Bodega Bay

SkydivinGirl

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Wow! There's someone selling an A500 with a Bodega Bay on the other bay. It's in the USA. Too bad there's no Buy it Now option. I remember wanting one of those quite a while ago.

Did anyone here ever have any experience with these? It seemed like the ultimate "A500 to A2000" type conversion. It was probably plagued with problems.

Heather
 

Justin

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  • expansion chassis
  • a large metal box with plastic faceplate, sitting behind and overhanging the A500 - overall it's a bit larger than an A2000
  • only the A500's keyboard and floppy are exposed
  • connects to the side expansion port - no passthrough connector
  • four Zorro II slots
  • three ISA slots inline with the top three Zorro slots
  • cards are mounted horizontally
  • the Zorro expansion bus is buffered, closely emulating the A2000 bus design
  • two 5.25" front drive bays
  • one 3.5" internal drive bay
  • optional mounting kit for installing a California Access CA-880 external floppy drive internally - the drive is connected to the A500's DB23 external floppy connector
  • 200 watt internal power supply with monitor power connector
  • power and hard disk activity LEDs
  • does not give full A2000 capabilities to the A500 - it lacks CPU and video slots
 

Kin Hell

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T'was the 'mutts-nuts' back n the A500 days. :nod:

Kin
 

Shoonay

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Never heard about it, so did a search run on ebay.com and, uhmmm... is that it? :unsure:

I know a guy who'd like that, but he's not exactly into Amiga's... literally... not... :dry:
 

Jumping Anaconda

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I remember this device being reviewed in Amiga Format and being advertised for months on end. It is quite a unique design in that it saves the hassle of dismembering your A500 to get the slots, but you end up with the keyboard in a fixed position in front of your case.

Were the ISA slots ever used by anything? Were there any other expansions, apart from bridgeboards, which actually provided the Amiga side with ISA slots?

---------- Post added at 23:31 ---------- Previous post was at 23:27 ----------

Somehow I had missed the fact that bix Box Amigas tended to come with ISA slots. What was the point of that? What peripherals ever used them?
 

rkauer

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^Shoonz: :rofl3

---------- Post added at 23:34 ---------- Previous post was at 23:32 ----------

I remember this device being reviewed in Amiga Format and being advertised for months on end. It is quite a unique design in that it saves the hassle of dismembering your A500 to get the slots, but you end up with the keyboard in a fixed position in front of your case.

Were the ISA slots ever used by anything? Were there any other expansions, apart from bridgeboards, which actually provided the Amiga side with ISA slots?

---------- Post added at 23:31 ---------- Previous post was at 23:27 ----------

Somehow I had missed the fact that bix Box Amigas tended to come with ISA slots. What was the point of that? What peripherals ever used them?


Bridgeboards, then adding ISA cards from PC or Mac world: ethernet, video, etc.

Also useful for video people: time base correctors use the slots for powering.
 

Jumping Anaconda

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I am quite suprised that they were not much exploited on the Amiga side beyond their use as a handy way to draw power. Seeing as ISA connectors were the industry standard, it would have made sense for drivers to appear for Amigas for a lot of hardware, particularly IO cards. I can not say I have come across a lot of Amiga ISA drivers (or any come to think of it) although I am sure a few must exist. Could this be Commodore letting down the side yet again by failing to badger the hardware companies to provide support?

---------- Post added 27th January 2010 at 00:01 ---------- Previous post was 26th January 2010 at 23:57 ----------

Oh, right now I am starting to get the picture. The big box Amigas had the slots, but did not have an ISA bus...

Typical great thinking from Commodore. If you are going to do a job, why not do it half done. I mean, these were premium machines. Honestly, it is madness.
 

rkauer

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Not exactly: C= sold three versions of bridge boards to activate the ISA slots: XT, 286 and 386sx.

The 16 bit ISA have some drivers to use boards on the Amiga side through the bridge: mostly Ethernet, serial/parallel and some video cards. Check on Aminet.
 

Firthy2002

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Oh, right now I am starting to get the picture. The big box Amigas had the slots, but did not have an ISA bus...

Part of the ISA specs is that the host machine must have an x86 processor, hence the need for a bridgeboard.

No such restriction for PCI, AGP et al.
 

Jumping Anaconda

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If you include slots that only work when you add a card that is effectively a completely different and competing system, it somewhat undermines the use of the original system. Is it really a suprise that the business world never took Amigas seriously? From my point of view, it looks like the marketing team wanted a machine that had ISA slots, whether they worked or not. It would have made much more sense to provide the slots as an option on a plug in board.

ISA only needs an x86 for cards that need DMA. I would guess that the cards that have drivers for use through the bridgeboard would not require DMA (such as the Etherlink III 3c509 - of which I have one lieing about). Commodore could have provided out of the box access to many useful cards through those slots.

