AMIGA alive

AMIGA alive

Sunday, September 17, 2017

AmigaOne X5000 in "Supercuts" tv commercial

That's a nice one: Charles Paek has used A-EON's AmigaOne X5000 (precisely: an X5000 beta in a X1000 case) in a tv commercial for US hairdressers "Supercuts", 9000 branches strong. You can see the X5000 with it's boing ball design prominently standing on the desk, and even AmigaOS 4 running on it for a brief moment.


Saturday, September 16, 2017

Building the TerribleFire TF530 accelerator board, part 3: Parts inspection, and soldering

Let's see what we've got. And how we're gonna put it together. This one had a little surprise for me.

Disclaimer: This is not an instruction. Use at your own risk. No responsibility taken for whatever you do. Safety first. Kids, dont try this at home. 

Parts and BOM, and the shiny blue PCB.
It looks like I haven't missed much so far. Everything required to populate the board is there (except for the CPU socket connector, for which some substitute will be built), and I'm still able to identify the individual components! :-)

Parts and tools.
So, with Stephen Leary's instructional video (see below) on my computer's screen, I started soldering. May I note that not only does his video provide helpful and important information and hints, but also is a pleasant accompaniment when working on the TF530.

Soldering the first SMD chip on to the board quickly resulted in the chip being roasted, and the PCB damaged. Lol. Surprise. It turned out to be waaaaaay more difficult than I had expected.

Working with tiny SMD components poses some unexpected problems. For example if you're used to soldering hole-though parts you will most likely use way too much solder on your first attempts. Well, I did. Then, when you got used to using really very little solder, you find out that you cannot easily suck away the solder if you've made a mistake, because the amount of solder is too little for the desoldering pump to work on. Then you may learn the painful way that tiny PCB chip pins are reeaaally weak, you have to treat them really gently. And finally, when checking results of your soldering, you may find out that your grandma's magnifying glass does what it's supposed to do - to magnify - but it's scratched or unclear, and really creates more confusion than it does help.

First chip in place. Dirty, but undamaged!
But after some practicing with the damaged board and chip, things looked better. I learned to use the right amount of solder, the right amount of soldering flux, and to move the soldering iron at the right speed, and started working on a new board - with far better results.

More components.
After some hours of focused soldering and (visual) checking it looks as if my first TF530 might soon be ready for testing.

TF530r2 fully populated!
She's currently no beauty and needs some serious cleaning, but she makes her owner very proud. :-)

If you wanna try to build one, here's Stephen Leary's first "how to" video (we're still waiting for the second):

Next time we need to find out if she's alive - watch out for part 4 of our series "Building the TerribleFire TF530 accelerator board"!

Overview and back catalogue of the series:

Monday, September 11, 2017

Phase 5: Cyberstorm PPC 2! MK IV! Cybervision 64 3D 2! Blizzard 1230 MK V! Preordering! Prices!

Dreams seem to start becoming reality at phase 5...

After months of rumours and speculation, and some pictures and announcements by phase 5 digital products, it looks as if they're close to delivery: Phase 5 have posted a pre-order price list of their upcoming products on their facebook page!

Pretty much all their well-known products are there - in updated versions! The Cyberstorm PPC becomes the Cyberstorm PPC 2, the Blizzard 1230 is now at version five ("V"), the G-Rex PCI daughterboard is updated to G-Rex 2, etc.

And there's also an interesting new addition, called "Blizzard 560 MK I + SCSI + Ext.".

YouTube channel "Amiga Wave" seem to be the first to have received the pre-order price list, and they have released a nice presentation with some technical information (see "Sources", below).

68060 CPUs on the various accelerators now run at 60MHz, PowerPC clock rates have been upped to 400Mhz, and PCBs of course have been refined and updated. There's a new SCSI-Kit "V" for the 1230 MK V and 1260, and it's 1230 MK IV compatible.

Prices will make most people choke - almost 1000EUR for the Blizzard 560 - but we can safely assume these products are top-notch quality and performance.

Without further ado, here it is*:

Phase 5 official pre-order price list, taxes included, September 2017

- Cyberstorm PPC 2 (604e@400Mhz): 1490,- EUR
- Cyberstorm MK IV (68060@60Mhz): 1149,- EUR
- Blizzard 2060 MK II with SCSI-II (68060@60Mhz): 979,- EUR
- Blizzard PPC 2 603e+ (603e@400Mhz): 1249,- EUR
- Blizzard 1260 MK III (68060@60Mhz): 799,- EUR
- Blizzard 1230 MK V (68030@50Mhz): 399,-EUR 
- Blizzard 560 MK I + SCSI-II + Ext. (68060@60Mhz): 979,- EUR 
- Blizzard SCSI Kit V (SCSI-II): 279,- EUR
- CyberVision 64 3D 2 (S3 Virge, 4MB): 398,- EUR
- BVision 2 (Permedia 2, 8MB): 398,- EUR
- CyberVision PPC 2 (Permedia 2, 8MB): 398,- EUR
- G-Rex 2 PCI: 499,- EUR

Note that all of the products' production quantity is limited!
To 499 units, 250 units, or some even just 100 units.**
phase 5 digital products logo
(C) phase 5 digital products
*) With written permission by phase 5, given on 2017-09-11 via facebook. No responsibility is taken for the correctness of this - or any, for that matter - information.

**) That's super odd, phase 5. And again, no responsibility is taken for the correctness of this - or any, for that matter - information.

Phase 5 logo used with written permission by S. F. Gomez of phase 5 via e-mail on 2017-09-12.


Friday, September 8, 2017

AMIGA alive 03: Juggler (1986) and BoingBall (1984) (Video)

"AMIGA alive 03 - Juggler (1986) and BoingBall (1984)" is out! This time with a little history lesson: the legendary Juggler and BoingBall demos, shown in the early days of the Amiga, and responsible for stunning the audience. We hope you enjoy it, and as always comments are welcome!

Monday, August 28, 2017

AMIGA alive software: rewincy v0.8 - window and screen cycling

Our second - still rather tiny - software release is out. It's rewincy v0.8, a Workbench commodity for AmigaOS2.0 and higher. Rewincy will add Windows-"Alt-Tab"-like functionality to your Workbench: cycle through windows and screens, and zip windows, using your keyboard.

You can configure keys and colors, and run it from CLI or Workbench alike. Rewincy is based on M. Cortese's "Altabber", with added features, and just like Altabber it's freeware, of course. It has been cross-compiled from Linux to AmigaOS with vbcc, sources and makefile are included.

See Readme-file included for more information.

You can download it from AmiNet:

Friday, August 25, 2017

AMIGA alive software: rentp v0.4 - NTP time synchronization

Our first - tiny, admittedly - software release is out. It's rentp v0.4, a Network Time Protocol time synchronization utility for AmigaOS2.0 or higher.

Here's a usage example:

rentp -o120

...will sync time from Fedora's timeserver, using 120 mins.
UTC offset (=Germany summer daylight saving time). UTC
offset should be supplied, otherwise time will probably be
wrong (unless you live in UTC zone 0).


rentp -h

...will give you help.

You can download it from AmiNet:

Thursday, August 17, 2017

New page: Best of the best - Amiga games you must have seen

Our take on the "Best Amiga games" / "Top 10 Amiga games" subject, from a slightly different point of view, where a Competition Pro joystick is not the only Amiga expansion device allowed, and exceptional technical achievement, sweaty pixel art or perfect overall style may put a game on the list.

Have fun with our...

Best of the best - Amiga games you must have seen