site for that). Matter of fact is there are people that contacted us about it and we are in negotiations.

I don't think a public statement would make any difference.


_________________
Seriously, if you want to contact me do not bother sending me a PM here. Write me a mail

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ackcontrols 
Re: Interview with Mr Adam Kowalczyk - ACK Software Controls
Posted on 9-Dec-2005 13:29:43
#146 ]
New Member
Joined: 28-Dec-2003
Posts: 3
From: Fonthill, Ontario, Canada

Quote:
So did you guys already get a prototype from him or have there been any negotiations?


FYI, I have been in close co-operation with Hyperion for quite some time and I will be handling the OS4 port as Hyperion is busy enough with other aspects of OS4.

ACK

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hatschi 
Re: Interview with Mr Adam Kowalczyk - ACK Software Controls
Posted on 9-Dec-2005 13:41:07
#147 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 1-Dec-2005
Posts: 2328
From: Good old Europe.

Quote:
FYI, I have been in close co-operation with Hyperion for quite some time and I will be handling the OS4 port as Hyperion is busy enough with other aspects of OS4.


Thanks for this clarification. That's definately good news!

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hatschi 
Re: Interview with Mr Adam Kowalczyk - ACK Software Controls
Posted on 9-Dec-2005 15:10:30
#148 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 1-Dec-2005
Posts: 2328
From: Good old Europe.

@Rogue
Quote:
What kind of statement?

Something like "We are currently adapting OS4 for platform X and Y" or something like Adam just posted.

Quote:
I don't think a public statement would make any difference.

I think it would. It would be far more useful for us than any statement from hardware developers such as Elbox or Troika. In contrast to you, we cannot differentiate as good between vapourware and hardware which will make it to the market.

In fact, you are the most reliable information source concerning these matters. Any statement could assure people that they are not waiting for nothing. On the other hand, not getting informed at all about negotiations with hardware developers, potential platforms which have reached a status at which developer boards exist could lead to people loosing hope and getting other platforms which are currently -on sale-.

Last edited by hatschi on 09-Dec-2005 at 03:16 PM.

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tjaoz 
Re: Interview with Mr Adam Kowalczyk - ACK Software Controls
Posted on 9-Dec-2005 15:13:51
#149 ]
Member
Joined: 1-Aug-2003
Posts: 44
From: Unknown

@Ikir

Quote:
I'm an Elbox fan but Hyperion never received a Shark prototype.

Why would Elbox send it before OS4.0 is ready?

Do you really think that Elbox should sent Shark to AmigaOS4 developers 4 years ago and wait until some date in the future when OS4.0 is released?

After all, Hyperion have had the reference hardware (MAI's Terons) back since 2001, in which they can prepare and test the new OS4.

Why would they need Shark in this period of time?
So that they have something to accuse OS4.0 delays of? Or so that Elbox provided complete know-how about its new hardware to AmigaOS4 developers (such as, for example, Adam Kowalczyk) long before it is available in the market?

I personally don't see any reason why Elbox should send Sharks to Hyperion before OS4 is ready. I guess, that this small additional time required for the OS4 HAL adaptation is not a problem for anyone.

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ssolie 
Re: Interview with Mr Adam Kowalczyk - ACK Software Controls
Posted on 9-Dec-2005 15:35:26
#150 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 10-Mar-2003
Posts: 2755
From: Alberta, Canada

Quote:
I personally don't see any reason why Elbox should send Sharks to Hyperion before OS4 is ready.

It can easily take months to adapt software to new hardware as ackcontrls, Rogue and myself who are in the business know for a fact. I personally don't see any reason why Elbox should not send Sharks to Hyperion as soon as possible. I've been working with all sorts of strange platforms in my profession and we have never, ever purposely delayed producing the hardware because the software was not ready yet. That is project suicide behaviour.


_________________
ExecSG Team Lead

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billt 
Re: Interview with Mr Adam Kowalczyk - ACK Software Controls
Posted on 9-Dec-2005 20:38:04
#151 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 24-Oct-2003
Posts: 3205
From: Maryland, USA

Quote:
Do you really think that Elbox should sent Shark to AmigaOS4 developers 4 years ago and wait until some date in the future when OS4.0 is released?

After all, Hyperion have had the reference hardware (MAI's Terons) back since 2001, in which they can prepare and test the new OS4.


