little optimistic???

on-topic Acorn-related news and discussions not covered by the other forums
mr-macrisc
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:35 pm
Contact:

little optimistic???

Postby mr-macrisc » Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:50 am

For a collection only and a description that has very little hardware/software info. I just have a feeling the asking price for collection only may be a tad optimistic. Or is it just me? :shock:

https://m.ebay.co.uk/itm/Acorn-RiscPC-7 ... Sw~kJagGB6

User avatar
geraldholdsworth
Posts: 321
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2014 9:42 pm
Location: Inverness, Scotland
Contact:

Re: little optimistic???

Postby geraldholdsworth » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:19 pm

Should be listed under both LOL PRICE and LOL DESCRIPTION.

"Probably the best RiscPC 700 deal ever!" ???? £1200 ????
Gerald Holdsworth
Repton Resource Page
www.reptonresourcepage.co.uk

mr-macrisc
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:35 pm
Contact:

Re: little optimistic???

Postby mr-macrisc » Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:26 pm

geraldholdsworth wrote:Should be listed under both LOL PRICE and LOL DESCRIPTION.

"Probably the best RiscPC 700 deal ever!" ???? £1200 ????


You ain't joking.. Love how it says how amazing hardware list and software list is with zero mention of any highlights from it. would say at auction, as pick up only, he'd get £300. Unless of course its a kinetic viewfinder abd has sib 7 and piles of other stuff that's really hard to find

Commie_User
Posts: 982
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:50 am
Contact:

Re: little optimistic???

Postby Commie_User » Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:57 pm

It's reminiscent of the Amiga 4000. I'm not holding this to ridicule or anything but these command a lot: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/amiga-a4000/ ... SwMl9aeO8U

For that kind of money, I don't see the point. The original Archimedes, Atari ST or Amiga computers were special and unique but the last models were essentially more PCs in the end. Might as well get some old Pentium if you're spending £1200 - but on the other hand, I'm maybe missing something obvious. :lol:

User avatar
danielj
Posts: 5600
Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2008 4:51 pm
Location: Manchester
Contact:

Re: little optimistic???

Postby danielj » Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:22 pm

I confess I really don't understand the amount people are spending on RPCs at the moment - they're not exactly brilliant for games (although there are ways around this), and if you want "productivity" you may as well use an Raspberry Pi :D (actually, games-wise, if it runs on the RiscPC, chances are it'll run on a Pi now thanks to ADFFS). That said, I appreciate there are some nostalgic/musiccy uses, but surely not enough by enough people to justify the amount people seem to be wishing to bid them up by..?

d.

mr-macrisc
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:35 pm
Contact:

Re: little optimistic???

Postby mr-macrisc » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:08 am

Don't think its retro or optimism i think few remaining suppliers can ask a good piece as much fewer for sale now. They probs sell off one to older composer who uses it professionally or industry/factory who built a control/industrial system around one and simply need a replacement there and then and to them as simply a professional tool £395/400ish is nothing.

Reckon odd seller sees the £400 buy it now ones and looks at cond and size of bundle they have to offer and want silly money based on it.

Either that or wife "requested" they kid rid of some of old.computer "crap" cluttering house and the husband is making a concerted effort for it not to sell.

As with everything they have also gone past the a lot died due to caps failing/leaking, batteries, other issues so getting rare. But just cos a company that needs to make money and does so by always having what someone needs in stock at a price doesn't mean a private auction is worth anywhere near that.

Also a b lookin a7000 up for a similar silly price £5-600ish iirc

User avatar
trixster
Posts: 539
Joined: Wed May 06, 2015 11:45 am
Location: York
Contact:

Re: little optimistic???

Postby trixster » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:51 pm

Commie_User wrote:It's reminiscent of the Amiga 4000. I'm not holding this to ridicule or anything but these command a lot: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/amiga-a4000/ ... SwMl9aeO8U

For that kind of money, I don't see the point. The original Archimedes, Atari ST or Amiga computers were special and unique but the last models were essentially more PCs in the end. Might as well get some old Pentium if you're spending £1200 - but on the other hand, I'm maybe missing something obvious. :lol:


The final Amigas were nothing like PCs of the same generation, and neither were the Ataris of the time.

