Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 15th Jul 2007 22:17 UTC
Morphos "SceneCON is an annual meeting of underground computer artists who are members of the famous demo scene. With SceneCON, the organizers aim to follow the two decade old tradition of demo scene parties in Hungary. Yet, with a bit of a twist. This years party was held from the 16th until the 17th of June, 2007. Among its highlights was an extensive demonstration of bplan's EFIKA miniature mainboard running various flavours of Linux as well as a work-in-progress version of MorphOS 2.0. Luckily, the presentation was captured on video. The entire presentation has a total length of nearly an hour with MorphOS 2.0 being featured in the last 14 minutes of it."
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one hour video....
by roger64 on Mon 16th Jul 2007 06:27 UTC
roger64
Member since:
2006-08-15

just a little idea: to begin the one-hour video with the 14 minutes of MorphOS 2.0 or my guess is that MorphOS video will be only for the happy few. But, it is already like that, no?

Reply Score: 1

RE: one hour video....
by Buck on Mon 16th Jul 2007 11:11 UTC in reply to "one hour video...."
Buck Member since:
2005-06-29

Not a problem if you use the Google video link, you can skip to any part of the video.

Reply Score: 2

RE: one hour video....
by tonestone57 on Mon 16th Jul 2007 17:02 UTC in reply to "one hour video...."
tonestone57 Member since:
2005-12-31

I believe the video was more to showcase the Efika itself because they spent most of the time to show and discuss the Efika hardware. Ran 2 different Linux distros on it and also showed MorphOS working on it.

The video was somewhat dull & boring. I was hoping to see them run more Linux & MorphOS applications. They did very basic things with the OSes. No 3d, no video playing, no games, etc.

It looked more like they wanted to demonstrate that different OSes will work on the Efika.

Actually this News story should have been called "Efika Presentation" because I saw very little of MorphOS use.

MorphOS looks pretty cool by the way.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: one hour video....
by vezhlys on Mon 16th Jul 2007 17:19 UTC in reply to "RE: one hour video...."
vezhlys Member since:
2005-08-19

3D, video, games? It's hard to believe that such things can work on this computer and, probably, it is not intended to do that. 400MHz processor is just to slow and 128 MB of RAM is not enough for that in my opinion. Even on this presentation it is visible that linux loads quite a long time (especially SUSE with KDE). Morph OS looks great, but they didn't show any heavier programs running on it. OS is responsive, however, is it usable?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: one hour video....
by tonestone57 on Mon 16th Jul 2007 18:19 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: one hour video...."
tonestone57 Member since:
2005-12-31

In regards to MorphOS on the Efika,
You're right that 3d might not work well on that system ( probably crawl ).

As for games, I wanted to see them play some 2d games which I'm sure it could handle.

For videos, I'm certain it can handle mpeg2, but I wonder if it could playback divx/xvid well & what processor usage. Can it play multiple mpeg movies simultaneously?

They didn't show how it handles multimedia, etc. Or try to stress out MorphOS to show what it could handle.

And the system specs are just too low - that only the real enthusiasts will end up buying it. If they want to get serious they need to up the specs to something more realistic as outlined in my previous post and create a good demo video to show off MorphOS on the Efika.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: one hour video....
by StephenBeDoper on Mon 16th Jul 2007 18:47 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: one hour video...."
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

For videos, I'm certain it can handle mpeg2, but I wonder if it could playback divx/xvid well & what processor usage.


It shouldn't have a problem (assuming overlay support in the video drivers). I used BeOS on a P3 450 until about 2004, with VLC it had no problem with MPEG4 playback - used about 50-60% of the CPU, IIRC.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: one hour video....
by marafaka on Tue 17th Jul 2007 14:37 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: one hour video...."
marafaka Member since:
2006-01-03

Efika is a PowerPC developement platform which can - due to it's price - be very well used as a home media center, home server, lab device, office desktop, musical instrument, thin client, robot controller, car computer, information kiosk, etc, etc. And it's cool and quiet!

