Home > Object Pascal > Amiga Reloaded, can I preorder?

Amiga Reloaded, can I preorder?

September 1, 2016 Leave a comment Go to comments

Without much fanfare some brilliant news made it into the retro-computing scene yesterday, namely that our german superheroes over at Individual Computers Gmbh has aquired the rights to the Commodore name.

c64-reloaded

A brand new C64 motherboard, still going after all that time

“The Amiga for me represent a whole timeline of computing history that was aborted, a timeline which, had it been allowed to continue, would have given the world a much better experience of computing”

Individual has been shipping their Commodore 64 replacement motherboard for some time, which apparently is a very popular product for people into the C64 scene. I would love to get my hands on it, but while I grew up on a c64 — my computing life basically started with the Commodore Amiga.

It just wont die

The Amiga home computer is paradox wrapped in an enigma. Its been out of production since the 90’s, parts cost more than a used car – yet thousands of people around the world use this (by todays standard) ancient computer platform daily.

So what is it about this computer that simply refuses to die? Why do people, young and old, love this 30 year old computer?

I can only speak for myself, but I think it has to do with the fact that the Amiga was murdered. That is how I feel anyways. It was in the prime of it’s life, and was killed and replaced by backwater, poorly made computers that didn’t deserve to win. So I think maybe, if im honest, its a classic case of martyrdom.

The Amiga for me represent a whole timeline of computing history that was aborted, a timeline which, had it been allowed to continue, would have given the world a much better experience of computing. Not to mention our capabilities as a race with regard to data processing in all avenues of life.

13880194_10153698065420906_5270566542174363513_n

My Raspberry PI 3 Amiga is just fantastic!

I have never seen PC users get into a physical fist-fight over their pentiums; or AMD users bashing Intel users in the head — but I have seen Amiga users go head to head at copy parties, beating the living daylights out of each other. You can’t buy that level of dedication, it has to be earned. I don’t think any other computer enjoy a mass of users that actually love, in the true sense of the word, every inch of their platform.

But the Amiga does.

And those that grew up on the Amiga wont rest until it’s resurrected, which incidentally can now actually become a reality.

Amiga Reloaded

I sent an Email to Individual asking them about the Amiga 1200 and if it was a part of their plan. I mean, having now finally strangled the rights to the Commodore name from the hands of vultures.

I actually got chills when I read their reply:

The A1200 is also on the agenda, yes

I was supposed to get into bed before midnight, but by the time the mental storm had passed I found myself messing around in UAE at 3 o’clock in the morning!

What goodies could a dedicated hardware shop like individual Computers introduce in a new Amiga? In my mind the ultimate reloaded Amiga would be something like this:

  • FGPA running the show
  • Stuff AGA modes into the fpga core, pure chunky out!
  • A solid 512 megabyte of memory would be nice
  • HDMI out
  • USB for mouse
  • Sata port
  • WiFi on chip

The above list is just my hopes for what an A1200 Reloaded could look like. But to be perfectly honest I would be happy just being able to buy a slightly pumped up A1200 at a reasonable price. If nothing else than to stick it to the morons on ebay charging $6000 for an Amiga 1000 (its gotten way passed ridicules).

Updated: The specs

Stefan Egger pointed out that a draft of the specs are online, and sadly (if this is the working draft) it seems poor compared to my hopes. But the article does start with “The following is a preliminary specification. Things may change”. Head over to

http://wiki.icomp.de/wiki/Amiga_reloaded

..to read the specs.

But its still good news I think. If nothing more than to at least break the monopoly that is going on at ebay. But for me personally, if this is what they are going for, I will probably have to order a Vampire 2 accellerator before I even want to get near it.

I was seriously hoping for a “minimig” fpga in the 120-200 mhz range. Just drop the custom chips and drump that into the fpga core — which would make for a very resilient computer limited only by gate-speed and overal performance.

