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[Events] Notes about my presentation at the Alchimie 4 showANN.lu
Posted on 29-Sep-2004 10:40 GMT by Stéphane Guillard427 comments
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The html pages I made available was only a starter slideshow for my presentation. Here are a few words about what I shown, and what I said. Hi Gentlemen,

The html pages which are available at my site are just an introduction slideshow that I presented as a starter, it does not relate what I shown and said afterwards. Please find below a couple of notes about my presentation at Alchimie show.

Here is a quick summary of the presentation I did :

- I booted with boot delays set to 1 second for UBoot and for SLB (second level booter), thus less than 20 seconds after power on, we were with a fully loaded Workbench with Amidock.

- I started with the small html slideshow, presented on IBrowse. You can find those pages at the URL above. IBrowse loaded in 2 seconds with its About: page fully displayed. Browsing through the pages of the slideshow was instantaneous.

- While we were at it, I browsed the OS4 install guide, also as fast as can be, must say I also find this responsiveness impressive myself :)

Then I demoed as many things as I had time to during the 2 hours I had. Everything worked, fast & stable, and was smooth and impressed. I showed mainly:

- All os4 system, tools, utilities, prefs & stuff

- MUI, IBrowse, Amitradecenter

- Yam, SimpleMail

- ClassAction (M. Elsner's file manager)

- MakeCD

- MooVid running a DivX

- DVPlayer running an mpeg2

- AudioEvolution 4 with the demo project, cursors auto moving smoothly, the playback was smooth also, with mostly no CPU usage.

- AmiPDF with the AE4 manual and another heavy PDF file, very fast

- USB. I plugged a Microsoft IntelliMouse Optical into my USB hub, and we had 2 mice to control the system

- Crisot's slach5 winning demo (got applauses which it deserved)

- chip's rayrace realtime raytracer demo. When the juggler appeared, audience was impressed, but really took measure of what they were watching when I moved the mouse. Wait for the Altivec version !

- FPSE, AmiDog's PS1 emulator, with an oldskool game which ran nicely ('Cotton')

- some other visual toys I had at hand

The demos only grimreaped twice, and I anticipated the grims before they popped up :

- One was native glsokoban / w3d, when I launch it does a base page access (a “null pointer” bug in glsokoban). I didactically shown the disassembly which is available in the grimreaper window, was a store to r4, r4 was null etc. I clicked on continue, and it all went fine & fast.

- One was frying pan 0.3.1, I shown the app, and at one point I said 'now it should grim’ and it did. It still loaded fine though. I quit the app, clicked on reboot and less than 4 secs after, wb was up with amidock. That was the only reboot of the show.

I forgot to show (because of short time):

- Petunia... Almos, sorry, I had prepared something for that (side by side windowed jit & nonjit runs of voxelspace), but i both forgot, and was asked to stop at this point by the party organizers cause it was already 5:30 pm while I was scheduled until 4pm.

- ArtEffect

- USB with MassStorage (ie USB key or digital camera)

At the end, I had many fair questions to which I answered; my feeling is that the audience really appreciated the effort behind what I shown, and was conscious that we are not far away from a releasable 4.0.

Then came the expected question, 'and why doesn’t DMA work ?'

I said 'All what you saw was DMA since the 1st boot'.

I copied a few 100 MB files in a snap, with zero CPU (thanks to Pete Gordon for the clock/CPU docky, helps a lot). Then I switched to PIO, they saw 4 x slower and 80% CPU.

The audience understood that it was indeed DMA, and that was fast, and that was part of the overall smoothness of what I shown.

Then I explained the things below (this is the reference for my statements, please don’t rephrase or extrapolate or invent or whatever):

- IDE UDMA works on VIA and Articia on AmigaOne SE / XE / µA1 MK2 (as I demoed) ...

- ... except when the Ethernet chip goes online and is used.

- the Ethernet chip only triggers the problem, but it is not at all related to it (a test using a PCI Ethernet shows the same behaviour)

- We have made a driver for a Silicon Image 680 PCI IDE UDMA133 controller chip, this does UDMA 133 nicely, including when Ethernet is used at full speed.

