back to article New Amiga to go on sale in late 2017

The world's getting a new Amiga for Christmas. Yes, that Amiga – the seminal Commodore microcomputers that brought mouse-driven GUIs plus slick and speedy graphics to the masses from 1985 to 1996. The Amiga was beloved by gamers, graphics pros and many an IT aficionado who just appreciated their speedy (for their time) …

  1. wolfetone Silver badge

    Where the hell have you been Reg? The Vampire project has been around for the last 18 months/2 years.

    Is your internet connection that slow?

    1. gotes

      Not sure if the article has been updated since you wrote your comment, but it does say "Apollo's produced similar devices before".

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Read the linked document, dated August 3rd 2017:

      "After the big success of the Vampire 600 V2 and Vampire 500 V2+, Apollo Team is proud to announce their next generation FPGA device: the Vampire V4."

    3. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

      Glad this is getting mainstream attention. Even Trevor Dickinson's machines never really get much coverage. Still love the Amiga. Just give me a decent browser and LibreOffice and I'll get a Vampire for my A3000 when they are released.

      1. Raffaele

        Mr. Hartley. On Amiga we already have a decent browser and it is name OWB (Odyssey for the friends). In the meanwhile LibreOffice is worked on, then you can made some good surfing.

        If you will end not buying the Vampire, if you have plenty of RAM and an accelrated card on your A3000 then you can use Netsurf then, even if it has limited capabilities, as it is only HTML 4.01 compliant and lacks of Javascript that will be available from version 5 as stated by development team (experimental Javascript Machine is available on RiscOS Netsurf version as long as I remember).

  2. Your alien overlord - fear me

    IDE disk drive? Never heard of SATA?

    1. Piro

      It'll most likely be used for CompactFlash, not old school drives.

    2. ForthIsNotDead

      PAH! SCSI or death! :-)

      1. David 132 Silver badge
        Coat

        PAH! SCSI or death! :-)

        Happened more often than you think - every SCSI installation involved a Terminator.

      2. Stevie Silver badge

        SCSI or death!

        Pah! Block multiplexor or nothing!

  3. Douchus McBagg

    already have each of their Vampire2 products. all I'm going to say is:-

    "shut up and take my money!"

  4. DrXym Silver badge

    Is anyone keeping count?

    The Amiga brand is like a Japanese horror movie curse.

    Since Commodore went bust the brand has been passed through a multitude of owners. Each promises a new model "soon". And invariably the endeavour flops and the brand passes on to a new owner. Rinse and repeat for twenty years.

    1. Orgin

      Re: Is anyone keeping count?

      @DrXym

      That's not what's happening here though if that was a comment on the intention of the news post.

      This news post isn't about someone trying to do a relaunch the brand with new hardware or whatever.

      Whats happening here is simply just that a few enthusiast are making a new version of hardware that they are already successfully selling to their intended audience.

    2. AliveMOOn

      Re: Is anyone keeping count?

      This is not a simple nostalgia! The main argument for me is not to turn on the phone or power station PC if I want to use AMIGA!

      I have V2 in an AMIGA600. Quickly done little things very effective!

    3. Horridbloke
      Unhappy

      Re: Is anyone keeping count?

      The Amiga has become the Blakes 7 of home computers.

      1. Random Handle

        Re: Is anyone keeping count?

        >The Amiga has become the Blakes 7 of home computers.

        The Babylon 5 would be a more appropriate moniker

      2. Stoke the atom furnaces

        The Amiga has become the Blakes 7 of home computers.

        But Blakes 7 space ship was controlled by an Acorn System 1.

    4. Michael Strorm

      Re: Is anyone keeping count?

      @DrXym; The intellectual rights associated with Commodore (including brands, names, software and hardware IP) seem to me to be a complete cluster**** with different parts spread among and sub-licensed to numerous parties.

      That said, there do appear to have been quite a few "new" successfully Amigas released over the past decade. They appear to be aimed at the diehard rabid Amiga users as a means to run AmigaOS (and aren't directly compatible with old hit-the-hardware games and the like for the classic Amigas).

      This shouldn't be confused with pitiful attempts to exploit the "Commodore" brand for nostalgia with (e.g.) generic Android tablets having the "Pet" name slapped on them and running C64 and Vic 20 emulators- as any generic Android tablet could (but ironically, not including a Commodore Pet emulator). Or attempts to use the names of classic Amiga models like "A3000" on generic HTPC cases that have *nothing* to do with the Amiga *nor* the new "real" Amigas described above.

      In truth, it all died 20 years ago, and what we have now are people exploiting the scraps, scattered to the four winds.

      1. Oh Homer
        Linux

        Re: "it all died 20 years ago"

        Commercially, yes, but the target audience don't particularly care about that.

        I've long since moved on, and there's not really any going back once you've experienced the wonders of Free Software, but it's nice to see a bit of diversity, and of course diversity is absolutely essential for progress.

        In any case, the "Vampire" series is technically impressive, and the combination of nostalgia and gadgetry is always compelling. At the right price, I'd buy it.

  5. RyokuMas Silver badge
    Trollface

    Just remember...

