Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 29th Nov 2005 21:42 UTC
Morphos "Genesi is pleased to announce the development of the 4U2 sub-laptop based on the EFIKA 5K2 reference design and the Freescale MPC5200B. The 4U2 will be produced in Asia and be available in Q2 2006. The 4U2 board can be deployed in a variety of configurations and uses and includes both mobile and WIFI wireless capability." More here. The price will be $299 (EUR 255), but may drop if demand is great enough.
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Slightly expensive.
by Anonymous on Tue 29th Nov 2005 23:51 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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For $799, I would rather buy a laptop.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Slightly expensive.
by Anonymous on Wed 30th Nov 2005 00:53 UTC in reply to "Slightly expensive."
Anonymous Member since:
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Where did you see $799? I didn't notice any price mentioned.

Reply Score: 0

Wow...
by truckweb on Wed 30th Nov 2005 00:06 UTC
truckweb
Member since:
2005-07-06

This small thing with nothing included cost more than a Mac mini...

Reply Score: 1

$299
by Rasmus on Wed 30th Nov 2005 01:36 UTC
Rasmus
Member since:
2005-11-12

$299 is very cheap! Search the ML and threads. :-)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Slightly expensive.
by Anonymous on Wed 30th Nov 2005 01:37 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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RE[2]: Slightly expensive.
by Anonymous on Wed 30th Nov 2005 01:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Slightly expensive."
Anonymous Member since:
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That is a link to the desktop, not this sub-laptop.

Reply Score: 0

What exactly is this
by jdrake on Wed 30th Nov 2005 01:37 UTC
jdrake
Member since:
2005-07-07

I read the links, and I still don't understand what this thing is exactly for.

I will be in the market for a laptop relatively soon, give it a 6 months to a year. Would I want this thing? I would preferably like something low powered enough that it lasts for quite a while that can run Linux or equivalent solution (Non-microsoft is preferable so I could run on CF if desired).

Reply Score: 1

Too bad
by ronaldst on Wed 30th Nov 2005 01:48 UTC
ronaldst
Member since:
2005-06-29

The thing won't be able to run Windows. I need XP to do serious work. ;)

Reply Score: 1

mono works
by Rasmus on Wed 30th Nov 2005 01:56 UTC
Rasmus
Member since:
2005-11-12

check it out. there is a ppc build.

Reply Score: 1

price, usability
by Anonymous on Wed 30th Nov 2005 02:05 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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I do not think that there is any reason to think that it should be expensive. In addition, what is "I need to use XP to do some serious work". Is there anyone serious thinking that "serious work" cannot be done by GNU/Linux? Please do some effort to learn more about open hardware, configurability abd felxibility of platforms such as ppc. It will be very much obvious why it is very important. I recommend strongly to check www.power.org and www.genesi-usa.com.

Thanks,


vedran

Reply Score: 0

RE: price, usability
by ronaldst on Wed 30th Nov 2005 03:14 UTC in reply to "price, usability"
ronaldst Member since:
2005-06-29

I said I NEED XP TO do serious work.

Please do some effort on your part to read carefully before humiliating yourself.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: price, usability
by joelito_pr on Wed 30th Nov 2005 03:53 UTC in reply to "RE: price, usability"
joelito_pr Member since:
2005-07-07

Can you explain what serious work you must do that can't use any other OS?

Reply Score: 1

v RE[3]: price, usability
by Anonymous on Wed 30th Nov 2005 03:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: price, usability"
RE[4]: price, usability
by joelito_pr on Wed 30th Nov 2005 04:02 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: price, usability"
joelito_pr Member since:
2005-07-07

Please, let's give him the benefit of doubt at least.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: price, usability
by A30Guy on Wed 30th Nov 2005 04:20 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: price, usability"
A30Guy Member since:
2005-07-06

He means that, in spite of any personal preference for or against open source software or hardware, his working circumstances dictate that he must use a particular platform. It's not necessarily a troll or a statement that X is better than Y.
Whether it needed to be said at all is another issue!

