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Ideas for a Combo V4SA/Pi4 Laptop/portablepage  1 2 

Mike Kopack

Posts 258
24 Oct 2019 03:22


For anyone who's interested, here's some of my thoughts on putting together a combination portable out of a V4SA and a Pi4.

Why both you ask? - Because I live in a condo and have limited space, and really could use both a Linux laptop and a portable Amiga.

I have a 3D printer and a Dremel CNC machine so I can make parts as needed for a simple-sh case.

I want a full size keyboard to be sure I have all the keys for various amiga games. That means that I will need a pretty big case, so might as well get a 17" display.

Network can be done through the switch and if needed I could set up the Wifi on the PI as a proxy.

I don't care too much about making it battery powered but will if I can figure out how.

EXTERNAL LINK


Adam A

Posts 64
24 Oct 2019 14:47


looks interesting, ive seen similar projects where a mister fpga +itx motherboard was used inside a laptop case, it was quite challenging and the project was abandoned after a while!

I hope it will look as easy as you mentioned




Stefan "Bebbo" Franke

Posts 126
24 Oct 2019 15:21


I'd use a switch without cables, to use short cables.
 
EXTERNAL LINK


Mike Kopack

Posts 258
24 Oct 2019 17:09


Stefan "Bebbo" Franke wrote:

I'd use a switch without cables, to use short cables.
 
  EXTERNAL LINK 

Problem is the vampireís USB ports. With them not being able to take a hub (currently) I need to use a kvm that switches 2 individual USB ports for mouse and keyboard.  Most kvmís have 2 input ports and then switch out to only a single usb on the machine sides.  We need 2->2.  But yeah it would be nice to find one with smaller cables. 


Gunnar von Boehn
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 4194
24 Oct 2019 17:27


Very Personally view of mine:
I would like an AMIGA laptop/portable.

But putting an Pi in the same case would instantly kill my interest.


Mike Kopack

Posts 258
24 Oct 2019 17:54


Gunnar von Boehn wrote:

Very Personally view of mine:
  I would like an AMIGA laptop/portable.
 
  But putting an Pi in the same case would instantly kill my interest.

Itís not for everyone but on the plus side to make it Amiga only just simplified things more. 

Part of it is I see the case having TONS of room given the keyboard and screen size so why not use it to have both?


Gunnar von Boehn
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 4194
24 Oct 2019 19:32


Mike Kopack wrote:

why not use it to have both?

Because - if I need to do professional work than ARM is totally useless for me. I need x86 to run serious software. ARM can not do this and would anyway be much to slow.

And if I want to have fun and enjoy - then I would like to use 68K and AMIGA - so again ARM is to me personally totally useless.

So to me very personally this combination makes not much sense.

And it adds complexity, extra effort and extra pieces like
switches /hubs that I don't need and which add extra possibility for failures.

I very personally would enjoy a pure AMIGA solution.
But this is my very personal view.


Martin Soerensen

Posts 230
24 Oct 2019 19:41


I like the way that two ARM cores were integrated into the ZZ9000 card:
EXTERNAL LINK 
It seems very Amiga-like to me that the 680x0 is still running things but you have the possibility of offloading certain tasks to the ARM cores (which even have DMA access to chip mem, so you could set one up to do C2P, H.264 decoding etc.).


Gunnar von Boehn
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 4194
24 Oct 2019 21:33


Martin Soerensen wrote:

It seems very Amiga-like to me that the 680x0 is still running things but you have the possibility of offloading certain tasks to the ARM

   
This idea is not new.
As you recall this was tried 2 times before already.
Those approached were called PowerUp and WarpOS and their idea was offloading to PPC.
   
As you recall this try was done at the very BEST time of the AMIGA development, when AMIGA had huge amounts of good coders.
And this first approach was done by really excellent AMIGA developers. Both excellent in HW and Software development.
   
How well did these tries before work out?
I have often heard people to sum this up as "Wasted efforts"
Little benefit, bad stability, not worth the money.

But maybe now on the 3rd try all will be different?
Who knows?



Mike Kopack

Posts 258
24 Oct 2019 22:24


Gunnar von Boehn wrote:

Mike Kopack wrote:

  why not use it to have both?
 

 
  Because - if I need to do professional work than ARM is totally useless for me. I need x86 to run serious software. ARM can not do this and would anyway be much to slow.
 
  And if I want to have fun and enjoy - then I would like to use 68K and AMIGA - so again ARM is to me personally totally useless.
 
  So to me very personally this combination makes not much sense.
 
  And it adds complexity, extra effort and extra pieces like
  switches /hubs that I don't need and which add extra possibility for failures.
 
  I very personally would enjoy a pure AMIGA solution.
  But this is my very personal view.

And that's fine... could just leave those elements out.

For me, I occasionally have the need for a small linux machine while on the go (mostly to do some ROS stuff) and while I often do so via a VM on my MacBook pro, it would be nice to have that from a PI....(or one of the other small board computers I have... geez, I swear they reproduce like Tribbles!)

Again, nobody says anyone following my project has to add those elements in. It's just a useful thing for me. The initial setup will be purely Amiga based (no switches, etc.) and only once I have it working that way will I add those in...




Rob M

Posts 49
27 Oct 2019 19:14


Mike Kopack wrote:

For anyone who's interested, here's some of my thoughts on putting together a combination portable out of a V4SA and a Pi4.
 
  Why both you ask? - Because I live in a condo and have limited space, and really could use both a Linux laptop and a portable Amiga.
 
  I have a 3D printer and a Dremel CNC machine so I can make parts as needed for a simple-sh case.
 
  I want a full size keyboard to be sure I have all the keys for various amiga games. That means that I will need a pretty big case, so might as well get a 17" display.
 