Is there a jet engine in your father's lawn mower?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: one hour video....
by aliquis on Mon 16th Jul 2007 22:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: one hour video...."
aliquis Member since:
2005-07-23

lol, you doubt 400MHz and 128MB ram is enough? How did you survived in the P2 days? Linux and X and KDE wastes way more resources/memory than Amiga apps, old Workbench took like 300kB of the 2MB memory in the A1200, of course MorphOS uses more but 128MB is plenty as long as you don't do heavy computing stuff of course.

It's not the best database server platform... But for AmigaOS-like desktop it's more than enough.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: one hour video....
by tonestone57 on Tue 17th Jul 2007 16:07 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: one hour video...."
tonestone57 Member since:
2005-12-31

Yes, I agree. That if you mainly want to run MorphOS then the Efika is good enough but running Linux on it will be like pulling teeth. Which I can't imagine being fun.

And at the selling price of $168 Euro I can get a much more powerful mATX x86 system ( dual core with latest technology too ). It won't be as quiet, or have low power usage or be as cool or small as the Efika but it'll be able to run more OSes and do hard core computer crunching. 3d gaming, video conversions, etc.

I was impressed by MorphOS. This OS looks pretty well done and unfortunately I'll never get the chance to try it out. But the Efika system seems too low end. I'd guess that only real enthusiasts will be buying this.

Back in the Pentium2 days things were different & simplier. :-)

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: one hour video....
by pczanik on Tue 17th Jul 2007 04:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: one hour video...."
pczanik Member since:
2006-03-17

The openSUSE part was a bit messed up :-) I made a last minute change to configurations to also demo, that XGL also works nicely, even if a bit slowly on the machine. Of course, one should not make such a change in last minute, while it worked before the show, it failed ugly during the show. The law of Murphy was upon us...
Without XGL and GDM running, xfce starts and works quite fast on this machine, and with Opera, Gnumeric & AbiWord, most of today's desktop usage is covered with fast and easy to use applications.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: one hour video....
by tonestone57 on Tue 17th Jul 2007 16:26 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: one hour video...."
tonestone57 Member since:
2005-12-31

"Without XGL and GDM running, xfce starts and works quite fast on this machine, and with Opera, Gnumeric & AbiWord, most of today's desktop usage is covered with fast and easy to use applications.

I can run Linux with KDE ( or Gnome ) on my x86 system & it'll run better. And how many Linux users run xfce? :-)

I can run Abiword, Firefox & Sum-IT on BeOS & it'll be pretty fast too. Though I've never used MorphOS myself; it does remind me of BeOS ( from a performance perspective ).

So, buying the Efika to use for Linux certainly is not a selling point. It is mainly intended for MorphOS and that Linux also *somewhat* works on the Efika is just an added benefit.

I own 4 x86 systems and even my oldest one has 256MB RAM ( 2 X P2 350mhz ) and the newer ones have 1GB. 128MB is good for MorphOS, but too little for Linux these days. ( CPU speed won't matter much unless you intend to run cpu intensive programs ).

Reply Score: 0

RE[5]: one hour video....
by pczanik on Tue 17th Jul 2007 16:44 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: one hour video...."
pczanik Member since:
2006-03-17


I can run Linux with KDE ( or Gnome ) on my x86 system & it'll run better. And how many Linux users run xfce? :-)


Actually most of my friends use it, even on monster machines, as it's a lot more friendly on resources. I use it on a dual-core, 2Ghz machine with 4G RAM :-)

So, buying the Efika to use for Linux certainly is not a selling point. It is mainly intended for MorphOS and that Linux also *somewhat* works on the Efika is just an added benefit.

I own 4 x86 systems and even my oldest one has 256MB RAM ( 2 X P2 350mhz ) and the newer ones have 1GB. 128MB is good for MorphOS, but too little for Linux these days. ( CPU speed won't matter much unless you intend to run cpu intensive programs ).


When properly configured and used with resource friendly applications, like those I mentioned, it works nicely, not just somewhat ;)

Linux does not mean, that it can only be used as a desktop machine, one can easily make a thin client out of it, or a home server. Just take a look at: http://www.powerdeveloper.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1223

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: one hour video....
by marafaka on Tue 17th Jul 2007 20:54 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: one hour video...."
marafaka Member since:
2006-01-03

It looks like you're very sure about wrong technical decisions made in Genesi. Maybe you should contact their management and offer consulting? Or borrow a cluebat somewhere?