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: price, usability
by Anonymous on Wed 30th Nov 2005 10:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: price, usability"
Anonymous Member since:
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How about film compositing in Fusion?

No, Shake won't do. Lacks certain features. And doing work differently (and possibly uncomfortably), simply because you *want* to use another OS to run your tools on is - in the pro world at least - insane. Or plain stupid.

Or what about doing 2D animation linetests in Take5? I could use Take2 but the world moved on from classic Amigas a bit. Other available linetest systems are a joke.

No, they won't run in Wine. Neither of 'em.

Not everything has an equal outside of Windows. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing. Just use whatever you need.

Reply Score: 0

RE: price, usability
by Anonymous on Wed 30th Nov 2005 22:17 UTC in reply to "price, usability"
Anonymous Member since:
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> Is there anyone serious thinking that "serious work"
> cannot be done by GNU/Linux?

Orcad.

That's the main reason I opted for a PC laptop instead of the iBook I really wanted. Sure, EaglePCB works on Mac, Linux, and some people clain to have got an old Orcad version running on Wine for Linux. I couldn't get mine working in Wine, and those that did said you can't use the help system or it will crash. EaglePCB looks like it's good for hobbyists and lower-end professionals, but for some things it's not up to the task. The GPLed PCB tool also has too many limitations for my needs (grid resolution not fine enough for starters), and I was hoping to find it useful.

Perhaps someday either of those will meet my particular needs, but for the moment they don't.

Another thing I'd like to run on my laptop requires an x86 CPU, there is no equivalent for Mac or Linux-PPC. It's a small niche-market system simulator that I'd like to use so my software development tasks for the system emulated can be easily portable instead of being tied to my desk.

Reply Score: 0

EFIKA 5K2
by Seth Quarrier on Wed 30th Nov 2005 04:49 UTC
Seth Quarrier
Member since:
2005-11-13

Does anyone know if Genesi has any plans of selling the EFIKA 5K2 in the package it has in its photo, that looks like a really cool light desktop or personal server.

Seth

Reply Score: 1

Price
by Anonymous on Wed 30th Nov 2005 05:06 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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The price for the EFIKA 5K2 motherboard will start at
299 USD. That supply is limited. If successful they
will start larger production and sales at 249 USD and
after the 2000 first units - 199 USD.

Note that this includes the Freescale MPC5200B CPU.

/ironfist

Reply Score: 0

Nice! :-)
by Senex on Wed 30th Nov 2005 07:22 UTC
Senex
Member since:
2005-11-30

Nice to see Genesi sort-of revisiting their original "Eclipsis" plans. For 299 USD or even less, the device is definitely bought! List me as one of your first customers for this, please. :-)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Nice! :-)
by Anonymous on Thu 1st Dec 2005 06:43 UTC in reply to "Nice! :-)"
Anonymous Member since:
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I'd give much more than that to escape the wintel trap. List me too.

Reply Score: 0

Great tool for industrials... but for you?
by bouh on Wed 30th Nov 2005 07:40 UTC
bouh
Member since:
2005-10-27

So they take the MPC5200, originately designed for industrials, and port it to the desktop/server computer market.

As a personal user, when I want a cheap computer with little horsepower, I use the old ones that usually creep in the caves of my house or friend's houses.

When a company want a server they usually either need horse power, either buy very specific products.

I am curious of the benefit of such a strategy.

Reply Score: 1

Anonymous Member since:
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It depends on how much power this board delivers. I'm thinking about "central home computer" which provides firewall, fileserver, home media center functions in one. It has to be small, without fans everywhere (therefore quiet) and not increase my power bill.

Will '4U2' deliver this ? We'll see.

Reply Score: 0

Cool ?
by Anonymous on Wed 30th Nov 2005 10:20 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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Cool !

