Fwd: Re: Commodore 900

From: Zane H. Healy <healyzh_at_ix.netcom.com>
Date: Fri Apr 24 21:58:55 1998

Pardon my forwarding this from the "Team Amiga" mailing list, but I figure
some people here might find this very interesting.


>Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 00:54:25 -0400 (EDT)
>To: <teamamiga_at_thule.no>
>From: Dave Haynie <dhaynie_at_jersey.net>
>Subject: Re: Commodore 900
>MIME-Version: 1.0
>Sender: owner-teamamiga_at_thule.no
>Precedence: bulk
>Reply-To: teamamiga_at_thule.no
>On Thu, 23 Apr 1998 23:55:49 +0500, amorel <amorel_at_xs4all.nl> jammed all
>night, and by sunrise was overheard remarking:
>>> When Commodore Holland went bust, there stuff got sold to different
>> traders. At a fair in Nov. 1995, in Holland(HCC beurs) I bought an
>> interesting machine, called the Commodore 900.
>Cool! I would love to have one of those.
>The C900 was the Commodore "next generation" machine, before we bought
>Amiga. It had unfortunately been through a few different design teams
>before it really worked. I never worked on it -- I was on the C128 at
>the time. George Robbins and Bob Welland really got it going; the same
>guys who created the A500 architecture. The C900 was about ready to ship
>when we bought the Amiga. Commodore was hurtin' then -- we had been
>through four rounds of layoffs, the only time it got worse was in later
>'93/early '94 when they bought the farm. C= put everything behind the
>Amiga -- emotionally, in retrospect, the right thing to do. But I can't
>help but wonder if the C900 might not have gone gangbusters, especially
>in Europe. At the time, the only megapixel UNIX workstations came from
>Sun and Apollo...
>> The machine is a Unix workstation.
>It actually ran Coherent, a UNIX clone from Mark-Williams.
>> Inside there is a shitload of electronics. At least there's no room for
>> a lot more, like extension cards.
>Actually, it did take expansion cards, but kind of a novel design --
>they stacked, one on top of the other. If you've ever seen PC/104 cards,
>you'll get the idea. The 8563 chip, the 80 column chip in the C128, was
>originally designed as a "dumb terminal" display chip for the C900.
>Apparently, the idea was to have this chip, and a 6502 or some-such, and
>an RS-232 chip (like the 6551), togther in a character-based monitor,
>for cheap multiuser systems built up around the C900. There was also a
>blitter based graphics card (the built-in monochrome display has no
>blitter), with a Welland-done blitter (a bit more sophisticated in some
>places than the Amiga, for example, like AAA, it would work in real
>pixel coordinates, rather than offset/modulo).
>> The motherboard has Zilog 16 bit CPU (16 bit version of the Z80?)
>The Z8000. It wasn't a 16-bit version of the Z-80, but something new. It
>wasn't quite as cool as the 68000, since the model was definitely
>16-bit. But much better than the 8086/8088 of the time.
>> and one which might be scsi and more.
>The DMA chip on the A2090/A2090A controllers for the Amiga, was
>originally designed for this system.
>> The great thing is, it even works! :-)
>> Anyway, has anyone any info about this?
>You know pretty much what I know. I don't know if there's anything else,
>I can ask around, see if George has any details. Gimme a direct mail if
>you'd like to continue offline.
>> Until now I have not had any sign of anyone on internet who knows
>> about this.
>Rarer than the A3000+, I suspect. A definite collector's item.
>Dave Haynie | V.P. Technology, PIOS Computer | http://www.pios.de
>Be Dev #2024 | DMX2000 Powered! | Amiga 2000, 3000, 4000, PIOS One
> Buy my house! Take the tour at http://www.jersey.net/~dhaynie

| Zane H. Healy | UNIX Systems Adminstrator |
| healyzh_at_ix.netcom.com (primary) | Linux Enthusiast |
| healyzh_at_holonet.net (alternate) | Classic Computer Collector |
| For Empire of the Petal Throne and Traveller Role Playing, |
| see http://www.dragonfire.net/~healyzh/ |
| For the collecting of Classic Computers with info on them. |
| see http://www.dragonfire.net/~healyzh/museum.html |
Received on Fri Apr 24 1998 - 21:58:55 BST

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