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Closed: AmigaOS 4.x hardware vs emulation survey
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I plan to close the survey end of this weekend, and analyse the results.

Thanks to all who have filled in the survey already. If you haven't contributed yet, then here is your last chance. Click the following link:

https://keasigmadelta.com/store/survey ... s-4-x-hardware-emulation/

Hans


Edited by Hans on 2023/5/16 8:10:19
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Re: Last Chance: AmigaOS 4.x hardware vs emulation survey
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Re: Last Chance: AmigaOS 4.x hardware vs emulation survey
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@Hans

There are some nice anwers in there:

Quote:
Modern OS features (memory protection, 64bit), stable apps, support for common hardware and all that for free. Linux already gives that to me so no reason to use AmigaOS 4.

If he want everything for free then he must be running his linux in "the cloud"

Quote:
It's pointless. Develop software for real Amiga's with Workbench that everyone can use instead of living out your fantasies with machines upgraded to ludicrous specs. The Amiga died with Commodore, they are the last true Amigas.

There are different definitions of "pointless"

Quote:
an emulated machine will never broke with acid battery or short circuits. Time after time it will be even faster due powerful host computer

Which of course cannot be broken by leaking batteries and short circuits.

But jokes aside. It would be nice to have a follow-up survey where you could ask the emulation users to elaborate more on price and price/performance ratio. So what would be an acceptable price for entry level PowerPC hardware and what performance level would be acceptable compared to eg. a SAM460. what features would you rate important (1-5) where 1 is least and 5 is most:
- Processor speed compared to SAM460
- Memory speed compared to SAM460
- All-in-one (as opposed to bare minimum with expansion slots)
- On-board 2D only gfx output
- USB speed (2.0 vs 3.2)
- amount of USB ports
- USB-C connector
- amount of PCIe slots
- SATA connectors
- NVME slot
- Audio quality
- Audio channels
- Smallest form factor (eg miniITX)

And a multiple choice or open question for an acceptable sales price for the filled out answers above.

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Re: Last Chance: AmigaOS 4.x hardware vs emulation survey
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@Hans

Your survey could have a very strong importance to guide Hyperion/AEON and all Os4 developers to act in a right way.

In other fields most company pay results like your many many euro/dollers, we lukily had it for free.
Well done Hans!

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Re: Closed: AmigaOS 4.x hardware vs emulation survey
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Thanks for collating Hans. Seems like a good response rate.
Sadly, many of the comments make for depressing reading.

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Re: Closed: AmigaOS 4.x hardware vs emulation survey
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If you have a look at amibay you will see that the full Amiga hardware setups cost more than 1k money right now. A new keyboard cost more than 250 money and you have to wait for months to get it. A single 060 CPU might go for more than 350 and the alternatives like Mister goes for more than 350 and Vampires go for more than 600 money.

From that perspective, I am not sure what is the "affordable" price range for real hardware like the X5000 or the Sam460. One thing I believe though is that there is a big number of users who prefer emulation because it is blazing fast on 68k software and runs on any machine that they already have. The downside though is that do not get sentimentally connected with that, like they would with a real Amiga system.

But the emulation remains a cheap solution which can be used properly with a small cost for the OS. And this is what I see as a benefit that will increase the user base. And there was a lot of saying exactly that in Hans'es survey.

The OS4 hardware right now is limited. There is not enough available and there is no information for new hardware in the future. Having A-Eon struggling with the A1222 for so many years doesn't fill me with hope.

I am afraid that the Qemu emulation is the last chance we have right now to make things better. It isn't great but it can get better. It will never surpass the real hardware and those who want it will still go out and buy it.

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Re: Closed: AmigaOS 4.x hardware vs emulation survey
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@ddni

I wouldn't worry about the replies of folks who aren't using AOS4. Many of them are happy using 68K emulation, and that's fine. And many of them have an axe to grind because they feel like the Amiga would be 'alive' today if not for the NG path, or they really do want to use AOS4 but can't afford, or are proponents of other Amiga-related platforms, or ....

The ones that are constructive are the ones to pay attention to, as well as the bulk that represent actual, current users. There are always cranks and malcontents in the world. Best ignore them.

-- eliyahu

"Physical reality is consistent with universal laws. When the laws do not operate, there is no reality. All of this is unreal."
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Re: Closed: AmigaOS 4.x hardware vs emulation survey
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I would also comment briefly on the issue.

