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                               Reader Mail

From: Todd Oberly <>
Subject: Apollo 1240 review

Hi Jason,

I want to thank you for your recent two-part review of the Apollo 1240
accelerator in Amiga Report.  Like many other Amiga owners, I'm in the
process now of assembling a powerful-enough system to tide me over until
Viscorp/Phase 5/Pios and the other players can produce the next generation
of Amiga computers.  I would never call myself a cutting-edge person, as I
seem to acquire a technology several years after it's been on the market. 
For instance, I am typing this letter right now on an Amiga 1000 with hard
drive, 2.1 operating system, and 4 megs of ram.  It's not spectacular, but
it gets me by.  But with the lack of Amiga research and development over
the last three years, when my new 1200 system is fully assembled, I will
have a nearly state-of-the-art Amiga!  I'm elated, but it's also a very
weird sensation.  I recently took advantage of the SAS Institute's SAS/C
"giveaway" and plan to throw my weight into the freeware/shareware arena as
soon as the system is assembled and I figure out how the compiler works. 
Every little bit helps, right?

Getting back to my reason for writing, as much as I liked your review, I
have still not completely decided which board to purchase.  I really *want*
an 040, and until recently figured Phase 5's new 1240 T/ERC would suit me.
Then I realized that when they say "tower", they mean they used an existing
motherboard, and the contraption is so big that it may only fit in a custom
expansion adapter like the one in Micronic's (sp?) 1200 expansion tower.  I
was hoping Phase 5 would have put all the large compo- nents on one side of
the board, so it would fit much better when I hack my 1200 motherboard into
a PC desktop case.  Mounting the motherboard on 1-inch standoffs isn't an
option, so I've gone back to the drawing board.  I'm looking for more
information on Apollo products, and maybe you or your readers can help?
For starters

1) Exactly who manufactures these boards?  Your board was supplied by
Datakompaniet in Norway, but reading their web page, they seem to be just
an Amiga distributor/vendor.  (My Norwegian is rusty ;-) Does the
manufacturer have an email address and/or web page?

2) Can you point me to any other reviews of the 1240 and it's SCSI adapter?
Some detailed information, especially on the speed and compati- bility of
the SCSI unit, would be welcome.  I'd be grateful if anyone could send me
photocopied reviews from Amazing Computing, UK Magazines, or even smaller
Amiga newsletters.

3) You mentioned in your review that the mouse pointer had a habit of
locking-up intermittently.  Since then, have you any idea if this fault was
limited to your test system, or if it's representative of all Apollo
1240's?  Have any other 1240 owners noticed compatibility problems?  Speci-
fically (and I get some of these questions from a nice Blizzard 1230 faq
;-), do software failures ever reset the clock?  (I assume it has a clock.)
Does it ever have problems accessing the hard drive (or the early startup
menus) after a warm boot or cold boot?  Is the processor socketed or
surface-mounted?  I assume the board takes advantage of all instruction and
data, burst and cache modes, and fast simms (60ns or better)?

4) One major concern is the lack of a disable option, but even though this
is not included, I wonder if it isn't possible in a crude way through some
combination of wires attached to a few lines on the expansion connector
that would simply disable autoconfig during a cold boot?  This is something
I would like to ask Apollo's engineering team.

If you or any of your readers can help me wrestle with these questions, I
would love to receive some email.  And if you have an Apollo product, how
about posting a review to  ;-)


Todd Oberly

   I addressed Todd's issues in e-mail, but a few things bear mentioning.
   ACT, the Apollo series manufacturer, does not have any online contact
   points at present.  As to a crude disable--I'm not qualified to judge on
   that, but regardless, it's not the same thing if you have to hack it up.
   - Jason

                            --- --- --- --- ---

From: (Jon Klooster)
Subject: AR Reader Mail


Just some food for thought:

Being a recent addition to the Amiga_on_the_Net Family, I have started to
discover that a rather annoyingly large proportion of new applications tend
to require MUI or similar interfaces.

Perhaps I am looking at things the wrong way, but surely one of the main
advantages the Amiga has over other (and I never type the names on MY
Amiga) types of computer is that the operating system is trim taut and
functionally terrific.

So why the trend to bog down the system with MUI type background apps?

If thats what you people want then go out and get [insert seven letter word
meaning a hole in wall to see through] and run it on one of those other
doorstop things!

So please all you developers/programmers out there, sure make your
applications MUI/whatever compatible, but please, please don't make it a


   MUI is a big point of contention among a lot of Amiga users.  The fact
   is that a lot of applications these days are turning to third-party
   interface standards or "helpers", such as MUI and ClassAct.  Some regard
   MUI as one of the few things that keeps Amiga applications looking
   modern and attractive, others regard it as a scourge.  Personally, I've
   learned to live with MUI and appreciate that it does, indeed, make a lot
   of applications look better than their non-MUI contemporaries.  -Jason