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

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

Postby lp » Sun Nov 21, 2010 1:43 am

Same can be said of games, I got a ps3 for that and you are not going to see Halo on your ST either. :P Also if your goal is to play cycle accurate games and demos, its way more cost effective to run down to your local bargain barn and pick up a real ST for 15 bucks. Not that I'm trying to burst bubbles either. :) How many game developers are left? I mean actual software houses? It's lacking on all fronts. Period.

Anyway, the amount of slowdown becomes very application specific and the compiler that was used to build it likely plays a factor. You should look up on the net what all is missing from the CF instruction set. It's a rather large list actually. I had a link somewhere, but I can't find it.
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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby wongck » Sun Nov 21, 2010 3:40 am

What amazes me more is that the newer software are developed on Aranym.
Makes me wonders.... :roll:
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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby lp » Sun Nov 21, 2010 7:45 am

Everyone I talk to on regular basis only uses it as a compile box or testing certain things, they don't actually use it per say. I guess its main claim to fame is speeding a slug like gcc. That tells me something about it. :lol:
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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby wongck » Sun Nov 21, 2010 10:45 am

Yeap... nothing beats using the real McCoy.
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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby majere » Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:32 pm

A new video about the graphic resolutions of firebee (By Mathias at atari-home.de forum) :wink:

1800x1440 @ 70hz 32 bit! spectacular!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HURSMZg98ZE

Any news about the enclosure? images or something? :angel:
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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby Dal » Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:01 pm

I have one on order - Can't wait for it to come through... :D
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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby joska » Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:16 am

majere wrote:Any news about the enclosure? images or something? :angel:


The prototype is in production and should arrive in a few days. I expect to see some pictures soon :)
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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby AtariSociety » Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:33 am

joska wrote:
majere wrote:Any news about the enclosure? images or something? :angel:


The prototype is in production and should arrive in a few days. I expect to see some pictures soon :)



Will be interesting to see what the case looks like. The video showing the on/off power button makes it seem like such a small button so will be interesting to see how the on/off button on the case interfaces with that button.

And, how it looks with cables all connected to it. Must say it will seem a bit different having cables plugged in to multiple sides of a computer. Monitor ports on the left side and then most other ports on the back. Kind of hope they don't make too small of case and instead have all cables come out the rear so they wire the side monitor port to the rear of case with some small cable adapter or something.

Just hope it looks more like a finished product rather than a hobbiest box with cables coming out all over. 8-)

I am sure over time they might have many options. Maybe Medusa will make a more traditional style case with drive bays, etc....

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

Postby majere » Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:24 pm

macsociety wrote:And, how it looks with cables all connected to it. Must say it will seem a bit different having cables plugged in to multiple sides of a computer. Monitor ports on the left side and then most other ports on the back. Kind of hope they don't make too small of case and instead have all cables come out the rear so they wire the side monitor port to the rear of case with some small cable adapter or something.

Just hope it looks more like a finished product rather than a hobbiest box with cables coming out all over. 8-)

I am sure over time they might have many options. Maybe Medusa will make a more traditional style case with drive bays, etc....

tj


They said a time ago about the enclosure, they would be very small, just enough to fit the motherboard, leaving no room for drive bays or nothing :(
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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby AtariSociety » Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:35 pm

majere wrote:
macsociety wrote:And, how it looks with cables all connected to it. Must say it will seem a bit different having cables plugged in to multiple sides of a computer. Monitor ports on the left side and then most other ports on the back. Kind of hope they don't make too small of case and instead have all cables come out the rear so they wire the side monitor port to the rear of case with some small cable adapter or something.

Just hope it looks more like a finished product rather than a hobbiest box with cables coming out all over. 8-)

I am sure over time they might have many options. Maybe Medusa will make a more traditional style case with drive bays, etc....

tj


They said a time ago about the enclosure, they would be very small, just enough to fit the motherboard, leaving no room for drive bays or nothing :(


I guess it can be a stepping stone to at least house the board until maybe a larger tower comes along.

Will still be cool to see this case when they have it.

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

Postby lp » Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:58 am

majere wrote:They said a time ago about the enclosure, they would be very small, just enough to fit the motherboard, leaving no room for drive bays or nothing :(


Why the sad face? Put it in any desktop or tower case you like, all that is needed is a PCI back-plane.
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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby joska » Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:05 am

macsociety wrote:I guess it can be a stepping stone to at least house the board until maybe a larger tower comes along.

Will still be cool to see this case when they have it.


The prototype is ready :) I expect that there will be some pictures published soon.

The cabinet is very small. It's just big enough to house the PCB and a CF-card. If you want a tower, you will need to use a standard PC tower. I don't understand why anyone would want a tower though...
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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby joska » Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:07 am

lp wrote:
majere wrote:They said a time ago about the enclosure, they would be very small, just enough to fit the motherboard, leaving no room for drive bays or nothing :(


Why the sad face? Put it in any desktop or tower case you like, all that is needed is a PCI back-plane.


That's not entirely correct. What about the connectors?
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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby lp » Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:17 am

joska wrote:
lp wrote:
majere wrote:They said a time ago about the enclosure, they would be very small, just enough to fit the motherboard, leaving no room for drive bays or nothing :(


Why the sad face? Put it in any desktop or tower case you like, all that is needed is a PCI back-plane.


That's not entirely correct. What about the connectors?


Obviously the connectors on the one end will be accessible, the rest not. Looking at the board do I really have to say that?

I doubt the ACP group produces a 2nd case, so wring up the other ports to some generic case is likely required anyway. Perhaps they will at least supply a wire kit, to extend the other ports. That remains to be seen though.
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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby jfl » Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:22 pm

joska wrote:The cabinet is very small. It's just big enough to house the PCB and a CF-card. If you want a tower, you will need to use a standard PC tower. I don't understand why anyone would want a tower though...

I for one certainly don't want a tower but at least a DVD drive bay would have been nice. Having to pile external drives on top of the case somewhat negates the advantage of the small form factor.
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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby Hippy Dave » Sat Jan 29, 2011 3:12 am

Sandwich the works between two pieces of plywood.
How good it looks depends on your carpentry skills.
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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby mpattonm » Sat Jan 29, 2011 8:52 am

jfl wrote:I for one certainly don't want a tower but at least a DVD drive bay would have been nice. Having to pile external drives on top of the case somewhat negates the advantage of the small form factor.

I agree. There is certainly room for more options. What would you guys see as ideal housing like?
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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby joska » Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:11 pm

jfl wrote:I for one certainly don't want a tower but at least a DVD drive bay would have been nice. Having to pile external drives on top of the case somewhat negates the advantage of the small form factor.


And I haven't used an optical drive of any kind with any of my Ataris for more than 10 years now. SD-cards, USB and network will provide me with all the storage I need. I have 15 or 16 computers in my house and garage, only one of them has a DVD...
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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby Dal » Sat Jan 29, 2011 9:13 pm

I have to agree with Jo, I can't say I see much need for optical myself when you have flash storage and Ethernet capabilities. I think the solution could still look sexy with a minimalist case with the form factor that supports stacking of external drives for those who need it.

Just need to ensure the form-factor for the firebee itself is the right dimensions for a 5 1/4" standard drive bay really. That way similar peripheral cases can be supplied that stack and form a 'tower' for those who desire it.

Scalable and fits all IMHO...
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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby Mathias » Sun Jan 30, 2011 10:54 am

The enclosure we will offer first had one big aim; to be as small as possible. So we got a enclosure that is minimal bigger than two 3 1/2" HDs. It will include a speaker, some extra LEDs, the Compact Flash card, place for internal USB-Device like WLan (if someone will ever write a driver), a small hole for ribbon cables if someone really needs to use pin headers, and if noone has a veto inside the active ACP team, we will also add a 2 1/2 " HD rack and a Sata connector. And it will be cheap - what concerns a custom enclosures.

But this case will not fit to anything else like a 5 1/4 " bay, or something. Remember, some people demand Floppys, some demand DVD drive bay, others like a full 3 1/2" bay for HD etc. But people even throw in a Veto, when I asked for making is 3-5mm higher! So this is our first solution - and it's the smallest possible one. Other Mini-Enclosures or Mini-Towers are also possible easily DIY like lp pointed out. And for sure we will offer other solutions later. But letś go step by step, and do not demand an all-in-one device suitable for every purpose. If you really like other solutions, get active, or wait till we can offer them ourselves.

Pictures will follow soon, and I am sure several of you will be very happy.
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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby Dal » Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:18 pm

Dare I ask if there's any word on when Firebee shipping will commence? :wink:
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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby Mathias » Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:05 am

Dal wrote:Dare I ask if there's any word on when Firebee shipping will commence? :wink:


He dares, ... :mrgreen:

No, of course;
We had two huge unsolved question in December.

1) The Flash software for updating TOS and BaS (Basic System) in ROM in the future without the need for special hardware
2) PIC code implementation. That is important as the PIC is also responsible for power, and so if something goes bad with flashing the PIC, the FireBee can not be powered on agin, and has to be sent to MCS.


So I did a small "unofficial survey" at atari-home, and everyone told "better wait some more months than having an unfinished product".
As we are still waiting for the PIC code on that Alan is working hard, and a FLash software (or at least a proove of concept), we will not start with shipping soon.
Also some users demanded, we should make a real startingpoint for shipping, when the improved 68k handler (recently FireTOS uses cf68klib) and the preinstalled MiNT for endusers is ready. I like the idea to start with "annoncement that shipping for end-customers started", new homepage, pressrelease, several ready to go configurations, and maybe a huge release party. ;)

The recent status is the following: If you can develop or absolutely aware that you are Beta-tester, and if you are familiar with JTAG and BDM cables you can immediatly have your FireBee. More and more people already got their machines. But fulfilling usage as standard machine takes its time, and I cannot promise how long. Also I had to learn, that free projects have their own resistance agains future plans and time scedules. I put too much pressure at some developers. That's why my promise "shipping to endcustomers end of 2010" was partially wrong. Well I got a well working FireBee at home since beginning of December, and I am no developer. But I don't think that it will make you happy recently - if I am wrong, just send us a mail, and your FireBee will be shipped immediatly.
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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby Dal » Mon Jan 31, 2011 2:40 pm

Good news, I agree with the Atari-home feedback. It's better to hold the official shipping back until the product is ready and most importantly, unilaterally supportable (same methods for flash TOS/BaS updating).

I could cope with having the FireBee now (from a technical perspective), however it sounds like I need to invest a lot of time getting it going and will need to keep up with the beta packages until the release. Also, again a time thing, I can not bring anything to the project in terms of resource so it would not benefit anyone else for me to have a FireBee straight away. So on balance, I'll wait unless my schedule changes!

However, if the opportunity exists for developers reading this to get their hands on one, then I urge them to consider whether they can invest time in the project to bring it to fruition.

Mattias - am I right in thinking any changes from now will be software? The hardware is already prepared for more 'sophisticated' methods of flashing etc?
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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby Mathias » Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:53 pm

Dal wrote: however it sounds like I need to invest a lot of time getting it going
No, It works out of the box. Fredi is delivering always with latest Bas, FireTOS and EmuTOS, so there is nothing to do.

Complicated are known limitations. For example recently CompactFlash card starts to get errors with our IDE driver. Sometimes if you write 250MB sometimes after 50MB. In every case you are not allowed to delete anything with a Linux computer at this FireBee Compact Flash card. But every 2nd or 3rd day I have to reformat it with a Linux Box, ... that would ba annoying for customers, but it is ok for me as tester.

Dal wrote: and will need to keep up with the beta packages until the release.
Well, that's true, and Didier is blowing out new FireTOS versions all the time. He made one at 29th of December with implemented EHCI, at 30th of December with improved video capabilities, at 2nd of January for BDOS (32k cluster sice -> 2GB partitions) and at 2nd of January evening a improved version, 7th of January a ethernet enabled version, ... ;)

Dal wrote: However, if the opportunity exists for developers reading this to get their hands on one, then I urge them to consider whether they can invest time in the project to bring it to fruition.
Everyone is welcome, just contact us in the case you feel you can contribute.

Dal wrote: am I right in thinking any changes from now will be software? The hardware is already prepared for more 'sophisticated' methods of flashing etc?
Yes you are. Since September the hardware is ready. We had that 2 problems; the PCI failure at the first 24 boards which was fixed by hand, and the small issue we found with USB power why we need an extra capacitor connected to the battery - no real problem.

The hardware is ready. But the software is unlimited. For example, the ACSI or SCSI Pins could also become the Falcon DSP bus, if someone would care about it, and describe the VHDL and write some switching ACC for making one PIN-Header something else ;)
But recently we care about the necessary software which will assure that everyone can update the FireBees by hisselve without the possibility to kill anything. ;) The next steps are implementing necessary parts like, improved Floppy, Blitter in VHDL, better USB, ...
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Re: Firebee (ACP) - Let's make it a REAL success!

Postby Dal » Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:03 pm

Thanks Mathias (and huge apologies for mis-spelling your name in my previous post).
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