Oh well, at least the spare parts problem is about to solve itself 🙂

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  1. September 1, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    I know Dave Haynie was very interested in a EU talk about bringin AmigaOS to ARM. I wonder about that idea. ARM is low power, cheap and pretty fast.

    • Jon Lennart Aasenden
      September 1, 2016 at 6:57 pm

      Completely agree. Even a raspberry PI 3 would run rings around medium systems if faced with such an efficient OS as AmigaOS

  2. September 1, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    Completely underwhelmed by iComp announcement. Seriously dull. Vampire II FPGA standalone sounds MUCH more like the specs we all want…

    • September 1, 2016 at 10:47 pm

      The problem with vampire II is you need an Amiga to start with. Not that common and for us in the states an NTSC A1200 is very hard to find at a reasonable cost for a system many decades old with questionable capacitors. The vampire is only interesting if it’s a standalone system.

      • Jon Lennart Aasenden
        September 10, 2016 at 12:10 pm

        Totally agree. And its even more sad when you realize .. the vamp actually doesnt need the amiga at all.
        Yes, it hooks into the DMA and IO. It also delegates calls to the ROM — but fpga would have no problem absorbing the rom from memory.
        So the rom could be stuffed on disk (like some re-implementations already do, like the minimig) and IO could be mapped to the USB port.

        I sincerly hope the guys behind the vamp adds a PPC core. This would make so much sense for both the HW and OS 4 software.
        Because then you would have cheap new hardware that could run the latest and modern Amiga OS. And Amigaos 4.1 is indeed up there with some linux distros in functionality.
        It looks sexy to boot!

  3. September 1, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    i also started to follow the fpga amiga emulations. till now somehow everything i heard was just actually nothing. i need to check this raspberry version but on the first look somehow vampire project looks more serious in terms of future development of nowadays usable amiga computer. the only thing which is missing are true amiga os developers ( hyperion, in my personal opinion is not a true amiga os developer. they did more harm than good. too much time for few duck steps into myst ). Btw. who has the rights on Amiga name. Amiga, together with C= logo and smart fpga hw ( arria ) could make sense and be spotted. first goal ist just to be spotted ( those tales of big return onto scene with Mac or Win is a sort of diagnose of those who believe such into such trips ). Dave Haynie said that it is not just about computer, it is about business more than anything. hopefully this time the story will go into attempt that has realism and inteligence. no place for ego and constant “ppc vs everything else is not amiga” conflicts that divided amiga users on true and less true amigists. 😉 i tried to be realistic here. C= + Amiga brand under same roof, hi Q and damn fast FPGA HW and WB on steroids to utilise the full potential of todays hw with support for all major datatypes and mainstream computer technologies. without any of it it would be a complete waste of time… 😉

    • Jon Lennart Aasenden
      September 10, 2016 at 12:21 pm

      Indeed you are right (and so is mr. haynie).

      A product is an idea. You build that idea — but guess what: without the financial backing to evolve it, your idea might die before it can grow and flurish.

      One example from my own life is Smart Mobile Studio. We have had no financial backing on this and the team has worked largely for free, with some annual payouts from sales.
      The product is smashing and has a lot of benefits over younger contestants like typescript.
      But just an idea that is good – is not enough. To create cool things you need time, and time equals money.

      As for the raspberry PI vs. Fpga. I think the PI would actually be a great starting point.
      It is cheap, easily available, has more than enough juice and at present it emulates at speeds 3.2 times faster than a 060 Amiga 4000 (!)
      If you overclock it properly it delivers 4 times the power of an Amiga 4000/060.

      But the thing is — and this is important:
      The raspberry PI seems slow when used with modern linux. Not because its weak, but because modern compilers generate a huge wad of code for very little result.
      A full distro like Ubuntu is actually quite bloated! And the programs you get for it, like open-office, contains very little effective code.
      This is the reality of modern computing.

      Just think of it: AmigaOS runs fine with 1 megabyte of memory. ONE MEGABYTE (!)
      It delivers a multitasking, multi-window, multi-display desktop within 1 megabyte (!)

