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AuthorTopic: Commodore without Mehdi Ali  (Read 12489 times)

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Offline bbond007

Re: Commodore without Mehdi Ali
« Reply #30 on: September 18, 2011, 03:37:53 AM »
Quote from: restore2003;40926
This has probably been discussed before, but what the heck  ;-)

Where would Amiga been today if Commodore did not hire Mehdi Ali as their Chief, and did not cancel the AAA chipset?

 :-?

I think by the early 90s it was clear that the Amiga was falling behind technology wise. It was still a nice entry level PC, they had dedicated engineers, good 3rd party hardware support, and a devoted following.

Without Ali and all of the destructive turmoil and total lack of strategy he caused whatever they did it would have been for the better.

Still, "Meet the new boss/Same as the old boss". You never know...

Although Hitler was dead and Charlie Manson was incarcerated.

I have read that the final blow to Commodore was they were struggling for cash due to the   inability to import anything in the US market because of an injunction by a federal court  over Cad Track for their use of their XOR cursor patent.

Even if they continued to fumble along in the low-end market Commodore and the Amiga could have easily been saved. It would not even have taken a Steve Jobs. Steve Ballmer could have done it or 90% of anyone named Steve. Anyone who could have effectively dealt with the Cad Track situation.

The Cad Track thing was total BS.
What a ridiculously easy concept concept to have a patent for.
Amiga uses a sprite for the pointer anyway!

At the very least they could have made some sort of deal to survive.

It is like dying of strep throat or something that is easily treated with antibiotics.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2011, 06:31:03 AM by bbond007 »
 

Offline freqmax

Re: Commodore without Mehdi Ali
« Reply #31 on: September 18, 2011, 04:46:07 AM »
Quote from: bbond007;659793
Without Ali and all of the destructive turmoil and total lack of strategy he caused whatever thy did it would have been for the better.


I heard Ali came from the mining industry, any truth to that?

Any particular reason why Ali was even hired?

In the 1980's there were loads of people with money and influence but no computer clue. Not even a small one.

Quote from: bbond007;659793
injunction by a federal court  over Cad Track for their use of their XOR cursor patent.


What computer used that patent?

Maybe they should be LARTed as gift from the Amiga community for screwing up Commodore even more ;)
 

Offline commodorejohn

Re: Commodore without Mehdi Ali
« Reply #32 on: September 18, 2011, 05:17:09 AM »
Quote from: freqmax;659797
Any particular reason why Ali was even hired?

In the 1980's there were loads of people with money and influence but no computer clue. Not even a small one.
*cough*johnsculley*cough*
Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73
Synthesizers: Roland JX-10/MT-32/D-10, Oberheim Matrix-6, Yamaha DX7/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini, Ensoniq Mirage/SQ-80, Sequential Circuits Prophet-600, Hohner String Performer

"\'Legacy code\' often differs from its suggested alternative by actually working and scaling." - Bjarne Stroustrup
 

Offline bbond007

Re: Commodore without Mehdi Ali
« Reply #33 on: September 18, 2011, 06:28:07 AM »
Quote from: freqmax;659797

What computer used that patent?


I'm not sure. I would think that patent more pertain to products like GEM based stuff (like Ventura Publisher and Atari ST),  Windows, drawing software, etc. Anything that uses a  mouse pointer that does not have hardware sprites.

Ideally you want a pointer that does not destroy the underling content as you move it about the screen. There are various ways to accomplish this. The Amiga way would be the Sprite.

The Cad Track thing worked on the basic principle that if you take any number and XOR or another number twice the end result is always same number you started with.

1 xor 4 xor 4 = 1
2 xor 4 xor 4 = 2
3 xor 4 xor 4 = 3
etc...

Lets say the 123 this is the contents of my screen and the 4's represent my pointer (shaped like a +).

123 xor _4_ = 163 xor _4_ = 123
123 xor 444 = 567 xor 444 = 123
123 xor _4_ = 163 xor _4_ = 123

I can place the cursor on the screen with one XOR operation and remove it with the second XOR. This is very fast because I don't need to save the underling contents of the screen in order to restore it.

The ugly but somewhat useful side-effect is that the pointer changes colors depending on the underling screen content.

This is useful because you can always see the cursor. You don't have the situation where you have a red pointer obscured because it is directly over a red object.

So, What computer used that patent? No Commodore computer I can think of. Perhaps some feature of the Bit Blitter?

That was the nail in Commodores coffin. Sad but true!
 

Offline bbond007

Re: Commodore without Mehdi Ali
« Reply #34 on: September 18, 2011, 06:51:02 AM »
Quote from: freqmax;659797
What computer used that patent?)

Here we go... I think I may have found it.... Amiga Workbench....

I bet its not the pointer but the window outline when you move/resize windows.

See how the line changes colors depending on the underling screen content?

