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back to article Keyboard PC design recalls Amiga era

Fashion often repeats itself, with dated products reborn into popular products. Just think of VolksWagen’s Beetle or BMW's Mini. And now we can add the Commodore Amiga to the list, sort of, thanks to a new all-in-one PC with a look rather reminiscent of the home computer. Cybernet's Zero-footprint PC (ZPC), as it's curiously …

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8 bit?

The Amiga 500 (the first of the keyboard-style Amigas) was 16 bit, while the successor, the Amiga 1200 was a 32 bit machine.

If we're talking about a keyboard-style computer from Commodore, perhaps the article is in fact referring to the Commodore 64?

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Anonymous Coward

UK sales?

Website shows USD prices only. Any ideas how to buy one in GBP from their UK arm?

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Alert

Amigas weren't 8-bit! You mean the C-64s?

Amigas were 32-bit machines, mostly using 16-bit "386 SX-like" CPUs but still 32-bit inside.

I'd be surprised if you don't get a flood of hate mail from former Amiga followers like myself. :-)

Otherwise, aside from the DVD drive being on the wrong side, it resembles an Amiga 500, all right. Makes me wonder how Commodore could have rebuilt the machine today. And loaded to the hilt - 4 GB RAM and huge hard drive... this thing's built to last a few years.

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Stop

amiga 8bit

The Commodore Amiga was an 8bit machine? i wasn't aware of that :)

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It maybe worth you reading up on the Amiga spec's

The Amiga was not an 8 bit computer. It used a 68000 processor that was 16/24/32 bits. As in 16 bit memory width, 24 bit address lines and a 32 bit CPU core.

All in all it was somewhat more advanced than most of the other machines available at the time.

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Anonymous Coward

8 bit?

a500/a600 = 16 bit

a1200 = 32 bit

or thats how I remember it anyway.

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Paris Hilton

Um...

....so, a laptop without the monitor then?

And where is the Paris Hilton angle?

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Unhappy

So what's the big deal here???

What, it's a laptop without the screen. BFD!!!!

I've done similar with older laptops that have had failed LCD's and turned them into working "desktop machines".

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Stop

sigh

"Amiga ... the 8-bit home computer"

oh dear oh dear oh dear. Geek card please...

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8-Bit Amiga ?

I'm struggling for words here; really I am. And I thought you cared.

*sob*

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Paris Hilton

Urk

It looks absolutely horrible. I wonder if you can get an add-on 20mb hard drive that slots into the side? Or a Fat Agnes? Do you have to use a soldering iron in order to fit the maximum 9mb memory?

Fat Agnes or Fat Angus, I can't remember. Doesn't matter.

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Actually...

The Amiga was never an 8bit computer, the C=64 was. The A500 was 16bit, the A1200 (which had a similar design) was 32bit, and the BlizzardPPC mobo-like device you could put in the 1200 was 64bit.

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Joe
Happy

I rather like this!

Now all they have to do is make it plug into the telly instead of a monitor and they're onto a winner.

Also, as I'm sure I won't be the only one to say, the Amiga was a 16-bit machine, not an 8-bit... :P

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The Amiga era eh?

Surely the Atari ST era? You know the Atari ST came out before the Amiga right?

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Paris Hilton

Multi-touch ?

Is it multi-touch ? Maybe not. There's not really room for two fingers.

I doubt one could say the same about Ms. Hilton.

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curious portage

What, no HDMI?

And is that a parallel port I see?

And serial ports?

Are you SURE this isn't an Amiga?

It's certainly retro-tastic on those fronts!

I'd almost be tempted to get one as a low-profile Media Centre type effort, and whilst the lack of HDMI isn't a deal-breaker (I have no HD display device at this moment) one would have to obtain a wireless keyboard to facilitate lounge-bound web-surfing, which seems to almost defeat the object of the whole exercise...

Now where's the "not quite sure" thumb icon?

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VIC 20

Re: "If we're talking about a keyboard-style computer from Commodore, perhaps the article is in fact referring to the Commodore 64?"

Or rather, the VIC 20. The VIC 20 pre-dates the C64 by quite a few years - same shaped box. Different internals.

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Lee

Anyone else think it looks like a BBC ?

As for UK versions they do sell 'em or at least they used too as I have 2 cybernet ZPC's at home somewhere I picked up a few years back.

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Actually....

Pre-dating the VIC 20, we also have the TRS80, Apple II, Ohio Challenger (somewhat larger than a TRS80, but even so...), etc etc...