Reply Score: 0

RE[EOF]: price, usability
by Anonymous on Wed 30th Nov 2005 11:53 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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Look... this whole discussion became meaninless from the first post.
As soon as someone states that he/she is 100% dependant on a specific program (that be Autocad, Photoshop, XP or anthing else limited to one platform), their arguments become completely irrelevant to those who are not. (and probably vice-verca).

Reply Score: 1

MorphOS will fly on such a device
by -ujb- on Wed 30th Nov 2005 12:46 UTC
-ujb-
Member since:
2005-10-21

That board in conjunction with MorphOS will be great for multimedia and single user applications.
An ideal small personal mini notebook. Much more than a pda, but not something like those big 15" laptops which try to substitute the deskop computer...
It ffills teh gap between
A small simple fellow. Coupled with MOS a very fast and symphatic fellow, too.
But also intersting for QNX, Linux or Open Solaris.

Reply Score: 1

video?
by msundman on Wed 30th Nov 2005 13:07 UTC
msundman
Member since:
2005-07-06

R&B wrote:
> You want video (watching or chatting) and have bandwidth
> available? Go for it!

Umm.. sure. My G3-based (700MHz IIRC) Mac doesn't have enough horsepower to show movies, but this MPC5200B @ 466MHz (or less) will? I'll believe it when I see it.

Reply Score: 1

RE: video?
by the_leander on Wed 30th Nov 2005 13:20 UTC in reply to "video?"
the_leander Member since:
2005-07-01

Don't mistake MacOS's poor performance for it being a slow cpu (it is a slow cpu, but not *that* slow). A G3 has more then enough giddieup for watching movies.

Hell, you can watch DVD's on a 604 with barely a frame dropped, a G3 should have no issues.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: video?
by msundman on Wed 30th Nov 2005 15:07 UTC in reply to "RE: video?"
msundman Member since:
2005-07-06

> Don't mistake MacOS's poor performance for it being a slow
> cpu (it is a slow cpu, but not *that* slow). A G3 has more
> then enough giddieup for watching movies.

So you're essentially saying that in even the newest versions of VLC for Mac OS X over 50% of the CPU is wasted (regardless of the video output method used)? Yeah, right.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: video?
by the_leander on Wed 30th Nov 2005 15:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: video?"
the_leander Member since:
2005-07-01

>So you're essentially saying that in even the newest
>versions of VLC for Mac OS X over 50% of the CPU is
>wasted (regardless of the video output method used)?
>Yeah, right.

No, I'm saying that MacOS X is very resource intensive in itself, leaving far less available power for things like Video playback. It could also be that the supporting chipset is a pile of poo. But the cpu itself packs more then enough grunt to do the work.

I've seen 600Mhz G3 based AmigaOne's (complete with a [in]famously crappy chipset) play DVD's back flawlessly. Clearly, something is very amiss with your laptop.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: video?
by msundman on Wed 30th Nov 2005 15:38 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: video?"
msundman Member since:
2005-07-06

> > So you're essentially saying that in even the newest
> > versions of VLC for Mac OS X over 50% of the CPU is
> > wasted (regardless of the video output method used)?
> > Yeah, right.
>
> No, I'm saying that MacOS X is very resource intensive
> in itself, leaving far less available power for things
> like Video playback.

Well, at least the kernel reports that about 90% of the CPU goes to VLC when I try to play videos, but of course I don't know how much of that is in crappy support libraries. Still, it should be able to play some videos flawlessly with less than 50% CPU time.
My other two piece-of-sh*t laptops (850MHz P3 and 1GHz Transmeta Crusoe, both dead slow) run circles around the G3 Mac.


> It could also be that the supporting chipset is a pile of poo.

Even if that was the case it shouldn't cut the efficiency by half!


> I've seen 600Mhz G3 based AmigaOne's (complete with a
> [in]famously crappy chipset) play DVD's back flawlessly.
> Clearly, something is very amiss with your laptop.

Actually I don't think I have tried playing DVDs on it. I usually rip my DVDs to XviD and then just use the XviD files.