Reply Score: 0

yow
by superstoned on Mon 16th Jul 2007 11:26 UTC
superstoned
Member since:
2005-07-07

Interesting (though long) video. Looks like this Ekiga could become interesting. With some more ram, it becomes very usable for a more fully featured desktop like KDE or Gnome. And with embedded video and other peripherals, it becomes even smaller!

Though I'm also eagerly awaiting a dualcore VIA @ 1.2 ghz or something. With embedded video & a decent amount of ram, what more would one need for a perfectly performing, modern linux desktop?

Reply Score: 3

RE: yow
by kaiwai on Mon 16th Jul 2007 12:46 UTC in reply to "yow"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Though I'm also eagerly awaiting a dualcore VIA @ 1.2 ghz or something. With embedded video & a decent amount of ram, what more would one need for a perfectly performing, modern linux desktop?


It depends on what you want - a Via processors are great if you a fanless machine that is cooled passively - just remember there is a price to pay, its performance isn't going to be as good as say the top Intel or AMD processor.

Now, if you were to use it as desktop stuff, no problems. If you wanted to create a set top box running MythTV and Linux, yeap. But for a compilation server or something that requires alot of grunt, no.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: yow
by superstoned on Mon 16th Jul 2007 13:14 UTC in reply to "RE: yow"
superstoned Member since:
2005-07-07

Of course. But for normal desktop work, it's good enough. I own a laptop with a P3 800 mhz, and that's plenty - the 256 mb ram is clearly the limiting factor. Of course, Via has to ensure their 3D drivers are good enough for Compiz/Beryl/whatever like stuff, as I'd want that, but aside from that, I don't worry about performance. And having it all fanless - lovely!

Would make an excellent laptop as well - no fans, just passively cooled. Dump the cd/dvd drive as well, and you'll have an ultra-flat, ultralight laptop which can be used for like 10 hours straight.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: yow
by kaiwai on Tue 17th Jul 2007 04:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: yow"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Of course. But for normal desktop work, it's good enough. I own a laptop with a P3 800 mhz, and that's plenty - the 256 mb ram is clearly the limiting factor. Of course, Via has to ensure their 3D drivers are good enough for Compiz/Beryl/whatever like stuff, as I'd want that, but aside from that, I don't worry about performance. And having it all fanless - lovely!

Would make an excellent laptop as well - no fans, just passively cooled. Dump the cd/dvd drive as well, and you'll have an ultra-flat, ultralight laptop which can be used for like 10 hours straight.


I guess it depends on what you use your laptop for me - if you use it as a 'mobile computer' but your primary machine is a desktop, then I could understand. VIA would be great for those who want an ultra-portable device. Then again, it would cool to see a UltraSPARC IIe in an affordable mobile device.

For me, I got rid of my desktop over a year ago, and now use my laptop for everything - so for me, its a must that it has alot of grunt. The Core 2 is excellent for what it can do with so little power; the new VIA processor (64bit) will be interesting to see how Solaris runs on it - that being my primary platform.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: yow
by ironfist on Tue 17th Jul 2007 22:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: yow"
ironfist Member since:
2006-01-17

superstoned:
There are not many fanless VIA CPUs available. When
that big myth started a few years ago there was only
one fanless board available; EPIA 5000, 533 MHz. 533
very slow MHz which equaled to somewhere around P2
266 MHz.. The 800 MHz version had a noisy 40 mm fan.

They also have a pretty fat heatsink, much thicker than
any laptop you can purchase today.

