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AuthorTopic: Jens Shoenfeld's anwer to the Apollo petition  (Read 14586 times)

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Offline Xanxi

Jens Shoenfeld's anwer to the Apollo petition
« on: June 04, 2012, 04:00:12 PM »
Hi.

As the petition is closed since the 31th of May, i have mailed Jens Schoenfeld with the link to the signatures.

Here is his answer, that i am allowed to quote:

Hi,

I learned about this petition just now, and I have to say that it's way out of line to ask for this stuff for free.

I've paid good money for these rights in order to let the Apollo boards rest in peace. I will not let go of any code or schematics, because these boards make an Amiga unstable. They are the prime cause for Amigans leaving the market: An unstable Amiga is no fun, and hardly anyone will accept that it's the Apollo card causing the trouble. If you're interested, I can dig up one of the many explanations that I have posted online and in private eMails, so you can post that in the amiga.org thread (you know I'm not there any more).

That said, I'm willing to change my policy if serious money is involved. Here's the model:

- I'll change my policy from "if you have an Apollo, it's your choice and if it works, fine", to the new policy: No support for any Apollo-equipped Amiga whatsoever". This includes any and all products, old and new.

- I'll sell MACH131 chips programmed for Apollo 1260 and Eprom chips with the required code, combined for 150,- EUR each, plus shipping. This price does not guarantee anything, just proper function of the MACH131 in a system with no promises of any improvement over the MACH130 that people had before. Should the MACH131 not work as expected, I'll replace it once. Should the replacement still not work, I will refund the chip for 4,- EUR. The remaining 144,- EUR have been paid for the code license in the Eprom.

- once 267 chip-upgrades are sold (40k EUR barrier crossed), I will release the jedec file of the MACH131 of the Apollo 1260 for non-commercial use. Should anyone start offering MACH131 for more than 4,- EUR each, I will go after him. The jedec file of the MACH210 and schematics will remain closed.

ciao,
--
Jens Schönfeld

And then another answer:


If the cards work fine for you, good for you. However, having insight into the inner workings, I know that the MACH chips are operated way out of their specifications. To be more specific, the design is full of syncronous flipflops with async set/clear equations, which are not specified to work at these high frequencies. As a result, the whole design may or may not work, depending factors that nobody can influence.

And yes, please quote me, but please quote whole eMails, not just single sentences.

so short,
--
Jens Schönfeld


So here is the official position and not just a rumor to answer the 74 people who signed the petition.

I will let you make your own opinion.

Regards.
10 Classic Amiga Computers so far: I have too many computers!!
 

Offline koaftder

Re: Jens Shoenfeld's anwer to the Apollo petition
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2012, 04:46:09 PM »
An Amiga with no boards installed is unstable, so how is it that different?
 

Offline Cosmos

Re: Jens Shoenfeld's anwer to the Apollo petition
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2012, 04:53:22 PM »
The only Apollo who is not super-stable is the A630@50 : all other models are fully ok

My Apollo 1260@105 is working perfectly since many months now and at a 'cold' temperature (about 58° without any fan on the 68060 rev6)...


Anyway, here some clever words from an old italian coder who left Amiga because of the zero cooperation between all the last Amiga actors :
"In our dying little community we have too many bad guys. Instead of helping one another to survive they are: proud, selfish, pathetic, attached to money, jackals, bellicose or childish !"

Offline Iggy

Re: Jens Shoenfeld's anwer to the Apollo petition
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2012, 05:00:16 PM »
Quote from: koaftder;695254
An Amiga with no boards installed is unstable, so how is it that different?

:D
Actually, that's a better offer then I expected.
No support, but he's willing to sell Mach131s programmed with am eprom.

You guys didn't really expect the schematics or new production, did you?
"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

"You, got to stem the evil tide, and keep it on the the inside" - Rogers Waters

"God was never on your side" - Lemmy

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Offline LoadWB

Re: Jens Shoenfeld's anwer to the Apollo petition
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2012, 05:04:36 PM »
Quote from: koaftder;695254
An Amiga with no boards installed is unstable, so how is it that different?


Crappy software and not the hardware, perhaps.  I tend to rely upon people like Piru and Jens as authoritative in their specific realms, especially when given salient arguments for their positions.

Aside from that, when people spend a shytload of money on hardware, they expect it to work properly.  I had an Apollo accelerator in my 4000D and it caused all sorts of problems with various other devices.  Move to a WarpEngine then to my CyberStorm and neither one ever just crashed due to hardware and I cannot recall any incompatibilities I've had with either.

In any case, Jens owns the rights, he's spoken out numerous times on the issue, and I find nothing wrong with his position on the matter, irrespective of dreck anyone may boil up about him trying to kill a product to further his own.
 

Offline Piru

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Re: Jens Shoenfeld's anwer to the Apollo petition
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2012, 05:22:39 PM »
Good call from Jens.
 