    ... it would never have existed had it not been for the Atari ST...

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Just remember...

      Again, the ST lived on for a long time throughout the nineties, largely due to its place in music studios.

      1. Elmer Phud Silver badge

        Re: Just remember...

        And that just about everybody was using the same copy of Cubase

      2. Alistair Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Just remember...

        @Dave 126:

        Through the 90's?

        I know of at least 2 that are still in use in a music studio not far from here....

        <Beer? well, yes, they be hard workin "Toys">

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just remember...

      The Amiga was in development way before the ST. The ST was a rush job of generic components that Jack Tramiel wanted to get to market when he took over Atari.

      1. psychonaut

        Re: Just remember...

        oh my god. are we going to necropost about ST vs Amiga?? just for you kids...the whole fanboi thing is not new. Amiga vs ST arguments were loud and abusive all over the playground in 1985 onwards i think. the ST had better sound. but the Amiga was the better machine.

        obviously i had an Amiga. if you had an ST, you were a slag. c'mon, i'll start it ...oi you, over here! come ON!! sllaaaaagggg with your ST...oooh, it does midi....NO ONE CARES! i want to be able to play stunt car racer networked (with a null modem cable i'll have you know)...CMON!!!

        1. RyokuMas Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Just remember...

          " are we going to necropost about ST vs Amiga??"

          Why not? I mean, people are still doing the same thing now over phones...

          Obviously I had an ST... but that's because I was more into making stuff than playing games... /grin

          1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

            Re: Just remember...

            ST owner here. My first ever paid development work was a magazine cover-disk game for the ST. A meagre fee, but it's still "for reward"...

            The ST is most definitely the newer system. It's a classic story of corporate politics. Before its magnificent implosion, Atari (the Warner subsidiary) had comissioned Jay Miner (developer of the video hardware in both the 2600 and the 400/800 computers) to develop a new chipset for arcade and home use based around a 68000 CPU.

            In the mess of the takeover of Atari by Jack Tramiel (recently ousted from Commodore), that contract lapsed, and it seems there was also considerable "anti-Atari" feeling from the new management team too. In fairness, the old Atari had been spectacularly badly run as a business, so this could be justified. In any case, Amiga Inc had lost its customer, so went looking for a new buyer, and Commodore seemed a natural choice, as there were really only a few serious options (Atari, Apple, Commodore - but Apple had just put out their Macintosh, so that just left Commodore)

            Anyway, having lost Amiga either through ignorance of its existence, or risk aversion, Atari (the new Tramiel-owned company) then needed a proper 16-bit computer, and fast, so the ST was built in about a year using mostly off-the-shelf components. The Blitter chip was the most complex custom silicon on the ST, but it missed the deadline and got dropped from the launched product, but the underlying graphics library (on the 68000's Line-A trap) in the ST's ROM was clearly designed with this chip in mind.

            The ST was a better computer design: it followed through on the 68000's clean architecture to produce a system that was logically arranged and easy to program. The Amiga was far superior as a multimedia machine, but it had some quirks. AmigaOS was a bit too adventurous for a CPU without memory protection (or a way to restart a bus error). I did own an Amiga for a while, but the poor stability of its OS for "work" tasks brought me back to the ST. Amiga, hands down, had the best games.

            If you're into the Amiga, it's worth looking into the Atari 2600 and the 400/800. There's a lot of what became Amiga in those two machines (e.g., the 400's ANTIC was the forerunner of the Amiga's Copper display-list processor)

            Fun-fact. Amiga's impressive 4096-colour Hold-and-Modify graphics mode was never designed as such: it was instead a relic of abandoned circuitry to directly produce a composite video output, as befitting the product's games console origins. In that mode, you'd hold the chroma signal(s) for two pixel clocks, and modify the luma every pixel clock to produce a full colour display with lower memory requirements, as television video standards all had a higher resolution for the luminance signal than the colour signal. When the video output requirement changed to RGB, the circuitry was repurposed to provide the HAM modes, on the basis that it was already in the chip and might be useful for something..

            1. Michael Strorm

              Re: Just remember...

              @Kristian Walsh; Excellent and informative summary.

              I've said myself that the Amiga was far closer to being the spiritual successor to the 400/800 (and, in turn, the VCS/2600) than the Atari ST was.

              Architectural similarities, design philosophy of using custom chips for state of the art design (and accordingly high price when first released) and many of the same people involved. Not to mention that both started out as game console designs.

              The ST was a product of Tramiel's "Atari Corp."- not the original "Atari Inc."- and reflected a very different "off-the-shelf" (as you describe) and "power without the price" approach. From what I've heard he sacked most of the existing Atari engineers and replaced them with his own people when he bought out Atari's computer/console division anyway. Not that much continuity between them beyond the fact he kept the 400/800 and VCS on, albeit more as cash cows with Atari Corp's shoestring approach to marketing.

            2. Mike 16 Silver badge

              Re: Just remember...