Seeing as video was one of the major serious applications of the Amiga, and how an easily path to ethernet access would have been a major benefit when intergrating the machine into studio setups, it would have made a huge amount of sense for Commodore to make standard ethernet cards easily accesible to big box Amiga users. Even better, they could have built ethernet ports into the machine. They could have covered the cost by removing the ISA slots that were useless to 99% of the machine's users.

I mean, honestly, if you were looking to be selecting a machine to buy in bulk for your office, and you were at the stage where you could decide about software and you were not dependent on Windows or Macs what would you do? Would you go for the machien that you could build a network around by adding one card, or would you go for the machine where you could either use some overpriced custom card, or add a card that contained one of your other options and then still required the card you needed for the other machine to get to where you needed to be?
 

AndyLandy

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I believe the ISA slots were provided with the CBM bridgeboards specifically in-mind. There were a lot of business-types who would ignore a machine that wasn't 'PC-compatible' so this was CBM's solution. Providing the ISA bus on the host system is fairly inexpensive, and it means that you can expand your bridgeboard with extra peripherals.

@rkauer I don't think Macs ever had ISA slots. The old 68k Macs had 'NuBus' slots. I think they switched to PCI for PowerPC but there may have been some overlap.
 

Jumping Anaconda

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I believe the ISA slots were provided with the CBM bridgeboards specifically in-mind. There were a lot of business-types who would ignore a machine that wasn't 'PC-compatible' so this was CBM's solution.

Exactly, just a I said, the marketing guys got a machine that superficially had ISA slots, and they did not care that they did not actually work. Marketing would have come and said "We want a machine that has ISA slots, this is essential for a big box business targeted machine". Engineering would have come back and would have said "Yes we can do this, but it will cost this much." Marketing would have back and said That is too much, just put the slots on there, don't worry if they work or not".

Providing the ISA bus on the host system is fairly inexpensive, and it means that you can expand your bridgeboard with extra peripherals.

I would challenge this notion that the ISA bus could be inexpensive in the Commodore interpretation of the word. We are talking about the guys who stopped Jay Miner putting empty sockets in the A1000 so the user could easily upgrade their machine to 512k, because they were concerned about the cost of the sockets (3c each). The ISA element of the A2000 would have been vastly more expensive than that.

It would have been easy to add the ISA slots via a daughterboard (perhaps one that comes with the bridgeboard peripheral). Although I understand that the A3000 has it's ISA slots on a daughterboard, and they still did not make it an option. It is just buffoonary, a complete and utter joke. Commodore made critical mistakes with the Amiga line, particularly peripherals. Sticking pointless ISA slots inside their premium machines is certainly one of those critical mistakes. It is like they are saying "we have to bow down to the superior, established IBM compatibles in our design... oh but we are worthy contenders..."

The fact is that when the A2000 appeared, IBM compatibles had not actually established an unassailable dominance in the workplace. There were still some businesses that were making decisions about what their next generation machines would be. And at that point in time, you did not actually need to be compatible to run the applications, you could have got away with having applications that were compatible with common IBM file types. If they had put together a machine which had built in networking abilities, a small hard drive to hold the operating system (or maybe even network booting) and CP/M support, the Amiga would have been a really proposition in the workplace, and probably would have attracted the mega product development it had so little of.

At that time what did ISA slots do? Hold graphic cards, network cards, and hard disk controllers. That was pretty much it. The Amiga negated the need for a graphics card and they could have easily have removed the need for hard disk and network cards too. Commodore were critically short-sighted in this regard.
 

SkydivinGirl

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I had a bridge board in my A4000 and put a blazing fast 33.6 ISA modem in there because the internal ISA was much cheaper than the external. Unfortunately, everything I uploaded using the modem ended up being corrupted somehow. I took the ISA modem back and spent the extra on the external.

I'm sure the problem could have been resolved, but it was more of a pain than it was worth.

:)

Heather
 

chiark

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I think the one that was pimped so much in the UK was the Checkmate Digital 1500 rather than the bodega. I wanted one of those so, so, so much...

My bridgeboards are all on the way to arnljot, and I wish him best of British (and Norwegian) luck with them :D
 

Tahoe

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I've got one of those Bodega Bays. Bought it half a year ago, new in box (yes, you read that right!). Came from the old C= headquarters in the Netherlands.

It's a really nice expansion for the A500, unfortunatly nu CPU slot, and no Videoslot. Apart from that, it does offer 4 Zorro slots which seem quite compatible!

For a CPU upgrade you could go for just about anything that goes in the CPU socket, like a Derringer.

Monitor fits nicely on top of this box :)
 

rkauer

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Pictures of a "new" Bodega Bay can be a dream for Amiga Hardware Database & Big Book of Amiga Hardware.

Even here, to sake Zetr0's pr0n addiction.:)
 

Tahoe

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Thanx, I do... :)

I'll try and shoot some more pictures soon, including the box, and the inside of the machine...
 

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SkydivinGirl

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Wow! That is a nice piece of kit there. Yes, please, share more pictures. :)

Heather
 
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