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Paris Hilton

Acorn A3000

More like the good old Acorn Achimedes A3000!

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Stop

Great

That'll be even more expensive when I spill coffee on it.

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Coat

I don't know if it's been mentioned already...

But the Amiga wasn't an 8-bit computer. You must mean the C=64...

/gets coat with straight face...

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I wonder how...

Graphics capable this is. The amiga was renowned for its superior gaming. I bet this thiing has an Intel 915 integrated "vista capable" card inside.

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Too heavy

Many people who have laptops don't really need to work outdoors, but simply use it to take their computer from work to home and to plug into projectors for presentations. For this purpose, a screen-less and battery-less compact computer is fine (assuming you have external screens at home and work). But this one weighs in at over 3 kilogrammes, so it sort of defeats the purpose. It's not exactly cheap either. One would think that producing a "laptop" without screen and battery would be considerably cheaper than this.

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BITS: So much speculation and only ONE right answer! @Roger Thomas

My God! How many people here appear to have no idea what 8/16/32/64 bit actually means!

So far only 1 of you has it correct: Roger

"The Amiga was not an 8 bit computer. It used a 68000 processor that was 16/24/32 bits. As in 16 bit memory width, 24 bit address lines and a 32 bit CPU core."

And I ask, whats "386SX-like" processor mean? The 680x0 range were built by Motorola and were nothing like the x86 range.

I'm guessing that I'd be right Roger by saluting a fellow 68k Assembler programmer 07

To me, this looks more like a C64/Amiga hyrbid in design.

Now, question for you all, why was it called Amiga? Clues: think co-processors and chipsets

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Been done before...

...for PCs as well. By Amstrad/Sinclair with the PC200. Here's one:

http://www.nvg.org/sinclair/computers/pc200/pc200.htm

The spec was appalling - yuk!

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coffee proof

is it coffee proof, cos i've lost several keyboards to this and would rather not lose an entire computer to it. not that i'd buy one of these ugly devices.

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Those were the days . . .

Ahh . . . I can still remember lifting the lid on my Amiga 1200 to install a 170Mb hard drive that cost about £170.

Lemmings, Chaos Engine and the original Civilization . . . was there any more fun to be had?

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Coat

Looks more like an ST to me.

Mine's the one that lets me copy the logos for your coat, but isn't as popular itself ;)

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Bronze badge
Stop

Silent?

It looks kinda neat in the pictures, but in real life I'd be concerned about the heat, noise, and vibration, put out by all those mechanical gubbins. Do you really want a hard disk, CPU/fan and optical drive whirring away right under your fingertips??

One of the nice things about having a PC in a box is that you can put it at the back, or even under, your desk, where it doesn't disturb you so much.

And before other suggest laptop technology, for the CPU yes probably, but I don't see many 750GB HDs in laptops...

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Silver badge

Sometimes...

I surprise myself at how much of a geek I really am. I stormed straight to this comments page to vent my frustration that you were calling the amiga an 8-bit machine...

only to find I had been beaten to it! Glad I'm in good company, POWER TO THE GEEKS! :)

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VIC-20, C64, C128 and Headstart Computers

The computer in the article reminds me more of the older Commodore computers like the VIC-20, C64 and the C128. As for the PC clone side, does anybody recall the HeadStart computers? I want to remember a model or two that had an all-in-one format.

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BBC Micro ftw

Pre-load this baby with Elite, and paint it beige.

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Anonymous Coward

Sinclair PC 200

It's the Sinclair PC 200!

http://www.system-cfg.com/photos/sinclair_pc200_1.jpg

Amstrad put a PC into an Amiga/ST style case and tried to flog it to the publuc. Sadly the PC in question was underpowered and just the wrong platform for games in 1988. As a result few were sold.

Nice idea though to stick a PC in such a case by Amstrad. Seems it took the rest of the world 20 years to catch up!

No icon as there are a lack of Alan Sugar type options.

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oldschool

even as a dyed-in-the-wool Atari fanboy I have to tajke issue with the Amiga 8bit error in the text - 'shurley' everyone knows it's a 16bit machine ?

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Gold badge

Re: The Amiga era eh?

Atari ST released Early July 1985 (can't find any definitive date).

Amiga A1000 released 24th July 1985.

Who cares which was first. The Amiga was better, ST was a cheaper rushed to market design which featured the same awful sound as a Sinclair Spectrum 128k. Atari lost the Amiga to Commodore and needed a replacement fast. That's not to say it was no good, it had MIDI, PC compatible disc format, high res monitor and a reasonable OS.