- The fact that a PCI IDE controller solution works, shows that the problem is *not* related to Articia, since PCI DMA is *also* handled by the Articia, and that works.

- The full Alchimie show demo was done using UDMA, both from the VIA and from the Si680, without problem (but with Ethernet off, would the Ethernet have been turned online, I would have had to revert the VIA into PIO before).

- Things are currently under more investigation

In the meantime there are 2 options for existing A1 board owners:

- Use the VIA IDE controller in PIO mode when using Ethernet, and UDMA at other times,

- Purchase a faster (UDMA133) Silicon Image 0680 IDE PCI card (from around $20). This is my personally recommended option as the delivered speed is noticeable faster than the on-board VIA controller in UDMA mode.

Notes about my presentation at the Alchimie 4 show : Comment 401 of 427ANN.lu
Posted by Johan Rönnblom on 02-Oct-2004 19:57 GMT
In reply to Comment 400 (pixie):
Uh. Eyetech and Hyperion say that the AmigaOne "Earlybird" does not
have DMA problems (unreliable bus snooping) with Linux.

The AmigaOne is shown to have DMA problems (unreliable bus
snooping) with Linux.

Eyetech and Hyperion now say that the next version of the AmigaOne
(Articia S version) will not have DMA problems (unreliable bus
snooping) with Linux.

The new version of the AmigaOne is shown to have DMA problems
(unreliable bus snooping) with Linux.

Eyetech and Hyperion say that this AmigaOne will not have DMA problems
(unreliable bus snooping) with AmigaOS.

It turns out that this AmigaOne does have DMA problems (unreliable
bus snooping) with AmigaOS.

Eyetech and Hyperion say that the next AmigaOne (microA1, release
version) will not have DMA problems (unreliable bus snooping) with
Linux or AmigaOS.

Ok, so they fooled you once, they fooled you twice, they fooled you
three times. And now you think anyone not willing to be fooled for the
fourth time is unreasonable?
Notes about my presentation at the Alchimie 4 show : Comment 402 of 427ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 02-Oct-2004 22:15 GMT
In reply to Comment 394 (Bernie Meyer):
Eyetech Group Ltd:

"We have also found that in the case of concurrent VIA IDE UDMA and ethernet the VIA puts out an illegal bus signal which causes the system to hang. We know this because MAI labs and Adam Kowalczyk have managed to filter out this signal with hardware, and with this done (ie with the illegal signals from the VIA filtered out) the VIA IDE UDMA and ethernet work properly together."

"The µ-A1-C boards incorporate the hardware filter as a fallback solution and the µ-A1-I uses the Sil0860 controller so both these boards have the capability of simultaneous IDE UDMA and ethernet performance."

"Our tests on the µ-A1-C show that these VIA-related problems have been filtered out and the boards now work as expected."
Notes about my presentation at the Alchimie 4 show : Comment 403 of 427ANN.lu
Posted by JKD on 03-Oct-2004 00:20 GMT
In reply to Comment 402 (Anonymous):
A spurious bus signal that proper programming of the VIA registers didn't/couldn't prevent eh? ;-)

Well, I guess we shouldn't be too surprised, since VIA chipsets are infamous in x86 motherboards for years ;-)
Notes about my presentation at the Alchimie 4 show : Comment 404 of 427ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 03-Oct-2004 05:14 GMT
In reply to Comment 403 (JKD):
>Well, I guess we shouldn't be too surprised, since VIA chipsets are infamous in x86 motherboards for years ;-)

