Technology and things that withered on the vine. - No grapes, just whine.

Clown College

Lemme beat them cheeks girl!
kiwifarms.net
This dual graphics card talk reminded me of Lucid Hydra, the concept was that you could pair any two GPUs from either Nvidia or AMD and they would work together to increase graphics performance. The chips were put on a few motherboards but the performance was poor and the cost was high. Doesn't seem to be much else from them past 2012, according to the linked Reddit post they were bought out by Intel and promptly buried. Seemed like a cool idea for the time just needed more work.

 

tehpope

Archivist
True & Honest Fan
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I wasn't around for it, but the story of the CED is pretty interesting. Shit withered on the vine for about 30 years before it even made it to market. Technology Connections did a five part series on it that I can't recommend enough.

The only good thing about CED was how cheap it was. Laserdisc did everything CED did and better, plus wouldn't wear down from playback.
 

AmpleApricots

kiwifarms.net
Transputers (no, not tranny computer touchers) fast but simple CPUs that could be hooked up with each other to parallelize tasks. The whole system was very flexible and the idea was to basically replace complicated system components with transputer chips that could then be shifted according to task into different operational states and you could even network systems into one big multicore machine. Wanted more performance? Just add transputers. That was in the late 80s to early 90s mind you. They were quite powerful and had some interesting features like a simple, inbuilt RTOS and sort of a serial communication protocol that would cause no CPU overhead. Sadly also very expensive and weird to program and besides some scientific applications, they did not see a lot of action and just sorta got forgotten as conventional CPU designs kept getting faster and faster, not needing clever solutions. Back then though they seemed like the future. I guess at least in a way it was true, we do parallelize a lot these days.

Even more unsuccessful were Transmeta (there's a name theme going on here) CPUs. They were simple 128/256 bit VLIW (very long instruction word) processors that' would run the x86 code (and theoretically other architectures) via interpreter software loaded into RAM via firmware that then would optimize it's translations with time depending on the code run. Wanted to add a new instruction set or fix bugs in it? Just change the software. The idea was that this was very power efficient (the CPU core was very simple in design, all the complexity would happen in the software layer) and flexible regarding updates to the emulation layer, even running different architectures. Also the CPU could leave all the x86 kludges behind, being optimized for pure throughput. Also the optimization the software did was advertised a lot. The were actually 2 generations of transmeta CPUs and they did end up in commercial products like notebooks and thin clients as they were really power efficient, didn't dissipate a lot of heat (passive cooling via small-ish heatsink was often enough) and were about as fast as mid-range Pentium 3s. They fell behind quickly performance-wise though and just weren't successful or interesting compared to much more powerful CPUs around at the time and the company only really was around for the early 00s. Linus Torvalds was also involved in it. Somebody reverse-engineered how that "code morphing" software worked and you can google it, it's interesting if you like to read about that kind of thing.
 

Pissmaster

True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Physical buttons are going to be the next loss on smartphones and I can tell because of how inherently uncomfortable they make the power and volume keys now. Apparently you can pop out the Samsung Galaxy Note 9's power and volume keys like Legos independent from taking apart the frame.

You have Meizu forwarding the exceptional teardrop phone with no buttons or ports.
There's already one phone without volume buttons, you double-tap the side and then slide a bar on the touch screen. It's awful:

Speaking of dual graphics if you go back and find pictures of the prerelease PS3 from some of the expos it was featured at you'll notice it had a pair of HD ports for what reason who knows maybe they were dabbling in dual screen capability.
Xbox Ones all have two HDMI ports, but that's for a passthrough function so you can use it in conjunction with your cable box. That's about all it's good for. It introduces input lag if you try to hook up another system through it.

As much as the PS3 was touted as an all-in-one media center when it was new, I always figured it was for that.

How about 3D tvs in general? New models are no longer being designed.
I once read something about 3DTVs being ideal for homemade virtual pinball tables, considering how good they looked from different angles. I've wanted to find one for that purpose.

It's a shame 3D support isn't just a thing built into every new TV like so many features are, I'd use it from time to time.
 
