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Documentation about the Vampire hardware

Is the Vampire An AMIGA?page  1 2 3 

Mike Kopack

Posts 268
28 Aug 2019 17:11

And the beauty is, right now there are a lot of options:

1) for the non-SA V4-put it into an A500 case, (or 2000 or possibly 1000 using similar techniques to the V2 500 model)

2) for the SA, put it in an existing original Amiga case (take your pick) (or one of those recent kickstarter replica cases) -will require some work to interface a keyboard...

3) put it into the new checkmate case

4) make something totally custom and new

5) keep it in whatever case the Vampire guys came up with

Gunnar von Boehn
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 4968
28 Aug 2019 17:33

Mike Kopack wrote:

And the beauty is, right now there are a lot of options:
1) for the non-SA V4-put it into an A500 case,

To prevent misconceptions.
Focus for the V4 is this year at least Stand-alone.

Mike Kopack

Posts 268
28 Aug 2019 17:47

Right.. Just meant when the non-SA comes...

Michal Pietal

Posts 136
28 Aug 2019 20:06

Michael Borrmann wrote:

What Gunnar said, but I would put the V4 into one of those new 1200 cases...

Since V4 Standalone is a brand new product, it deserves its own casing.

Eric Gus

Posts 433
29 Aug 2019 08:10

Id really and truly love a near/full scale A1000 type case, yes I know of Stephen Jones Checkmate and that's all wonderful. But its based on an A3000 esque design, I would love the more slimline form factor of the A1000 (even if it means less internal space for add-ons, I honestly don't think a V4 would really need "that" much more, so much so that an A1000 type shell couldn't easily accommodate it. And the A1000 "case" is really the only form factor that hasn't had a modern remake (I dont count big box/tower amigas as they were essentially using beige box PC case designs)

Gunnar von Boehn
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 4968
29 Aug 2019 08:16

The case topic seems be VERY important for some.

If this is the VERY most for you to be an AMIGA then its OK to mention this here. If for you an AMIGA has to have other values then a beige case then maybe we should talk about them.

David Pesce

Posts 10
29 Aug 2019 08:16

You're right, the checkmate is beautiful but really big for a vampire. The A1000+ case would have been more appropriate if it was ever product. (https://www.bigbookofamigahardware.com/bboah/product.aspx?id=1944)

Robert Markus

Posts 13
29 Aug 2019 12:04

I have already ordered a new A1200 case for it :)
It deserves an own case, I would prefer the keyboard-case style like 1200.
Black/red combination would be great.

Geoff Reynolds

Posts 8
29 Aug 2019 13:19

Interesting question. In my understanding, the Vampire is without a doubt the closest thing to what the Amiga would have been had the architecture survived into this century. This is little wonder, considering the passion and dedication from the team. Also from a technical perspective I think Gunnar gives an excellent explanation of what makes it unique and why it was so popular.

Back in the day, I wasnít privy to the inner workings of the Amiga. My A500 was a box of wonder but I never learnt to code on it, which was a bit of a shame as I used to love writing BASIC on the í64. I think the lure of the games and demos was just too great, and I spent too much time being entertained and in awe of its capabilities. Getting back into it in recent years the things that strike me as being unique include the sound of the Paula chip (and of the samples), the look of the copper effects and the personality of the software, including the OS. It inspired a community of brilliant and highly creative minds, and was a bit of a punk in the computing world. Itís really hard to quantify and distill down to a simple formula though as my impressions are subjective and based on emotion.

Itís easy to see why the tactile elements are also a big part for so many people, but an Amiga box with a regular PC inside definitely isnít an Amiga. It needs to be an Amiga on the inside, and only Vampire makes it possible.