That's why temperature-controlled CPU fans are totally
necessary in every new laptop.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: yow
by superstoned on Wed 18th Jul 2007 10:49 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: yow"
superstoned Member since:
2005-07-07

Jos van den Oever has a DELL laptop with a passively cooled 1.2 ghz Celeron, so it's possible to have no CPU fan AND decent performance already. And have a look at this page, VIA's proc's up to 1.5 ghz run fanless: http://www.via.com.tw/en/products/ultra_mobile/ultra_mobile.jsp

Reply Score: 3

Interesting board, now needs more options
by timofonic on Mon 16th Jul 2007 12:57 UTC
timofonic
Member since:
2006-01-26

I hope soon to appear different flavors of efika like one version including one full of NICs (5 gigagit ones, useful for custom switchs) and a pair of minipci slots for wireless, one with a dual core G4 or builtin graphics card.

This is an interesting family of boards and can compete in terms of power consumption with VIA EPIA, and being more powerful than the ARM SBC computers.

Reply Score: 2

Mirror
by jonas.kirilla on Mon 16th Jul 2007 13:08 UTC
jonas.kirilla
Member since:
2005-07-11

Temporary mirror:
http://www.kirilla.se/efika/

Reply Score: 2

very nice!
by Kishe on Mon 16th Jul 2007 13:57 UTC
Kishe
Member since:
2006-02-16

morphos2 looks soo nice...makes even thinking about running anything else on efika feel like blasphemy

Reply Score: 2

not impressed
by jal_ on Mon 16th Jul 2007 15:03 UTC
jal_
Member since:
2006-11-02

I really can't get that worked up about the Efika. It has no SATA, no USB 2.0, no GB networking, no PCIe. Basically it's all > 5 year old stuff, and they're acting like it's the next best thing.

Reply Score: 2

RE: not impressed
by pczanik on Mon 16th Jul 2007 16:43 UTC in reply to "not impressed"
pczanik Member since:
2006-03-17

Just one little remark: five years ago nobody could produce a system with this performance, and just 4 watts of power usage, or 10 watts when built as a complete machine with HDD and video card. And I'm still not aware of any other machine providing this flexibility and processing power, while consuming less (or even just a little bit more).

Reply Score: 4

RE: not impressed
by tonestone57 on Mon 16th Jul 2007 16:47 UTC in reply to "not impressed"
tonestone57 Member since:
2005-12-31

Yes, the Efika is very basic. And I'd guess their goal was to make the smallest sized desktop computer out there with low cost & power usage.

Most people can do without some of the stuff you mention.

GB networking isn't really a big issue for most.
AGP will work pretty good ( doubt there'll be any really intense 3D games played on the Efika to require PCIe )
SATA won't make a big performance difference.
USB 2.0 would be nice to have though.

It would be great to have the above features to make it more modern but most aren't too important or essential.

The real issues are the 128MB Memory & 400Mhz processor & NO onboard video. Try running Linux with this low end system & Gnome/KDE & you'll see how it slows to a crawl.

MorphOS will probably run well but any Linux/Unix OS will have to be stripped down ( bare minimum ) to run well.

It *needed* to have 256MB Memory, 800Mhz processor & decent onboard video card.

Below are the specs for the Efika system:
http://www.pegasosppc.com/efika.php

The funny thing is that their *old* discontinued Pegasus board looks better to me ( allowed more RAM & faster CPUs ):
http://www.genesippc.com/pegasos.php

Edited 2007-07-16 16:53

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: not impressed
by aliquis on Mon 16th Jul 2007 22:52 UTC in reply to "RE: not impressed"
aliquis Member since:
2005-07-23

Old pegasos was overkill and more expensive, and since the intrest for these machines and oses aren't that huge I guess a small cheap board for people who wanna try morphos is a much better choice than expensive highend machines which noone buys.

The efika motherboard, cpu and memory is 75 euro, how can anyone complain? It's not more than a decent mouse damnit ;D

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: not impressed
by jal_ on Tue 17th Jul 2007 08:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: not impressed"
jal_ Member since:
2006-11-02

The efika motherboard, cpu and memory is 75 euro, how can anyone complain? It's not more than a decent mouse damnit ;D

Although the Genesi website claims 75 euro for the mainboard, that's just the recalculated dollar price excluding VAT. European resellers ask more than double that price: 168 EUR at ggsdata.se and 199 at vesalia.de. And that's quite a lot of money for such low-end hardware.