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Smaug's Smokey Hole

no corona
kiwifarms.net
Speaking of dual graphics if you go back and find pictures of the prerelease PS3 from some of the expos it was featured at you'll notice it had a pair of HD ports for what reason who knows maybe they were dabbling in dual screen capability.
Boomerang PS3 was supposed to be a media hub/router, think back to 2004 and this not only made sense but was an ambitious idea, it originally had three HDMI ports(iirc?) and a couple of ethernet ports. It would have been the heart of the home, so to say, especially if you get a cell-powered fridge to power the rear view mirror on the second screen you're playing Gran Turismo on. Kutaragi had some wild ideas that they cut back on, he's a legend that now shares a cell with Yu Suzuki.
 

TaimuRadiu

Kaiserin
kiwifarms.net
I wasn't around for it, but the story of the CED is pretty interesting. Shit withered on the vine for about 30 years before it even made it to market. Technology Connections did a five part series on it that I can't recommend enough.

Check out VHD, which was the same thing only not shit.

 

garakfan69

Mentally Enabled Schizoposter
kiwifarms.net
Microsoft Instaload.
A really simple and cheap way to let you insert batteries any way around.

This could've stopped any need to ever worry about battery polarity.
But it's been a decade and I have yet to see any product that actually uses it - probably because Microsoft demands too much money to use their patented technology.
 
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Robert Sanvagene

Level 9 Microsoft Certified Techneesheean
kiwifarms.net
Amiga.

The rest of the computer industry had only just caught up to it when Commodore filed for bankruptcy in 1994. Of course the only reason why the rest of the industry was able to catch up at all was because of Commodore's appalling mismanagement under Mehdi Ali. Under Ali, the Amiga's development effort was so gimped that the original 1985-spec Amiga architecture didn't get an update until 1992, and even then it was evolutionary rather than revolutionary.

I guess we should be grateful that at least a few of Commodore's outposts, most notably Commodore UK, understood the Amiga well enough to market it very effectively. Were it not for that, the Amiga may have sunk prior to Ali getting the opportunity to completely drive Commodore into the wall.

Some examples of how much of an exceptional individual Mehdi Ali was ... in the early '90s, Commodore employed 40 engineers to work on IBM-compatibles, yet only 7 engineers to work on the Amiga. Even I can see it would have made far more sense to rebadge another OEM's IBM-compatibles and redeploy those IBM-compatible engineers into the Amiga engineering team. Although what do you expect from company who was still trying to squeeze blood out of the C64's 8-bit stone at late as 1991?

Meanwhile, if you really want to get the feels, former Amiga engineer Dave Haynie posted a video to YouTube called "The Deathbed Vigil and other tales of digital angst" ... it's all camcorder footage he took when Commodore closed down. Once you've got the sads on over that, watch a couple of talks/interviews with Dave Haynie and/or Commodore UK's head honcho, David Pleasance. That'll give you the full story as to why Mehdi Ali is a swear word among hardcore Amiga fans.
 
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Smaug's Smokey Hole

no corona
kiwifarms.net
Amiga.

The rest of the computer industry had only just caught up to it when Commodore filed for bankruptcy in 1994. Of course the only reason why the rest of the industry was able to catch up at all was because of Commodore's appalling mismanagement under Mehdi Ali. Under Ali, the Amiga's development effort was so gimped that the original 1985-spec Amiga architecture didn't get an update until 1992, and even then it was evolutionary rather than revolutionary.

I guess we should be grateful that at least a few of Commodore's outposts, most notably Commodore UK, understood the Amiga well enough to market it very effectively. Were it not for that, the Amiga may have sunk prior to Ali getting the opportunity to completely drive Commodore into the wall.

Some examples of how much of an exceptional individual Mehdi Ali was ... in the early '90s, Commodore employed 40 engineers to work on IBM-compatibles, yet only 7 engineers to work on the Amiga. Even I can see it would have made far more sense to rebadge another OEM's IBM-compatibles and redeploy those IBM-compatible engineers into the Amiga engineering team. Although what do you expect from company who was still trying to squeeze blood out of the C64's 8-bit stone at late as 1991?

