-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [joeCARD eNews] AmiJOE- remarks (fwd)
Date: Thu, 01 Apr 1999 14:31:03 +0100
From: Wolf Dietrich 
Reply-To: wd@gf.phase5.de
Organization: phase 5 digital products
Newsgroups: comp.sys.amiga.misc
References: <1.759T21T11003027paul.may@mcmail.com>

> Subject: [joeCARD eNews] AmiJOE- remarks
> Date: 31 Mar 1999 15:31:31 GMT
> From: "Stefan Domeyer" 
> Organization: Metabox Infonet AG
> To: joe-ml@mail.metabox.de

> * List: joe-ml@mail.metabox.de

Subject: Comment on [joeCARD eNews] AmiJOE- remarks
Date: 01 Apr 99
From: Wolf Dietrich
Organization: phase 5 digital products

> What "stuns" me ....

> We are very glad to see that our recent announcement of the
> AmiJOE G3 processor upgrade for the AMIGA contributes not only
> to the ongoing discussion about the future of AMIGA, but also to
> the design efforts of other companies. Even in their approach
> towards potential customers and users of such products these
> people have started to think a little more customer-friendly. So,
> maybe it=B4s time to release some more educational stuff.

What stuns me is to see that obviously there are companies in the
market, who see it as their goal to educate others - a very certain attitude.

> Our AmiJOE 1200 is certainly meant for the majority of loyal
> Amigans still using one of the most exciting sub-500-$ computers
> worldwide. But please note, that we do not provide the G3 solution
> to owners of a customized A1200 built into a big tower case. Our
> AmiJOE will fit into the regular keyboard-style case of the original
> A 1200. How do we do that? Engineering!

Leading-edge engineering is exactly what we had done 18 months ago
already, when we built the BlizzardPPC to fit mechanically into standard A1200
cases (of course, with today's much higher chip integration it is not an issue
to fit a G3 card into the regular A1200 case). And we have learned from the
feedback of the Amiga users, that there is no significant benefit from
that - although we actually provided a powerful 3D gfx card also, which
mechanically fits into the standard A1200 case. But we feel that the
next generation of powerful G3/G4 upgrades is only worth the investment the
user has to make, when it provides industry standard, up-to-date expansion

> The AmiJOE 1200 will have an expansion socket for a module also
> fitting into the regular A 1200, offering either USB or, without any
> difference in price, a Fast-SCSII 2 - connector. This module is part
> of the AmiJOE 1200 product and included in the price of 599 EURO.

We are very glad to see that the product update about our new G3/G4
generation contributes to the design efforts of other companies. We are
also interested to see the reactions of the other companies while we
continue to reveal information about the advantages, technical details
and specifications of our new product generation during the next weeks.

> AmiJOE 2000/3000/4000 will obviously be a little bigger in size, so
> it has USB on board. The PCI 2.1 - compliant connector will be
> ready to connect to another expansion card, the MultiJOE. At this
> stage, we don=B4t want to disclose too much information about the
> MultiJOE, since others should think up their own ideas. We are
> only going to let you know that MultiJOE will offer Ultra-SCSII and a
> complete grafics system, which includes 2D/3D, video-in and
> digitizing, alpha blending, genlock and flicker-reduction and AC-97-
> sound.

We'd recommend to name this product SuperJOE, once it is released.

> In the last couple of months, we have learned a lot from our
> microprocessor partners about G4 and Altivec. The major benefit of
> the G4 (PPC 7400) will be to handle up to 2 Mbyte of Backside
> Cache. It=B4s some waste of time making 1 MB BSC solutions with
> the G4, so we will stick to the G3 for now.

The statement, that the major benefit of the G4 would be to handle 2
Mbyte of Backside Cache, does not give me the impression that the author has
learned so much about G4 and Altivec. The major benefit of the G4 is
definitely the performance of the Altivec unit, which can accelerate
lots of operations - and we talk about all kinds of multimedia here - several
times compared to a regular G3. This will open a whole new world of
stunning applications which we feel is the real benefit of the G4.

> One important thing to
> understand is that this next generation of PowerPC isn=B4t ready to
> ship by the time we will start to deliver the AmiJOE to the market.
> As it becomes available, there will be another product, too.

It is our policy to inform the users now about the product range we will
be offering, so that they have the choice between all upcoming options. It
is not our policy to sell as many G3 upgrades as possible to Amiga users
quickly now, and surprise them with a new G4 product shortly after.

> Firewire maybe of interest for digital video editors, but its our clear
> vision that USB will bring a broad range of modern peripherals into
> the Amiga world. On the other hand, video work will bring much fun
> and productivity with the MultiJOE, and this will be a turn-key-
> solution without paying a fortune.