Edited 2007-07-17 08:02

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: not impressed
by jal_ on Tue 17th Jul 2007 07:51 UTC in reply to "RE: not impressed"
jal_ Member since:
2006-11-02

Most people can do without some of the stuff you mention.

GB networking isn't really a big issue for most.
AGP will work pretty good ( doubt there'll be any really intense 3D games played on the Efika to require PCIe )
SATA won't make a big performance difference.
USB 2.0 would be nice to have though.


I agree on the GB networking. But AGP is dying out, with more and more PCs having PCIe only, it's only a matter of time before no AGP cards can be found anymore. Same for non-SATA IDE drives, although that'll take some more time.

Reply Score: 1

v Burp
by predictor on Mon 16th Jul 2007 15:04 UTC
Again, for those of you interested :)
by mbpark on Mon 16th Jul 2007 19:21 UTC
mbpark
Member since:
2005-11-17

The EFIKA has a few things going for it with regards to 3D and video.

1. The people writing the drivers have access to hardware/software specs for the XGI video chip that is being used to demo this particular configuration. XGI requires an NDA for this, like Nvidia and AMD/ATI.

2. Genesi is apparently assembling/producing the XGI cards for use with the EFIKA.

3. This means that the MorphOS people have access to the information they need to write the drivers.

4. The video card they are using, the XGI V3XT, has hardware Mpeg-2 decoding support built in. The hard part is DMAing everything to the card via the drivers if it's already MPEG-2.

5. There are working AIGLX drivers already for Linux for this particular card.

6. MorphOS, due to the fact that the overhead is significantly less than Linux, probably screams with their drivers.

SceneCON was a good place to show this hardware. Remember, many of the demo scene people run Amigas. This is being positioned as a replacement for them.

The card isn't the fastest out there, but that doesn't matter when you have specs to write the drivers. Recall what platform we're talking about here. If the drivers are small enough and target specific hardware features, video will fly on this.

Reply Score: 3

First try
by erebos on Mon 16th Jul 2007 19:25 UTC
erebos
Member since:
2006-02-09

EFIKA in its current version is the v1. It is here for Genesi to make some money. Once some cash in hands, Efika v2 and v3 are planned (or were, check powerdeveloper.org)
with onboard video (XGI) and more horsepower. It even was talked about a DSP on it, months ago.

Reply Score: 1

Why Efika
by WyldStylist on Mon 16th Jul 2007 21:51 UTC
WyldStylist
Member since:
2006-12-30

Why not an x86 port of the os?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Why Efika
by erebos on Mon 16th Jul 2007 22:24 UTC in reply to "Why Efika"
erebos Member since:
2006-02-09

possible but with alot of work.
Morphos is based on a microkernel and make heavy use context switches and powerpc is better at this.

And...Morphos uses sandboxes, and implements AmigaOS API, this means that it's binary compatible whith system friendly AmigaOS software.

Reply Score: 2

boring presentation
by aliquis on Mon 16th Jul 2007 22:49 UTC
aliquis
Member since:
2005-07-23

The morphos 2.0 part was very boring, only mentions that there is alpha transparancy on windows and an integrated tcp/ip-stack, not much so see at all. I haven't watched the begining thought.

Reply Score: 1

GGS data
by aliquis on Tue 17th Jul 2007 10:06 UTC
aliquis
Member since:
2005-07-23

I didn't know Gunne had them, I knew someone said shipping fees where quite high thought (from Genesi that is.)

168 euro would be so worth it for a taste of Amiga again thought, heck I bought a 2x5 cm piece of steel for 595 sek a few days ago..

Both SATA hdds and AGP graphics cards are available NOW, and people will have old ones later on, it's not like you need Nvidia 9800 Ultra or whatever next generation cards will be called..

I guess you do have to understand that there might not be as up to date chipsets for the embedded PPC market as there is for the PC desktop market.

You can build a complete and nicely working Efika _NOW_, lets worry about the future in the future.. And if SATA is all there is then I'm sure they will support SATA.

I doubt IDE will die for quite some time, thought the rate the controllers are dimishing from Intels motherboards are worrying.

Reply Score: 1