Meanwhile, if you really want to get the feels, former Amiga engineer Dave Haynie posted a video to YouTube called "The Deathbed Vigil and other tales of digital angst" ... it's all camcorder footage he took when Commodore closed down. Once you've got the sads on over that, watch a couple of talks/interviews with Dave Haynie and/or Commodore UK's head honcho, David Pleasance. That'll give you the full story as to why Mehdi Ali is a swear word among hardcore Amiga fans.
The Amiga was amazing but it had a good run. Even into the early 2000's it was used for TV at some broadcasting channels. It wouldn't have survived much longer, like Apple and SGI they would have to abandon the 68k architecture. Apple went PowerPC, SGI went MIPS, both weren't sustainable in the long run so they both started using x86.

I don't like the idea of the Amiga turning into a PC but developing a PC-compatible was in a way a decent decision, they could potentially have done the Apple thing where they sell a common hardware on the merit of their operating system.

What they completely bungled was the console side, the C64 console was a disaster created by morons, CD-TV was too early but also dumb, the CD32 had potential. One of my dumb 'what if' scenarios is that they released it 18 months later, bumped it to a 030 at 40-50mhz in there, 6MB of ram, didn't make the controller upside down and added bumpers. It would be a completely different beast than the PSX and Saturn, stronger in some areas weaker in others, the games made for it would have to be something different. It would be the continuation of the Amiga legacy in that it was something where weird things were done.

This is something that feels Amiga+
 

3119967d0c

"a brain" - @REGENDarySumanai
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Microsoft Instaload.
A really simple and cheap way to let you insert batteries any way around.

This could've stopped any need to ever worry about battery polarity.
But it's been a decade and I have yet to see any product that actually uses it - probably because Microsoft demands too much money to use their patented technology.
I mean in fairness if you are capable of working out that you need to put batteries in thing to make thing work, you're probably smart enough to get man to put batteries in thing to make it work- regardless of whether you're too dumb to get the compartment open or follow the molded instructions.
 
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garakfan69

Mentally Enabled Schizoposter
kiwifarms.net
I mean in fairness if you are capable of working out that you need to put batteries in thing to make thing work, you're probably smart enough to get man to put batteries in thing to make it work- regardless of whether you're too dumb to get the compartment open or follow the molded instructions.
It can be annoying at times - like the polarity is only marked with a relief on black plastic that's barely visible and both contacts are flat.
Just whacking them in there without even having to glance at it is an obvious improvement.
 

AmpleApricots

kiwifarms.net
As much as I like the Amiga - and I have tons of old Amiga hardware I collected from old jobs etc. when it was still "junk" I can't even fathom how many thousands of dollars I have in some boxes, I never checked - - indeed, I still use one, unexpanded, "boring" Amiga sometimes:

The Amiga had lost the race before it really ever began and there was no way it could compete with the open architecture that were the IBM compatibles. It was outpaced pretty early on, as clever as the whole architecture was. I agree that even with a genius at the helm it would've gone the same way Apple did, at best. Apple Computers are basically PCs with an expensive logo and a custom Unix. Same would be the Amiga now, if it still was around.

The 90s saw an incredible amount of cost cutting through both incredibly cheap designs, high numbers and higher integration in the PC hardware market. You had gargantulan PC-Mainboards with "TTL-Graves" sucking on the +5V rail like there was no tomorrow replaced with tiny boards where one little chip did everything that was 4x times faster just two years later. That's the kind of development pace you get when dozens and dozens of companies compete against each other on the free market. The Amiga had never the ecosystem or openness for it. Even something basic as graphics cards was never supported by the OS itself and relied on 3rd party hacks. Then the Amiga had never the massive numbers the IBM compatibles did, making the platform uninteresting for 3rd party developers. I've personally known engineers that worked on a Amiga graphics card, they were a dinky engineering bureau in Germany and that was pretty much what you had with 3rd party hardware developers regarding professionalism. The solution on their graphics card was a graphics IC made for PCs (because nobody would spin custom ICs for such a small market like the Amiga) interfaced with some custom PAL glue-logic that emulated the PCI Bus and then "translated" for Amigas' Zorro. Would be a lot easier today but for the 90s it was quite a feat on that budget, difficult to pull off and prone to error, and it was because I remember that thing had timing issues trough the roof. Also was sold with semi-defective RAM from the lowest bidder. (yeah the owner of the company was also kind of a dick, but don't tell anyone) Then the Zorro Amigas themselves wer frought with Bus problems Commodore never really fixed. Zorro III (kinda the PCI of the Amiga world) was buggy in-chipset and is to this very day because basically only one person worked on it, Zorro II was slow and, thanks to cost-cutting measures Commodore was famous for, was really noisy in the cost-reduced B2000 to the point where a Commodore technician back in the day advised us to try out different types of bus drivers on their mainboards so we could get it stable with our own expansions. And we did, hand-selected some 74xx logic, and it worked! It's something any hobby engineer could figure out with tools at home these days but terrible back then. To do the comparsion again: Apple simply did not do this shit. The old 68k Apples were wonderfully put together machines, engineering-wise. I loved the Pizzabox-Apples. It's kinda ironic that these are worth nothing to collectors these days, because they are superior machines and with all the nostalgia I have I have to also admit that most Amigas were kinda garbage engineering-wise, especially when you started interfacing 3rd party stuff.