It is not only our, but the supported vision of the leaders in the
consumer electronics industry, that Firewire will become a standard for the
communication of digital devices. We are not talking about floppies,
mice, keyboards or other low-data-rate devices here.

> EURO pricing is rather new, but makes it very easy for all
> customers in Europe and the US to figure out their ticket into the
> G3 sphere. We appreciate that others will join these practices,
> adding also more transparency to the competition.

That is a reason why we have introduced EURO pricing for our Amiga and
Macintosh products quite some time ago. Since then our customers can
conveniently inform themselves about our international MSR price. But we

are also aware that the US$ is a most important and leading currency,
and that we owe it to the large number of US and International customers to
provide a MSR price in US$ as well, so that these customers have a
reference without being depending on the ever changing exchange rates.

> As we still don't ask for prepayments, it's good to support people
> who need this type of financials. And in this case, it=B4s very
> customer friendly to accept orders even without the prepayment,
> although they will have to pay a huge interest charge on top.

When we ask for prepayments, we build a partnership between the Amiga
community and us, and the participation of this partnership is rewarded
with a significant advantage for the Amiga user. And with the way we
handle it (over an account held by a notary), the users are protected that they
will get what they paid for within the promised time, or will be
reimbursed in full.

We wonder if such a partnership, which guarantess the user to get what
he has paid for,  is in any way worse or less honest than financing a
company by making people buy shares with lots of promises, such as building a
kind of next Amiga or being a fortress against the Wintel world, and later
changing the business model regularly, moving from Mac clones over
Wintel boxes to something completely different such as set-top boxes and
"content provider".

Oh, and changing a significant discount which the user can go for, into a
"interest charge on top" for the regular price, is nice rhetoric, but can
not hide that the customers of our products will get more for less.

> Time will tell about reality.

The leading processor upgrade, SCSI and gfx hardware technology for
Amiga, realized by phase 5, is reality.

The existance of PowerPC technology on the Amiga, realized by phase 5,
and the years of support which helped SW developers to create applications
for this technology, undertaken by phase 5, is reality.

The ongoing support and development for the Amiga, which resulted in the
continuous release of powerful hardware products through the last seven
years, realized by phase 5, is reality.

The prooven experience and commitment of phase 5 is reality.
Time will tell about your reality.

> Your's sincerely

> Stefan Domeyer
> President & CEO
> met@box AG

Yours sincerely
Wolf Dietrich

Wolf Dietrich, GM phase 5 digital products
wd@gf.phase5.de    http://www.phase5.de

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: JoeCard G3 now for AMIGA
Date: Thu, 01 Apr 1999 15:52:49 +0100
From: Wolf Dietrich 
Reply-To: wd@gf.phase5.de
Organization: phase 5 digital products
To: Thomas Tavoly 
Newsgroups: comp.sys.amiga.misc

Thomas Tavoly wrote:

> Can you tell us what the status of pre/box, A\box and Caipirinha are?
> (I do seem to remember that when the pre/box was announced the A\box was
> discounted in importance if not cancelled in so much words) If, as I
> presume, they have been completely cancelled, why has there been no update on this
> on the phase 5 webpages, or some kind of press release?

The A\box and Caipirinha was a great vision, and while it would need to
be updated today, the concepts behind it are still absolutely valid. Things like
e.g. the Altivec in G4 CPUs are - of course even more complex and now a reality - very
similar to what we had planned for the Caipirinha. Other products integrate other ideas
we wanted to realize. And when you look at the original specs of 1996, they would
still be up-to-date today (and also next year) if you add some decent 3D hardware
(of course, today for the same price you'd have 400MHz G3 instead of 150MHz 604,
64MB RAM instead of 16, and 12 GB HD instead of a small one).

But yes, we have failed to realize this project, this is true. Remember,
at this time back in the past, we (that means the players in the market) were
fighting a war of words in that market - many companies trying to become the successor of
Amiga, announcing lots of products which never made it to reality. In this
overall situation, we have not been able (especially in 1997) to realize the additional
growth for our company in the Amiga market, which would have been necessary to realize
the A\box; while we were actually strong in the market, shipping real products and
providing technology to the users, we were not strong enough to avoid that other
companies have drawn away attention and support to other announced projects. And yes,
the A\box project was demanding enough to require the full, (nearly) undivided
support of an Amiga community looking for a successor of their exisitng machine. We
still have technologies and building blocks of it at our hand, but we can't see a
way to make the A\box a phoenix.

The pre\box  has not been realized 1998, but been put back into the
drawer. But actually, this product could still be realized (in afct, we continued
with the design core of this product, in a different form and targeting a different
vertical market, and we are actually protoyping this other product these days). The big
question for the pre\box is the software, and while we got our OS3.1 license from
Amiga last year, the whole confusion (as we have seen it from the point of a commercial
developer) around OS3.5-5.0, PowerPC or not, and the magical mystery future after
the WoA London 98 have been reason enough to put development on hold.