Anyway, back to the point. Even if a 700MHz G3 would somehow barely manage to play full size XviD videos it doesn't mean that a 466MHz MPC5200B would, too. As I said, I believe it when I see it.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: video?
by Ronald Vos on Wed 30th Nov 2005 16:17 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: video?"
Ronald Vos Member since:
2005-07-06

VLC is very CPU intensive. My P3-500 sometimes doesn't cut it either if I got emule running. Other players like Winamp do though, but they won't play as much different files as VLC.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: video?
by JLF65 on Wed 30th Nov 2005 19:10 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: video?"
JLF65 Member since:
2005-07-06

Anyway, back to the point. Even if a 700MHz G3 would somehow barely manage to play full size XviD videos it doesn't mean that a 466MHz MPC5200B would, too. As I said, I believe it when I see it.

My 450MHz G3 iMac plays DVD's without a hitch. It also plays 640x480 XviD/DivX AVIs just fine as long as the bitrate stays under 3000kbps (rare to ever see it that high, even with VBR encoding).

The old G3 iMacs use 66MHz SDRAM. Memory throughput is VITAL when playing video, and why the older PPC laptops weren't good at it - they had extremely poor throughput. Not only did it have only a 66MHz bus most of the time, but also had to share the memory with the video. The iMacs at least had separate video memory so they didn't share the main memory, improving throughput a little more.

The MPC5200B uses DDR266 memory. It also uses a riser for a PCI/AGP video card. It should have no trouble playing movies.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: video?
by Anonymous on Thu 1st Dec 2005 02:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: video?"
Anonymous Member since:
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Even without DMA enabled (had a prototype) on my harddrive I can play anything I've thrown at my 800MHz G3 AmigaOne using Mplayer (a bit heavier than VLC). My 867 MHz G4 Powerbook has problems with some of the same movies in VLC and Mplayer. So yes, there are indeed problems with cpu usage and playback using VLC under OS X.

Reply Score: 0

RE: video?
by Rasmus on Wed 30th Nov 2005 13:26 UTC in reply to "video?"
Rasmus Member since:
2005-11-12

Watch the video.

http://images.pegasosppc.com/movies/ftf/efika_divx.avi

That was the first board and you can see the video running fine in the background.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: video?
by msundman on Wed 30th Nov 2005 15:00 UTC in reply to "RE: video?"
msundman Member since:
2005-07-06

> Watch the video.

Are you seriously suggesting that a 16-18 fps video of a 320x200 (or somesuch) video (encoded in who knows what format) is supposed to show that the CPU in question is capable of displaying common video files (e.g. 512x384 XviD and 720x576 DVD) at 25-30 fps? Oh, c'mon!

Reply Score: 1

RE: video?
by Anonymous on Thu 1st Dec 2005 06:50 UTC in reply to "video?"
Anonymous Member since:
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> Umm.. sure. My G3-based (700MHz IIRC) Mac doesn't
> have enough horsepower to show movies, but this
> MPC5200B @ 466MHz (or less) will? I'll believe it
> when I see it.

I'm watching full-screen movies on my 366 MHz ThinkPad under FreeBDS for ages so I'd say you're just shittin.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: video?
by msundman on Thu 1st Dec 2005 09:14 UTC in reply to "RE: video?"
msundman Member since:
2005-07-06

> > Umm.. sure. My G3-based (700MHz IIRC) Mac doesn't
> > have enough horsepower to show movies, but this
> > MPC5200B @ 466MHz (or less) will? I'll believe it
> > when I see it.
>
> I'm watching full-screen movies on my 366 MHz ThinkPad
> under FreeBDS for ages so I'd say you're just shittin.

So what? You can even play full-screen movies on a dog-slow A500. You just can't play normal, full resolution movies, and I don't believe for a second that you can play 720x576 XviDs with your 366 MHz ThinkPad unless you have some dedicated decoder chip in it. And even if you could I still wouldn't be "shittin" since I really will believe it when I see it.