Offline TheBilgeRat

Re: Jens Shoenfeld's anwer to the Apollo petition
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2012, 05:28:41 PM »
If there is any complaint to be made of Jens, its that he is perhaps too much of a perfectionist when it comes to his product...that and there aren't two of him (which would be handy, as one could hold down the day job while the other makes new and awesome designs).
 

Offline motrucker

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Re: Jens Shoenfeld's anwer to the Apollo petition
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2012, 06:09:45 PM »
I have a great deal of respect for Mr. Schoenfeld these days. This decision surprises me.
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Offline Louis Dias

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Re: Jens Shoenfeld's anwer to the Apollo petition
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2012, 06:49:01 PM »
Basically, he doesn't want to warranty a product that is crap.  Nothing wrong with that...however his investment was great and needs to be recouped if you truly want it.

EEPROM chips are about $4 blank individually...  I recently bought a reader/burner for $85 and 10 blank 64k chips for $45 and have started reprogramming my car's ECM...  I'd hate to sell my custom-tuned chip to someone else only to have them blow up their motor...
 

Offline kedawa

Re: Jens Shoenfeld's anwer to the Apollo petition
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2012, 07:07:30 PM »
Maybe he's just holding on to it out of spite after having buyer's remorse.
 

Offline Lord Aga

Re: Jens Shoenfeld's anwer to the Apollo petition
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2012, 08:29:21 PM »
Maybe he has made a throne out of them :)
Glory to the loud-mouthed Scotsman !
 

Offline x56h34

Re: Jens Shoenfeld's anwer to the Apollo petition
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2012, 08:34:09 PM »
I don't see what the big deal is. Jens owns a business. Jens legally owns an intellectual property. Why should he give that up? He has every right to protect ownership of his property and do with it what he wishes.
 

Offline Zac67

Re: Jens Shoenfeld's anwer to the Apollo petition
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2012, 08:45:33 PM »
This is a pretty decent offer from Jens imho. You can't expect him to give away something for free he's paid for - and here's the offer to upgrade/replace the Machs on your Apollos.

You can't blame him for not wanting to take responsibility if he knows the design is flawed, can you? I'm sure he knows what he's talking about.
 

Offline B00tDisk

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Re: Jens Shoenfeld's anwer to the Apollo petition
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2012, 08:48:23 PM »
Quote from: x56h34;695295
I don't see what the big deal is. Jens owns a business. Jens legally owns an intellectual property. Why should he give that up? He has every right to protect ownership of his property and do with it what he wishes.


Yup.

Tell you guys a little parallel story...

Back ages ago (like...2003?  2004?  Don't rightly recall...anyway...) I wanted to upgrade to a motherboard with PCI-e, specifically one I could run dual video cards in (at the time, 8800GTX cards which were top-of-the-line).  However I am a budget PC building kind of guy on and off and I wanted a board I could put my single-core AMD Athlon XP 3000+ in and save some cash.  I looked high and low and finally settled on an Epox motherboard that had dual PCIe and their own home-grown SLI solution ("GLI").  

Now...my own fault for not doing my homework, but in the interim, nVidia had cornered the market on any kind of dual-card solution: if you wanted SLi, you bought an nVidia-supported (which back then meant Intel) board, period.  GLi was clean-room engineered by Epox, so nVidia bought the technology and then promptly ****canned the design and wrote further drivers to not support SLi on that series board.  I was crestfallen but within a few days, I found some hacked drivers created by a group of programmers that would work on ANY board with ANY nVidia card by misidentifying the chipset to the driver.

So that's what I used until I upgraded to my Asus board, dual core athlon, etc.

Was nVidia "right" to extend, embrace and exterminate?  From a business standpoint, possibly.  But ultimately it was their decision to do so.  I found a work-around and went for it.  I spread the word as best I could (but let's admit it, on the PC side of the world there couldn't have been too many people in my situation), kept using updated nVidia hardware, and until I upgraded a few years later, all was well.  Coincidentally, by that point SLi solutions were "out of the barn" and nVidia had pretty much licensed it anyway!

But the point is, I never felt cheated or slighted or taken advantage of by nVidia.  Had I not been able to use both cards, I'd have sold one, or bided my time until I got a new board, etc.

Jens is like nVidia in this: there's a product he wanted off the market and he spent his money to get it off the market.  Out of his pocket.  Not yours, not mine, he didn't hack someone's bank account to buy up the Apollo tech.  And he's like the guys who wrote the altered drivers: he's offering a non-trivial method for people who want to keep using/trying that hardware.  Personally?  I think he's well in his rights.  It isn't like he's writing drivers that screw up your hard drive (hi, Elbox!  Yes you're still ****lords!) or posting threatening messages like "PAY ME FOR THIS HARDWARE OR I WILL DESTROY IT." (Hi, Hans Campbell!  You're a ****lord, too!).

Jens makes great hardware, he supports it to the best of his ability*, the Amiga does not make him a great deal of money, so ultimately, yeah, he's doing the Amiga community a favor by building what he does.
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Offline Heiroglyph

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.