That for sure is the result of using an XOR operation.....
« Last Edit: September 18, 2011, 06:53:45 AM by bbond007 »
 

Offline ajlwalker

Re: Commodore without Mehdi Ali
« Reply #35 on: September 18, 2011, 08:20:39 AM »
We could all talk for ages on this topic.

Just a couple of observations.  I tend to agree with the theory that Commodore learned a bad lesson from the C64, in that you can continue to sell old tech for a long time.  That worked when your product had killed off all competition and was king.

Having said that, part of the appeal of Commodore machines is that you knew you could buy it and use it for years with new software still coming.  So selling old tech, while we criticise it, was actually integral to the Amiga's success in markets like Europe.

Their difficulties came about when the PC and clones came along with their, backward compatibility forever mantra.  People were then a little less bothered about buying newer, faster hardware more often, because they knew their software could be taken with them.

Of course we all know that Amiga software was generally backwards compatible and could be made to work with certain tips and tricks, but never the less the PC and clone mantra was strong, and if Commodore DID launch a totally new architecture (like C64 to Amiga) then your software was stuffed.

I also like the theory that Commodore UK would have done a better job.  In general I regard UK companies as backward and non-committal R&D wise, and notorious for listening to the bean-counters.  We're also notorious for ruining a perfectly good product just to safe a few pennies in production.  That is why generally UK products are ****, and our manufacturing has died a death.  However, one thing Commodore UK knew how to do was market and sell the Amiga.  The batman pack was a master stroke, and fended off the dominance of SNES and Megadrive for at least 2 years in my book.

As to where Amiga could have been nowadays.  It's already been said.  The best we could hope for is a market the size of apple's.
 

Offline Matteus

Re: Commodore without Mehdi Ali
« Reply #36 on: September 18, 2011, 11:33:46 AM »
But also in the UK they had Acorn, Sinclair and Amstrad. (did I miss anyone here), which really didn't fair as well in the rest of the world as C-64 did, I reckon.

Something that hit me when the PS3/X360 came out was that these were, or are the new Amigas, in a way. They have PPC, similar concept, but 20 years newer. Would have been nice to mod a X360 to run OS 4.x on. :lol:
All you can do now is linux, and that can be run on anything plus your grandmother's cell.
Q: What days are/was the best of all time?
A: Commodore days!

c\'est mauvais d\'être français!

Rule 3...It is OK to put all bad people and Spammers in a giant meat grinder.
Microsoft, see rule 3.
 

Offline ajlwalker

Re: Commodore without Mehdi Ali
« Reply #37 on: September 18, 2011, 11:47:48 AM »
Quote from: Matteus;659819
But also in the UK they had Acorn, Sinclair and Amstrad. (did I miss anyone here), which really didn't fair as well in the rest of the world as C-64 did, I reckon.....


The only one that springs to mind is Dragon who produced the moderately successful Dragon32 and the too-late to market Dragon64.  I believe they came out of Wales.
 

Offline freqmax

Re: Commodore without Mehdi Ali
« Reply #38 on: September 18, 2011, 02:59:55 PM »
Here is why hohn Sculley ever got hired:
"They exhausted all of the obvious high-tech candidates to be CEO… Ultimately, David Rockefeller, who was a shareholder in Apple, said let’s try a different industry and let’s go to the top head hunter in the United States who isn’t in high tech: Gerry Roche."

Maybe Irving Gould should be blamed for the commodore mess? ;)
 

Offline Digiman

Re: Commodore without Mehdi Ali
« Reply #39 on: September 18, 2011, 03:47:58 PM »
Here is another point Commodore failed to notice.

Time of C64 rise coincides with fall of all cart based consoles due to video game crash BUT time of A500 coincided with US fascination of P.O.S. NES (puke) or idiots spending MORE than 512kb A1000 cost on pathetic CGA PCs or 128k mono Mac.

If you look at the total sales the US consumers buying that crap is one of the reasons that......

A. Amiga sold only 9 million less than the 22m C64 for compatibles (inc 5m for 128/128D/PET64/SX64)

B. US Games like Simpsons arcade lovingly programmed for C64 (DOS PCs) but not Amiga. Crazy.

US consumers need to take 1/3 the blame. Gould's 7mhz 68000 'is fast enough for consumers' attitude until 1992 another 1/3 and management decisions like not marketing A1000 for a year in mid 80s another.

Said it before but never again would one computer be as revolutionary as Amiga 1000 in its place among inferior rivals of EGA PC/ST/MAC/8-BIT. The war was over before the 1 millionth A500 was sold.

