Overview Features Instructions Performance Forum Downloads Products Reseller Contact

Welcome to the Apollo Forum

This forum is for people interested in the APOLLO CPU.
Please read the forum usage manual.
VISIT APOLLO IRC CHANNEL



All TopicsNewsPerformanceGamesDemosApolloVampireCoffinReleasesLogin
Documentation about the Vampire hardware

Is the Vampire An AMIGA?page  1 2 3 

Gunnar von Boehn
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 4169
28 Aug 2019 11:37


Is the Vampire an AMIGA?
 
This is a question people sometimes asked me.
Recently on the GAMESCOM 2019, I did hear this question a couple of times.
 
My answer is the following:
My love to AMIGA started with the AMIGA 1000.
Using the AMIGA 1000, I found 3 things that made me love it a lot.
 
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.
 
So in short coding for 68K is a lot more fun and you get the code to better quality a lot easier.
This very nice 68K was for me an important part of being an AMIGA.
 
 
B) The genial AMIGA chipset
When I learning how to code the AMIGA 1000 it took me a while to fully understand the chipset design and what options it provides to us.

Understanding it better I quickly realized that it was just genial.

The DMA channels, the Audio channels, the Sprites, the possibilities the bitplanes offer, the blitter and maybe most important the clever concept which allows the Copper to orchestrate it all.
This design is clever, this design is smart, its truly genial.
 
The AMIGA chipset is very well explained and documented and once you understand how it works you can do awesome stuff with it.
 
The AMIGA chipset is what made me really love the AMIGA too.
 

C) And as 3rd important point: The elegant and swift AMIGA OS.

The AMIGA OS had extremely modern ideas with Datatypes, Boobsi - and combined this with a very elegant design allowing Programs to call OS function in their own context. This decision allowed program to be small and the system to be lightning fast.
 
To be honest, in my first year AMIGA coding I always turned to OS off and coded my intros bare metal.

But then I realized that there are many great things in the OS which made me really love it.
 
 
These 3 things are for me what makes an AMIGA an AMIGA.
 
 
How is it for you?
Are these things also important for you, or do you think the case or the "LOGO" are more important for an AMIGA?


Willem Drijver

Posts 10
28 Aug 2019 12:39


I totally agree with the Vampire vision in regard to giving the Amiga a solid future roadmap based on the true principles of the (beloved) Amiga heritage. With the Vampire we can enjoy the past and future of Amiga seamless without compromise. As a Amiga 1000 fan of the earliest hour I look at my Vampired A500+V2+ and A1000+V2+ (and hopefully V4 Vampire standalone very soon) as  TRUE AMIGA's.

Of course this is my personal view and I respect other views from Amiga lovers.


Stefano Briccolani

Posts 333
28 Aug 2019 12:41


Yes, you point at 3 cool things, I suppose the majority of people on this forum agrees 100% with you. But if you aim to reach a more "casual" target with v4 (or to increase the user-base outside amiga aficionados) maybe the Amiga logo and classic form-factor could become very important too.


Gunnar von Boehn
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 4169
28 Aug 2019 13:06


Stefano Briccolani wrote:

classic form-factor could become very important too.

As I'm an AMIGA fan of the very first hour,
to me the classic form factor is A1000?

How about you?


Gildo Addox

Posts 31
28 Aug 2019 13:16


To me the AMIGA is in it's lightweight.
 
  From turning on the computer - which took a few seconds to boot. To the easy way of running games and apps.
 
  And this is it still today. And this is why the Vampire to me is a real AMIGA.
 
  But of course, there are a lot of good memories, why I still use a 68k machine. Still it's a lot of fun.

So: Lightweight, Simplicity, Speed, Memories, Fun
 


Willem Drijver

Posts 10
28 Aug 2019 13:25


A V4 in a minaturized A-1000 Case would be great and will appeal a much broader audience. Look at the sales figures of Nintendo NES mini and C64 mini...



Scott Jacobs

Posts 6
28 Aug 2019 13:32


I have been watching this thing called Vampire since the Natami days.  I am very impressed with what the Vampire can do and I believe it can do more besides replaying games from the old days.

