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Author Topic: Jens Shoenfeld's anwer to the Apollo petition  (Read 18908 times)

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Offline Heiroglyph

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Re: Jens Shoenfeld's anwer to the Apollo petition
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2012, 09:14:16 PM »
I called this the sensible course of action, but I did also sign the petition.

He's well within his rights, no doubt about it.

That said, it's a shame yet another piece of hardware is going to die off for lack of documentation.

I don't believe "buying it to keep it off the market for our own good", I'm sure it was buying it to jumpstart a new product and the design turned out to be crap.
 

Offline Iggy

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Re: Jens Shoenfeld's anwer to the Apollo petition
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2012, 09:49:33 PM »
@ B00tDisk,

Actualy, the solution you mentioned was created by ULi (the chipset maker). I had an EPOX and an Asrock motherboard based on that.
And the neat thing was both PCIe slots were X16 (as opposed to SLi's X8 slots at the time).
But Nvidia quickly updated its drivers so the software patch that enabled this no longer worked.
Then Nvidia bought ULi outright (no doubt gaining some talented engineers, ULi Southbridges were very common on ATI motherboards before the SB600 was introduced).
"Not making any hard and fast rules means that the moderators can use their good judgment in moderation, and we think the results speak for themselves." - Amiga.org, terms of service

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Amiga! "Our appeal has become more selective"
 

Offline hbarcellos

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Re: Jens Shoenfeld's anwer to the Apollo petition
« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2012, 09:59:08 PM »
I really don't understand (probably because I'm not a HW expert), but, there's no real sense on all that for me. Let me try to make a parallel.
- Ford-T's had, back in early 20's, an upgrade kit for their engines.
- In the 70's, someone buy the rights and schematics for this upgrade.
- In the 90's someone asks this person to make those schematics public, once:
   -- It's impossible to buy a new version of this kit
   -- Designing a new upgrade from scracth (to a base of around 5k Ford-T owners and even less willing to upgrade it) would cost 1000x times more than the expected revenue

 So, someone can explain me what exactly he's trying to protect? His investment? What other options he has? Die with the schematics to preserv the Ford-T image?

*How many persons signed the petition? Around 70? Let's ask for ~20 euros each and see if he accepts that.
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Offline Gulliver

Re: Jens Shoenfeld's anwer to the Apollo petition
« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2012, 10:18:29 PM »
Quote from: Heiroglyph;695303
I don't believe "buying it to keep it off the market for our own good", I'm sure it was buying it to jumpstart a new product and the design turned out to be crap.

I dont believe that either. I mean, maybe it is part of the reason, but not the entire story.

I do believe it was basically that the Apollo┬┤s design had something that Jens needed to learn/see how to implement in his own ACA accelerators, and also that by buying the design, he could prevent some kind of competition showing up.
 

Offline odin

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Re: Jens Shoenfeld's anwer to the Apollo petition
« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2012, 11:29:27 PM »
Wow. An online petition which actually had some sort of effect? Must be a first in the history of the internets.

Anyway, sounds like a very sensible proposal from Jens to me (I've never had an Apollo though).

Offline MinTerm

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Re: Jens Shoenfeld's anwer to the Apollo petition
« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2012, 12:47:02 AM »
I never did get around to reading the petition...until just now.

Seeing  Jens' reaction to the petition, I wouldn't blame him if he got very  annoyed.  Jens' statement about Apollo stability/reliability is spot  on.  On the other hand, all of the many pieces of hardware I have bought  over the years made by Individual Computers or its partners have been  rock-solid reliable and stable.

Personally, I own an Apollo 2030-25MHz w/64MB on it.  I was never terribly impressed with either the:

- build quality (tin-plated CPU slot edge contacts rather than gold causes no end of trouble at that frequency)

-  stability (the on-board Apollo SCSI controller was fast but died a  couple months after I bought it and I had to buy an A2091+Guru ROM  [thanks Ralph!] which works wonderfully)

But as a CHEAP basic  bare-bones accelerator it worked well enough but I didn't really expect  much out of the board for that price; I remember reading about many  problems with the higher clocked version of the board though.

However  in 1995-7(?) where weren't any other options that were available to  me.  Had I the opportunity to buy some other brand, I would have - even  if they cost 50-100% more.  Why?  I want a stable computer.  I want to  spend more time using it and less time trying to get it work.    Everytime I needed a workaround for a PITA problem, Jens' and Oliver had  something that did the trick permanently.

That said...Jens'  conditional offer regarding the MACH chips is far better than what we  deserved after THAT petition.  My guess is Jens' got so frustrated with  all the support requests from Apollo owners that it was probably cheaper  to just buy out the mouldering designs and lock them up.  I have the  feeling Jens' is doing Amiga product development mainly out of a love of  the platform, since I can't see how you could keep a business going  with a small, dwindling user base.

I did a search on Amiga.org  for 'Apollo' and I see 13 pages of threads, perhaps 70-80% of them  involve troubleshooting for seemingly random issues.  Many of the  remainder are from Apollo owners wanting a different brand of  accelerator.  One wonders why.  You don't patch up a shoddy design over  and over, its like bailing water out of a sinking rowboat with a 0.5m  (~18") hole torn in the side.  Just abandon that ship already.