CD32 Freak

Posts 22
29 Aug 2019 14:25

I understand you love the small size of the V4 board, but in my opinion, a combination between V4 and the A1200+ would be the most beautiful AMIGA feeling. Jeroen is asking for FPGA help, so what are you waiting for? ;-)

Hugo Pereira

Posts 55
29 Aug 2019 15:59

I agree with master Gunnar.
An Amiga is not just your case, the most important is the ideology followed within.
Speaking of V4, it will naturally be inside Amiga.
Speaking of the standalone V4 (V4SA), as this is the first 21st century Amiga, and the most powerful ever, I think it deserves some attention regarding its case.
This case may even be an optional accessory, so as not to inflate the price to anyone who wants to buy this new Amiga.
I think V4SA could be embedded in a vamped keyboard similar to the one master Gunnar uses (vamped logo and keys).
I say this because the V4SA does not require passive or active cooling.
I imagine something like this, but with friendlier colors:

I now congratulate Apollo Team for the fantastic work they have done so far, which deserves all our respect as Amigans.
Best regards.

Michael Borrmann

Posts 133
29 Aug 2019 17:34

sean sk wrote:

  I would like to see someone modernize the Amiga look while still in keeping with the Amiga look, much like this example of a modernized Atari ST case:
That's just beautiful and is the sort of thing I'd like to see happen with the Amiga along with modernized tower and desktop cases.

I think you could do a lot more with the old Atari case design. First off, it should be grey.
Like the Amiga needs to be creme white.

A1200 Coder

Posts 69
29 Aug 2019 19:17

Gunnar von Boehn wrote:

  A) The excellent and super coder friendly 68K CPU.
  The 68K ASM is very human readable.
  Its easy to learn and extremely powerful.
  The 68K instructions are much more powerful than the very popular
  6502 CPU, which was used in C64, Atari-8bit and Apple machines.
  The 68K instruction set is a lot more readable than x86.
  And the 68K is much much more coder friendly than PowerPC.
  Let look at one simple example:
  Let say we want
  to ADD a 32bit Value of #$12345678 to a Variable in memory at addr $01000000.

  ADD.L #$12345678,$01000000

  Just one instruction needed on 68K.
  A simple problem is done also simple in 68K.
  This is very easy.
  This is very human readable.
  In opposite to this simple solution, the solution on PowerPC is very complex.
  The poor PowerPC can not handle a 32bit value directly.
  This means the poor PowerPC coder needs to construct the 32bit value
  using 2 instructions each with a 16bit value.
  Likewise for the 32bit address. The Programmer needs to "hand construct" it with 2 instruction.
  And to make matters worse the poor PowerPC can not even operate on memory.
  This means it needs first LOAD then ADD then STORE. Using 3 instructions.
  In total what was 1 instruction on 68k comes to 7 instruction on PowerPC.
  You see yourself that PowerPC is not only slower in comparison as it needs many more instructions it also its ASM programs a very hard to read.
  This makes coding in ASM really a pain and the hard to read code makes spotting error a lot more difficult.

This is all good of course. But does 68080 also extend this to 64-bit numbers? It takes PowerPC 5 instructions to load a 64-bit number into a register. Can the 68080 still do this in just 1 instruction?

And is for example ADD.Q #$1234567812345678, $01000000 possible? Where ADD.Q stands for add quadword.

Gunnar von Boehn
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 4968
29 Aug 2019 20:42

A1200 coder wrote:

  This is all good of course. But does 68080 also extend this to 64-bit numbers? It takes PowerPC 5 instructions to load a 64-bit number into a register. Can the 68080 still do this in just 1 instruction?

You are absolutely right!

The 68K was already a great to use CPU.
On top of this the "080" gives a few enhancements.
One of them is you that AMMX instructions use not
not only the normal 68K EA-modes but also can use 64bit #immediates.
Another new trick is that 64bit operations can be done with SPLATTED Immediates. This comes very often very handy.

Lets say for example you in D0 4 pixels each 16bit.
And you want to set the RED value of all 4 pixel to "00" with one instruction.

The 68K CPU in general is very nice to code.
With 8 Address Registers, 8 Data Registers you can hold a lot data in registers and nicely code.

68080 makes this even a bit easier.
As the 68080 offer the coder to use 16 Address Registers and 32 Data Registers - this makes coding in ASM very easy.

We carefully enhanced the 68K family to make coding even easier and also to allow reaching higher performance.

We also enhanced the AGA chipset.
Our Super-AGA is an evolution of the AGA chipset.
We carefully added truecolor modes,
improved the Sprites to support more colors,
doubled the Audio channels and added 16bit/24bit audio support.

