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AuthorTopic: Individual Computers Announces Clone-A Project  (Read 8495 times)

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Offline neon32

Re: Individual Computers Announces Clone-A Project
« Reply #45 on: October 12, 2006, 10:08:08 PM »
@Tomas

I dont have a problem with you hacking into the joystick to enhance it for you own creations. What i would have a problem with is someone hacking into the joystick, adding a flash memory card that holds all the best games ever created on the Amiga and re-selling it for everyone to buy for 30 quid. It ruins the value of some of the best computer games ever created for any computer!

I think we should be more wary about what we are doing with some of these old classics then we are at the moment. Just because they are getting on a bit, does not mean they are any less worthy of being sold at a reasonable price or being put up against any of the latest games coming out today. Kinda brings me onto my oppinions on Amiga abandon-ware in general..

I have mixed feelings about the whole abandon-ware thing. And i think alot of it is just based on people wanting things for free. I mean, if a book becomes old, it doesn't mean it should be sold for free. Games on the amiga were, in my mind, when the great gameplay of the older systems finally met up with graphics that could finally support those ideas on the same level - but not take it too far. Just as a great book or a song never gets old, prime examples of the best games on the amiga are, in my oppinion, about the best games will get on a computer system, no matter how many Mhz you have. After all, we are all human, and theres only a certain amount that our brains can take and still consider something to be fun - Like they say, the simplest games are often the best. If you look at board games for example, monopoly? How old is that game? Yet it is still a great game, and i very much doubt they have plans to start selling off that one for free. Or Mario... Theres so many examples.
 

Offline Schoenfeld

Re: Individual Computers Announces Clone-A Project
« Reply #46 on: October 12, 2006, 11:00:12 PM »
Thanks everyone for the thumbs-up. First of all, I'd like to point out that it's not *my* project, but Oliver's *and* my project. Of course I'm paying him, but there's no reason to call Clone-A my own project. Further, there's no way to tell who did how much work on the project. We're a team, and what you will be able to purchase sometime in the future is teamwork.

You will have the chance to get to know Oliver at Amiwest next week - we'll both be there.

@Dennis:
Sorry if it looked like I mentioned UAE as your *main* source. Of course I know that you had a combination of all those sources, and like I said, I don't think that this is a bad move. We just chose to do it differently, because we expect our implementation to be more accurate that way.

@all:
Dennis and I have already exchanged a few ideas at the Codex Alpe Adria in Italy this summer. The fact that Oliver's and my approach will most probably produce a smaller design (better-suited for implementing on a single custom chip) was actually pointed out by Dennis.

We're not competitors - we will work together like you would expect members of the Amiga community to do it. As soon as my ITX board is out, I will open up enough documentation for everyone (including Dennis) to port the Minimig source to the Clone-A board. That way, Minimig will have a platform to run on, and everyone will have the chance to compare two Amiga-Clones on the same mainboard. I'm actually happy that Dennis is too busy to publish the sources of his Minimig, because it clearly shows that my (obviously commercial) approach was not influenced by his source.

Jens Schönfeld
 

Offline techie

Re: Individual Computers Announces Clone-A Project
« Reply #47 on: October 12, 2006, 11:17:08 PM »
@Schoenfeld

Too cool, can't wait :-D
I wish all the best for both the Clone-A project and the MiniMig.
 

Offline Tomas

Re: Individual Computers Announces Clone-A Project
« Reply #48 on: October 13, 2006, 12:00:42 AM »
Quote
I dont have a problem with you hacking into the joystick to enhance it for you own creations. What i would have a problem with is someone hacking into the joystick, adding a flash memory card that holds all the best games ever created on the Amiga and re-selling it for everyone to buy for 30 quid. It ruins the value of some of the best computer games ever created for any computer!

I dont like to see illegal copies being sold either, but i see no difference between selling flash copies and selling discs or cds full of games, as that is happening currently as well. I am very much against people selling even abandonware for profits, but i dont think the system should be locked down as there is so much more legal ways to use it.
I honestly dont think the real hardware or games will have less value because of this.

Quote
I have mixed feelings about the whole abandon-ware thing. And i think alot of it is just based on people wanting things for free. I mean, if a book becomes old, it doesn't mean it should be sold for free.