Apple beat both of them to market anyway.

The original C64 case was nicknamed the breadbin btw, so this is a PC in a breadbin?

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Coffee machine

As an Amigan I remember my A1200 being spread all over the table..

ie: Cdrom ( naturally scsi)

Genlock

Goliath psu

extra floppies

and a whopping 170mb HD

So do we take it that if this design sells well then Jay got it right all those years ago ?

Also when using my A1200 I made damn sure liquids never went ANYWHERE near it. ( The 060 accelerator cost £600 alone)

btw.. Would anyone actually admit to being an ex ST'er ?

;-)

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Re: Sinclair PC200

David Viner wrote:" Been done before for PCs as well. By Amstrad/Sinclair with the PC200. Here's one:

http://www.nvg.org/sinclair/computers/pc200/pc200.htm

The spec was appalling - yuk!"

Yeah, but take a look at this:

http://www.custompc.co.uk/features/59895/project_sinclair_pc200.html

Sorted!

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Bindun!

http://www.mini-itx.com/projects/c64/

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god it looks awfull. Korean car design comes to computer cases.

that design recalls nothing of the amiga era. the only thing in common is it is an all-in-one unit.

a home built apple II with original peeling 70's wood veneer would look better than that pos.

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Dead Vulture

U G L Y You ain't got no alibi

You fugly!

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Unhappy

"There's room in there for..."

"...up to 750GB of hard drive storage, 4GB of 667MHz DDR 2 memory"

Hmm, I didn't realise a 1TB drive took up more physical space than a 750GB drive, nor did I realise 800MHz DDR2 memory sticks were larger than those tiny 667MHz sticks.

Maybe is they used a slower DVD drive, then they could put in a smaller one and save some more space!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sometimes...

Yes, Dr Mouse, and I was storming to comments page to say that the machine looked a lot more like a BBC Micro or even its predecessor the Acorn Atom.... only to find that I had also been beaten to it.

Gosh, I miss those machines. They were knowable.

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Atari 600XL

IMHO, as far as the shape is concerned, the closest match would be the Atari 600XL pictured at the link below:

http://pc-museum.com/gallery/rcm-037-big.jpg

As the proud owner of several Amigas, Apple Mac SE and Atari ST, I feel like banging my head against the wall when I read folks referring to the Motorola 68k CPU as "386SX-like": it's simply outrageous.

It's a decent product, slightly overpriced, but it's doomed by the lack of a full-size PCIe slot to fit a graphic card.

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Oooold news

This machines are being sold for at least 5 years or even more. They have full page ads in the back of wired magazine.

At least looks like the author corrected the 8 bit issue...

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J
Linux

Interesting...

Seems interesting... Now, laptop without a screen, really? Show me a laptop that can have Quad Core, 4 GB of RAM and 750 GB of HD for $1300 and I'll agree.

Hey, and you can buy it without operating system, according to their "customize" options! (add $110 for XP home, $166 for XP Pro SP2, no Vista)

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Anonymous Coward

Amiga vs ST

Can I start up an Amiga vs ST debate? Sure the Amiga was technically superior, but I bought my STE for music making as it had a built in MIDI interface and some great software.

I think STs were used in studios until relatively recently?

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Damn

Someone beat me to the Sinclair PC200 reference.

At least this one looks like it's got contemporary specifications. The PC200 wasn't exactly cutting edge tech when it launched, and wasn't very expandable. I seem to recall YS being pretty critical of the spec when it reviewed the machine.

"Do you really want a hard disk, CPU/fan and optical drive whirring away right under your fingertips??"

I'd better, since that's the arrangement you'll find in the average laptop.

My question is, can you plug it into your telly?

Reminds me of the Friday night gathering at a friend's house, just after I'd upgraded my Amiga 4000 HD from 120MB to 1GB (200 quid that cost me!) and we decided to shoehorn my old drive into his Amiga 1200. We had to remove the metal mounting rails from the drive to make it fit. This was done sitting on a sofa, in near darkness, no anti-static precautions, and decreasingly sober as the task progressed. It worked, too!

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Alien

curious portage II

Unless my eyesight is a bit off just now, isn't there keyboard and mouse ports between the fans and the USB ports. Why would a keyboard need an extra keyboard?

aliens at work?

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Bronze badge

The BOFH is waiting in the wings

Would all those complaining about lack of reliability in Amiga reporting please assist by rolling up your sleeves? Thankyou.

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