Wellington, 11th February 2012
To mark the release of the AmigaONE X1000 "First Contact" system we commissioned free-lance music composer Rachel Dickinson (aka Rayne Leafe) to create two original soundtracks as a tribute to the ground-breaking Amiga 1000 computer. We asked her to compose a new start-up boot sound for the AmigaONE X1000 which built on the Amigas' original diagnostic audio test. We also asked her to create a longer piece which captures the spirit of the AmigaONE X1000. The result is A-EON Starlight an atmospheric and evocative music score which evolved from her new boot theme.
According to venerable AmigaOS developer Olaf Barthel, "the Amiga 1000 audio diagnostic test (aka boot sound) is based upon the Siegfried horn motif, as used in Richard Wagner's Ring cycle. The code for the Amiga 1000 boot ROM does not contain just the Wagner snippet, but also something else: the five tone "theme of the mothership" by John Williams as used in "Close encounters of the third kind". Barthel added "The author of the audio diagnostic code appears to be Siegfried W. Bleher. The theme played by the Amiga 1000 appears to be an edited version, which plays faster than Wagner's original, and is not exactly in tune with it either. The notes played are as follows: c, g (long note), e (1/128th note), c, d, e, f, e, d, d. The playback frequencies and speed are hard-coded for an NTSC machine, which might explain why it sounds like it does. The individual sound generation code uses a sine wave and emulates an ADSR envelope with short attack time and a slightly longer release time. From what I can tell, the diagnostic code and the music as we know it today finally came together on 13 May 1985. Also (I tested the code when I discovered it), John William's five tone theme did not sound quite as good as in the film. In the film score, the cue that contains the five tone theme is called "wild signals". It is perhaps fitting that the Amiga's 1985 "Close Encounter" developed into the AmigaONE X1000's "First Contact".
Rachel commented, "I spent my childhood using an Amiga computer and it's a special privilege for me to be able to contribute to its continuing success. When I was asked to write the boot sound for the new AmigaONE X1000 I wanted to pay homage to both the simple boot theme of the original Amiga and the enhanced start-up sound created for AmigaOS 4 by Japanese electropop artist, composer and Amiga user Susumu Hirasawa. I've tried to remain true to the tone row of the original boot sound while adding a modern interpretation. The A-EON Starlight theme is an expansion and exploration of the new boot theme. I hope you enjoy my musical Amiga tribute. "
AmigaONE X1000 boot theme
The Mark of Xorro!
As part of our ongoing commitment to the AmigaONE X1000, we commissioned Varisys to design a special Xorro plug-in board to take advantage of the A1-1000's onboard Xena "co-processor". The Xorro board is intended for the consummate Amiga hacker and is a practical XMOS veroboard which allows access to the Xena slot IOs and power rails. It has the added advantage of being able to be cut in half via an added dotted line, allowing it to be used in small form factor cases. To demonstrate it's use on the AmigaONE X1000, Varisys created a simple circuit with a buffer and some LEDs. A video is attached of the Xorro board performing an XMOS "walking 1" test on the Xena pins. The Xorro plug-in board will be stocked by AmigaKit and information will be posted on their website in the near future.
X1000Xorro in action on the AmigaONE
"First Contact" Update
If you missed out on an AmigaONE X1000 "First Contact" system and still want to join the party we have some good news for you. Following the overwhelming success of the "First Contact" initiative, we are pleased to announce that we have authorised another production run. As before, these systems will be supplied with AmigaOS 4.1 Update 5 pre-installed and a fully paid-up license for the supply of AmigaOS 4.2 when it is commercially released by Hyperion Entertainment. Please check out the AmigaKit website for pre-order details which will be posted in the near future.
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