Uhm, you seem to have answered your own question there. OS4 works on AmigaOne and PPC classics as those are availabel to the OS4 testers to develop and support and test on. For Shark, if Elbox actually does release the Shark when OS4 final comes out, they're starting with zero support on day one of OS4 final sales. AmigaOne and PPC classics will work quite well on day one of OS4 final sales. ACK should work quite well on day one of its hardware sales as it seems they will wait until OS4 is for sale, but someone in the OS4 development team has access to that hardware to make sure it's properly supported and working on prototypes as they are built.

The better question is why are Elbox so obsessively against sharing a prototype with the OS development team? Why are they so unwilling to let the OS team have the opportunity to properly support this hardware? So what if it takes a while or is not an instantaneous release? What do they have to lose, and why would one board be so valuable not to share it with someone else whose own product is apparently very tightly tied to the success of the Shark?

ie ((no OS4 means no Shark) == (Shark success is very dependent on OS4 success))

It just seems strange that Elbox avoids making sure that their own product will work well with such a dependency/prerequisite OS product.

ACK will have a head start on Elbox because of this.


_________________
All glory to the Hypnotoad!

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Comi 
Re: Interview with Mr Adam Kowalczyk - ACK Software Controls
Posted on 9-Dec-2005 21:31:51
#152 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 1-Jul-2003
Posts: 660
From: Zlatibor, Serbia

This is whay we need interview with Elbox.


_________________
F1 Srbija

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hatschi 
Re: Interview with Mr Adam Kowalczyk - ACK Software Controls
Posted on 9-Dec-2005 23:12:56
#153 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 1-Dec-2005
Posts: 2328
From: Good old Europe.

I am always wondering what kind of benefit companies get from vapourware. Ok, they get a lot of attention when the product is announced. Most people see them as the saviour of the platform although the number of sceptics has increased - no wonder why, given Amigas history. But in the long run these companies loose all their credibility.
Ok, if you are a startup, it would not matter too much.
But why would a company such as Elbox want to do that? They have a good track-record and made some great products such as the Mediator. Why would they risk all this for being the big fool in the end?

Just for those who did not read through the discussions: This does NOT allude to ACK.

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FrankBrana 
Re: Interview with Mr Adam Kowalczyk - ACK Software Controls
Posted on 10-Dec-2005 11:18:28
#154 ]
Member
Joined: 13-Oct-2005
Posts: 54
From: Unknown

@tjaoz

Its, really, that hard to understand the Rogue´s post?

Hyperion needs ALL the reference manuals that the hardware manufacturer can deliver, and, at least, a single board ( proto or not ) to test its progress on.

OS4 having a HAL its no reason to state "I guess, that this small additional time required for the OS4 HAL adaptation is not a problem for anyone."
Did you code the HAL to state how hard would be the adaptation or how much time it would take ( if possible of coz )?

No hardware, no version. Its that simple.

Last edited by FrankBrana on 10-Dec-2005 at 11:21 AM.

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Jeffshepherd 
Re: Interview with Mr Adam Kowalczyk - ACK Software Controls
Posted on 10-Dec-2005 15:38:43
#155 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 17-Jan-2005
Posts: 333
From: Unknown

Does anyone know how much of an effort it would be to adapt ACKs PPC card into a proper mother board? If ACK could do this then we would have another mother board manufacturer to go with Troika.

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Deaths_Head 
Re: Interview with Mr Adam Kowalczyk - ACK Software Controls
Posted on 11-Dec-2005 14:29:53
#156 ]
Member
Joined: 15-Apr-2005
Posts: 82
From: Unknown

If this Ack board is small enough to fit inside an A1200 would it be possible to design an adapter so that i could fit it inside the CD32's fmv expansion port after all it is just a cut down A1200.

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hatschi 
Re: Interview with Mr Adam Kowalczyk - ACK Software Controls
Posted on 11-Dec-2005 15:24:36
#157 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 1-Dec-2005
Posts: 2328
From: Good old Europe.

Quote:
I've seen adaptors from MiniPCI to regular PCI32, I wonder if it could be possible to use one of those with whatever gaphics card they make for this thing in an XE/Micro board or big-box classic PCI bridge like Prometheus or Mediator until an A3000/4000 accelerator is made for it.

Quote:
Anyway, Freescale say they're going to release a 600MHz version of this chip. Stick that on a board with a PCI Radeon chip with DVI output (VGA via dongle or additional), TV out, IDE or SATA controller and I'll be interested.

Quote:
Don't forget us A4000 users.

Quote:
why don't route the signals to an miniAGP slot.

Quote:
I'd love to put this baby in an A600 if it fits.

Quote:
Why can't he put it in the A500 trapdoor?

Quote:
would it be possible to design an adapter so that i could fit it inside the CD32's fmv expansion port


Gosh, and I would just be happy if the PV would get released as it was announced...