              A few slight corrections to a generally accurate post:

              The Amiga chipset was in development before Atari got involved (other than their involvement of pissing off anough 2600/400/800 designers to make them available to Amiga). Atari did not "commision" them, and I don't recall there being any intent of using the chipset in coin-op. Atari came in with financing they needed, in exchange for rights to produce a game-console with the chipset, and a PC after a specified "head start" for the Amiga-branded one. This was a safe bet because Amiga was unlikely to have a saleable product much before the date that Atari could compete. (Source: I interviewed with Amiga, knowing some folks there, before any Atari connection. My life was not in a state where I could take the risk right then, but I stayed, and remain, in contact with a few)

              The ST design already existed (was in progress) when TTL got Atari Consumer. It was designed by some C64 folks who had left with JT when he was ousted at Commodore. (Source, folks who were at Atari under both regimes, at least for a while. The rumor was that JT essentially bought the Atari logo to slap on the designated heir)

              JT knew of the Amiga folks, and possibly their connection to Atari, before the sale, and his intention was to strangle the Amiga in its cradle, not to leverage it for his own future product (which was already in progress, see above). He was really pissed that it had escaped, and how it had escaped. (Source, some of the same as above, and few ex-commodore folks with more access to Mahogany row. This is the most tenuous of what I "know" via such rumors.)

              The Amiga guys were pretty scrupulous about avoiding 2600/400/800 I.P. in designing the chipset. So there are philosophical "bloodlines, but nothing that could expose them to patent lawsuits if the Atari/Warner deal soured. They were not stupid. (Source: again, my personal connections with them).

              (OTOH, Warner/Atari had a record of "winning" lawsuits and as a result sending money to the "losers". there was a joke at the time that to get rich in the games industry, just get Atari to sue you, and lose :-)

              1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

                Re: Just remember... @Mike 16

                Thanks for the "inside story" - my info was just picked up from extensive reading, but often there are things that those sources won't write down... :)

                The Amiga being a console only makes more sense, in hindsight - Atari Inc already had a 68k system for cabinets before (Marble Madness, Paperboy, etc...), and it fits with the HAM mode being originally a composite video generator... arcade machines were all RGB displays, so there'd have been no need for composite output.

                Lots of accounts from the time suggest that Tramiel really did miss out on Amiga, and the attempts to kill it were after he realised how much of a threat it would be. There's also a bit of Amiga Inc deliberately keeping a low profile to avoid being noticed by Atari's new owners.. It was probably animosity toward Commodore, as the only likely buyer, rather than Amiga, that led to "Tramiel" Atari trying so hard to secure injunctions against Amiga, and I wonder if Commodore would have been so keen on Amiga had it not been seen as a poetic way to stab Tramiel.

                I didn't intend to claim that the Amiga chipset was based on the 400/800, just that the concepts are very similar - nobody else so fully embraced the idea of displaylists, or the idea that a graphic display mode is a property of the current scanline, rather than the entire field. Those ideas started in the 2600 out of necessity, and the mindset carried over into 400/800, and later Amiga.

                JT essentially bought the Atari logo to slap on the designated heir

                Absolutely. The complete shift in product focus after ST is amazing in hindsight. Atari, the company that pretty much invented video-gaming, suddently became a business-machine provider: the ST's value propostion was its high-resolution monochrome display, easy porting of DOS software, and cost-effective printers and hard-disks.

                Meanwhile, with Amiga, Commodore Business Machines launched what would become the ultimate games machine of the late 1980s.

                I wasn't sure of the exact timing of ST, but it was definitely a quick design, and most unusually for the time, it came to market on time and on price - I suppose on that basis, it must have been started before Tramiel took over.

                When I studied microprocessor systems, all of the textbook and data-sheet reference designs for 68k were eerily reminiscent of the ST that I had learned to program 68k assembler on, so I suspect that there was a lot of wholesale lifting of reference designs there.

                ST was a really good piece of engineering in terms of "most performance for least cost", even if that meant some dated component choices that didn't stand the test of time. Most unforgiveably, ST didn't even have a rudimentary DAC, just that Yamaha square-wave generator that wasn't even up to the capabilities of the 400's POKEY chip. ST did have a rudimentary DMA controller, if I recall, which would have made a PCM audio system in the mould of the original Macintosh's (DMA to a DAC, with an interrupt when the buffer empties) relatively easy to implement.

                1. Mike 16 Silver badge

                  Re: Just remember... @Mike 16

                  Minor nit-pick: PaperBoy was, IIRC, PDP-11-based. I recently managed to get a T-11 chip as was used on the "System II" games. If my memory is not further addled, the "System II" games were also mostly programmed in BLISS-16, cross-compiled on a VMS Vax-11/780. _L_o_n_g_ time ago...

        2. gotes

          Re: Just remember...

          Not sure about the ST having "better sound", but it did have a built in MIDI interface.

          1. jeffdyer

            Re: Just remember...

            I have an Amiga MIDI interface which I bought off eBay just for the midi cables, it was about £1.50

        3. Wilseus
          Trollface

          Re: Just remember...

          "oh my god. are we going to necropost about ST vs Amiga?? just for you kids...the whole fanboi thing is not new. Amiga vs ST arguments were loud and abusive all over the playground in 1985 onwards i think. the ST had better sound. but the Amiga was the better machine."

