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View From Belgium
Alexandre Thilmany email@example.com
My name is Alexandre from Belgium. I'm a young analyst programmer of 23
and, you guess it, a 'still' lover of the amiga. Sorry for my english.
I don't actually have a personnal address mail. You may answer me at this
(temporary) address for any reason : "firstname.lastname@example.org" If you answer
me, please put my name in the "Subject"
I will try to make this mail as short as i can without forgeting my point
of view. I think i know the computers market enough to have good ideas
about the future of the amiga.
The reason why i do so much is because, in a few days, i'll start an
independent job based on interactive box, i hope to have a contract in a
near future to really start. Actually, i use an amiga with Scala, but,
it's at its limit. I want and really want to do all on amiga, but now,
becoming a pro, i need the best, and i can't forget the PC or the Mac. So,
with my knowledge of programmer, my passion for the whole computer market
and my new activity in the 'multimedia' (i don't like this word ...) i
think that what follows is or are good ideas to take in consideration.
Let's speak technicals ...
The PPC first. Enough people spent too much time on this project, it's
the best choice and we don't have the time to choose another processor.
But, after the integration of the PPC, the Amiga OS should be portable on
other processors (Alpha and Intel, yes).
CHRP : Common Hardware Reference Platform. The new amiga must be CHRP,
and the new Amiga OS must run on a CHRP machine. And what about the
originality of the new Amiga :
- The worst is a PCI card containing the Amiga Custom Chipset (ACC), and
the Amiga OS can use them and the softwares can also use them. There's
just the problem that i don't want to see other OS to be able to use the
ACC. Only workbench can.
But it's not a good idea because where is the amiga if it's only a Power
Mac (or any CHRP machine) with a card ? No the new amiga must have its ACC
on the CHRP 'motherboard'. The Amiga OS should come in two version. A
binary version for CHRP machine and one other for Power Amiga (CHRP + ACC).
Of course, when you have a Power Amiga, you can run the two version of the
Amiga OS and you can run any OS for Power XXX. In this way, it's thinkable
to make a PCI card for the rest of the market containing ACC ? Our
strength will still be in the Workbench which is able to use the ACC the
The ACC should be a chipset that you can activate or deactivate, a second
layer after the CHRP. But i don't have enough technicals skills to
adventure there. What about the ACC. The ACC must be easily upgradable
(change a chipset with a new version). I think we need there a 68020, a
DSP (MPEG 2), a 3D processor (look at the Power VR from england), and
plenty of little specialized chipsets. About the sound : 16 or 32 channels
in 16 bits, maybe include facilities for the new special effects (THX,
Dolby), i don't know very well this domain. Also, an idea is to develop a
kind of a ROM disk of a minimum of 2 or 4 Megs (EEEPROM), removable and
replacable with more. There, the user can put his most used softwares. We
need such innovations if we want to have a 'really' better machine.
A few words about the rest of the hardware needed : i want TV (input,
output) and a good relation with the video market. A microphone. I also
think about ISDN and network card integrated, but you also need not to put
too much to allow other companies to develop peripherals.
Why CHRP is so needed ? Everybody play with their computer. Actually,
games on amiga are, sorry, very limited. And why ? Because the raw power
of the amiga is ridiculous. But, so, why CHRP. A new dimension in the
game domain has started since the begining of 96. There are the online
games. Just one example. A young guy want to buy a computer. Power Amiga
is the best in capacities (let's hope), BUT, the Power Amiga is not CHRP,
and as the Power Amiga is not spread in the world as the PC or Power XX,
this guy will never have the opportunity to play online games which i think
will become an huge market in the next years. I think the major parts of
the online games will be developped on PPC, but never on the little amiga
market. So, this reason is quite sufficient to go on PPC and to accept the
CHRP and not to come back on the question any more.
Well, i hope this mail will be useful. I hope for reactions. Spread
these ideas if you agree with me, and sign your name at the bottom of the
mail and send it again to who you want.
Alexandre Thilmany (Belgium) "email@example.com" (temporary address, sorry)