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AuthorTopic: Coder's A1 review  (Read 7918 times)

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Offline Coder

Coder's A1 review
« on: January 23, 2003, 10:34:30 PM »
Amiga.org member Coder shares his experiences with the receipt and installation of his AmigaOne.

After a long period of waiting my A1 SE finally arrived at Thursday January 9th. I did not order it directly at Eyetech but at my Amiga dealer Computer City in Rotterdam. I ordered it assembled, so it came in a tower case with memory, gfx card (ATI Radeon 7000), hard drive (Maxtor 40GB), floppy drive and cdrom. Also I ordered a 17-inch Novita monitor.

After unpacking the present I saw that everything was there. I turned it on and there was PPCBoot. With the A1 came an installer cd for Linux and another cd containing Suse Linux 7.3. And also a nice manual to set it all up.

After setting some environments in PPCBoot it was time to boot the installer cd. And there it all stopped. When I typed the command to boot the cd I got the error “Bad magic number”.

Since I am on the mailing list for the A1 for many months I knew it could be the installer cd. I re-burn should fix it. Lucky enough I had gotten that iso file from the Hyperion site some weeks ago. After burning a new cd it was time for a new try. still not working. I still had the same error. So I tried it with another cdrom drive but still it did not work.

Since it was already late I gave up and went to bed. The next day in the evening after my work I had another go at it. I really thought it must be the memory after some time.

The setting FSB was set to 133 so I changed that to 100. I typed the command to boot and there it was. It worked! The feeling I had was really great. I did not went on with the installation of Linux because like the day before it was already late. So Saturday I tried to install Linux. I typed the command to boot the cd. “Bad magic number” it said.

Arghhhhhhhhhhhhh.

How was that possible? After some thinking I saw that instead of the day before were I used my own burned installer cd I used the installer cd from Eyetech this time. So that installer cd from Eyetech was also a bad one. So I used that re-burned one again to install Linux.

The manual explaining the installation is very good. If you follow it you should have no problem getting it running. Normally I do not follow a manual and just go my own way but this time I did follow it just to make sure it would go perfect.

After the installation Linux booted fine and I could login and work at the prompt. Next was the X window system. That is also described in the manual. But when starting Sax2 the screen would go black and the monitor would go in powersafe. I knew it had to do with the driver for my graphics card. After getting a working one I could setup the X window system and as desktop environment KDE. I did have some problems in KDE, which I fixed by updating KDE. After this I tried UAE. I still have some problems with getting UAE to run. I do get some weird problems with that. I will have a look at his at another time.

I also wanted to give Debian a try on my A1. Ross Vumbaca made a bootable cd to install Debian. The installation is not so hard and Debian works really fine. I have not installed the X Window system and a desktop environment yet. I will do that in the coming days. So far I think Debian is the better one of the both (Suse and Debian) distro’s I tried. I soon hope to be able to use Yellow Dog on my A1. That’s the distro I prefer.

The end conclusion. Since OS4 is not ready yet you are stuck with Linux for the moment. If you are a Linux fan and do not mind to dig deep into it I certainly would buy the A1. But I would advice to check out very good which hardware works with Linux at his moment. It’s not a very long review I wrote but I at least this gives a good impression about my A1 adventure. If you have questions mail me at a1questions@flyingpaper.com and I will be glad to answer them. I will have some pictures on my website soon.

Coder
Check it out - I found the ass-end!
 

Offline blobrana

Re: Coder's A1 review
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2003, 11:00:20 PM »
Wow. scary stuff.

Hum, i think i would have given up...
i suppose not worth the mention on the PCI connector for hooking up a 1200 until OS4 is out...

Offline odin

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Re: Coder's A1 review
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2003, 11:01:47 PM »
Coder:

And Debian also needs the FSB to be at 100MHz? Do you have dodgy ram or something?

Offline SlimJim

Re: Coder's A1 review
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2003, 11:02:05 PM »
Thanks for the review! Hope those troublesome
installationCD:s (if that was indeed the problem) have been
remedied until I get my board...
.
SlimJim
 

Offline Bezzen

Re: Coder's A1 review
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2003, 11:04:57 PM »
I'm glad you got it running eventually.  :-)

I haven't run Linux since way back when I had a partion on my PC running the Slackware distro (does anyone rembember that one?)  :-D
 

Offline JoannaK

Re: Coder's A1 review
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2003, 11:44:13 PM »
Well.. this is why I said allmost yar ago on Amiga-one mailing list that I have no intention of purchasing it then. No interests on goofing up with Linux on hadware that was not 100% tested.