          LOL. It's a moot point 'cos the Archimedes was better than either of them ;)

          1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: Just remember...

            And if you want to, you can run RISC OS on a cheap Raspberry Pi nowadays (and quite a bit faster than the Arch could!).

          2. psychonaut

            Re: Just remember...

            archimedes? ST's? slaaags the lot of you. Amiga for ever.

        4. Michael Strorm

          Re: Just remember...

          @psychonaut; The ST had "better sound"....?! You are smoking crack and I claim my £5. ;-)

          The built-in ST sound was p**s-poor, a variant of the same square wave chip more suited to 8-bit machines like the Oric-1 and later versions of the ZX Spectrum. The Amiga's sound... I saw it on Micro Live and it blew me away.

          Of course, if one credits the ST with the performance of the £1500 MIDI keyboard or sampler plugged into it, then you could do the same with an Amiga and a £15 MIDI interface!

          That said, Atari made the right move in having it built in, and the ST was much more affordable than the Amiga in the early days- especially since the performance of the built-in sound and graphics were irrelevant to its use as a MIDI sequencer- so it's understandable why it became popular for that use.

          The ST was a great machine for the price in the early days- and I remember it being popular- but it's noticeable that almost as soon as the Amiga 500 came within sniffing distance of the 520ST (£400 vs. £300) it quickly displaced it in terms of being the favoured machine for non-MIDI users.

          The ST never really recovered, but the Amiga itself got hit by a double whammy of improving PC specs and the 16-bit consoles within a couple of years...

          1. psychonaut

            Re: Just remember...

            @michael storm - i think i was thinking of MIDI...it was a looooong time ago to be fair...

        5. bondyboy

          Re: Just remember...

          You could play stunt car racer networked between an Amiga and an ST, I did (I was the Amiga guy and my mate brought his ST round mine)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just remember...

        Amiga had a contract from Atari to develop the chipset that was eventually used in the Commodore Amiga. At the final minute, Amiga welched on the deal and sold themselves to Commodore..

        So yeah, the Amiga was in development longer than the ST... all funded by Atari

        1. tin 2

          Re: Just remember...

          Not quite, Amiga were on their own, got into financial trouble, and only got a deal with Atari to stay afloat long enough to keep developing the chipset into something workable.

          The Atari deal of course was heavily wieghted in Atari's favour, and one of the Amiga team manged to find a way to wriggle out of it with the deal from Commodore.

          On balance a pretty fair outcome given Atari's dodgy tactics.

          Development was actually mostly funded by a bunch of dentists AFAIR!

  6. Dave 126 Silver badge

    There's also the Amiga One, with 4GB RAM and a hefty price tag: http://www.a-eon.com/?page=x1000

    Why, I'm not sure. But I like it.

    PA Semi Dual-core PA6T-1682M, nominal 2.0GHz (1.8GHz standard) PowerISA™ v2.04+ CPU

    "Xena" 500MHz XMOS XS1-L2 124

    ATI Radeon Evergreen or Northern Isles graphics card (option)

    2GB or 4GB RAM (option)

  7. Infernoz Bronze badge
    Meh

    Decades too late!

    I chucked my A500 and A1200 back in the 20th century, but have some archived Amiga CD and book rips.

    New Amiga hardware is also rather pointless nostalgia when you can get Amiga emulators even on Android phones/tablets, which are probably a lot faster than even the original Amigas.

    Also IDE is dead for years now; I've already recycled loads of obsolete and duff IDE and SATA drives for the very strong, head "speaker-coil" magnets :)

    1. NonSSL-Login

      Re: Decades too late!

      The original Amiga came out at a time when the world needed it. It had it's place in NASA, a teenagers bedroom or budding musicians cheap studio. The Amiga was awesome and I loved mine.

      But now...whats the point except for nostalgia? Running an emulator on your computer or phone to see or hear an old game or demo does the same job.

      1. Michael Strorm

        Re: Decades too late!

        @NonSSL-Login; This isn't really aimed at the nostalgia market- it's aimed at hardcore obsessives who want to continue running updated versions of AmigaOS on "modern hardware".

        If similar machines released in the past few years are anything to go by, it won't even be directly hardware compatible and won't run software that bypasses the OS to run on the bare metal (which excludes most games and thus *won't* be of much interest to nostalgia freaks wanting to relive Lotus II).

        That said, from what I've heard, the hardware on these "new" Amigas is massively overpriced and underpowered by modern standards (relative to commodity x86 PCs).

        And while I've no idea what AmigaOS is like these days, I'd be surprised if it's up to modern standards- or if there's any reason to run it instead of Linux beyond being a diehard Amiga obsessive. Shame, as it was massively ahead of its time (and far more advanced and better suited to take advantage of 16 and 32-bit CPU power than MS-DOS whose design reflected its origins as a knockoff of CP/M- an OS designed for 1970s 8-bit microcomputers with archaic design that was added to in an ad-hoc manner).

  8. phuzz Silver badge

    "512MB of RAM"

    Exactly 1024 times more memory than my first Amiga :)

    1. NonSSL-Login

      You didn't have the the brick size half a megabyte upgrade that doubled the ram? :D

  9. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Facepalm

    I'd say..