      The efficiency of AmigaOS, especially if OS4.1 was compiled for ARM, would blow people away. Not because its old, but because every aspect of that codebase is written purely with efficiency in mind.

      People dont write code like that anymore. When we coded on the amiga, ever byte counted, every kb had to be cleverly handled.
      This is also why Amiga users enjoyed a better desktop than Windows 10-15 years before Microsoft and Apple had anything remotely similar on the market.

      If i had anything to say about it, i would go for the Raspberry PI first (selling OS 4.1 there) to build up some cash and userbase.
      Then i would hire the vampire guys to do a new amiga in FPGA.

      FPGA is the tech that will win this. It is just a matter of time. A cpu that can be re-programmed to be anything is like a virus. It will absorb all the tech we have today.
      It is inevitable.

  4. September 2, 2016 at 7:01 am

    The specs to seem to be a shame, slight improvements to an ancient model rather than any attempt to make it relevant today.

    I guess this is the big problem though, only an enthusiast would want to get the rights and do this, sadly that means the chances of ever adopting a new user base are slim to none.

    If I could physically switch to Amiga as my ‘daily driver’ I would, its just not possible because it is stuck in 1997 at best when it comes to production work.

    Personally I would rather pay $500 for an A1000 than $400 for this, what really told me where their heads are at more than anything was that in 2016 almost 2017 the standard display output will be VGA….

  5. September 6, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    What would you do with an A1000 today?

    • Jon Lennart Aasenden
      September 10, 2016 at 12:05 pm

      I love these old machines, so i would take very good care of it. Its not so much what you can do, but what they represent.
      It’s probably the geek version of “fixing old cars” syndrome. I love keeping my old machines up-to-date (i.e fix things that break, even do some coding).

      For kids that grew up on the internet this is probably hard to understand. People today dont have a personal relationship with their computers. But for those of us that grew up without networking, only modems and swapping floppys through the mail — the computer was both teacher, source of enjoyment, and a place to master technology.

      I mean, go through the Amiga Format magazine PDF files from 1980’s and 1990’s.. look at all that creativity and energy.
      We that grew up on this went on to become good programmers as adults, because the learning curve was very much “hands on”, as opposed to todays standards.
      We learned to make the API’s — today people learn to use API’s. That is a huge difference.

    • Jon Lennart Aasenden
      September 27, 2016 at 9:39 am

      Love it to pieces! Put a bad-ass x86 in there and boot into WinUAE with everything set to max 🙂

  6. October 1, 2016 at 5:35 am

    I have two in storage. I picked up both of them used, along with a TON of floppy disks, several purchased commercial applications, and several Amiga books, for $100 at a computer flea market back in 1996. One worked at the time but the other didn’t. I never did much with them, as I was disappointed with the experience of the A1000. By then, I was spoiled by faster hardware, hard drives, and all kinds of neat PC expansions. I would have been much happier with an Amiga 2500 (or higher).

    I have always been a fan and admirer of the Amiga, but I’ve never been an Amigan (?). I grew up on the C64, which my parents would say was the first love of my life. I wasn’t interested in hardware hacking at the time. Still, my C64 stayed on 24 hours a day for the most part so I went through three of them in 8 years. I lost count of how many of the power supply bricks and 1541 floppy drives I went through. At one point, I ran the BBS for the local Commodore User’s Group, which ran on a C64 with a 20MB CMD hard drive. A 20MB hard drive for the C64 seemed like infinite storage at the time. 😀

    I managed to graduate to a C128 in 1990, before being sucked into the world of PC clones and MS-DOS. I knew Windows well because I helped a lot of friends (and eventually customers) with their computers. But I stuck with DR-DOS, 4DOS, and GeoWorks until Windows 95. Although I enjoyed Windows 95 and 98, I continued to use DOS at least as much as Windows. I even configured a dual-boot option so I could boot Win 95/98 into DOS. I cracked up when Microsoft bring back something similar with “Server Core” in Windows Server 2012. 😉

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