There is no practical point to retro-computing other than the pursuance of a hobby that you enjoy.

The Amiga 'scene' is similar to the Acorn one in that the prices of original hardware have sky-rocketed over the last 7 years. This is due to us 30-40-50 somethings now having cash to buy back our old systems to satisfy the nostalgia itch. The Amiga was incredibly popular in Europe and has a cult following in Amierica, so stuff on ebay at LOL-price still sells. The higher end Amigas are becoming scarce so the premium for a non-varta ruined one has increased, plus scalpers are aware they can buy, hoard and sell on 4 months later for a tidy profit. It's sad but the market allows it to happen.

The other thing to be aware of with the Amiga scene is it still has actually companies producing new hardware for it, such is the relatively decent size of the market, and the very easily configurable WinUAE emulator makes dipping a toe back into Amiga gaming very easy to achieve.
A3020 | A3000 | BBC B + 128K RAM/ROM + 20K Shadow + Pi0 + VideoNuLA
BBC Master Turbo + DC | Atom | A1200 060 | A500 | Jaguar | A420/1
A4000/040 060 | Atari Falcon 060 | Saturn | PS1 | SNES | CPC6128 | C64 | 3DO | MD

Commie_User
Posts: 982
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:50 am
Contact:

Re: little optimistic???

Postby Commie_User » Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:55 pm

I totally agree that retro computing is for the fun of it and I'm not invalidating anything. Where the goal is to have the most turbocharged machine from a defunct range, it's a joy to behold. My goal is tinkering with chiptunes and playing with old composition software with features they don't have now - on a budget - so paying £1200 wouldn't appeal to me. Especially where the Steem Engine or WinUAE extends my 16-bit experiences past the base models I own.

From my perspective the Amiga 4000 is more like a PC than a micro because of the things you can do on a good one, like encoding MP3s, browsing the Web or watching DVDs. Music and video processing is also possible and so in themselves, these activities can be achieved for way less money with a beige box, though the architectures are chalk and cheese.

crj
Posts: 522
Joined: Thu May 02, 2013 4:58 pm
Contact:

Re: little optimistic???

Postby crj » Sat Feb 17, 2018 12:25 am

trixster wrote:There is no practical point to retro-computing other than the pursuance of a hobby that you enjoy.

There is also the heritage aspect, which is quite important to at least some of us. It would be good if anyone who wanted to in 2082 could still look at a BBC Micro.

Commie_User
Posts: 982
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:50 am
Contact:

Re: little optimistic???

Postby Commie_User » Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:25 pm

How tricky will that be by 2082? With all the servicing an old micro needs, is it still going to be an authentic computer when it's had four new handles and twelve new heads? Increasingly, they are making components new now, there in the enthusiasts, so I'd be very interested to see how all this pans out by the time I've my jimjams on and am ready for a box.

I like the heritage. And just the pleasure of keeping a run of old PCs busy doing current stuff, like session recording with the period flavour of sounds or movie playing, just like the Amiga guys in fact.

User avatar
1024MAK
Posts: 7012
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2011 4:46 pm
Location: Looking forward to summer in Somerset, UK...
Contact:

Re: little optimistic???

Postby 1024MAK » Sat Feb 17, 2018 5:20 pm

Well, if the current production CMOS 65C02 CPUs and 6522 chips last as long as the older NMOS parts, it is certainly possible...

In the industry where I work, we maintain electrical equipment that was designed in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s...

Mark
For a "Complete BBC Games Archive" visit www.bbcmicro.co.uk NOW!
BeebWiki‬ - for answers to many questions...

Commie_User
Posts: 982
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:50 am
Contact:

Re: little optimistic???

Postby Commie_User » Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:20 pm

In that case, I think there's an outsized biscuit tin with your name on it, full of new and old chips to last us many nuclear winters. But for the rest of us, it's sure to be an uphill struggle because scarcity breeds high prices and I'm not sure too many of us can second-guess which components could be discontinued next week.