    ..that if Jack Tramiel hadn't been quite as greedy, and a little easier to get along with, that we'd all be using Commodore or Amiga-compatible PCs instead of IBM clones. Commodore was that far ahead of everyone. And the world would possibly be a little better, in a small way.

    1. ForthIsNotDead

      Re: I'd say..

      I think you're right. Though those that got to know him closely all report him as being a lovely, affectionate, family man.

      Just don't do business with him!

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: I'd say..

      the world would possibly be a little better, in a small way.

      If we were all using M68k instead of x86 architecture the world would be better in a very big way :)

      1. Def Silver badge

        Re: I'd say..

        If we were all using M68k instead of x86 architecture the world would be better in a very big way :)

        And if Acorn had made a better success of the Archimedes, the current rise of ARM on the desktop would have happened 30 years ago, and we could have spent the last couple of decades making flying cars and portable bacon printers. Or something.

        1. psychonaut

          Re: I'd say..

          a portable bacon printer you say? now that my friend is an idea. could also be used for impromptu band aids on pigs.

      2. Pedigree-Pete
        Pint

        Awesomely flexible M68000

        IIRC Hercules used one of that family in their TIGA graphics boards for PC ISA/VESA/MC. Bit of a Cuckoo in the PCs of the era as it outperformed any x86 bringing 24/32 bit colour to the Windows world.

        One of their cards had 4MB VRAM and optional 8 to 40MB of DRAM. PP

    3. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

      Re: I'd say..

      Jack Tramiel had already left Commodore before Amiga was launched. Had he been a little easier to get along with, I suppose he may have guided the Amiga product launch at Commodore (Atari's death meant that Amiga Inc pretty much had to go to Commodore for help).

      I've a lot of respect for Tramiel - he never bought into the myth of exceptionalism that the other, West Coast computer pioneers did. He was always clear to correct anyone who attributed his business success to anything other than hard work and luck.

      Also, as someone who could never have afforded a Macintosh, the ST's pricing made it much more of a "computer for the rest of us" than Apple's Macintosh. It and Amiga opened up oppotunites to learn "commercial" programming that had not been available before.

  10. leonzos

    The ST was supreme

    The Amiga was a pile of crap. Nothing but games and stuff. Besides Madden ran faster on the Atari.

    The ST was for the cool kids, with the good albums that were into music, design, art and err... got all the girls.

    1. Gio Ciampa

      "got all the girls" (was: Re: The ST was supreme)

      I was an ST owner when I got married - and a PC owner when I got divorced...

      That explains everything!

      1. psychonaut

        Re: "got all the girls" (was: The ST was supreme)

        slag

    2. AliveMOOn

      Re: The ST was supreme

      Amiga is not just a good hardware (Autoconfig(Plug'n'Play) Zorro bus from 1986), it's also a brilliant operating system and SDK.

      I recommend all developers reading available documentation, inspirational readings, how to make a brilliant system.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: The ST was supreme

      "The Amiga was a pile of crap. Nothing but games and stuff."

      There was a lot of "and stuff". The killer app for me was AREXX. A lot of the decent commercial software had AREXX support so it was fairly easy to script things using multiple apps that otherwise might have required either custom software or manual intervention and hand holding.

  11. kuiash
    Happy

    That's a really cool board. Honest

    Really! The CPU core is implemented in an FPGA along with backwards compatible hardware. It really is a 68000. They've called it the 68080 and it runs a LOT faster than the Amiga ever did.

    Given the nature of the board it should be possible to build almost anything you like out of it. Yeah, there are probably cheaper Cyclone V boards but, well, this one has all those Amiga bits.

    Really, give it a second look. Not necessarily to buy it but just to see these guys have done something technically and cultural very cool indeed.

    I never had an Amiga (I just blagged my mates!) but if this thing comes in at around 300 Euros I'll be very tempted. It just has the right "feel".

  12. This post has been deleted by its author

  13. Chris 125

    I think technically, this is great.

    I had Amigas back in the day - A500 with a Action Replay which taught me a lot about how games worked. Then an A1200, working my way through a 68030 board, a 68040 Board and finally a BlizzardPPC 603e. Add into that an Ateobus graphics card (£400 or so for an ISA graphics card and the busboard you need to connect it!), Zip drive, CDRW and a custom desktop case and you're looking at four figures invested - and I sold the lot for a pittance.

    So I'm quite dreamy-eyed about the idea of taking classic Amiga architecture and pushing it as far as it'll go, to me that's more commendable that building a good spec PC and loading UAE on it even though the end result is easier to work with. In fact you could do very similar with a slightly overclocked Raspberry Pi, but where's the fun in that?

    Will this kick-start Amiga development? Don't be daft, it's all but dead. Aminet has gone from thousands of uploads per day to a handful per week.

    Will this sell to a bunch of geeks who are all nostalgic over 30 year old hardware? Of course. I love that there are people out there (and the developers of this board are best described as a "group" than a "company" I feel.... it's enthusiasts first, money making second) who have the ability and desire to make a thing that you plug into a home computer from the 90s to upgrade it.