Well, VIA chipset are really infamous only on non-patched ArticiaS-based computer. It's weird...
Millions of PCs with 686b work nice...
Notes about my presentation at the Alchimie 4 show : Comment 405 of 427ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 03-Oct-2004 06:53 GMT
In reply to Comment 404 (Anonymous):
I just had to throw away an Abit mohterboard (KT7A) due to the 686b having serious DMA issues making it impossible to work with files larger than a few hundred MB. I tried everything I could think of for about a year after the first issues started appearing when I got a DVD-burner. I finally had to give up, and my new motherboard (ASUS) with a nForce2 chip haven't shown any issues like corrupted DVD-burns when burning large files, or random crashes, which the Abit board did. This issue may have been fixed in later boards with the 686b in a similar way to what MAI apparently had to do to fix it on the A1.
Notes about my presentation at the Alchimie 4 show : Comment 406 of 427ANN.lu
In reply to Comment 402 (Anonymous):
Message removed by Christian Kemp for violation of ANN's posting rules.
Specific reason from moderator: Confidential information
Notes about my presentation at the Alchimie 4 show : Comment 407 of 427ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 03-Oct-2004 10:46 GMT
In reply to Comment 406 (Anonymous):
"I would appreciate it if you kept this information confidential
to avoid giving ann a new excuse for Amiga/Eyetech/Hyperion
baiting."
Notes about my presentation at the Alchimie 4 show : Comment 408 of 427ANN.lu
Posted by pixie on 03-Oct-2004 10:49 GMT
In reply to Comment 401 (Johan Rönnblom):
> Ok, so they fooled you once, they fooled you twice, they fooled you
> three times. And now you think anyone not willing to be fooled for the
> fourth time is unreasonable?

Sh*t happens on first boards production, and as they haven't fooled me not three, not two, not even once, I'm not much worried about it... And I really think those problems are possible to be solved.
Notes about my presentation at the Alchimie 4 show : Comment 409 of 427ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 03-Oct-2004 12:18 GMT
In reply to Comment 406 (Anonymous):
AOne XE are now *officially* broken. AOne owners can start asking for replacement/refunds to Eyetech.
I think Eyetech should provide some Pegasos board as replacement. I've heard that bPlan as some unsold Peg I April (as people prefer Peg II).

This also point that Eyetech as totally no clue was going on in *their* hardware.

Bye
Notes about my presentation at the Alchimie 4 show : Comment 410 of 427ANN.lu
Posted by STRICQ on 03-Oct-2004 13:19 GMT
In reply to Comment 406 (Anonymous):
And since Comment 406 is still here, can we not assume the bias of ANN's moderator(s)?
Notes about my presentation at the Alchimie 4 show : Comment 411 of 427ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 03-Oct-2004 13:43 GMT
In reply to Comment 410 (STRICQ):
Well, reading the post from Alan, it's obvious Eyetech have no clue what they are doing.

Bye
Notes about my presentation at the Alchimie 4 show : Comment 412 of 427ANN.lu
Posted by Richard Drummond on 03-Oct-2004 14:08 GMT
In reply to Comment 411 (Anonymous):
> Well, reading the post from Alan, it's obvious Eyetech have no clue what
> they are doing.

Really? And just what leap of logic lead you to that conclusion? It's not obvious to me, so perhaps you could explain your reasoning?
Notes about my presentation at the Alchimie 4 show : Comment 413 of 427ANN.lu
Posted by Golem on 03-Oct-2004 14:32 GMT
In reply to Comment 410 (STRICQ):
No. But if it makes you feel better... :)
Notes about my presentation at the Alchimie 4 show : Comment 414 of 427ANN.lu
Posted by Don Cox on 03-Oct-2004 14:52 GMT
In reply to Comment 409 (Anonymous):
"AOne XE are now *officially* broken. "

The word "broken" implies that something was once working and is now no longer working. In this case, we have a badly documented chip which they have not yet managed to get working properly.

Presumably VIA's attitude is that the profit on 1000 chips doesn't pay for two hours of support.

It is rude of somebody to post Alan's message here when he was asked not to, but I think in fact it helps to have a fuller story. I do not see any signs of deliberate deception by Alan, nor would I expect it, having known him for a few years. He is not any kind of crook, contrary to the opinions of Eva.

Alan has put a great deal of effort and money into trying to get a new Amiga off the ground. The choice of a VIA chip was clearly a big mistake, but as he says, it was the only one available. What other solutions would people suggest (other than not selling a PPC motherboard at all)?