And that PCI-connector.. Last time I  heard about it was when Alan Redhouse admitted it does not even exist.. Well, it's not Eyetech's fault, but their subconrtactor who did not do anything for it. That was months ago, and I can't remeber haring any more since.
 

Offline ikir

Re: Coder's A1 review
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2003, 12:10:53 AM »
Thx for the review Coder :-)
 

Offline Troels_E

Re: Coder's A1 review
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2003, 12:43:28 AM »
@JoannaK

"And that PCI-connector.. Last time I heard about it was when Alan Redhouse admitted it does not even exist.. Well, it's not Eyetech's fault, but their subconrtactor who did not do anything for it. That was months ago, and I can't remeber haring any more since"

I don't think we will ever see that PCI-connector.

Back at the Gothenborg AmigaOne presentation Alan told us a bit about the cooperation with Escena and it seemed like their relation was not very good anymore.
As I understood Eyetech had put quite a lot of money towards the original A1 design that Escena failed to deliver.  
He didn't sound like he really cared about the PCI-connector (neither do I, but I know it's important to some people).
The bounty site for AmigaOS4 www.amigabounty.net
 

Offline Calen

Re: Coder's A1 review
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2003, 02:39:45 AM »
Quote
I don't think we will ever see that PCI-connector.

I agree
I thought way back then before the OS4/A1 delays Alan? said that it wouldnt be needed as much come OS4.2 and above, we now will get most of the features in OS4 that where meant for 4.2.

Still don't see myself where that rules out making one of those connectors though.
May be wrong in what i heard as there has been so many changes.

Personally i wouldnt mind seeing it but i just want OS4 released! :-)
 

Offline Targhan

Re: Coder's A1 review
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2003, 03:47:50 AM »
Thanks for the review Coder!
Regards,
Targhan
 

Offline WarPiper

Re: Coder's A1 review
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2003, 05:51:16 AM »
Thanks for the review, but seeing as you had some trouble, even though just a little (not a good sign), and I already use Linux (mandrake 9.0) for the PC, I can not see the sense in spending all that money on a LinuxOne G3/G4 system (since nothing really from amiga is there to make it a amiga). Have fun and enjoy your new system, I really hope that there will be an Amiga OS 4 some time befor we all die or befor microsoft goes ppc.
There was a time I can remember computers were fun...I miss my A1200.
 

Offline Coder

Re: Coder's A1 review
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2003, 08:11:08 AM »
Hi,

If you want to run Linux without any major probs it's best to get an x86 distro. The A1 with Linux is really for people that know what they are doing. You can always put it in the closet and wait for OS4. I have a deep interest in Linux and I really wanted to use it on my A1. But for some people it might be really hard to get it running.

At this moment I am getting the Debian "Woody" CD 1 from internet. I hope I have it before the end of the day so that I can try it out tonight. It contains KDE and some other nice software.

Coder
Check it out - I found the ass-end!
 

Offline Coder

Re: Coder's A1 review
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2003, 08:20:59 AM »
@odin

Quote
And Debian also needs the FSB to be at 100MHz? Do you have dodgy ram or something?


No dodgy ram. The setting on the board was to high. So no matter what Linux distro, the setting must remain 100.

Coder
Check it out - I found the ass-end!
 

Offline Coder

Re: Coder's A1 review
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2003, 08:26:05 AM »
@JoannaK

Quote
No interests on goofing up with Linux on hadware that was not 100% tested.


If you buy the A1 and select stuff that has been tested you will not have much problems. But if you have a spare gfx card you might get problems running it.

I did bought the Ati Radeon 7000 because that one would work in OS4. Offcourse it could be the case it would not work with Linux.

I don't see the A1 as a Linux machine but as the machine that will run OS4. But this way they migth sell a few more boards to Linux freaks.

Coder
Check it out - I found the ass-end!
 

Offline Warface

Re: Coder's A1 review
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2003, 08:37:02 AM »
Thanks for the review. Dunno, I saw no big (lethal) problems, considering it's an Earlybird system. (Whatever that means)