  14. 1Rafayal

    I actually have a Blizzard 1260 installed in my A1200, which makes it awesome. but it also cost a huge amount for what it does.

    However, I have yet to see a price for these cards... Am a little confused as to how they actually work, given they can act as a standalone Amiga..

    1. 1Rafayal

      Turns out research was all I needed to do...

      It would appear that the V4 is capable of running in a standalone mode, but this board will be a different SKU - there will be three versions in total.

      Nice to see it support the CDTV, now can justify splashing out on one.

  15. W4YBO

    Video Toaster...

    ...on the Amiga 2000. Mmmmmmmm!

  16. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    Tempting.

    Anyone else sometimes miss GFA Basic?

  17. Matthew 17

    Amiga should have been the Mac

    If Jobs had bought Amiga computers instead of Commodore and the Amiga had been the first Mac instead they'd have had a much more powerful machine and the machine a brighter future.

    The Amiga was wonderful for a short period but they were never really able to keep on top of it and the rest of the world quietly caught up and left it behind.

    1. conscience

      Re: Amiga should have been the Mac

      As it actually happened, the first Apple computer was nearly the Commodore PET instead!

      Back in the 1970s Commodore decided to enter the computer market, but as they were starting their design from scratch and Jack always set unrealistic short deadlines for completion of projects, Chuck Peddle offered a shortcut on time to market: Peddle knew* Apple were a slightly ahead of Commodore designing a basic system board because he himself had turned Woz's non-working Apple I design into a fully functional working board some months before, and so Commodore were in negotiations to buy Apple (for relative peanuts - a couple of hundred thousand dollars IIRC).

      The deal that would have seen the young Apple disappear would probably have gone through too, except Jack being Jack was playing hardball over price. Even that would have likely worked, but what Jack didn't know is that behind the scenes Apple were about to approached and financed by "Mike" Markkula to form their own company and sell their own Apple-branded computer instead. Once that happened, the Commodore deal was off and Peddle simply designed his own board instead.

      * Commodore knew what Apple were doing because in a further twist of fate, Chuck Peddle (designer of the Motorola 6800 CPU, MOS 6502 CPU and Commodore PET) had history with the young Woz. Peddle was the man Woz bought his first 6502 processor from, learning much from the accompanying technical manual also written by Peddle. Later, when Woz couldn't make the Apple I work, Peddle was touring around trying to drum up business for his processor and was told about these two young boys who were having trouble getting their design to work so called in to see Woz to get his Apple design working for the first time. When Commodore decided to launch a computer, Peddle knew that buying Apple for their rudimentary board design, which he could then modify and enhance to suit his purposes, would have saved some time and helped to meet Jack's deadline.

  18. Hairy Spod

    I just want to relive my youth with a minimum of fuss

    If it has HDMI works better than UAE on a rpi3 o it'll be a definate sale for me even if it costs 6x as much.

    the real A1200 looks shockingly poor on my HD telly even using RGB besides which I broke it taking it apart whilst trying to fit enough ram to use WHDload (which I loath for me not being able to get my head around)

  19. vincent himpe

    what is the point ?

    nostalgia ?

    - it only runs outdated software on a dead OS (ok,ok, i still run on win7 and refuse the newer windows or godforbid lunix , but for me an Os serves 1 purpose : run applications i use on a daily basis and otherwise stay out of my way)

    - has the color palette of a box of crayons

    - can do 720p graphics.

    i don't get it ... what is the appeal of the Amiga ?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: what is the point ?

      "i don't get it ... what is the appeal of the Amiga ?"

      None at all, to you. You are not the target audience. If you were, you'd not be asking silly questions! :-)

    2. Raffaele

      Re: what is the point ?

      1) Crayon palette??? Are you kidding?

      AA Amigas like A1200, A4000 and CD32 had 16 million colors and can use 262144 at once. They could display also 16 millions with HAM24 tricks. Not to mention modern PPC Amigas have 16 million colors natively.

      2) What's the appeal...??? What is the appeal do you ask?

      Well if only you could experience the power of being YOU the real master of the machine and not being mastered by the Operating System like in Windows that contains dozens hidden "Services" connected to Microsoft, if only you can feel the real power of being YOU the master without the necessity to take a degree in Information Technology in order to understand how it works nerdy Linux OS and in the end not being treated as a childish idiot as does Apple that gives its users a comfortable caged baby cradle in which you can't make any errors (in MacOS you have full power only if you unleash its hidden text-based shell powers, but then you need a degree as in Linux), then you will really understand the easy of use and the beauty of AmigaOS.

      That's why we still use it in 2017!!!

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Two words for you ST fanbois...

    Babylon Five... ;-)

    enough said :-D

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Amiga

    was used to render the graphics in Babylon 5.

    Not the ST nor the Archimedes.

    Nuff said, Amiga Rule(d)s.

    1. CliveS
      Thumb Up

      Re: The Amiga

      "was used to render the graphics in Babylon 5."

