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DREAMS OF A LOW END AMIGA
Nickolas Marentes STAUROS@OZEMAIL.COM.AU
Primary limitations of the existing design
While the Amiga has some very good custom chips supporting the CPU, several
applications do not benafit as much from these enhancements. Applications
such as ray tracing and texture mapping are primarily CPU intensive tasks.
The IBM PC's are much better at these due to their fast 486 and Pentium
To most non-amiga people, the appearance of the A1200 leads them to believe
that it is nothing more than a larger C64. They immediately develop the
impression that the system is nothing more than a toy computer specifically
designed for games. If one was to place on display the A1200 alongside an
ancient IBM PC/XT and ask a group of totally computer illiterate people
which computer they feel is the more powerful, most of them will say the
PC/XT. Unfortunately, people DO judge a book by its cover.
Concept Design No.1
A CD based games console much like the CD-32 with the optional expansion to
a video CD player or Set-Top box via a trapdoor expansion bay. The unit
should be narrower across the front but deeper towards the back than the
original CD-32. The inclusion of an infra-red remote pickup for an
optional remote control so that the unit can be used as part of the home
entertainment system without ugly joystick cables dangling everywhere. The
mainboard can be the same spec as in the CD-32 but with a faster CPU and
4Mb RAM for improved processing speed to better compete with the range of
new games consoles coming out from the competition. This unit would appeal
to anyone who simply wants a low cost game console and/or a video/audio CD
player with the capability for expansion to a full computer using Module 2.
A unit with the same width and depth as module 1 but double the height.
This unit clips onto the bottom of module 1 to give the appearance of a
small mini-tower type computer with a top load CD-ROM drive. Module 2
should include, memory expansion, parallel/serial ports, real time clock,
an internal 3.5" hard disk, a front mounted floppy drive and at least 2
internal expansion slots (basically all the extra components required to
bring it up to A1200 spec). Front mounted connectors for a detachable
keyboard and mouse (supplied with Module 2) and rear mounted connectors for
printer and serial ports.
The entire unit could be coloured the same as the original CD-32,
"techo-black". The power supply may be shared between the two modules or
possibly module 2 could come with it's own internal supply designed to
power both. This design allows people to start off at a minimal expense
and upgrade to a full A1200 later while still retaining a degree of
professionalism in the final configuration. It also means all future Amiga
users will have a CD-ROM drive as standard opening the doors for more
CD-ROM based software to be developed. It also means the Akiko chip with
it's planar-to-chunky graphics conversion will be available to all new
Amiga's allowing for all future software to take advantage of improved
texture mapping capabilities. This design should be relatively low cost to
produce while still providing a powerful complete system, all using the
tried and proven AGA chipset.
Concept Design No. 2
This design uses the existing A1200 and adds an expansion unit which sits
underneath the monitor. Anyone who remembers the original Tandy/Radio
Shack TRS-80 Model 1 design, will recognize this design.
The unit would sit directly behind the A1200 with all cables from the A1200
passing underneath the unit. An expansion board that plugs into the A1200
trapdoor adds a faster CPU, the Akiko chip and acts as a bus expansion
buffer that leads to a high density connector replacing the knock-out panel
on the back of the A1200. The expansion box would plugs into this.
Inside the expansion unit will be a power supply (which also powers the
A1200), memory expansion sockets, several Zorro expansion slots and space
for a front loaded CD-ROM drive (high enough so that it clears the A1200
If an enhanced A1200 is released later with a faster CPU (A1300?) this same
expansion box could be used but the new machine would provide this bus
expansion connector as standard. The case styling should be made to match
the A1200 so that it looks part of the system and not a third party
The benefits of this design are the same as in Design 1.
If anyone has any questions about my ideas (Escom...you're invited!) please
feel free to leave me an E-mail message on STAUROS@OZEMAIL.COM.AU and start
your message with "Attention: Nick, re: Amiga designs".