Without industrial suppliers, is it actually possible to affordably fabricate each and every part of a BBC or Commodore 64 within a cottage industry?

paulb
Posts: 798
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:02 pm
Contact:

Re: little optimistic???

Postby paulb » Sat Feb 17, 2018 9:13 pm

Commie_User wrote:Without industrial suppliers, is it actually possible to affordably fabricate each and every part of a BBC or Commodore 64 within a cottage industry?


Given that there are custom ICs in these machines (the ULAs in the Beeb, Electron, and so on; the SID and VIC in the C64, I guess), people have already needed to investigate alternative methods of replicating them. That is one reason why people have been interested in remaking these chips and have tried to keep them faithful to the originals.

One can discuss whether doing things with CPLDs or FPGAs, where complexity demands, upholds authenticity, but then if you have to put such a replacement part in an original machine and still have things work, there are constraints that effectively validate the replacement as being sufficiently similar on a functional level to be regarded as authentic. At least if you acknowledge that no-one is going to fabricate the original using the technologies of the day or something acceptably equivalent. Well, until technology progresses to the point where you can have a "home fab" or something suitably "science fiction".

(Also, having looked for old parts online, I rather suspect that some of them may well be reimplementations. It wouldn't surprise me at all if some "enterprising" individuals were already making use of freely-available implementations of some chips, programming FPGAs, and then packaging them to look like classic IC packages.)

User avatar
1024MAK
Posts: 7012
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2011 4:46 pm
Location: Looking forward to summer in Somerset, UK...
Contact:

Re: little optimistic???

Postby 1024MAK » Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:01 pm

The price of 1980s and 1990s computers may be high and still going up at the moment. But as time goes on, it is possible that the demand may wane. After all, most people who missed them when at school are not likely to be very interested in them. And some of those people who are buying them to recreate their memories, or because they could not afford them back in the day, will loose interest after a while, and then sell them on. The prices of such computers on eBay may then level off, or maybe fall a little.

So although the numbers of working machines is likely to fall, for the people still interested in using them, I'm sure we have many years of 8 and 16 bit computing left :D

Mark
For a "Complete BBC Games Archive" visit www.bbcmicro.co.uk NOW!
BeebWiki‬ - for answers to many questions...

User avatar
1024MAK
Posts: 7012
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2011 4:46 pm
Location: Looking forward to summer in Somerset, UK...
Contact:

Re: little optimistic???

Postby 1024MAK » Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:09 pm

Some of the chips available on eBay are actually pulled chips from existing equipment.

From just looking at it, it's hard to tell if someone has put a modern chip in a form that looks like an older existing DIL chip.

The main problem is that some existing chips are being remarked,having their pins retinned and then sold as new. For example, some NMOS 6 or 8MHz Z80 CPUs are being marked as 20MHz CMOS parts and then sold on eBay...

On this very forum, there are reports of the same thing happening with NMOS 6502 CPUs being sold as CMOS types...

Mark
For a "Complete BBC Games Archive" visit www.bbcmicro.co.uk NOW!
BeebWiki‬ - for answers to many questions...

crj
Posts: 522
Joined: Thu May 02, 2013 4:58 pm
Contact:

Re: little optimistic???

Postby crj » Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:27 am

The 6502 was originally on an 8 micron process.

Today, hobbyists can send a file to China. A couple of weeks later, they will receive a PCB which is, in effect, 80 micron.

By 2082, you wouldn't even need to use programmable logic to replace any broken chips in a Beeb; you could use discrete components on a tiny circuit board and 3D-print a DIL package to enclose them. (-8

Commie_User
Posts: 982
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:50 am
Contact:

Re: little optimistic???

Postby Commie_User » Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:52 pm

1024MAK wrote:The price of 1980s and 1990s computers may be high and still going up at the moment. But as time goes on, it is possible that the demand may wane. ... The prices of such computers on eBay may then level off, or maybe fall a little.


I think the old machines will be like the radiograms now, that the only ones you could buy for anywhere near decent money will be worn out, broken and bashed up. We've had the days where you couldn't even give pristine models away and we're seeing this busted computer sales model already.