I personally do not believe Amiga is a name badge, brand or logo.  Amiga is a spirit. It is creativity personified.  It is the ability to think outside of the box.




Manuel Jesus

Posts 135
28 Aug 2019 13:37


I was heavy into graphics in the C-64 days. How many of us went through the basic tutorials and did the sprite example using graph paper for each sprite color.

Later there was kolala paint but....

When the Amiga came around it was a game changer with Dpaint no more graph paper, just point and click and instant animation. I think we can go on and provide many examples of what drew us all into the Amiga computing lanscape both from a coder perspective and a graphics standpoint.

I think it is cool that younger folks don't have the same platform bias as Apple Mac and PC users of yesterday and can further appreicate the contributions of the Amiga to computers in general.



Mike Kopack

Posts 257
28 Aug 2019 14:06


I think itís everything Gunnar suggested as well as a certain design aesthetic on the cases, the logo, etc.  the complete ecosystem as it were. 

Yeah you can put a V4 stand alone into some colorful case and it will be running Amiga Os and such but it wonít look like an Amiga. Pointing at it when showing it to somebody as ďhereís my new AmigaĒ just wonít have the same effect.

Yeah something like a scaled down A1000 or 3000 case would be awesome. Or even a totally different form factor but with a lot of the same design cues found on the original machines would be awesome.

I know thereís at least a few of us looking to design cases when we get our hands on the V4.  Personally Iím thinking of doing some sort of retro looking laptop/luggable with Amiga design cues.


Vojin Vidanovic

Posts 1421
28 Aug 2019 14:09


Well, its more Amiga then last released DraCo and A4000T 060 :)


Thellier Alain

Posts 110
28 Aug 2019 14:15


I think that Amiga was a creative tool

No more a stupid green screen text based computer
But something for artists and simple people that allow you to CREATE stuffs: drawing, sound, video, 3D, creating video games and coding.

I think it was a benediction for Amigas to never had a business suite (word, excel, access,etc...) that will have strangled Amiga spirit in grey/boring office things.

It will perhaps look like stupid: but when I first saw the "Great Giana" intro page in HAM and the simple Skyy 1 Msc intro with a copper gradient i thought seing all those colors "We are no more in computer era but now in video era"

So certainly Amiga is more as Spirit than a computer
...but even Spirits have a name to invocate them  ;-)

About my own history with Amiga most as already been written here
EXTERNAL LINK 
Alain




Saladriel Amrael

Posts 115
28 Aug 2019 14:19


Pretty much what Gunnar said

I concour, tho, that the aesthetic of the A500/A1200 is quite important to me (emphasis on the "me" part), but I'm aware it is a nostalgic thing.

One of the marvellous (for the times) things about the Amiga was (for instance) also that you could bang the copper from within the Workbench and having OS interface with a hardware banging copperlist as a backdrop.
That involves two of the main points expressed by Gunnar (b and c) working seamlessly together.

Btw, as far as the Vampire is capable of doing Amiga Things in Amiga way, it will be an Amiga to my eye




Michael Borrmann

Posts 93
28 Aug 2019 14:34


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



David Wright

Posts 335
28 Aug 2019 14:52


I recently built a mini ITX Ryzen system in a nice compact red aluminum case. A stand alone vampire like that would be ideal. No need to use a large case unless retro Amiga is really important to you. There were a few nice innovative cases proposed years after Commodore died that were obviously looking to the future.

That said, my first was the A1000 and still love that form factor. When the 500 came out I couldn't make myself accept it as an upgrade. Even the 500 name suggested to me a lower based system. Then I needed more chip ram so....


Stefano Briccolani

Posts 333
28 Aug 2019 14:56


Gunnar von Boehn wrote:

Stefano Briccolani wrote:

  classic form-factor could become very important too.
 

  As I'm an AMIGA fan of the very first hour,
  to me the classic form factor is A1000?
  How about you?