Well, maybe we see better times at last...

> I have no trouble understanding why they have been cancelled or even the
> need not to brag about it, but quietly shuffling previously widely
> publicised projects under the table does not instill confidence in future
> announcements (even if a G3 card is more realistic).

This may be right, and we apologize for that by all our supporters who
are disapointed by that. When we have changed a lot of things last year, and also had to
put additional markets  into our focus, we simply didn't find the time to
communicate the changes in an adequate way. It is easy to cancel a product, but very
difficult to cancel a vision completely. And yet, we still have that vision in mind,
although it is a dream which's realization would require surprising changes which we
can't expect to happen - and which are outside our control.

Wolf Dietrich
Wolf Dietrich, GM phase 5 digital products
wd@gf.phase5.de    http://www.phase5.de

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: JoeCard G3 now for AMIGA
Date: Thu, 01 Apr 1999 14:59:58 +0100
From: Wolf Dietrich 
Reply-To: wd@gf.phase5.de
Organization: phase 5 digital products
Newsgroups: comp.sys.amiga.misc
<3700E9E8.C927901D@gf.phase5.de> <7dr8qm$365$1@news.rt66.com>

John Millington wrote:

> Mr. Dietrich, I think Randy Vice's comments are probably a bit more
> inflammatory than they need to be, but he does raise an issue that's on
> my mind too.

Yes, we understand that this is certainly an issue for many users. In my

posting, I just wanted to address the comparison which was made between us and
others. This of course doesn't make own unrealized products or delays better in any

> Back in the ancient past (1995), I bought a Cybervision 64.  It cost me
> about $600 US.  One of the reasons that I bought the card was that Phase 5's
> advertisements strongly suggested that certain addons (3D accelerators and
> MPEG decoding hardware) would become available later.  Those products never
> materialized.  I realize that in some respects, this was beyond Phase 5's
> control (e.g. S3 dropped support for the bus) but nevertheless, I didn't
> really get what I expected.  MPEG hardware is still just a pipe-dream, and
> I've switched to a different graphics card in order to eventually(?) get
> 3D hardware.

I am very sorry that we have not been able to provide the projected
add-ons. While I do not remember if we had a 3D upgrade in mind, I am aware that the
MPEG module was a major issue. I can assure all customers who have been waiting for
this product, that we have been trying to realize it for about 12 months or
so. As a matter of fact, we as a hardware manufacturer have ourselves been
promised support and glue chips for the S3 bus by S3 and another company, which never
realized. We have been as sad as the customers about that, as we had many many orders
for this product, and of course would have loved to release it.

> In 1996, I bought a Cyberstorm '060 Mk II without the CyberSCSI module.
> I am pleased with the product, and still use it to this day.  But the
> product was advertised as being able to handle speeds up to 80 MHz, and
> allegedly the CyberSCSI module doesn't work at high speeds.  If I were
> a CyberSCSI user and wanted to run my Cyberstorm at speeds higher than
> 50 MHz, I would probably be a little angry.  I'm not.  :-)  But some
> people are.  :(

The Cyberstorm MkII was not advertised to handle speeds of 80MHz, it was

designed to work with CPUs up to 66MHz (the CS MkI which had the CPU on a
separate module was announced to work up to 80MHz, of course by exchanging the modules).
But to work properly with 66MHz, there should be another revision of the RAM
controller logic on the board. We never released such a revision, as there have
never been full XC68060RC66 been shipping until late last year.

> Now I'm seriously considering either your new board, or MetaBox's.  Or

> maybe I'll back off on the idea of a PPC Amiga.  I just don't know. But
> one thing I do know: If Phase 5 accepts a pre-order deposit from me, you
> better not make any promises that you can't keep.  You're going to have to
> do a better job than you have in the past.

Our promise for a deposit is: The customer will get the product he has
ordered for a reduced price, within the promised time - or he will get his money
back. We do this in order to create a partnership between uns and our customers.
Here at phase 5, my partner Gerald Carda and I invest our own money into new products,
and we have decided to go for the next generation Amiga products. But we want
to get some necessary positive feedback, which we are getting now, to know that it
is the right thing what we are doing.

Another promise is, that we continue to make things better. We will
concentrate on the important issues, and we will invest our efforts to give the users
solutions. Some may say these are nice words only, but it is a goal that we are

> I still spend money on Amiga hardware.  If you want some of it, heed my
> words.  :-)

We will do that. I would be glad if we can prove this to you in the
future, and if we can welcome you among the users of our next generation

Wolf Diertrich
Wolf Dietrich, GM phase 5 digital products
wd@gf.phase5.de    http://www.phase5.de