The bare-metal programming (which Apple smartly strongly disapproved of) then sealed the deal, you changed something on hardware level and your software didn't work anymore. Aforementioned graphics card? Wouldn't work with graphics software available at the time because it directly spoke to the chipset. Who needs the card then?

Then on top of that the 68k architecture is a complicated beast. x86 was a lot dumber but also simpler in some regards.

The Amiga chipset was cool in the 80s and all and I do think it was important it was there and had some really cool concepts I still find cool today but later on there was better stuff elsewhere and it's not a wonder it died. Apple did a lot of things a lot better and almost died too.

I attached a pdf for the nostalgia-ridden that might or might not float around out there that talks about Commodores future options internally late on in their fight for survival. With hindsight it was all pretty hopeless.
 

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Smaug's Smokey Hole

no corona
kiwifarms.net
Seems VR keeps withering and coming back.
On the general video game evolutionary timeline I think VR is approaching the NES-era. So much of the vr software up until this point have been Atari-like in that the games are very basic and have one move/action and that was it, that was the game. In Pong the player is so locked in that there's not even room for dumb strategies or desperation moves, you can't rush the opponent, hog the puck or slap it far up the field to get some breathing room. In Ice Hockey on the NES that was possible and that was a very primitive hockey game. A lot of the things in VR reminds me of old Atari games like that and while it's getting better there's still a long way to go.

I also think the "rules" of what they can't do in virtual reality is holding it back.
 

XYZpdq

fbi most wanted sskealeaton
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Amiga.

The rest of the computer industry had only just caught up to it when Commodore filed for bankruptcy in 1994. Of course the only reason why the rest of the industry was able to catch up at all was because of Commodore's appalling mismanagement under Mehdi Ali. Under Ali, the Amiga's development effort was so gimped that the original 1985-spec Amiga architecture didn't get an update until 1992, and even then it was evolutionary rather than revolutionary.

I guess we should be grateful that at least a few of Commodore's outposts, most notably Commodore UK, understood the Amiga well enough to market it very effectively. Were it not for that, the Amiga may have sunk prior to Ali getting the opportunity to completely drive Commodore into the wall.

Some examples of how much of an exceptional individual Mehdi Ali was ... in the early '90s, Commodore employed 40 engineers to work on IBM-compatibles, yet only 7 engineers to work on the Amiga. Even I can see it would have made far more sense to rebadge another OEM's IBM-compatibles and redeploy those IBM-compatible engineers into the Amiga engineering team. Although what do you expect from company who was still trying to squeeze blood out of the C64's 8-bit stone at late as 1991?

Meanwhile, if you really want to get the feels, former Amiga engineer Dave Haynie posted a video to YouTube called "The Deathbed Vigil and other tales of digital angst" ... it's all camcorder footage he took when Commodore closed down. Once you've got the sads on over that, watch a couple of talks/interviews with Dave Haynie and/or Commodore UK's head honcho, David Pleasance. That'll give you the full story as to why Mehdi Ali is a swear word among hardcore Amiga fans.
I remember seeing the cable scroll channel with the TV listings crash and reboot occasionally and it ran off an Amiga
 

Pargon

Hitler died, my mother also died
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
MD as a physical audio format. Had a foothold in Japan but never seemed to catch on in the West. Same reason as others have given about floppys, etc. Obsolete now thanks to phones but imagine the chaos rewritable audio disks could wreak on today's music industry. If it came back tomorrow a dozen CEOs would shit their pants.
 
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