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[News] AmigaOne Update from Alan RedhouseANN.lu
Posted on 24-Jul-2002 22:17 GMT by Douglas McLaughlin106 comments
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On the AmigaOne mailing list, Alan Redhouse from Eyetech posted the following update:

Many dev board purchasers were clearly motivated by the 10% discount rather than their ability to contribute to the developer process. The initial boards were therefore shipped to those who could make a real contribution to developing drivers etc, and porting Linux/UAE distributions. Their progress has been astounding IMO with no less than 5 different linux distributions (SuSE, Debian, Mandrake, Yellow Dog and TurboLinux) being ported within a couple of weeks. More... Many dev board purchasers were clearly motivated by the 10% discount rather than their ability to contribute to the developer process. The initial boards were therefore shipped to those who could make a real contribution to developing drivers etc, and porting Linux/UAE distributions. Their progress has been astounding IMO with no less than 5 different linux distributions (SuSE, Debian, Mandrake, Yellow Dog and TurboLinux) being ported within a couple of weeks.

However the Softex open firmware we had originally shipped with the dev boards (incidently as seen on the Pegasos video) has several shortcomings (although this has been used to boot the 5 linux distributions and the OS4 kernel) and we are currently developing/extending the alternative PPCBoot open firmware for use on the production AmigaOne boards. This will allow us to build in Amiga- specific boot etc options, a well as a more comprehensive multi-boot environment.

We are not shipping the remainder of the dev boards (or any of the user boards) until this code is complete because of the expense of shipping update ROMs and chip changing tools. This is anticipated to be towards the end of August.

This revision to the boot ROM is being undertaken by Hyperion as part of the work necessary for booting OS4 on the A1.

Meanwhile the Amiga Inc club membership/coupon program results (coupled with our own market extrapolation processes) means that the future of the AmigaOne is in no doubt.

Finally several people have asked us why we are not delivering the A1 board to Linux users in advance of the release of OS4. Well there are two main reasons:

1 - This is a product we are producing for the Amiga market and IMO it is proper that the Amiga community get their hands on it first.

2 - I still cannot see why there would be a significant market for Linux on the A1 given that the main focus of Linux is the x86 platform, which - because of sheer sales volumes - will always be an order of magnitude cheaper than a ppc-based product.