I have a big problem with people selling it on for example ebay or similar. I do however have no problem with such games being hosted for free on the internet when there is no other legal ways of aquiring this said game. I for example have lotus turbo 3 on orginal floppies, but sadly the boot disk got erased. I then think it is perfectly alright for me to download a backup, as there is no other means of replacing the floppy.
But if the game is new and is still being sold in stores, then it is a whole different case. The only people who lose money on abandonware, is the people who are planning to sell their old copy.

Sometimes abandonware is the only way to relive old classics.. Our 10+ year old floppies is slowly deterioating as well, so it definitely a good thing to have a backup.
 

Offline jen-ss

Re: Individual Computers Announces Clone-A Project
« Reply #49 on: October 13, 2006, 01:34:41 AM »
@ Herr Schoenfeldt:

What I would like to know is what distinguishes your "Clone-A" from Dennis's MiniMig.  Don't get me wrong, I think that it is real neat of you to copy D's initiative and build a real-working Amiga 500 with 3 full time programmers probably putting some extreme overtime in to copy the Amiga chip set "1 on 1". What does it get me though? Why would I choose not to go with a better supported (community wide), faster evolving and especially cheaper (it will be FREE after all!) alternative that is highly customizable/expandable?

What made you decide to do an Amiga 500 instead of let's say an Amiga 3000 anyway? You seem to have the resources to have pulled that off and you wouldn't have any headaches because of a certain open source project that definitely does interfere with your interests. Is that an obvious next step?




@ Mister D (Dennis):

I have been following your progress for a while now and this is actually my very first post as I find that everything I wanted to say has been said by others. I would like to thank you for making the project that you have put a whole years worth of effort into open source. I respect that greatly and am awaiting the initial release so I can take a peek in to what makes MiniMig tick and possibly one day even contribute to the project. Thank you!
 

Offline sknight

Re: Individual Computers Announces Clone-A Project
« Reply #50 on: October 13, 2006, 02:25:52 AM »
@Dennis

Quote
Lastly, Minimig will be opensource! I have picked up the project again after being occupied with other things (moving to a new house ) and I am considering releasing the source code much earlier. Then the community will be able to get the last bugs out of Minimig and make their own clone.


Great, Dennis!!! Thank you so much! :bow:
 

Offline LoadWB

Re: Individual Computers Announces Clone-A Project
« Reply #51 on: October 13, 2006, 05:37:40 AM »
To prevent people from making illegitimate Amiga joysticks, the entire community will have to help police and not just give up out of disgust.

Everyone is trying to profit from the "retro" market, quite a few of them without proper licensing.

Opposition to the Clone-A and MiniMig projects because of piracy potential is the same thought process that wound us up with viral DRM, not being able to play some DVDs on video cards with composite output, and so forth.  This is the thought process where everyone is a criminal before ever having the chance to perpetrate a crime.

Keep on trucking Dennis, Jens, and Oliver.  I will now refrain from mentioning ChipRAM :-D
 

Offline amiga_3k

Re: Individual Computers Announces Clone-A Project
« Reply #52 on: October 13, 2006, 06:58:57 AM »
Would there be also a scenario where the re-implimentation of the custom-chips are to be sold as replacements for defunct chips? I mean, that (and the mentioning of a miniITX Amiga) is what makes the Clone-A project interesting to me. Minimig remains interesting as well, mostly due to it's opensource nature.
[img align=left]http://www.elf8.nl/AMIGA_BANNER_2.gif[/img]Get a SAM, while you can! The new AMIGA is here!
 

Offline CodeSmith

Re: Individual Computers Announces Clone-A Project
« Reply #53 on: October 13, 2006, 08:50:00 AM »
@Schoenfeld

Jens, have you considered selling a basic "amiga chipset" circuit board consisting of the FPGAs plus bare minimum support circuitry with a .1" pitch plug, for use by electronics hobbyists?  this will fill the gap that exists now that no-one manufactures oldskool video ICs any more.  See eg the microVGA for an example of what I'm talking about.
 

Offline cv643d

Re: Individual Computers Announces Clone-A Project
« Reply #54 on: October 13, 2006, 10:13:01 AM »
Very nice, an ITX board is just what I wanted.