Last edited by hatschi on 11-Dec-2005 at 03:33 PM.

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FrankBrana 
Re: Interview with Mr Adam Kowalczyk - ACK Software Controls
Posted on 12-Dec-2005 14:27:32
#158 ]
Member
Joined: 13-Oct-2005
Posts: 54
From: Unknown

Quote:
Gosh, and I would just be happy if the PV would get released as it was announced...


You know, this community is never happy, or better, XXXX hardware/software is never enough powerful and/or cheap

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tjaoz 
Re: Interview with Mr Adam Kowalczyk - ACK Software Controls
Posted on 12-Dec-2005 18:58:17
#159 ]
Member
Joined: 1-Aug-2003
Posts: 44
From: Unknown

@billt

Quote:
Uhm, you seem to have answered your own question there.

My question was: "Do you really think that Elbox should sent Shark to AmigaOS4 developers 4 years ago and wait until some date in the future when OS4.0 is released?" And this question is still unanswered.

Quote:
OS4 works on AmigaOne and PPC classics as those are availabel to the OS4 testers to develop and support and test on.

Beta versions of OS4 "works," but OS4 for AmigaOne is still not ready.

Quote:
For Shark, if Elbox actually does release the Shark when OS4 final comes out, they're starting with zero support on day one of OS4 final sales.

Remember that the OS4 release date is not known yet.

As Rogue earlier wrote, adapting OS4 to Shark will take 1-2 months. Short enough, so I don't see any reason for sending hardware years earlier.

Quote:
The better question is why are Elbox so obsessively against sharing a prototype with the OS development team?

Maybe because developing hardware costs so much time and money?

Who would Elbox send complete hardware and documentation to AmigaOS4 developers before OS4 is ready? To allow using their know-how for developing some other commercial products?

Quote:
Why are they so unwilling to let the OS team have the opportunity to properly support this hardware? So what if it takes a while or is not an instantaneous release? What do they have to lose, and why would one board be so valuable not to share it with someone else whose own product is apparently very tightly tied to the success of the Shark?

The point is not in sending one board. What really matters is providing complete documentation to the new hardware, which is not available in the market. By sending a Shark, Elbox would provide complete know-how about its new hardware to AmigaOS4 developers (such as, for example, Adam Kowalczyk) long before their Shark boards are available in the market.

It follows from the news, in which we are discussing, that one of the OS4 developers decided to commit to developing competitive PPC hardware. Do you really think that Elbox should give him complete docs for its own hardware?

Quote:
ACK will have a head start on Elbox because of this.

Sorry, but I must say this: as for now, all ACK showed is production of announcements and interviews, nothing more.
Have you seen any photo of any prototype? See how easily ACK changes specifications for his "product" and you have a proof that his "product" is in the stage of an idea -- only.

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tjaoz 
Re: Interview with Mr Adam Kowalczyk - ACK Software Controls
Posted on 12-Dec-2005 19:02:01
#160 ]
Member
Joined: 1-Aug-2003
Posts: 44
From: Unknown

@FrankBrana

Quote:
Its, really, that hard to understand the Rogue´s post?

Hyperion needs ALL the reference manuals that the hardware manufacturer can deliver, and, at least, a single board ( proto or not ) to test its progress on.

I wonder if the situation could not be the other way round.
Could Hyperion send to Elbox all the necessary HAL materials so that Elbox themselves adapt Shark to OS4?

If, as Rogue writes, Adam Kowalczyk can adapt OS4 to his card all by himself, who wouldn't Elbox do the same?

Quote:
OS4 having a HAL its no reason to state "I guess, that this small additional time required for the OS4 HAL adaptation is not a problem for anyone."
Did you code the HAL to state how hard would be the adaptation or how much time it would take ( if possible of coz )?

Amiga OS4 is written in such a way that such adaptation is a "simple and speedy matter." From the Hyperion's OS4 site:
"A highly portable codebase and Hardware Abstraction Layer makes porting AmigaOS to other devices using the PowerPC architecture,
from SOC components to the STI Cell processor, a simple and speedy matter."

Quote:
No hardware, no version. Its that simple.

In case of all previous AmigaOSs, hardware producers adapted their processor cards to the given AmigaOS by themselves. The necessary adjustments were included in booting ROMs (Flashes) in these cards. Why should this way be changed now?

Suggestion:
Why doesn't Hyperion, instead of lamenting that they haven't received Shark cards until now, make available the necessary HAL documentation for Amiga OS4, so that all hardware producers (and not only Adam Kowalczyk) could adapt their hardware to Amiga OS4 in their own scope?

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