All this was very carefuly done so that is feel all natural.
And all these new features feel as like the AMIGA 1000 did come with them right from day one. They are natural part of the AMIGA chipset now.

Robert Downs

Posts 28
29 Aug 2019 20:53

From my perspective, the Amiga is an architecture.  If the Vampire adheres to that architecture, then it is an Amiga. An analogy would be the Compaq IBM clones.  The architecture of the IBM PC was maintained by Compaq, so therefore the Compaq was a PC just as the IBM was a PC.  The architecture of the Atari ST is not the same as the Amiga, even with common CPU, so therefore it is not an Amiga.  The specific combination of hardware and software, and the way that hardware is arranged and operates makes an Amiga an Amiga and results in uniquely Amiga software by those that create on it.

I have never owned an Amiga, but if I ever get a chance to buy a V4 standalone to put into my Checkmate case, I will be calling it an Amiga.

Michal Pietal

Posts 136
29 Aug 2019 20:59

Gunnar von Boehn wrote:

The case topic seems be VERY important for some.
  If this is the VERY most for you to be an AMIGA then its OK to mention this here. If for you an AMIGA has to have other values then a beige case then maybe we should talk about them.

No need to be sarcastic.

However, I fully understand Your post.  Thanks for pointing this issue out!

Sean Sk

Posts 381
30 Aug 2019 00:05

Hugo Pereira wrote:
An Amiga is not just your case, the most important is the ideology followed within.

This is true.
With Amiga, I look at it from two angles:
A Raspberry Pi inside an Amiga 1200 case is not an Amiga, it's a Linux machine, even though it looks like an Amiga. Conversely a V4SA jammed inside a hokey little plastic box does not feel like an Amiga, even though, in reality, it actually is. It is about the complete package.
When friends come around, who have never actually heard of, seen or used an Amiga, they love the design of the A600 and A1200 cases.
Some time ago I mentioned in another thread that a young lad I know fell in love with the whole Amiga platform (through gaming sessions with a group of my friends) and wants to get a V4SA. But because he loves the A1200 design he wants to put it inside one of the new cases. People don't just love what the Amiga can do, they love how it looks.
I want something to look at and be proud of when I use my machine.

Rod March

Posts 113
30 Aug 2019 01:35

To me what makes the Vampire great is it's a viable platform going forward (not a hardware dead-end) and it grows seamlessly from the original Amiga system (fits the same case, runs the same OS and software).

As for cases, I love the wedge-shaped machines, I'm still looking forward to the day I waltz into the office and put an A1200 on the desk and start doing real work with it...

If I was picking a perfect new case, I'd make an A1000-style case with keyboard garage underneath but about half as thick. I think it would just feel more 'elegant', somewhere between the A1000 and the 'pizza-box' NeXt machines.

Oh, and I think there's clearly an essential point we've missed in a thread entitled "Is the Vampire and AMIGA?", so I'll add it below:

Grumble grumble...just emulation...grumble grumble...Amiga just a keyboard now...grumble...get an 060...grumble grumble.

Ok, the troll is out of the way now...

Mike Kopack

Posts 268
30 Aug 2019 02:31

Maybe once the V4SA comes out, we could make a few guides for putting it into different types of cases - the wedge models, desktop, tower, etc.

That way people can easily know how to put it into whatever type of case they feel best suits their aesthetic and sense of what makes it an Amiga....

Eric Gus

Posts 433
30 Aug 2019 06:48

Honestly my "first" impressions of the Amiga was "all this and brains too!!??!?" ..
  The Amiga was a multi experience thing, first off the sexy graphics and audio, the amazing case lines.. (more so the A1000 which IMHO as I said above is probably the quintessential perfect Amiga case -- and I say this as an A3000 owner). .. and lastly that sexy preemptive multitasking OS.. that was the final thing that just blew you right out of the chair. I recall my first moments playing with an A1000 and it was a very deep experience.. one that still strongly resonates with me today in my memory... Honestly I (and others here too I am sure) probably have compared ever new technological advancement to their Amiga experiences in some way in the back of their mind.. It was like touching the future and well we all sorta were ..

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