*Starts to save up some money for the ultimate 68k machine*
Amiga articles
"New shell. It was finished a while back, but I still see bugs, haha" - SSolie
 

Offline Frags

Re: Individual Computers Announces Clone-A Project
« Reply #55 on: October 13, 2006, 11:45:31 AM »
@jen-ss

Dennis has cloned the entire Amiga on an fpga, Individual have cloned the individual (sorry) custom chips separately.  The minimig is nice if you want to run A500 software but Clone-A chips could be dropped into an existing Amiga motherboard or even used as the basis for a brand new one.
That`s how it reads to me anyway.
-insert clever profundity here-
 

Offline snowman040

Re: Individual Computers Announces Clone-A Project
« Reply #56 on: October 13, 2006, 01:27:17 PM »
@Kronos: if Amiga is to make success in market, then  strong brand is a MUST, if you start making brand with cheap devices like those thing-in-joystick I doubt it will ever reach Apple or even smaller VoodooPC, Alienware brands...

@Tomas: In short therm, it can be success, but I doubt it would sell good enough. Tulip has good selling channels while Amiga has 3-4 dedicated shops in world.

There are many other 'cool' posibilities to make the same retro machine and not to make it cheap junk.
 

Offline jen-ss

Re: Individual Computers Announces Clone-A Project
« Reply #57 on: October 13, 2006, 03:54:33 PM »
Quote
@jen-ss

Dennis has cloned the entire Amiga on an fpga, Individual have cloned the individual (sorry) custom chips separately. The minimig is nice if you want to run A500 software but Clone-A chips could be dropped into an existing Amiga motherboard or even used as the basis for a brand new one.
That`s how it reads to me anyway.



I am not aware if you have actually been keeping close track of the MiniMig project. I would however like to clarify that in both cases (MiniMig as well as Clone-A) the clones are not really 1 on 1 clones. They are realistically the programmers own implementation of the workings of the chip in question. Why you ask? Let me put this to you as simple as I can possibly put it; Both developers have gone about reverse engineering each and every individual chip in the A500 chipset which is necessary if you want to create a real and above all a functioning A500 'clone'. Both developers don't do anything more than take a look at the data that the chips output as a result of a specific input (it's just that Schoenfeldt has a logic analyzer which basically speeds up this reverse-engineering task) and create their own implementation of the chip. That's right you did not read it wrong: it is their own implementation and not a true 1-on-1 chip clone like Herr Jens Schoenfeldt likes to brag about.

Sure, it would be great to have every single chip-implementation built in to it's own FPGA chip however, the general public do tend to forget that FPGA's are not the cheapest of chips. And why waste money on more FPGA's when you can stuff everything on a single FPGA which probably even benefit the inter-chip communication because of the lack of communication busses that span great lengths and is more sensitive to RFI than the same single-chip solution. I am even guessing that Herr Schoenfeldt will initially release a single chip solution (The ITX 15x15 cm board he was reffering to in the interview)  quite like that of MiniMig (which will infact be a 12x12 cm! board). There is quite frankly not much more space on a 15x15 cm PCB unless the developer likes to create a highly complicated design similar to that of a modern (multilayer) motherboard. Aside from the added cost because of it being a multilayer PCB, this adds enough complexity to make the already present EMI problem more complex than it has to be... Ever heard of "Keeping It Simple" ?


@Frags:

As all the A500 chipset's chips have obviously been individually cloned for the MiniMig, I really don't see the fuss about simply sticking each synthesized A500 chip in to it's individual FPGA. Not that I understand why you would want to do something like that in the first place other than possibly designing a drop-in replacement for specific A500 chips. Anyhow, I really don't understand why you think that MiniMig-code could not be used as a base for a new motherboard A500. I obviously am missing your point.

jen-ss (Sander)
 

Offline Hans_

Re: Individual Computers Announces Clone-A Project
« Reply #58 on: October 13, 2006, 04:44:47 PM »
@everyone that doesn't want an Amiga-in-a-joystick

:idea:

How about an Amiga-in-a-keyboard? :-D

Hans
http://hdrlab.org.nz/ - Amiga OS 4 projects, programming articles and more. Home of the RadeonHD driver for Amiga OS 4.x project.
 

Offline AJCopland

Re: Individual Computers Announces Clone-A Project
« Reply #59 on: October 13, 2006, 06:50:13 PM »
@ hans
Quote
How about an Amiga-in-a-keyboard? :-D


Best suggestion yet :-o

Andy