Like with antiques/bric-a-brac, I think we'll see a trader-dominated market, however many times the same machines will be recycled among loving collectors. Again, we're seeing this now. So I suppose when it comes to restored or easy to restore collections being passed along, I think we'll see a return of user groups and closed communities giving people the best bargains and advice by 2082. Nothing else will work by then or will be too expensive in the antique class.

User avatar
sydney
Posts: 2036
Joined: Wed May 18, 2005 9:09 am
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Contact:

Re: little optimistic???

Postby sydney » Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:22 pm

1024MAK wrote:The price of 1980s and 1990s computers may be high and still going up at the moment. But as time goes on, it is possible that the demand may wane. After all, most people who missed them when at school are not likely to be very interested in them. And some of those people who are buying them to recreate their memories, or because they could not afford them back in the day, will loose interest after a while, and then sell them on. The prices of such computers on eBay may then level off, or maybe fall a little.

So although the numbers of working machines is likely to fall, for the people still interested in using them, I'm sure we have many years of 8 and 16 bit computing left :D

Mark


I think Mark is almost 100% right here. Once everyone who wants a system owns a system demand will not wane but will disappear. To quote a news program featured in Micro Men:
Sales of the spectrum have slumped. In December 1983 every child wanted one for Christmas and by December 1984 every child who wanted one had one.


https://youtu.be/XXBxV6-zamM?t=4118

The number of systems available - though only a fraction of what was manufactured - will still be far more than the number of people who want one, particularly for the beeb as most people interested in computers only experienced beebs at school and probably had a spectrum or C64 at home.
We just happen to be in a period of peak demand right now as it's fashionable.

User avatar
Lardo Boffin
Posts: 802
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:47 am
Contact:

Re: little optimistic???

Postby Lardo Boffin » Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:06 pm

I have wondered a number of times recently what will happen to my collection when I no longer go brrr-beeep in the morning? Hopefully it will be a number of years from now but I suspect if it is then this will be the period of little to no demand.
This train of thought started when I happened across an unbuilt ZX81 kit and wondered whether to build it. The consensus on here was not to as they are so rare. But if I don’t build it then it will probably end up in a skip in 40 years having never been used as a computer. What a waste!
Its already a sad sight on eBay - ‘these belonged to my (parent) no longer with us. I know nothing about them’.
Given that few people will collect them I suspect nothing good lies in their future. I am of course trying to get my kids interested but will they be bothered enough to keep them theough house moves etc.? I am because they have meaning to me. To others who knows?
I wonder how many people bought a beeb off eBay and didn’t have one / use one as a kid? Obviously traders / refurbishers aside.
BBC model B 32k issue 4, 16k sideways RAM, Watford 12 ROM board, Retroclinic Datacentre + HDD, Viglen twin 40/80 5.25" discs, acorn cassette, Acorn 6502 coproc
BBC model B 32k issue 7, turboMMC, Opus Challenger 3 512k, Pi 3 coproc
BBC Master

Commie_User
Posts: 982
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:50 am
Contact:

Re: little optimistic???

Postby Commie_User » Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:39 pm

sydney wrote:
I think Mark is almost 100% right here. Once everyone who wants a system owns a system demand will not wane but will disappear. To quote a news program featured in Micro Men:
Sales of the spectrum have slumped. In December 1983 every child wanted one for Christmas and by December 1984 every child who wanted one had one.


We just happen to be in a period of peak demand right now as it's fashionable.


I'm not sure that quote applies for us today but I still see a tiny but fierce market later on, though. There should be less demand overall for fewer machines. But I'm convinced there will always be a hardcore band fighting over anything left. You get this with musical equipment, like old amplifiers.

And when the dogs outlive their masters, I would hope museums would be keen to take them on. At least until the next run of cuts, there must surely be places to take them on as heritage relics. Time for the as-yet unborn garden shed eccentrics to rally to the cause too.

User avatar
trixster
Posts: 539
Joined: Wed May 06, 2015 11:45 am
Location: York
Contact:

Re: little optimistic???

Postby trixster » Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:50 pm

Commie_User wrote:From my perspective the Amiga 4000 is more like a PC than a micro because of the things you can do on a good one, like encoding MP3s, browsing the Web or watching DVDs. Music and video processing is also possible and so in themselves, these activities can be achieved for way less money with a beige box, though the architectures are chalk and cheese.