  Network can be done through the switch and if needed I could set up the Wifi on the PI as a proxy.
 
  I don't care too much about making it battery powered but will if I can figure out how.
 
 
 
  EXTERNAL LINK 

I'd suggest getting in contact with Hans De Ruiter.  He is designing a "chunky" laptop case for the Tabor.

After testing a number of LCD controller's he found one he satisfied with and it can be powered from USB which removes some complications.  He's also made his own battery pack which conforms to airline specifications. 


Mike Kopack

Posts 258
27 Oct 2019 20:30


Where could I find him? Facebook? EAB? etc. ???


ExiE CZEX

Posts 42
27 Oct 2019 23:08


Gunnar von Boehn wrote:

  This idea is not new.
  As you recall this was tried 2 times before already.
  Those approached were called PowerUp and WarpOS and their idea was offloading to PPC.
     
  As you recall this try was done at the very BEST time of the AMIGA development, when AMIGA had huge amounts of good coders.
  And this first approach was done by really excellent AMIGA developers. Both excellent in HW and Software development.
     
  How well did these tries before work out?
  I have often heard people to sum this up as "Wasted efforts"
  Little benefit, bad stability, not worth the money.
 

  This is a much simplified answer. There were more reasons why this technology failed like PowerUp vs WarpOS "kernel war", prices of the boards, rushed ports, limited C compiler support (WOS supported only StormC for quite along time) etc.

Also the first PPC cards were available in 1997/98, which was hardly best time of AMIGA development.


Wawa T

Posts 621
28 Oct 2019 00:07


these cards were too complicated and too expensive and have offered no improvement for existing software base. they were only useful for specific, especially compiled and therefore very few applications. i have refused them just to get one later, because it the system i bought was equipped with it, and it confirmed my worst expectations. except scsi is good. other than that - wasted effort.

if you want to pot some work towards such a solution, fine, so be it. but dont try to impose that upon people who apparently know what they do.

what concerns ppc, ultimateppc story is another example, why this is futile.

on the other hand, who wants arm accelerated m68k can wait till michal releases his arm jit emu for raspi, which expectedly will run aros68k and amiga apps within it. but thats another story.




Amiga 4Life

Posts 65
28 Oct 2019 01:00


EXTERNAL LINK 
  It looks good on paper, actual performance its not worth it.. the only real benefit is you get to run os4 on classic gear.. Amiga Os4 was goal at that time..its more work than fun, that's not the Amiga way...


Mike Kopack

Posts 258
28 Oct 2019 01:45


Ok I think you guys are misunderstanding what I'm thinking/planning...
 
  When I say "offload some tasks to the Pi" I mean - switch over to using the pi when I need to do more intricate Web browsing or Office tasks or things like that that I can't do reasonably on the Amiga currently. 
 
  MAYBE run a cross-compiler setup on the Pi and have the Pi's filesystem mounted by the Amiga through SMB so it'll be easy to move the files/data back and forth.
 
  MAYBE set the Pi up to expose it's wifi connection as a network proxy so the Amiga can get online via it (connecting the Pi and Vampire up over ethernet).
 
  I am NOT expecting to push processes to the Pi to execute ala A314 or what the ZZ9000 is doing...  Really consider them 2 individual computers inside the same box with some shared resources.

And it might not be a Pi4 - I also have a Udoo x86, and a Up2 board - both of whom have x86 processors onboard which can do a lot more than the Pi. But they also are both much more power hungry, but run standard Ubuntu linux 64 bit.

We'll see...

Like I said, first step is get the display driver and display worked out, find a KB and touchpad that will work with the V4. Once that's working, I can get a general size of the case figured out and then can start thinking about adding in the KVM, switch and Linux SBC machine and power for it all. I don't even necessarily need battery power - I just want something I can easily pick up and move or take with me when I go to my folks for a week or something like that, or use in the livingroom/bedroom while I'm watching TV.


Wawa T

Posts 621
28 Oct 2019 08:55


then use a dedicated ready to buy computer. why even bothering people who themselves design m68k related hardware with some extra demands, that would certainly add enormous complexity to the project, draining sparce human and financial resources and postponing other developments probably by years.

other that that you can probably build a siamese computer you envision yourself.


Mike Kopack

Posts 258
28 Oct 2019 19:43


Reading is a skill.....

If you read my first post, this is something Iím looking to BUILD for MYSELF.  Iím willing to share instructions, parts list, experiences doing it so if others want to try the same thing they can.

I am NOT looking to produce these to sell.  I am a maker. I tinker. This is just a fun DIY project to me, and itís taylored to MY needs and wants.  But it might give others ideas on how to do similar.


Wawa T

Posts 621
28 Oct 2019 21:45


Mike Kopack wrote:

  Reading is a skill.....
 
 

  might be i was too quick, i only visit briefly. apologise then. if thats so its fine effort.


Vojin Vidanovic

Posts 1432
28 Oct 2019 22:03


I see similar approach with some 060 + ARM accelerator.
  Should have e.g. option to offload mp3.
 
  OK, MHI driver for AmigaAmp could do it.
 
  Problem is, it introduces alien arch and interface.
  Spending development time on such drivers for little gains.
 
  Its far better, if Vamp continues to improve.
  Take 100Mhz+ performance now, live to see more.
 
  Its good enough for MPEG-2, 800x games, mp3 HQ etc.
 
  Real offload options would be 1080p DivX/matroska etc. but then again we have ARM devices in hands. I would rather wait for Vamp to reach such stages at 800-1Ghz point.
 
  A separate ARM VM Box in AmigaOS that could run Linux or Android or KaiOS ... would be something else.

This kind of idea Steve Imica has about Pi SIAMESE sys, contact him to see what he did.


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