Preliminary:

A very long time ago I owned an AmigaOneXE myself, at that time AmigaOs4 was only available in the pre-release version and only limited usable, programs like IBrowse, DOpus, SimpleMail, Yam and many others were only available in a 68k version. Nevertheless I had a lot of fun with the machine and there are nice memories.

1 year later and before AmigaOs4.0 was final I had to sell my AmigaOne because of financial difficulties. The re-entry with Amiga hardware was later no longer for me and I started to buy Pc's and finally a Mac Studio which I currently use, because I did not get along with Window and not only wanted to gamble.

Because the Mac Studio has an ARM CPU I started to work on the emulation of AmigaOs4.1, the try with WinUae failed too slow and there was no native version for MacOs. But because I wanted to try AmigaOs4.1 I didn't give up and learned about the Qemu Sam460/Pegasos2 project 03.09.2022. Unfortunately at the moment also very unusable under Mac M1, graphic errors, no sound, no internet.

So I quickly got in touch with BALATON Zoltan who helped me to make Qemu usable with AmigaOs4.1, that whole took about 6 months of testing and development to today's result that I think often could already present in my videos. Even though there are many things that still bother me about AmigaOs4.1 I like to use it and it gives me a lot of pleasure to use it.

Since I do not want to put a second computer in my living room and I currently prefer very small computers, I have found the perfect solution with the Mac. Sure Qemu is not the solution to real hardware, but I'm glad that I can use AmigaOs4.1 under this currently fastest emulation, sometimes I even forget that I'm using an emulation as soon as the full screen is used

Let's come to the end:

Also users who run AmigaOs4.1 via an emulation can be potential buyers, I currently have 3 licenses and I have already bought software that I think is good (Enhancer, Emotion, Ztools) I also became aware of this forum because I was told that some AmigaOs4.1 developers are still gathering here and yes it's true the people were right, there was already a lot of help in the short time I was registered here (MilkyTracker/SDL2/ ScummVM/LiteXL) all these problems have already been adjusted for this "still" limited emulation with AmigaOs4.1 and I just wanted to say thank you again for that.

Sorry that's become a lot of text, but I just wanted to explain briefly how I came back to AmigaOs4.1 after almost 20 years.

MacStudio ARM M1 Max Qemu//Pegasos2 AmigaOs4.1 FE
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Re: Last Chance: AmigaOS 4.x hardware vs emulation survey
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@geennaam

Quote:
There are some nice anwers in there:

Yes. One of my "personal favourites" comes from someone who I'll call "Mr can't follow basic instructions." He first says that he regularly uses AmigaOS 4 under emulation, then repeatedly writes that he only uses OS 3.x and doesn't have OS 4. There's also someone in there who really wants Jim to know that it's dead. I recommend that this person email Jim directly; I don't know if Jim reads my company's website.

Quote:
But jokes aside. It would be nice to have a follow-up survey where you could ask the emulation users to elaborate more on price and price/performance ratio...

Given the responses, I doubt we'd get much usable info. How much people think they'd be willing to pay and how much they'd actually pay are two very different things. Added to that, so many people give zero consideration as to what's financially possible for the businesses delivering what they want (e.g., wanting huge developments without being willing to pay for it).

@flash
Quote:
Your survey could have a very strong importance to guide Hyperion/AEON and all Os4 developers to act in a right way.


@ddni
Quote:
Thanks for collating Hans. Seems like a good response rate.
Sadly, many of the comments make for depressing reading.

It's not as bad as it seems. Our brains tend to pay 3x more attention to negative info (i.e., potential threats) than positive. The Amiga community has some very noisy armchair critics & keyboard warriors. Most of them don't have the courage to build anything of value themselves, so their opinions are pretty meaningless. I'd rather listen to people who have successfully done what I want to do...

Hans

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Re: Closed: AmigaOS 4.x hardware vs emulation survey
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@Maijestro

Thanks for sharing your interesting story, and thanks for the work you've done to make AmigaOS 4.1 usable on QEMU.

I think development for emulation could be part of the path forward. For example, virtio drivers can also be used with virtual machines. And, we're going to need some kind of emulation when moving to a new CPU architecture (ARM being my current preference).