      Only for the first couple of seasons. By then Lightwave was running on PCs and Foundation Imaging migrated to PCs and Dec Alpha for rendering. But the VideoToaster (and Lightwave) were the killer combo for the Amiga, replacing custom kit that could cost twenty times the price of a VT and Amiga 2000.

      "Not the ST nor the Archimedes."

      True. But then look at the list of artists and albums that were recording using Steinberg Pro24 and Cubase on the ST. Including Madonna's Ray of Light, many Tangerine Dream albums, Jean Michel Jarre was a heavy ST user as well. Also Depeche Mode, Fat By Slim, Kraftwerk, Chester Thompson, etc. In fact through the late 80's and early/mid 90's you'd struggle to find an album which didn't feature the ST running Pro24, Cubase, SMPTE Track or the Holtz Translator. Horses for courses.

      "Nuff said, Amiga Rule(d)s."

      Ruled for sure :) As did the ST. Both had their forte and their day in the sun. Ah memories...

      1. Unicornpiss Silver badge

        Re: Video Toaster

        True. There were TV stations that used them into at least the late 90s I believe, because they were cheap, reliable, and that good.

      2. Raffaele

        Re: The Amiga

        Clive5 List of musicians using Amiga is long as much as the list you made of musicians using ST, and our list includes also people like Billy Idol and Betty Boo. So what?

        Plus I hardly think all the musicians you mentioned could realize an entire album + video with their ST as Todd Rundgren made with his Amigas 3000s + Lightwave + Videotoaster, including 3D graphics and effects.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mH8PaWbi1E

        And In Japan Susumu Hirasawa performed his concerts piloting himself all the lights and special effects from the stage thru Scala Multimedia... That is more than being one-man-band. Maestro Hirasawa sensei in those times was an entire one-man-orchestra + Concert + SpecialFXs.

        Also the last professional music Hirasawa composed with Amiga, according to his own testimony, it was the soundtrack for Anime Movie Paprika by Satoshi Kon in 2006.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqg3Sw3s9Wg

        I hardly believe any computers of 1992 had a lifetime longer than the Amigas had.

      3. NonSSL-Login

        Re: The Amiga

        Cubase was scary compared the simplicity of Octamed.

    2. Stoke the atom furnaces

      Re: The Amiga

      'Not ... the Archimedes.'

      To think that the "A" in the ARM devices that all the Commodore fanbois carry around with them these days stands for ACORN.

  22. andrewj

    But does it run Linux?

    1. AliveMOOn

      Runs! Linux and nBSD!

      But few are used because AmigaOS is more attractive!

  23. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I have just recently got my A1200 (fitted into a tower case) back up and running after it being stuck up in the loft for almost 10 years and apart from some bad caps which need replacing it all works.

    Its a shame that bad management at Commodore led to the demise of the Amiga as it was amazing what could be achieved on its hardware/software combo. I would love to see what could have been achieved if development had continued over the last 20 years.

    1. psychonaut

      oh god ...bad caps. thats a plague im glad is pretty rare these days...

      1. J. Cook Silver badge

        Not necessarily a plague...

        There was the debacle about ten years ago where one of the big manufacturers of electrolytic caps in the far east made and shipped a couple millions bad caps. I remember Dell having to eat rather a lot of boards on the Optiplex GX280 lines because of it.

        Plus, in the environment where I live (Hell, AZ, USA) we have what is best described as 'piss poor' power. Pretty much anything more then 6 years old out here that's been in daily use is going to need new caps, unless you've put a sacrificial power conditioner or UPS on it.

        I should dig up the crate that has my two A500's and see if they still even power up; Although I'll have to go digging for the workbench disks...

    2. Unicornpiss Silver badge

      The way of the world?

      I kind of feel that with the Amiga and Commodore, if things were handled properly and allowed to 'organically' grow, that we'd be doing even more amazing things than we do with PCs, Android, and Apple devices now, but who's to say? Maybe we'd all be stuck at a lower level than now without the competition, though I do feel that the OS quality would put Windows to shame, but since MS was involved with Commodore since the early 80s, it's again hard to say. To use a (weak) analogy, I feel the same about our (USA) space program. If we hadn't quit at the moon due to budgetary and political reasons, we'd likely have a Mars colony or better, but again, who is to say? I'd love to be able to see an alternate timeline where Commodore succeeded in a big way.

      This is the way of the world and life in general, and while it inspires sadness in me after a few cups, it's not something to dwell on, I guess.

  24. kain preacher Silver badge

    You all are wrong. apple IIgs was the best

  25. This post has been deleted by its author

  26. TheElder

    Commodore

    My favourite Amiga game was Dungeon Master. Had two Amiga 500s with one maxed in ram plus some overclocking. Started overclocking on the PET as well as rewriting the character generator and BASIC itself. Also designed and built a bit mapped video system on the PET as well as a ram card that took it up to 32 K of ram and a sound/speech generator as well as more I/O. Same for the 64 and the 128. Overclocked the 128 video system to increase resolution quite a lot.

    I quickly switched to all machine code for most of my work. The 65xx series CPUs were so nice since two could be run on the same ram by just inverting the clock. The original multi processor system. Also worked around the various undefined operations to do some fairly cool operations that were rather unusual. Also sped up the original disc drive a lot. Some of my work is published in Transactor as well as by Commodore. I owned the first PET sold in Canada.