Hopefully reverse engineering of a PC BIOS will reveal the secrets of the 686B.
Notes about my presentation at the Alchimie 4 show : Comment 415 of 427ANN.lu
Posted by Don Cox on 03-Oct-2004 14:54 GMT
In reply to Comment 411 (Anonymous):
"Well, reading the post from Alan, it's obvious Eyetech have no clue what they are doing."

If you have full knowledge of the workings of the VIA chip, you could pass it on to the Amiga coders and save them a lot of time. If not, then I think your remark is unhelpful.
Notes about my presentation at the Alchimie 4 show : Comment 416 of 427ANN.lu
Posted by Christian Kemp on 03-Oct-2004 14:57 GMT
In reply to Comment 410 (STRICQ):
*Sigh*. Is it that time of the day/month/year again where I have to go tearing down all the anti-Eastasia posters because "Oceania [is] at war with eurasia: oceania [has] always been at war with Eurasia"?

I find it funny how people can twist their minds so much to almost simultaneosly be upset about my perceived bias for either Amiga Inc. or Genesi; and especially how anyone can assume I'd be pro-Genesi, or favouring Genesi in my moderations after the events of the last year...

The message above was removed as soon as I received an official request to do so. Until that moment, it was not clear whether this was a joke, a trolling attempt, or a genuine leak; and either way, you were assuming that ANN moderators must be biased for letting that comment stay before any ANN moderator had even read, let alone seen the comment in question.
Notes about my presentation at the Alchimie 4 show : Comment 417 of 427ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 03-Oct-2004 14:59 GMT
In reply to Comment 408 (pixie):
"I'm sure all of you realised that in buying an unknown, untested (and unable to be fully tested at the time you bought it because of the absence of software) board you did take a risk, but it was a risk without which there would have been no OS4 (or of course no AmigaOne)."
Notes about my presentation at the Alchimie 4 show : Comment 418 of 427ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 03-Oct-2004 15:12 GMT
In reply to Comment 414 (Don Cox):
"The word "broken" implies that something was once working and is now no longer working."

The Amiga One was sold as a working motherboard, and time after time it has been ensured that it is working, both by Eyetech and their cheerleaders, who time after time badmouthed anyone who claimed different as blue trolls. No they badmouth the Amiga One customers as stupid - "Well, blame yourself, you should have known better"! I mean, wow ...
Notes about my presentation at the Alchimie 4 show : Comment 419 of 427ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 03-Oct-2004 15:32 GMT
In reply to Comment 415 (Don Cox):
Well, no I won't give you my VIA's confidential (you are dead if you make it public) PDF...

I'm really amaze you and others are still able to trust/beleive Hyeprion/Eyetch after their prove their lack on knowledge about their *own* hardware.
Also, notice that neither Eyetech nor Hyeprion has any hardware engineer. As a result, they just can not understand that is going on.

Wonder who lie to who. Mai to Eyetechn or Eyetech to people.
I have to confess that this time (at least on the *private* AOne list), Eytech has been very honnest: In order to have a chance to get something working you have to buy an external IDE controller. Then, I suggest to AOne owners to ask Eyetech to privide one.

On the other side, bPlan admited the problem, designed/produced a working solution, and replaced all pre-April board in about 6 mouths. And, in a year, they made a new design based on antoher NorthBridge.
It's that I named to have knowledge.

In the end, I hope Eyetech will finaly give up and refund people.
Notice, to that this problem (specific to the VIA 686b *if* I beleive Eyetech) has nothing to do with the ArticiaS. Then, once they fixed/replaced current AOne SE/XE, they could start (again) to find a solution for the ArticiaS issue.

To AOne owners, stop being fooled, ask for refund.

Bye
Notes about my presentation at the Alchimie 4 show : Comment 420 of 427ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 03-Oct-2004 15:37 GMT
In reply to Comment 414 (Don Cox):
Eyetech claims that VIA sucks and cause data corruption: but SCSI cards leads to the same behaviour.

http://www.meanmachine.ch/~vgr/amigaone/amigaone_AHA2940_network22-May-03.png
Notes about my presentation at the Alchimie 4 show : Comment 421 of 427ANN.lu
Posted by Richard Drummond on 03-Oct-2004 16:22 GMT
In reply to Comment 420 (Anonymous):
Sigh. Some people never give up, do they?

