I don't think I'm telling you anything you don't already know. But for me, it is frustrating to see someone post in the forum that they just got a console but they can't do anything because they don't have XB, or a PEB, or CF7, or anything else. Then they decide to give up on the 99/4A. Before Jon did the first Multi-Cart boards, very few people could make their own carts, and after he did his batches, you could not get them any more.
Same thing could be said about a Commodore, Apple, Atari, Color Computer, etc. They all need some kind of peripheral. The difference may be availability of the PEB versus a Commodore 1541 or an Atari 1050, but those of us in the forums can be of great assistance to newbies in terms of locating equipment or assisting in the acquisition.
For instance, my floppy controller came from someone here who just had it around as a spare and wound up not using it. I have a second PEB which I may never use, other than to convert it to an ATX power supply. And I know for fact that a number of us troll *.craigslist.org, and some even hoard equipment for potential future users if the price is right (usually free, amirite?)
If people want to make PEB cards, then I think that is great. Any new hardware is cool. But unless those cards and produced and made available as complete products, no body will ever have one except a select few, and there will be no software written that takes advantage of the new devices.
Good point. And as the community continues to dwindle, this will be more and more of a reality. Calling back to my Amiga roots, we are getting new hardware every so often because the community is still large enough to support doing so. But as emulation, AROS, MorphOS on MacMinis and the like, and so on become more pervasive, the "classic" hardware community will also dwindle to the point where new hardware is no longer feasible.
Well, it looks like I have started rambling on again. Personally I don't see the advantage of an IDE card, especially one that can only use older PATA drives, which are becoming very hard to find and buy (I'm talking about *new* drives, not digging up 6 year old stock somewhere or buying used on ebay.) And SCSI is a lost cause IMO. Hard drives fail, and the older they get, the worse they get. If there is going to be a new effort to make a mass storage interface, why not use a modern device on the storage side? Also, don't make it a PEB card if there is any hope of mass adoption. Then again, it does not make any difference at all, we are too few.
Your rambling is good fodder for thought, so do not cut yourself so low. About PATA (as they are called these days, which I dislike... whatever) drives, I can still get 160GB, 250GB, 320GB, and 500GB drives brand spanking new. Not much help to the TI world. But then, neither are modern SATA drives. And that is just about capacity. But, at the same time, old IDE drives are based upon much better technology*
and, with the right brands and models, have much lower failure rates. Price will become a problem as these become more scarce -- I priced out SCSI drives under 250MB a little while ago and saw prices in the $100s!
But, what about this: who says the card HAS to be PEB-specific? With the advent of new micro-controllers, FPGAs, and such ilk (of which heavy use is made in the Amiga world) we can make MUCH smaller cards. That said, what about small controller designs on cards which could be used on the side of the console OR in a PEB card adapter?
In the case of the IDE card, it could be made smaller and hold a CF card on the board. That card could be attached to the side of the console or mounted on an adapter card which fits in the PEB. Then a ribbon cable could be used to move the CF position to the back of the PEB, or wherever the user desires.
* To clarify, I mean older, more stable and proven in some cases. Standard parallel writing techniques on a stable drive can be more reliable than first-generation perpendicular recording. Of course, bearings age, and faulty electronics die.
Edited by OLD CS1, Wed Mar 9, 2011 3:54 PM.