Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby AtariSociety » Sun Oct 31, 2010 3:07 am

Mathias wrote:
About the enclosure. The first custom case is under construction, I personally take care about it, together with Bernhard. It will be a black aluminium case, not much bigger than the FireBee itselve (around 30 x 10 x 3 cm). Done by a small electronic-enclosures company in Vienna. They produce nice 19" racks, mixer enclosures, etc. for at least 30 years. So we have a partner which will be able to produce the enclosure in small amounts , but very good quality. If everything goes well, the enclosure shall be ready together with the first FireBee shipping date this year, and will be below 50,- Euros. It includes a small mono speaker, several LEDs (SD-Card access, CF/IDE activity, Power on) and the laquering of the enclosure.



Will the case have some Firebee Logo?

Is there a Firebee Logo actually now that I think about it? Would be sweet to have the case look official. :D

tj

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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby AtariSociety » Mon Nov 01, 2010 7:27 pm

And would be great to see some " more" videos of the Firebee in action!

tj

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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby Mathias » Tue Nov 02, 2010 8:33 pm

Logo: We have several sugestions from different users, but have not decided yet. Perhaps we will not decide till delivering the first batch, ...

About further videos: We are already planning to do more.
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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby AtariSociety » Fri Nov 12, 2010 3:25 am

I would think with the Firebee being so close to being available that folks would be talking all over the place about what can be done with this new system.

I am sure chomping at the bit to see the case design and even any little more videos on the system.

Would be nice to see it doing some real world stuff. Maybe a DTP application manipulating graphics or some game or ??

Just any video more video of it doing stuff would be sweet!

By the way, what are the different video modes with Firebee? Can it do high res color resolutions?

tj

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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby Mathias » Sat Nov 13, 2010 7:10 pm

macsociety wrote:By the way, what are the different video modes with Firebee? Can it do high res color resolutions?

Well the graphics onboard (inside the FPGA) can do:

• analog: True Color (24 Bit) 60Hz: 1600x1200 max

• digital (DVI): True Color (24 Bit) 60Hz: 1920x1200 max

lower resolutions make higher frequencies possible like 1280 x 1024 @ 85 or 100 Hz

And this week also Didier made Radeon 9250 booting with FireTOS, and he had his first desktop with his FireBee and PCI attached Graphic Card!
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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby majere » Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:07 am

Mathias wrote:About the enclosure. The first custom case is under construction, I personally take care about it, together with Bernhard. It will be a black aluminium case, not much bigger than the FireBee itselve (around 30 x 10 x 3 cm). Done by a small electronic-enclosures company in Vienna. They produce nice 19" racks, mixer enclosures, etc. for at least 30 years. So we have a partner which will be able to produce the enclosure in small amounts , but very good quality. If everything goes well, the enclosure shall be ready together with the first FireBee shipping date this year, and will be below 50,- Euros. It includes a small mono speaker, several LEDs (SD-Card access, CF/IDE activity, Power on) and the laquering of the enclosure.


I think, if the enclosure is as small as you say, you can put in nothing more than the board. :?
In my opinion, they will have more space to fit at least one hard disk and one dvd (even small size notebook).
Even you put a CF, if you download from web videos (for example), they need a lot of space. And if you want silence, one solid state hard disk is great (but not cheaper). 8)
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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby Mathias » Thu Nov 18, 2010 3:42 pm

The prototypes of the enclsure are ordered. I will not change them anymore. Let me explain why:

- As mass storage we recommend Compact Flash cards. They exist up to 128GB revcently. No need for a disk or any SSD or something.

- For DVD or CD there will hopefully be some external USB solutions in 2011.

- We liked to have the smallest possible case. You can always use some Mini-ITX case if you need a 5 1/4 drive and a HD together with the FireBee. (Towers will follow as well)


Let's wait for the prototypes of the cases.
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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby AtariSociety » Thu Nov 18, 2010 5:22 pm

Mathias wrote:The prototypes of the enclsure are ordered. I will not change them anymore. Let me explain why:

- As mass storage we recommend Compact Flash cards. They exist up to 128GB revcently. No need for a disk or any SSD or something.

- For DVD or CD there will hopefully be some external USB solutions in 2011.

- We liked to have the smallest possible case. You can always use some Mini-ITX case if you need a 5 1/4 drive and a HD together with the FireBee. (Towers will follow as well)


Let's wait for the prototypes of the cases.