PS They could have sold A1000s in 1986 direct to consumers dropping RRP by 40% ie how Jack sold PET :)
 

Offline commodorejohn

Re: Commodore without Mehdi Ali
« Reply #40 on: September 18, 2011, 05:23:34 PM »
Quote from: freqmax;659832
Here is why hohn Sculley ever got hired
Wow, that's...almost as illuminating as to why Apple went to **** in the '90s as the one where he was babbling about why using Motorola chips was a bad idea.
Quote
When I first saw the Macintosh — it was in the process of being created — it was basically just a series of components over what is called a bread board. It wasn’t anything
Because yeah, all that junky hardware stuff, who cares about that? It only makes the machine work, that's all.
Quote
Steve would say: “The organization can become bigger but not the Mac team. The Macintosh was set up as a product development division — and so Apple had a central sales organization, a central back office for all the administration, legal. It had a centralized manufacturing of that sort but the actual team that was building the product, and this is true for high tech products, it doesn’t take a lot of people to build a great product.
Except that according to Andy Hertzfeld's account, that's exactly what happened...oy.
Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73
Synthesizers: Roland JX-10/MT-32/D-10, Oberheim Matrix-6, Yamaha DX7/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini, Ensoniq Mirage/SQ-80, Sequential Circuits Prophet-600, Hohner String Performer

"\'Legacy code\' often differs from its suggested alternative by actually working and scaling." - Bjarne Stroustrup
 

Offline Matteus

Re: Commodore without Mehdi Ali
« Reply #41 on: September 18, 2011, 05:27:16 PM »
Quote from: Digiman;659839
Here is another point Commodore failed to notice.

US consumers need to take 1/3 the blame. Gould's 7mhz 68000 'is fast enough for consumers' attitude until 1992 another 1/3 and management decisions like not marketing A1000 for a year in mid 80s another.

Yeah, the 68020 was available in the mid 80s, they should have made an Amiga with it (12, 16, 20Mhz) around 88-90. :idea: I guess even the less attractive 68EC020 was out by then.
Q: What days are/was the best of all time?
A: Commodore days!

c\'est mauvais d\'être français!

Rule 3...It is OK to put all bad people and Spammers in a giant meat grinder.
Microsoft, see rule 3.
 

Offline asymetrix

Re: Commodore without Mehdi Ali
« Reply #42 on: September 18, 2011, 06:23:23 PM »
Mehdi Ali was not the only one to blame.

A few multi million dollar lawsuits were going on at the time whch C<=ommodore could not afford.
Amiga was branded a gaming machine, so could not enter the business market. Not even now its not taken seriously.

When Commodore was for sale in Bahamas Commodore UK submitted a 3M bid, along other high bidders, Commodore UK - withdrew the bid because they thought they did not stand a chance with the big boys.

Commodore UK had the only winning bid, other bids did not meet the deadline or demanded conditions which made them all void.

Commodore UK had a winning hand and threw it away.

Even if Commodore survived, the AAA chipset is incomplete and incompatible with all amiga software.

Our fast and effecient OS, our superior OS - where did it get us ?

If we ported Open Office, our fast OS wont run it fast. Why ? because the OpenOffice application has high resource requirements.

Large applications are more 'meaty' they do more, and have more complex algorithms that need more hardware resources.
It does not matter how fast the OS is, an Wordprocessor is not made to be fast, just to process words and that it does well.
 

Offline Matteus

Re: Commodore without Mehdi Ali
« Reply #43 on: September 18, 2011, 06:53:31 PM »
Quote from: asymetrix;659859
Large applications are more 'meaty' they do more, and have more complex algorithms that need more hardware resources.
It does not matter how fast the OS is, an Wordprocessor is not made to be fast, just to process words and that it does well.

Yeah, makes me think of that video on Youtube where good ol' Rob Hubbard talks about that his music for a game, back in the early to mid 80s, was only 1k long or so. Compared to the amount of RAM we have now. :roflmao:
Q: What days are/was the best of all time?
A: Commodore days!

c\'est mauvais d\'être français!

Rule 3...It is OK to put all bad people and Spammers in a giant meat grinder.
Microsoft, see rule 3.
 

Offline freqmax

Re: Commodore without Mehdi Ali
« Reply #44 on: September 18, 2011, 09:08:34 PM »
Quote from: Matteus;659855
Yeah, the 68020 was available in the mid 80s, they should have made an Amiga with it (12, 16, 20Mhz) around 88-90. :idea: I guess even the less attractive 68EC020 was out by then.


I think the price would make it fail.

Quote from: Matteus;659861
Yeah, makes me think of that video on Youtube where good ol' Rob Hubbard talks about that his music for a game, back in the early to mid 80s, was only 1k long or so. Compared to the amount of RAM we have now. :roflmao:


What you lack in IQ you have to compensate with RAM and MHz hehe.

Guess any new platform with the philosophy to get the best hardware for a given price  has to focus on technically aware people and not the surrounding masses. Ferraris are not for everyone.

The last successes has been in ipod - music, iphone - mobility, ipad - mobile internet. Maybe this can hint on what's the next thing the market will love?