Hope this helps

Alan
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Comment 1Alan M Redhouse24-Jul-2002 20:31 GMT
Comment 2Douglas McLaughlin24-Jul-2002 21:01 GMT
Comment 3LOL-troll24-Jul-2002 21:03 GMT
Comment 4Darrin0131124-Jul-2002 21:06 GMT
Comment 5darklite24-Jul-2002 21:27 GMT
Comment 6Anonymous24-Jul-2002 21:29 GMT
Comment 7TBone24-Jul-2002 21:39 GMT
Comment 8Douglas McLaughlin24-Jul-2002 21:55 GMT
Comment 9Douglas McLaughlin24-Jul-2002 21:58 GMT
Comment 10Timothy De Groote24-Jul-2002 22:05 GMT
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Comment 16George25-Jul-2002 02:00 GMT
Comment 17Anonymous25-Jul-2002 02:40 GMT
Comment 18James Carroll25-Jul-2002 02:52 GMT
Comment 19Michael Jantzen25-Jul-2002 03:34 GMT
Comment 20Anonymous25-Jul-2002 04:03 GMT
Comment 21Mika Hanhijärvi25-Jul-2002 04:03 GMT
Comment 22Mika Hanhijärvi25-Jul-2002 04:07 GMT
Comment 23Christian Kemp25-Jul-2002 04:18 GMT
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Comment 29Samface25-Jul-2002 06:09 GMT
Comment 30Daniel Allsopp25-Jul-2002 06:31 GMT
Comment 31Joe "Floid" Kanowitz25-Jul-2002 06:31 GMT
Comment 32Alan M Redhouse25-Jul-2002 06:44 GMT
Comment 33Johan Rönnblom25-Jul-2002 06:53 GMT
Comment 34Samface25-Jul-2002 06:56 GMT
Comment 35Jarmo Laakkonen25-Jul-2002 08:40 GMT
Comment 36Shadowfox25-Jul-2002 09:33 GMT
Comment 37Muffin25-Jul-2002 10:24 GMT
Comment 38Rik Sweeney25-Jul-2002 10:27 GMT
AmigaOne Update from Alan Redhouse : Comment 39 of 106ANN.lu
Posted by takemehomegrandma on 25-Jul-2002 10:42 GMT
> However the Softex open firmware we had originally shipped with the dev
> boards (incidently as seen on the Pegasos video) has several shortcomings
> (although this has been used to boot the 5 linux distributions and the OS4
> kernel)
So everything works with the old firmware, both Linux and OS4. Hand in hand! The way everybody wants it!
> and we are currently developing/extending the alternative PPCBoot open
> firmware for use on the production AmigaOne boards. This will allow us to
> build in Amiga- specific boot etc options, a well as a more comprehensive
> multi-boot environment.
What "Amiga specific boot options" could there possibly be, that can't be achieved the normal way in the 21:st century, that is through a disc based bootloader? Enhancing a BIOS is one thing (corrections/optimizations), but why bother to put things that should be disc based into ROM? Everything that is disc based is easy for the user to change/update according to his/her needs. By refusing that option to the user you make the hardware crippled! As little as possible should be in ROM, just what's absolutely necessary to start up the hardware. Then the power of decisions should be turned over to the users wants and needs.
> This revision to the boot ROM is being undertaken by Hyperion as part of the
> work necessary for booting OS4 on the A1.
I can't imagine that there would have to be ANY NECESSARY WORK to make OS4 boot on the A1. Heck, even the old 'Amiga Classic' OS boots nicely without a physical amiga specific ROM. The only thing you need is a standard BIOS and a harddrive. If OS4 *STILL* uses the old kickstart ROM's (for some reason) - no problemo! Just put the old ROM imagefiles in the boot process. All work on "developing/extending" (hehe, ahem) the boot ROM is unnecessary, and the purpose of still doing so can only be to purpously cripple the hardware/os and tieing the os to one specific hardware solution.
This is a severe limitation to OS4/A1. Limitations are NEVER good. Not for anyone!
> Finally several people have asked us why we are not delivering the A1 board
> to Linux users in advance of the release of OS4. Well there are two main
> reasons:
> 1 - This is a product we are producing for the Amiga market and IMO it is
> proper that the Amiga community get their hands on it first.
Oh, how touching! You are a commercial hardware company that REFUSES to sell your product to customers willing to pay for it. There is nothing Amiga specific about the A1 (at least not until you cripple it with your "extensions") and there is no logical reasons whatsoever to refuse possible sales in the wait for OS4. By doing so you:
1 - Misses a lot of possible sales. You are acting on a tiny, low volume, market where every single sale counts. There are people out there that are willing to buy your product, but instead of being glad over the demand and the possibility to make some money, you say "No, sorry, this is a product for the AMIGA market. You can't buy it before we have crippled it some more". You mention that the coupon circus from Amiga Inc secures the future of the A1, but what can secure the future more than *ACTUAL SALES*?
2 - Keep the costs on a high level. Volume and costs goes hand in hand. By refusing sales you are also refusing higher volume on your product which will make it more expensive than necessary for *EVERYONE*. That in turn may very well push away some potential buyers (which means even lower volume) and put the whole "Amiga Comeback" in danger.
> 2 - I still cannot see why there would be a significant market for Linux on
> the A1 given that the main focus of Linux is the x86 platform, which -
> because of sheer sales volumes - will always be an order of magnitude cheaper
> than a ppc-based product.
Well, there IS a market for PPC Linux. Why are YOU supporting PPC when x86 is so much cheaper? The same reasons goes for some (but far from all, of course) Linux users. Or perhaps the whole Amiga migration to PPC is a mistake? Perhaps the Amiga migration should have been towards x86 instead, since it is cheaper and still more powerful? Or what do you mean?
Finally, have a look at http://www.petitiononline.com/amigaos/
You will see that the amount of signatures to that petition is almost as high as the coupon sales. What does that say to you?
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Comment 40Anonymous25-Jul-2002 10:44 GMT
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Comment 52Bill Hoggett25-Jul-2002 12:18 GMT
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Comment 78smithy25-Jul-2002 17:00 GMT
Comment 79Don Cox25-Jul-2002 17:16 GMT
Comment 80muffin25-Jul-2002 21:09 GMT
Comment 81Hammer(same person as in Amiga.org)25-Jul-2002 22:24 GMT
Comment 82ehaines26-Jul-2002 00:40 GMT
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Comment 84Alkis Tsapanidis26-Jul-2002 11:25 GMT
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