Sorry to come back to this but I still don't quite agree. The two "high end" classic Amigas - the 3000 and 4000 - that arrived in 1990 and late 1992 were much closer to their Amiga 1000/500 heritage than to the multimedia PCs that followed in the mid-late 90s. They shared similar custom chip architecture, had faster processors and better expansion capabilities, but they were a long way off being capable of playing MP3s, browsing the web or watching DVDs. Workbench 3.1 was a great multitasking desktop operating system but it wasnt fundamentally different to the origianl workbench 1.2 that shipped with the A500. The 3000 had a 25mhz 68030; the top end 4000 had a 25mhz 68040 which managed about 18mips - not a slouch for the time but no better than the desktop Arcs or a 25mhz 486. It is true that as the 90s progressed the 4000 (and the basic 1200) received 3rd party PPC upgrades that brought the multimedia of which you speak a little closer, but Phase5 did not release their PPC board until 1997, and by that time the Amiga as a modern platform was pretty obsolete in the wake of 'cheap' PCs outfitted with pentiums and 3dfx cards.

Music and video processing was well within the realms of A500 and A1000 owners with a suitable genlock / soundcard or sound capture device. A4000 owners just has better flexibility and choice due to the machine's expansion bus. The 3000 and 4000 had exactly the same stock sound hardware as the 1985 original.

My 'current' high end Amiga 4000 needs a 3rd party hacked Sonnet 400mhz G3 pci card in order to seamlessly play mp3s and watch 640x480 video - "encoding MP3s, browsing the Web or watching DVDs" is within it's grasp but it wasnt until 2016 that a clever bloke in Belgium managed to get this working! There is no way on earth a 1992 Amiga 4000 could get anywhere close, and that's why I place the final classic Amigas closer to their 16 and 32bit peers than the multimedia PCs of the mid-late 90s.

In my opinion the A4000 is a souped-up A1000 with great expansion capabilities, but in stock form it is not quite a PC-equivalent. I guess it just goes to show how advanced the A1000 was when it was released in 1985 (and that was blown away by the Arc A3000 in '87)!
A3020 | A3000 | BBC B + 128K RAM/ROM + 20K Shadow + Pi0 + VideoNuLA
BBC Master Turbo + DC | Atom | A1200 060 | A500 | Jaguar | A420/1
A4000/040 060 | Atari Falcon 060 | Saturn | PS1 | SNES | CPC6128 | C64 | 3DO | MD

paulb
Posts: 798
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:02 pm
Contact:

Re: little optimistic???

Postby paulb » Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:19 pm

trixster wrote:The 3000 had a 25mhz 68030; the top end 4000 had a 25mhz 68040 which managed about 18mips - not a slouch for the time but no better than the desktop Arcs or a 25mhz 486.


Now that we have the benefit of hindsight, it is interesting to see how similar the fates of Acorn and Commodore were at the start of the 1990s. I remember various Usenet discussions at the time where people were happy to point out (either objectively or for advocacy point-scoring) how Acorn's Archimedes generation of machines were needing a revamp, with the 480K video memory limit and the ARM3 being the pinnacle of performance.

But I also remember how various advocates for the Amiga were promising a great future with the 68060 and another generation of video hardware. I didn't realise at the time that Commodore had already revamped their video hardware at least once, but I suppose that it would have been necessary given the time the A1000 was introduced. However, I guess no-one amongst these advocates got the memo that the 680x0 series was running out of road.

It's interesting to read crj's posts here about Acorn and ARM in such a context, though. I guess the ARM600 and ARM710 gave Acorn a bit more road, plus overdue architectural improvements in the Risc PC series of machines helped to keep them somewhat competitive. It is fair to say that without DEC's StrongARM, Acorn would have gone the way of Commodore much sooner, and I suppose one can argue that the StrongARM-based Risc PC was Acorn's only machine to deliver a level of performance needed to do the kinds of things people were doing on commodity hardware.