Do you think we can at least see pictures of it and maybe more videos of Firebee in action before Christmas so we can keep the excitement going into next year when we can all buy one of these nice machines?

tj

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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby Mathias » Thu Nov 18, 2010 6:17 pm

macsociety wrote: Do you think we can at least see pictures of it
As soon as they are availaible, for sure! I will take some pictures at the day we pick them up here in Vienna.

macsociety wrote:
and maybe more videos of Firebee in action before Christmas
Well Didier got FireTOS up and running at his FireBee (inkluding CF68KLib), so he got the real interreting stuff! ;) I got no Flash Hardware at home, ... so we are plannig to give you detailed informations and several videos (as I already told) to give you an exact overview what you can expect. But I cannot assure when it will be done. Sorry things are not that easy - it's a free project. Also development is going on every day!

macsociety wrote: so we can keep the excitement going into next year
;))

macsociety wrote:
when we can all buy one of these nice machines?
If you are familiar with JTAG, BDM and PIC-flashing, you can immediatly have one of the series boards. But sure "normal users" will be happy when all the software is ready, and when we deliver with preinstalled MiNT as all flash-tools for future updates in software.
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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby AtariSociety » Thu Nov 18, 2010 6:53 pm

Mathias wrote:
macsociety wrote: Do you think we can at least see pictures of it
As soon as they are availaible, for sure! I will take some pictures at the day we pick them up here in Vienna.

[
macsociety wrote:
when we can all buy one of these nice machines?
If you are familiar with JTAG, BDM and PIC-flashing, you can immediatly have one of the series boards. But sure "normal users" will be happy when all the software is ready, and when we deliver with preinstalled MiNT as all flash-tools for future updates in software.


Cool, can't wait to see pictures when they come available.

I would be considered a "normal" user at this point as I don't know what the JTAG, BDM, and PIC-flashing are. :lol: :lol:

And if I have not said it yet, thanks to all on this project to making it happen!

tj

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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby lp » Fri Nov 19, 2010 7:06 am

Let me just reiterate something Mathias said. Everything is being done by ST enthusiasts in their free time. Think for a moment how much free time you have, then ponder what it would be like to spend most of it on this type of project. So my suggest is simply be patient and it will arrive. I'm not sure if it will arrive in 2010, but if its a touch late I would not be worried, because as I said its all done in our spare time. That also means real life sometimes gets in the way and causes delays for some people in the dev group, things happen as they say.

The ACP project however, unlike other such projects on other platforms (that shall remain nameless) has at least made it past the prototype stage, this in itself is a huge deal. The project has also shipped a few boards to those that can help speed up the development cycle. That is also quite a feat in itself. :D

There will be something like 3 compilers available that will be able to build full CF native binaries, so it will be possible to harness the speed of the CF CPU. That said, its then a matter of rebuilding old apps, if the source code is still around, and of course writing new ones is always possible.

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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby wongck » Fri Nov 19, 2010 2:59 pm

lp wrote:Everything is being done by ST enthusiasts in their free time. Think for a moment how much free time you have,


If I spend my free time on Atari Forums... then none. :lol:
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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby lp » Fri Nov 19, 2010 5:40 pm

wongck wrote:If I spend my free time on Atari Forums... then none. :lol:


We sort of guessed that from your profile. :wink:

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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby havoc » Fri Nov 19, 2010 8:00 pm

Would be nice to see it doing some real world stuff. Maybe a DTP application manipulating graphics or some game or ??

Sure, it would be nice to see that. But realistically speaking, it's just not going to happen. Just look at the amount of apps and games developed specifically for accelerated Atari systems over the last decade or so- can you name any that made a lasting impression? Me neither...

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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby AtariSociety » Fri Nov 19, 2010 11:05 pm

havoc wrote:
Would be nice to see it doing some real world stuff. Maybe a DTP application manipulating graphics or some game or ??

Sure, it would be nice to see that. But realistically speaking, it's just not going to happen. Just look at the amount of apps and games developed specifically for accelerated Atari systems over the last decade or so- can you name any that made a lasting impression? Me neither...


I mean would not Calamus and Pagestream run faster on a system like this? An email application, maybe a word processor opening a document and at same time sending an email. Are there older apps that play MP3 files on Atari.

I don't know since I have been out of this platform since mid 90s.

tj

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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby wongck » Sat Nov 20, 2010 4:25 am

macsociety wrote: Are there older apps that play MP3 files on Atari.


there are at least 2 - aniplay (ok not so old) and falcAmp
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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby lp » Sat Nov 20, 2010 4:50 am

macsociety wrote:
havoc wrote:
Would be nice to see it doing some real world stuff. Maybe a DTP application manipulating graphics or some game or ??

Sure, it would be nice to see that. But realistically speaking, it's just not going to happen. Just look at the amount of apps and games developed specifically for accelerated Atari systems over the last decade or so- can you name any that made a lasting impression? Me neither...


I mean would not Calamus and Pagestream run faster on a system like this? An email application, maybe a word processor opening a document and at same time sending an email. Are there older apps that play MP3 files on Atari.

I don't know since I have been out of this platform since mid 90s.

tj


havoc, might have a bit of point. However, some might be more motivated with the prospect of 266mhz and if the board sells well, that helps. Being able to code in an environment you are familiar with, the potential of making an 060 look slow, could be intriguing to some. I know it has gotten my attention. :)

Old software however is another story, the CF CPU is not 100% compatible with the CPU's used in the ST, so some overhead is involved in getting old apps to run "as is" and that performance is still a bit of a mystery. Some have tried to predict it, however I don't think benchmarks ran on evaluation boards are accurate, because they have different video and so forth. Until some real testing is done on the ACP board with old software, as far as I'm concerned its a question that can't be answered properly at this time.

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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby wongck » Sat Nov 20, 2010 8:33 am

lp wrote:Old software however is another story, the CF CPU is not 100% compatible with the CPU's used in the ST, so some overhead is involved in getting old apps to run "as is" and that performance is still a bit of a mystery.


I don't think there will be any issues... as there are already ppl patching old ST software/games to run on a Falcon, the same exercise will have to be done for the FB. Sure games may not run as well because it will finish faster than the user can start playing.
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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby joska » Sat Nov 20, 2010 8:38 am

wongck wrote:I don't think there will be any issues... as there are already ppl patching old ST software/games to run on a Falcon, the same exercise will have to be done for the FB. Sure games may not run as well because it will finish faster than the user can start playing.


The FireBee will have the muscles to run a cycle-accurate 68000-emulator for games.
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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby wongck » Sat Nov 20, 2010 8:42 am

lp wrote:havoc, might have a bit of point. However, some might be more motivated with the prospect of 266mhz and if the board sells well, that helps. Being able to code in an environment you are familiar with, the potential of making an 060 look slow, could be intriguing to some. I know it has gotten my attention. :)


I am sure it is...
CF optimised Mint/Xaaes & FreeTos, new desktop that looks better anything we have now on the Atari platform, new Browser on the horizon and I am sure Didier pet project Aniplay will be updated for this. So the OS, media & browser fronts are being addressed. Things are moving on in the right direction. :thumbs:
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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby wongck » Sat Nov 20, 2010 8:45 am

joska wrote:
wongck wrote: Sure games may not run as well because it will finish faster than the user can start playing.


The FireBee will have the muscles to run a cycle-accurate 68000-emulator for games.


Of course it does.
Don't get me wrong... I don't mean that it will not work correctly.
What I mean to say is that is will be so fast that the thinking time of the player will be drastically reduce and the Computer will beat the human player easily.
So the games over before the player can make several shots to save his life... :lol:
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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby lp » Sat Nov 20, 2010 10:50 am

wongck wrote:
lp wrote:Old software however is another story, the CF CPU is not 100% compatible with the CPU's used in the ST, so some overhead is involved in getting old apps to run "as is" and that performance is still a bit of a mystery.


I don't think there will be any issues... as there are already ppl patching old ST software/games to run on a Falcon, the same exercise will have to be done for the FB. Sure games may not run as well because it will finish faster than the user can start playing.


But I'm referring to 100% untouched original software, no patches. The average user does not have the ability to fix their old software or recompile it even if the source is available. We don't know what sort of performance we will get just yet. Calamus might run near 060 speed or better or worse? Until that part of the system is in place, we won't know for sure.

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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby wongck » Sat Nov 20, 2010 11:53 am

lp wrote:But I'm referring to 100% untouched original software, no patches. The average user does not have the ability to fix their old software or recompile it even if the source is available. We don't know what sort of performance we will get just yet. Calamus might run near 060 speed or better or worse? Until that part of the system is in place, we won't know for sure.


Well most software runs from A:, so at least to make it run from C: will have to be patched first.
True that noone will know the emulated speed. I guess most 68K binaries will run at max speed on the CF with only
those unimplemented instructions being sw emulated.
Well only time will tell.
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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby lp » Sat Nov 20, 2010 8:06 pm

wongck wrote:Well most software runs from A:, so at least to make it run from C: will have to be patched first.
True that noone will know the emulated speed. I guess most 68K binaries will run at max speed on the CF with only
those unimplemented instructions being sw emulated.
Well only time will tell.


You are talking about games and demos. He asked about Calamus and Pagestream (productivity software), the sort of software that actually gets more work done if you can throw more speed at it. That's what I was responding to, you seem to be solely focused on games and demos. I don't want to sound negative, but games and demo don't get any work done at any speed.

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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby wongck » Sun Nov 21, 2010 12:17 am

Needless to say that stuff like productivity software will be a major lacking in functionality compared to what we have on other platforms.
I don't want to burst anyone's bubble. Look around and see how many productivity software developer are left.

On the brighter side, how much unimplemented instructions will be used by the old productivity software?
They do not need to resort to neat tricks on the code to do their stuff. Probably 99% are normal load, store & arithmetic instructions.
No interrupts to trigger something etc. So there will be less exceptions to be caught by the 68K emulator and so will perform damn well.

But look at these forums.... how many post are there on games & demo vs on using Works, Papyrus, Phoenix or Texel ?
May be that will change with the FB.... only time will tell. :cheers:
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