Hans

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Re: Last Chance: AmigaOS 4.x hardware vs emulation survey
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@Hans

Quote:
Given the responses, I doubt we'd get much usable info. How much people think they'd be willing to pay and how much they'd actually pay are two very different things. Added to that, so many people give zero consideration as to what's financially possible for the businesses delivering what they want (e.g., wanting huge developments without being willing to pay for it)

I agree that most negative comments in your survey are made by people who will never buy real hardware. And probably don't even use OS4 on an emulator. However it would still be nice to get a better view on the wishes of those who are genuinly interested to buy new hardware.

Quote:
I think development for emulation could be part of the path forward. For example, virtio drivers can also be used with virtual machines. And, we're going to need some kind of emulation when moving to a new CPU architecture (ARM being my current preference).

Not sure if ARM will be of any help for the future of AmigaOS4.
You can forget about those mobile phone CPUs. GFX drivers are closed source. And they are obsolete within 3 years. If they offer PCIe at all then it is limited to one or two controllers with a low amount of lanes. Memory is stacked on top of the CPU package. Lack ethernet MACs. And they only sell the CPU platform (CPU+modem+PMIC) to a handfull of top tier manufacturers. Both Qualcomm and Samsung tried to enter the industrial market with some offering. The SD410 was for sale. The SD600 required approval before you could design with it. The SD820 was only available for selected SOM partners. And similar to the T10x2, the SD820 chipset price tag was about EUR 130 (@10k annual qty).
Those small form factor devices like RPI are a couple of steps backwards compared to the X5000 when it comes to GFX solutions. I doubt if the experience will be better compared to QEMU on a fast PC.
And ATX/ITX form factor boards are niche. Some manufacturers tried some server ARM boards (eg Gigabyte MP30-AR0) but they are not on sale anymore or ridiculously expensive.
So if we want a step up from the the X5000 with ARM then we are back at custom hardware again. With for example a NXP Layerscape CPU. Which again means a CPU which is tailored toward networking Alternatively, we could use a nVidia Jetson like module and forget about the embedded GPU. But do not expect much price difference compared to a SAM460.

And the most important questions are: Who will port OS4 on it? And how many decades will it take? How many users are left by then?

So in my opinion, the only "short term" solution would be a lower cost T10x2 based platform. Even if its only meant to bridge the gap.
The T10x2 uses has the same e5500 core as the X5000. Uses almost the same peripherals as the X5000. This means a minimum software effort to get OS4 running on it. The only issue is. Are all parties involved (OS4, ExecSG) also willing to support it and at what cost.

PS. A e6500 core option would be a step up from the X5000. And I would buy it of course at a sensible price. But this will not sell below E1000 because the CPU itself is already >EUR300.

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Re: Last Chance: AmigaOS 4.x hardware vs emulation survey
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@geennaam
Quote:

Not sure if ARM will be of any help for the future of AmigaOS4.
You can forget about those mobile phone CPUs. GFX drivers are closed source. And they are obsolete within 3 years. If they offer PCIe at all then it is limited to one or two controllers with a low amount of lanes. Memory is stacked on top of the CPU package. Lack ethernet MACs. And they only sell the CPU platform (CPU+modem+PMIC) to a handfull of top tier manufacturers. Both Qualcomm and Samsung tried to enter the industrial market with some offering. The SD410 was for sale. The SD600 required approval before you could design with it. The SD820 was only available for selected SOM partners. And similar to the T10x2, the SD820 chipset price tag was about EUR 130 (@10k annual qty).
Those small form factor devices like RPI are a couple of steps backwards compared to the X5000 when it comes to GFX solutions. I doubt if the experience will be better compared to QEMU on a fast PC


The Power platform is still alive, with Power 10 launched in 2021 with 7 nm technology node. But seeing the price of Power 10 solutions, it is prohibitely expensive, even for small to middle based business. On another hand currently the AmigaOne X5000 and the Sam are one of the few PowerPC based computers still being manufactured as listed on the PowerPC Wikipedia page.

If moving to ARM needs another decade, for AmigaOS 4 it will be better to stay with PowerPC and wait for some new PowerPC based hardware to appear. Desktop or Laptop.

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Re: Last Chance: AmigaOS 4.x hardware vs emulation survey
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@geennaam
Quote:
Not sure if ARM will be of any help for the future of AmigaOS4.
You can forget about those mobile phone CPUs. GFX drivers are closed source. And they are obsolete within 3 years...

Yes, ARM manufacturers tend to be hold on to their hardware manuals like they're military secrets. There are open-source drivers for most of the GPUs, though, albeit lagging behind the closed-source ones.