But, of course, Acorn neglected floating point arithmetic support, leaving the A7000+ as their only machine in the Risc PC series (architecturally) that did this in hardware, and that at a much slower clock frequency. Not much help if you're doing MP3-related things towards the end of the 1990s.

trixster wrote:I guess it just goes to show how advanced the A1000 was when it was released in 1985 (and that was blown away by the Arc A3000 in '87)!


With those machines, despite them being two years or so apart (the original Archimedes series, not the A3000 which was released in 1989 but can be counted as an Archimedes series machine), we see two architectural directions in contrast: developing special-purpose capabilities to address the needs of the time versus developing general-purpose capabilities and aiming to deliver performance improvements across the board. Commodore (and Atari, in some projects) tried to race ahead using special-purpose hardware only to see their lead evaporate, but this is a commonly recurring theme in computing.

User avatar
trixster
Posts: 539
Joined: Wed May 06, 2015 11:45 am
Location: York
Contact:

Re: little optimistic???

Postby trixster » Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:53 pm

Absolutely! Commodore failed for a whole bunch of reasons (corporate greed, mismanagement, you name it) but one of the most annoying ones was its habit of resting on its laurels - the amazing (for the time) Original Chipset (OCS) was only slightly improved with the Enhanced Chipset (ECS); the Advanced Graphics Architecture (AGA) chipset of the A1200 and A4000 was only incrementally better than the originals. The commodore R&D dep had some great concepts for future chipsets (AA+, AAA, Hombre), Ranger etc and had the designs for A3000+ with a clever DSP ready to go prior to the launch of the A4000, but commodore's marketing men were more interested in pushing out the same old stuff that had already been leapfrogged by the consoles and the burgeoning PC market. All very sad :(
A3020 | A3000 | BBC B + 128K RAM/ROM + 20K Shadow + Pi0 + VideoNuLA
BBC Master Turbo + DC | Atom | A1200 060 | A500 | Jaguar | A420/1
A4000/040 060 | Atari Falcon 060 | Saturn | PS1 | SNES | CPC6128 | C64 | 3DO | MD

Commie_User
Posts: 982
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:50 am
Contact:

Re: little optimistic???

Postby Commie_User » Mon Feb 19, 2018 6:51 pm

trixster wrote:My 'current' high end Amiga 4000 needs a 3rd party hacked Sonnet 400mhz G3 pci card in order to seamlessly play mp3s and watch 640x480 video - "encoding MP3s, browsing the Web or watching DVDs" is within it's grasp but it wasnt until 2016 that a clever bloke in Belgium managed to get this working!


I saw that kind of thing in a Youtube video and referenced that memory.

Amiga and Archimedes came first with mulitimedia, as seen when Commodore lorded it at the Amiga launch with Andy Warhol making live photo art of Debbie Harry. So I suppose making the Amiga more like a modern PC is amazing in itself but when you spend too much money, my personal choice is to run the less costly format.

User avatar
1024MAK
Posts: 7012
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2011 4:46 pm
Location: Looking forward to summer in Somerset, UK...
Contact:

Re: little optimistic???

Postby 1024MAK » Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:20 pm

trixster wrote:Absolutely! Commodore failed for a whole bunch of reasons (corporate greed, mismanagement, you name it) but one of the most annoying ones was its habit of resting on its laurels - the amazing (for the time) Original Chipset (OCS) was only slightly improved with the Enhanced Chipset (ECS); the Advanced Graphics Architecture (AGA) chipset of the A1200 and A4000 was only incrementally better than the originals. The commodore R&D dep had some great concepts for future chipsets (AA+, AAA, Hombre), Ranger etc and had the designs for A3000+ with a clever DSP ready to go prior to the launch of the A4000, but commodore's marketing men were more interested in pushing out the same old stuff that had already been leapfrogged by the consoles and the burgeoning PC market. All very sad :(

The same could be said for various other computer manufacturers. Of course, there is something else to consider: some computer manufacturers had often discovered previously that bringing out an upgraded machine with improved hardware did not always bring success. Especially if there was some loss of compatibility. With machines that improved on an existing machine that had sold really well, the software industry would often only produce products that would work across the range - that is on the "base" machine, but not take (much, or any) advantage of the extra hardware

With Acorn, we have the BBC B+ and Master 128 which don't have that much (games) software written to take advantage of the extra memory and hardware.