As  for the suggestion that Jens somehow needed the Apollo design as a  starting point for his own, I find that hilarious since Jens and his  fellow designers have repeatedly demonstrated their engineering  competence many times over through many dozens of product designs.  Many  times I've noticed Jens' trying to reduce costs in later revisions of  boards or expanding features while using quality parts so the product  isn't compromised.

If Jens' ever finds it worthwhile to make an  A2000 or A3000D accelerator with on-board RAM, I'll snatch them up in an  instant, especially if they feature IDE (or sata even) controllers with  nice speed/compatibility onboard.  I'm willing to pay for the quality  I've come to expect.
 

Offline amiga-penn-wchester

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Re: Jens Shoenfeld's anwer to the Apollo petition
« Reply #20 on: June 05, 2012, 02:06:21 AM »
I'm agreeing with Jens' philosophy on this, even though it could be perceived as a bit harsh.  If you are one of the ones that stick with good technology (good computers. i.e., amiga), better to be stringent on your requirements in terms of "good design"  / support.

I once had an Apollo board, and while I found it to be affordable (I was in college at the time), it was very flaky.   Throughout my A1200's history I had an mbx1230 (paravision) 030 board, apollo, and then finally blizzard 060/ppc.  The '030 was the best performer in terms of reliability followed by the 060/ppc as a close runner-up.
 

Offline Duce

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Re: Jens Shoenfeld's anwer to the Apollo petition
« Reply #21 on: June 05, 2012, 02:18:14 AM »
While Jens probably shouldn't go into PR, his statements seem fair enough.
 

Offline dreamcast270mhz

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Re: Jens Shoenfeld's anwer to the Apollo petition
« Reply #22 on: June 05, 2012, 02:32:48 AM »
His honour in terms of not wanting the QC of Apollo to be an issue is great, but why in the hell would you buy something to monopolize it and not use it?
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Offline koaftder

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Re: Jens Shoenfeld's anwer to the Apollo petition
« Reply #23 on: June 05, 2012, 02:42:41 AM »
Jens is full of it and anyone who believes he's done this out of some sense of altruism is a chump. I would have had more respect for Jens if he just said "no" and skipped the bs. It's his to do with whatever he pleases, no need to make stuff up.
 

Offline NovaCoder

Re: Jens Shoenfeld's anwer to the Apollo petition
« Reply #24 on: June 05, 2012, 02:54:40 AM »
Quote from: Heiroglyph;695303
He's well within his rights, no doubt about it.


X2.

If Jens has paid for the rights then he can do anything he likes with them.

The future is in new FPGA based boards anyway, not old Apollo tech (and this is coming from a proud Apollo 1260 owner!).
Life begins at 100 MIPS!


Nice Ports on AmiNet!
 

Offline darkage

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Re: Jens Shoenfeld's anwer to the Apollo petition
« Reply #25 on: June 05, 2012, 04:34:19 AM »
Schematics to old tech can help one design a better FPGA implementation. but I agree its in Jens best interests to limit some of the information from the Apollo design.  If he's originally paid good money for the information, its only natural.    Can you imagine all the ppl copying the design and selling new boards for probably a small monetary gain.

He's being bad and good cop at the same time..  He's given a little to the community.  ie. programmed Mach chips and eproms, but at the sametime limiting more information. ie schematics..

Wished someone had Blizzard/DCE accelerator designs to offer.  :(
 

Offline Argo

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Re: Jens Shoenfeld's anwer to the Apollo petition
« Reply #26 on: June 05, 2012, 05:26:26 AM »
For what he's done, created and knowledge, I respect his opinion. It's 1995 tech, what could be done with it. It would be like getting the tech specs to any of the Amiga models. Can't build a new one that easily. Not to mention who has the expertise, time, and money to improve then produce the design.
For what the Apollo is, it could be done better and easier with a modern design.  
From a business standpoint, if something like it is in the works by him or some other party it could cut into their bottom line.
 

Offline darkage

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Re: Jens Shoenfeld's anwer to the Apollo petition
« Reply #27 on: June 05, 2012, 05:35:04 AM »
Quote from: Argo;695333
It's 1995 tech, what could be done with it. It would be like getting the tech specs to any of the Amiga models. Can't build a new one that easily.


Advanced home electronics hobbyists that are involved in the amiga would kill for schematics+firmware!  A tech howto guide even though is old but gives you an idea of whats involved.   Look at Minimig as someones hobby project..  yeah I know not all Amiga users are at this level.. I've just started learning FPGA's myself, upgrading from atmel/pic 8bit world..  :P
« Last Edit: June 05, 2012, 05:37:32 AM by darkage »
 

Offline LoadWB

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Re: Jens Shoenfeld's anwer to the Apollo petition
« Reply #28 on: June 05, 2012, 05:40:06 AM »
Quote from: darkage;695334
Advanced home electronics hobbyists that are involved in the amiga would kill for schematics+firmware!


From the looks of it, they could buy themselves out of homicide for $40k euros.
 

Offline runequester

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Re: Jens Shoenfeld's anwer to the Apollo petition
« Reply #29 from previous page: June 05, 2012, 06:26:44 AM »
In the end, everyone was free to ask him, and he was free to answer as he felt fit. All good.