There are a few possibilities:
- Run AmigaOS in a Virtual Machine (VM),** and use the host OS' drivers (going to need to run it under emulation initially, anyway)
- Make the AmigaOS ARM ABI match the Linux one such that we might be able to use the Linux drivers directly (would need a developer familiar with both systems to build the wrapper code)***
- Use a minimal Linux or BSD kernel as the new core of ExecSG so we can use the manufacturer's drivers directly. Applications would only see the AmigaOS library APIs (i.e., the Linux user APIs wouldn't be included)
- Restrict ourselves to select ARM chips with the same series GPU

Quote:
So in my opinion, the only "short term" solution would be a lower cost T10x2 based platform. Even if its only meant to bridge the gap.

Agreed. I don't see PowerPC ever returning to the desktop, though, so this would indeed be a short-term stop-gap.

Hans

** On a minimal host OS who's sole purpose is to boot to the VM
*** Yes, we'd need to switch to little-endian, which is something I think we need to do (even IBM did it with PowerPC Linux)

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Re: Last Chance: AmigaOS 4.x hardware vs emulation survey
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@Hans

Quote:
Yes, ARM manufacturers tend to be hold on to their hardware manuals like they're military secrets. There are open-source drivers for most of the GPUs, though, albeit lagging behind the closed-source ones.


Yes, there are some reversed engineered drivers available but they are slow and not really stable for obvious reasons. And some drivers seem open source but still need a binary component. Like the ARM MALI drivers for example.

In any case, switching ISA again will be at least as painful as it was for the 68k->PPC switch. Although a lot of code is written in C nowadays. There are simply less developers available to do the job then there were 15 years ago.

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Re: Last Chance: AmigaOS 4.x hardware vs emulation survey
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@geennaam

Quote:

And some drivers seem open source but still need a binary component. Like the ARM MALI drivers for example.


Later MALI chipsets well work with the PanFrost drivers, need quite a recent kernel though

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Re: Last Chance: AmigaOS 4.x hardware vs emulation survey
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@geennaam

Quote:

In any case, switching ISA again will be at least as painful as it was for the 68k->PPC switch. Although a lot of code is written in C nowadays. There are simply less developers available to do the job then there were 15 years ago.

I don't think so. At least, not to get the OS itself running on another ISA. Backward compatibility would be a challenge. I'm assuming we'd want to make other changes too, such as jumping to 64-bit, little-endian, and better memory protection. So, a thin emulator like Petunia wouldn't be enough. We'd need some sort of sandbox, with a translation layer. Taglists would be a big pain, because we'd likely have to go through them manually to write the endian conversion stubs.

Or, maybe PowerPC & 68K code could be run in a full emulator with a "rabbit hole" feature so it feels properly integrated (e.g., can open windows on Workbench, share the clipboard, etc.). If done well, then the user experience would be good, and it wouldn't be as much work as trying to do another Petunia emulator + sandbox/translation layer.

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Re: Closed: AmigaOS 4.x hardware vs emulation survey
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Or maybe forget all existent, old or ancient code and recompile existing software (when possible) for new ISA.. and restart from zero

i'm really tired...
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Re: Closed: AmigaOS 4.x hardware vs emulation survey
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@afxgroup
Quote:
Or maybe forget all existent, old or ancient code and recompile existing software (when possible) for new ISA.. and restart from zero
Was already done more than 25 years ago, but all attempts, open source as well as closed source commercial, failed.

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Re: Closed: AmigaOS 4.x hardware vs emulation survey
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@afxgroup
Quote:
Or maybe forget all existent, old or ancient code and recompile existing software (when possible) for new ISA.. and restart from zero

Like Joerg, I don't think that'll work. Okay, maybe for an initial version, but I expect a lot of users won't consider it to be the next version of AmigaOS unless it runs existing software (easily and directly).

No matter how much existing software you recompile, there will always be something that someone misses.

I also don't think it's necessary to ditch everything and start from zero. The lowest-cost path would be integrating PPC & 68K emulators into the system, allowing old software to run seamlessly without needing to build a new sandbox/translation layer from scratch.

Hans

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Re: Closed: AmigaOS 4.x hardware vs emulation survey
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Quote:
but I expect a lot of users won't consider it to be the next version of AmigaOS unless it runs existing software (easily and directly).

For a lot of users not even OS4 sounds like that, because... "It doesn't run on their 68K computer" (facepalm)

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