Sinclair brought out the ZX Spectrum 128k, but it did not sell that well. So there were very few games that made use of the extra features. It was not until Amstrad brought out the ZX Spectrum +2 and large numbers were sold, that the situation changed. And even then, the vast majority of games sold were still for the 48k machines. Even better, try finding games that were released on a +3 disk...

Same story with the Amstrad CPC vs. CPC+ machines (although these were a bit late in the day).

The Atari STE faired a bit better. But even though sales were okay, not by that much STe software appeared, as there were already so many ST/STF/STFM machines still in use.

I'm sure there are many other examples...

And Commodore had already had disasters when they had brought out the C16 and Plus 4 machines (which were totally incompatible with the C64).

So you can understand that the "easy" option was not to change too much while the current machines were still selling. Of course, the sales started to fall away, and then the income level falls, leaving less money to spend on development and production of the "next generation" machines...

Ultimately, I don't think Commodore or Atari could have ever held the PC tide back for very much longer even if they had produced much improved machines.

And now, with Microsoft messing everyone about with modern Windows OS not liking older software and hardware, part of the very reason for the PC compatibles becoming popular (err, "cheap" and easy because they were compatible with so much software and hardware), we don't really have much choice with which hardware architecture to buy and use.

The world of computers was, and always will be non-logical :lol:

Mark
For a "Complete BBC Games Archive" visit www.bbcmicro.co.uk NOW!
BeebWiki‬ - for answers to many questions...

paulb
Posts: 798
Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:02 pm
Contact:

Re: little optimistic???

Postby paulb » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:30 pm

1024MAK wrote:With Acorn, we have the BBC B+ and Master 128 which don't have that much (games) software written to take advantage of the extra memory and hardware.


I think that most people missed or ignored the BBC B+ - I don't think I was even really aware of it at the time - and the Master series was largely seen as Acorn rolling out a somewhat more substantial refresh of a five year old machine that didn't answer any questions about how Acorn was going to respond to the 16-bit machines. And the peak for games development activity for the Beeb, in terms of number of titles, may have been 1985 or even earlier. I guess a quick database query of the games archive database would give us that answer.

Of course, some of the best games came out later on, and games like Exile did support the Master 128, but those games were perhaps more like labours of love than the kind of commercial opportunism that produces large numbers of games.

1024MAK wrote:Sinclair brought out the ZX Spectrum 128k, but it did not sell that well. So there were very games that made use of the extra features. It was not until Amstrad brought out the ZX Spectrum +2 and large numbers were sold, that the situation changed. And even then, the vast majority of games sold were still for the 48k machines. Even better, try finding games that were released on a +3 disk...


"The Amstrad Story" is interesting when it comes to how the Spectrum was repackaged. The objective was arguably to make a more cost-competitive product and to employ the same kind of integration that Amstrad had already employed for the CPC, with a proven demand for the machine even alongside Amstrad's other products, helped by the huge games catalogue.

Under such circumstances, customers were probably happy enough getting a more reliable product (maybe some of them had seen their original Spectrum wear out!) and maybe the number of new machines wasn't enough to tempt developers into making enhanced games. However, given that people hadn't really taken advantage of the features of the CPC machines when porting games from the Spectrum, maybe there might have been some scope for doing some relatively low-effort enhanced games for the +2 and +3 models.

But the Spectrum was a cash cow for Amstrad, really. No need to invest in new titles, as was done for the CPC, because everything was already there. Really just a simple matter of whether they could sell them at a given price point and make them cheap enough to turn a good profit.

1024MAK wrote:Same story with the Amstrad CPC vs. CPC+ machines (although these were a bit late in the day).


I think that like the acquisition of the Spectrum assets, doing the CPC+ was some low-effort opportunism on Amstrad's part, perhaps combined with the urge to offer some kind of console having seen other companies making money in that business. I don't think Amstrad's computing operations had any coherent direction at that point, though.


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests