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%% Slow-Machine, Great Display Blues                       by Roy Teale %%
%% A sob-story from one who knows...            %%

I'm writing this article on a nice 16-color 1152 X 900 Picasso
Workbench, using AZ as an editor.  I should be really happy
about this, since it's got to be the best looking display I've
seen on a PC since I was first introduced to computers.  But
something nags at me.  Something sinister and fearsome.  Let me
go back to November 1st of 1993, when I updated to AmigaDOS 2.1.

My computer system started out as an Amiga 2500.  It had most
everything I could want, as far as speed went.  I had over-
clocked my A2630 accelerator board to 28MHz and installed a
33MHz 68882 (of course, installing a 33MHz crystal and setting
the jumper accordingly.)  I even socketed the two crystals
so that I could swap them in and out if needed.  Everything
worked great!  Until I did the thing that everyone told me that
I should - upgrade to AmigaDOS 2.1.  When I made that fateful
jump in technology, I discovered that my A2630 accelerator no
longer worked.

A friend on Usenet let me know that I needed to obtain an
eprom upgrade for the A2630 in order for it to work with new
versions of AmigaDOS.  I was relieved to discover that, and
promptly ordered a set from a reputable retailer.  The eprom
set arrived the next week, and after installing them, I
discovered that my A2630 not only didn't work, but the way it
refused to work was this:  it would not boot - period.  Just
a nice BLACK screen.

I attributed this problem to a bad set of eproms, since I could
pop the old set back in, and it would work perfectly with
AmigaDOS 1.3.  So I obtained an RMA# and sent the set back for
a replacement.

This story could go on for a LONG time, and it'd be boring for
you, but here's the shortened version...

After 3 sets of eproms from that same company (I also tried
out two other sets, one directly from SMG, and one obtained
from another computer retailer), I gradually began to feel
that it was my A2630 which was defective.  So I sent it into
Kasara Microsystems in South Carolina for repair.  Well, they
just called me this past week and told me what I had already
confirmed for myself - that all the eprom sets that they had
on hand didn't work with it either...

And Kasara Microsystems also told me one other bit of
information:  those same sets of eproms that didn't work with
my board, didn't work with any of the other A2630 boards
they happened to have in their shop.

So why is this happening?  One Usenet Amiga person informed me
that this same problem happened to about 1 out of 2 A2630
owners who updated to AmigaDOS 2.x when it first came out.
Evidently, it had nothing to do with which revision# of
board a person had.  It just so happens that half of the
eproms aren't compatible with the A2630 boards.

So it appears that it has happened again - the supplier
of A2630 eproms must have sent out another big batch of
defective eproms.

Is it SMG's fault?  Is it Commodore's fault?  Frankly, I don't
really care, and in fact, I understand that there are problems
at C= as of late, mostly centered around their money supply.
I understand that there is little concern for owners of
A2000's and A500's out there in the Amiga community, simply
because these are out-dated machines and there are plenty
of new machines around which I OUGHT to be looking into.

But that really doesn't make me want to go out and buy one
of these new machines.  If there isn't support for MY machine
now, can I expect there to be support for an A4000 2 years
from now?  I think not.

What does one need to do?  Start a grass-roots A2000 user
support group?  I'd love to talk to you about it, if you
have concerns in this area.  You can't tell me that since
the A4000 came out, all of the A2000's mysteriously went
*poof* !  I can name half a dozen TV stations that are
using A2000's with accelerators and Toasters to do
video rendering.  With the price of A2000's suddenly
falling to around $300 for a base system, there are
surely people out there who are buying them up, and who
find themselves out in the cold, when trying to upgrade.

So for now, I sit, pecking on the keyboard, and watching the
cursor stumble along on this nice GREAT-LOOKING Picasso
1152 x 900 Workbench screen.  Oh, and its on a machine
with a 7MHz 68000 processor...  I really like this machine,
and I'll REALLY like it when I get my WORKING A2630 board

Roy Teale

BTW, cudos to Robert Niles, who has so graciously taken up
the position of editor for Amiga Report.  It's quite
a job, I'm sure.  Let's all give him our full support!