I never had the possibility to buy a big-box amiga (i think here in italy almost all amiga sold were 500s), So for me an Amiga has the form factor of A500 or A1200. I think the 3000 desktop is an absolute beauty, but not so widely associated to Amiga. I will put the v1200 and v4 (I pre-ordered both, yes..) in the cases by Phil Lang (black case and red and black keycaps)



Stefano Briccolani

Posts 333
28 Aug 2019 15:14


From a marketing standpoint is easy to suppose that v1200 will be a sure hit (will double the vampire user base in my opinion),because is seen as an accelerator for legacy hardware, and will appeal to amiga fanatics.
V4 could be even more successful if marketed well because can be sold as standalone to people who don't have an Amiga anymore. But some people can see it as an alien device on alien form-factor. And casual retrogamers could be ok even with a sort of amiga-mini. So marketing the v4 could not be an easy task at all



Lord Aga
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 93
28 Aug 2019 15:40


Mike Kopack wrote:

Or even a totally different form factor but with a lot of the same design cues found on the original machines would be awesome.

Something like my wet dream :(

EXTERNAL LINK


Mike Kopack

Posts 257
28 Aug 2019 16:21


Lord Aga wrote:

Mike Kopack wrote:

  Or even a totally different form factor but with a lot of the same design cues found on the original machines would be awesome.
 

 
  Something like my wet dream :(
 
  EXTERNAL LINK 

Yeah that's an interesting take for sure. The problem is that the V4 (currently) doesn't have floppy drive interface support unless it's plugged into an actual Amiga... Hopefully somebody will make an interface to allow that on the SA...

Here's what I mocked up last year in TinkerCad (the text in the bays was only to suggest what would go there, not actually be on the case...)

EXTERNAL LINK 
or a slimline version:

EXTERNAL LINK 
With the floppy drive on the left being an add-on module once support became available. Maybe make it something where you could plug them in daisy chained for multiple floppy support.

But anyhow, notice how I did the sloping front panel, with the JS ports recessed in a bit - cues from the A2000 case there...


Sean Sk

Posts 286
28 Aug 2019 16:27


Mike Kopack wrote:

I think itís everything Gunnar suggested as well as a certain design aesthetic on the cases, the logo, etc.  the complete ecosystem as it were. 
 
Yeah you can put a V4 stand alone into some colorful case and it will be running Amiga Os and such but it wonít look like an Amiga. Pointing at it when showing it to somebody as ďhereís my new AmigaĒ just wonít have the same effect.
 
Yeah something like a scaled down A1000 or 3000 case would be awesome. Or even a totally different form factor but with a lot of the same design cues found on the original machines would be awesome.
 
I know thereís at least a few of us looking to design cases when we get our hands on the V4.  Personally Iím thinking of doing some sort of retro looking laptop/luggable with Amiga design cues.

I have to agree with everything mentioned here by Mike. Whilst what Gunnar mentioned is very true, design aesthetic plays a very important role with Amiga.

In a world of generic PC cases, boring laptops, smartphones that all look the same, and average 3D printed Raspberry Pi cases, Amiga needs to stand apart from a design point of view.

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:

EXTERNAL LINK 
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.


Mike Kopack

Posts 257
28 Aug 2019 16:44


Exactly, anything other than "just another PC" case... boring...
 
  Now, everyone has their own favorite Amiga - so many of us grew up with the A500 and A1200 so there are those who prefer that form factor. I had an A500 personally, but I always lusted after the A2000 and A3000. The amiga 3000+4000 towers (IMO) were nothing special design-wise - they looked very much like PC powers of the day. But the desktop big boxes looked interesting and different from PC cases in subtile ways.
 
  The great thing is, today with so many of us having access to 3D printers and CNC equipment, it's possible to design our own versions. And the small form factor of the V4SA gives us a lot of room for possibilities.
 

That's not to say that I expect the Vampire team to come up with the "perfect" case... Whatever you guys provide or offer will be fine to get folks started. Leave it for a 3rd party to worry about making a new "amiga flavored" case for the V4... You guys worry about the hardware and getting support for it all squared away.
 

  Just need to get our hands on the V4SA!!!

  PLEASE SOON?!??!

posts 45page  1 2 3