    I started in this area after doing Fortran at UC Berkeley on the CDC 6400 mainframe. Was also a BOFH on an IBM 360-30 in New York City for a while. STOP trashing the cards by taping them to the packages!!! Worked for Branch Motor Express. Still have one of my card decks for the 6400. I learned the hard way to stop loops properly. Ran that deck on the 6400 and the BOFH there let it print about 3 inches thick stack of output. Made a nice supply of note paper though.

  27. TheElder

    if things were handled properly

    Like maybe not patenting code...

  28. TheElder

    apple IIgs was the best

    Try bit mapping. What made Apple successful was the very first easy to use spread sheet program, VisiCalc.

    1. conscience

      Re: apple IIgs was the best

      Even then it was pure luck and nothing Apple did.

      VisiCalc was only on the Apple computer first because all the other computers available at the developers - Commodore PETs - were in use developing other software, so the author had to make do with the unused Apple computer that nobody else wanted to use.

      Apple's early 'success' is all PR fantasy rather than fact. For example, the Pirates of Silicon Valley movie has people mobbing the Apple booth, when in reality people actually mobbed the Commodore booth and Apple went totally unmentioned by the attending tech press.

      1. Raffaele

        Re: apple IIgs was the best

        Interesting this fact of the Apple and Commodore booths.

        Were you live testimony at that age it was held the computer show you mentioned?

  29. kain preacher Silver badge

    SHeesh I was joking. Goes back to her beloved TRS 80 and TI computers.

    1. Long John Brass Silver badge

      Ahh the good old trash-80's

      The sweet memories :)

  30. turners

    FPGA Amiga

    I have a MIST FPGA which has an Amiga core amongst others, does a pretty good job but only goes up to 68020 last time i checked. Hooked up to a projector with Sensi Soccer and a few pals makes for a good retro gaming night now and then. From the Vampire demos i have seen most people use them to play Doom ports on their Amiga's for when a 486 DX66 just won't cut it:)

  31. Outer mongolian custard monster from outer space (honest)

    Most people use them to play 3d games because thats what shows the sheer power of the fpga card off best, the original amiga was pants at it in comparison to even a lowly 486.

    Hats off to gunner, majsta and the others, havent looked at their project for a while but it was amazing even back in the v1 days, something cooked up in bedrooms around the world.

    I still have a broken a2000 (bad mobo, not coming back to life, looks like a hedgehog with all the hookup wire after a gvp accelerator card went bad incident) and a pegasos1 ppc in a atx case running morphos + a original cd32 that yes, I do actually still power up and play stuff on despite having a rash of more modern consoles. The peg1 is the closest in my collection to what the amiga should have been in time, but morphos is a very dead duck as its proprietory stuff and newer releases were supposed to be not supporting the ppc anyway & the peg1 isnt supported by the newer releases of amigaOS either, so stuck in time it is, with it dual booting as a classic mac too using molk.

    if I can get my hands on one of these and get something suitable running I will do it for the nostalgia.

    Whats the point when you can emu some people said? well, some of the asm stuff I written back in the late 80's doesnt actually work in UAE. Apparently some of the techniques I used were "bad programming practice" and therefore will never ever be supported. For me, native beats some crappy tablet running a app any day of the week, if only because I can still watch my own handiwork.

    Do I want to see a amiga revival? not really, lets not go back to the days of everything being proprietory and licensed and pay through the nose for hardware. Nor a os that doesnt come without a ip stack that requires purchase of extra licenses to work (miami I'm looking at you, though amiganet is just as capable despite reputation).

  32. Raffaele

    ST users you have your Firebee toy. Go on and get a life...

    I don't know from where this mass of former Atari users is coming from, trolling about an Amiga clone mini-motherboard in 2017.

    i don't know if they are envious or just still being fanboys aged 40 years old or more.

    From my point of view all this hate it is all a lost of time and waste of efforts, as personally I had preferred that there were no Amiga-Atari wars and that Amiga could had being purchased by Atari, as Atari firm has always made good machines, it kept a better customer-care attitude and they never abandoned its customers as Commodore did various times, and sure if Atari had had purchased Amiga, then it had valorized Amiga capabilities better than crappy Commodore firm, that was so greedy not even including on-board Midi port on Amigas due to esteemed value rising prices of manufacturing by even 0.99 cents per motherboard, and with that move they lost all music market.

    A word to Atari users: Hey people. I have news for you. You already have your Atari ST/Falcon clone motherboard made by hardware Atari geeks.

    Yes and it was built ages before this Vampire Amiga clone!

    It is called FIREBEE and it is based on Coldfire CPU and it is almost 7 years that it is on the market.

    So get a life and go buying it if you still care of Atari and you really love it as we love our Amigas, else continue using your actual Peecees.

    http://firebee.org/fb-bin/index

    Firebee in action:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGHCi6gBj8c

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYtuO8iPOQo&t=89s

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4q6t_Jerv7c

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5rGROWjCCU

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019