> Eyetech claims that VIA sucks and cause data corruption: but SCSI cards
> leads to the same behaviour.

If you read Stephane's earlier comments, you would understand that this is because the Linux drivers hadn't been properly adapted for the A1.
Notes about my presentation at the Alchimie 4 show : Comment 422 of 427ANN.lu
Posted by pixie on 03-Oct-2004 16:33 GMT
In reply to Comment 417 (Anonymous):
But you can't obviously explain this to someone who doesn't have the faintest interest in AmigaOS... who think that AmigaOS4 project was solely done to destroy MorphOS, the only one legitim suceessor to AmigaOS 3.*
He/She will never understand the logic behind such statement.
Notes about my presentation at the Alchimie 4 show : Comment 423 of 427ANN.lu
Posted by pixie on 03-Oct-2004 16:34 GMT
In reply to Comment 419 (Anonymous):
" I have to confess that this time (at least on the *private* AOne list), Eytech has been very honnest: In order to have a chance to get something working you have to buy an external IDE controller. Then, I suggest to AOne owners to ask Eyetech to privide one."

They own you honnesty or the actual owners of AmigaOne, he have to explain to all the bitchers out there without the slightest interest in ppaying for AmigaOne or to the actual owners!?
Notes about my presentation at the Alchimie 4 show : Comment 424 of 427ANN.lu
Posted by Don Cox on 03-Oct-2004 16:43 GMT
In reply to Comment 416 (Christian Kemp):
"I find it funny how people can twist their minds so much to almost simultaneosly be upset about my perceived bias for either Amiga Inc. or Genesi; and especially how anyone can assume I'd be pro-Genesi, or favouring Genesi in my moderations after the events of the last year..."

Anyone who tries to be neutral between warring tribes will get mud slung by both. The BBC has this problem all the time.
Notes about my presentation at the Alchimie 4 show : Comment 425 of 427ANN.lu
Posted by Don Cox on 03-Oct-2004 16:50 GMT
In reply to Comment 418 (Anonymous):
"The Amiga One was sold as a working motherboard, "

It was sold as an early version of a computer under development, suitable only for technically minded users. That means problems are expected - who knows what until they are found?

I wasn't in the mood for testing an unfinished computer, so I didn't buy one. Might do next year if they get it all working. I don't think there was any misleading selling.

However, there may have been starry-eyed people who closed their ears to the warnings and expected a finished, packaged consumer product like an A1200. These would be people who have never seen an unfinished project.


I think all this would have progressed much faster if MAI, Eyetech, Hyperion and all the coders had been working together in the same building, instead of being spread across the planet.
Notes about my presentation at the Alchimie 4 show : Comment 426 of 427ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 03-Oct-2004 18:03 GMT
In reply to Comment 425 (Don Cox):
They shouldn't have sold untested products to end-users at all! But since they did, they should make sure to put everything right without any suffering from the end users, either by offering a new, working motherboard, or by patching the motherboard, or by giving the users all needed extra hardware (UDMA IDE PCI card), or compensate sufficiently in an other way if they can't do any of the above. That's my point!
Notes about my presentation at the Alchimie 4 show : Comment 427 of 427ANN.lu
Posted by Seehund on 03-Oct-2004 22:04 GMT
In reply to Comment 425 (Don Cox):
It was sold as an early version of a computer under development, suitable only for technically minded users.

Wrong. The computer (motherboard) was and still is not sold as anything but a functioning as advertised and on top of that certified-for-customer-protection piece of hardware. Customers cannot "develop" an existing hardware product that they have bought anyway, so the mere notion is absurd.

This is about faulty hardware, not software (eg. Linux drivers, availability of AmigaOS 4, changed or upgraded firmware). The quality and availability of software/firmware is all that has ever been mentioned in any "developer" and "Earlybird offer" disclaimers. Eyetech has finally admitted (though not in public) that there are hardware flaws that cannot be fixed with software/firmware.
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