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: video?
by mbpark on Thu 1st Dec 2005 20:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: video?"
mbpark Member since:
2005-11-17

I have a 300Mhz Thinkpad which can play full-screen DVDs.

It uses a Trident DVD decoder chip which is part of the video card, and MediaMatics DVD Express.

I am able to play full-screen DVDs with lots of action (including the intro to Fight Club) on the ThinkPad under Windows 2000 or XP Professional due to the chip offload.

The ATi All-In-Wonder video cards can do the same thing by offloading the MPEG-2 processing to the card itself so your DVD playback takes very little CPU time.

If you have the money, you can buy chips which handle your video decoding in hardware, especially from vendors such as ATi or Nvidia. You can even program an FPGA to handle the codecs for you. If Archos can do this, so can BB&RV. If any number of Chinese DVD manufacturers can support video codecs in their <$100 DVD players, so can they ;) .

I would not be surprised if they're using an FPGA or one of the commercial chip solutions out there for codec support.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: video?
by AmigaRobbo on Thu 8th Dec 2005 10:15 UTC in reply to "RE: video?"
AmigaRobbo Member since:
2005-11-15

My mums Icebook or whatever it's called plays DVDs perfect with the same spec as that.

Reply Score: 1

What is a sub-laptop anyway?
by Ronald Vos on Wed 30th Nov 2005 15:08 UTC
Ronald Vos
Member since:
2005-07-06

Is it something like a smartphone?

300 dollars for a 450 MHZ PPC device doesn't seem expensive, but I need to know what it is first.

Reply Score: 1

If Only
by Anonymous on Wed 30th Nov 2005 15:17 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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If only it would run Amiga OS4.....

Reply Score: 0

RE: If Only
by Anonymous on Thu 1st Dec 2005 07:10 UTC in reply to "If Only"
Anonymous Member since:
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http://safir.amigaos.se/article_ack_eng.html
Its not the '4U2' but they, and if you read the article you donīt need a A1200, you can use it as a standalone

Reply Score: 0

Raffaele
Member since:
2005-11-12

Regarding price at 100 US $:

According to a statement by Bill Buck and Raquel Velasco, on morphzone.org forum site, the price of BASIC CONFIGURATION of Efika5k2-4U2 could be:

Equal or less than 100 US $ including keyboard and mouse if a quite normal TV set is used as a monitor...

You can find it here:

http://www.morphzone.org/modules/newbb_plus/viewtopic.php?topic_id=...

[quote]

>>>
In the words of Gerald [[Gerald Carda hardware guru of Pegasos -NdR-]], the base board in a basic configuration can be the $100 computer using a television set as the monitor and including the keyboard and mouse. Of course, more expensive models can be designed from the same board.
>>>

[end of quoting]

----------

Regarding CPU clock speed:

Also if I remember well, Motorola/Freescale announced some time ago that there are plans to rise clock speed of MPC5200B CPU family upto 600 MHz.

600 MHz on a PPC CPU based computer (expecially running Amiga like OSes like AOS 4.0 or MorphOS which are known to require low hardware resources) then it could be a very decent clock speed for anyday productivity, surf the web, watch DVB-T Digital Television, play DVDs (and maybe even some games).

Reply Score: 1

Anonymous Member since:
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>>>In the words of Gerald [[Gerald Carda hardware guru of Pegasos -NdR-]], <<<<<

This is all a joke. How can you sell boards based on the MPC5200B CPU ? Check out Freescale, the CPU is just sampling now and won't be ready until future 06

Reply Score: 0

Playing DVD's/ CPU Power
by Anonymous on Wed 30th Nov 2005 20:05 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
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Its all how the processor is used. What kind of processor, and how much memory is in your typical DVD Player? I would say very little, yet it does a great job playing DVDs. To question rather an OS on top of the 466MHz MPC5200B can decently play a movie, or to try to compare it to any bloatware OS on the market today, is just an Asinine and pointless endeavor.

-Mark

Reply Score: 0