Amiga hardware info, help and support with a focus (but not limited to) North American NTSC experiences. Open to all.
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Seattle, WA, USA

by intric8 posted Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:38 pm

Here's how my A1000's current clock looks when it loads, where it has to use it's own software - not Date or SetClock or any of that.

I can get it to show the proper month and day and time, just not the year. Trust me - a few of us have tried. It'll crash when it gets to 2018 (and I'll just set it back again). The time is a little off but oh well, I don't care for this machine.

Now, it is possible that some clocks would work just fine. But I'd only trust a new one made within the past 10 years (any idea what that might be?). The 1000 is always left out of these discussions, honestly.

But in 1985, 86 and 87, 3rd parties were making stuff for it. They were just kinda hacky. (But I love that stuff.)

Now it is possible that the clock on the Rejuvenator would work, as it was made in 1990/91. In fact, I'd bet it would work perfectly just using the normal Setclock built into Workbench. But whew. Not many of those around.

Other RTCs of mine, all of which are weird, hilarious and/or broken (or all the above):
- one plugs into the parallel port. (custom software)
- one plugs into the keyboard cable (mine is broken)
- one plugs into a joystick port. (dead battery, and I think uses custom drivers, too)
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Detroit, MI, USA

by Shot97 posted Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:48 pm

I would have to imagine there would be "some" board out there for the 1000 that would indeed work as all other Amiga models seem to. Likewise, there would likely also be 3rd party clock boards that I would imagine would also screw up like yours does, even in the 500 and other models. I guess that's the problem with going 3rd party in these aspects, I'm guessing Commodore never had an official clock board for the 1000?

It would indeed be very janky drivers I imagine to cause a board to not spit out two digits to the Amiga effectively. What's the significants of 2008 as the end year? There is none. That's just awful programing I would imagine. I can't imagine any of those clock boards were spitting out anything other than two digits to the Amiga in the end. That's all a clock board needs before Workbench takes over, all it needs to do is count from 0 to 99 in terms of the year and spit that out to the Amiga.

I don't know... I'll yield to first hand experience until I'm faced with the situation myself with a real 1000, but it's hard to accept code being that bad when I always want to think better of the designers, and I have to believe if there are clocks for the 1000 that are that bad, there must be one or more that behave no differently than the other Amiga models...which, it's of course quite worthy to point out, that most Amiga owners would have been dealing with official Commodore stuff with those other models, even if there were 3rd party options. I know I've seen 3rd party Amiga 500 clock board add ons. Only the clock, some of them didn't even give you RAM with that.

The concept of those clock boards are super simple though, internally it's there to have a battery throwing power to a simple clock that in terms of the years, counts from 0-99. Workbench is never told it's 2008 by the clocks, it's told it's the 44th year and Workbench does the math and puts it into a 4 digit year from 1978 to 2078. Upon Workbench loading the setclock command the clock boards have nothing to do with the machine unless you use a setclock command to save the time. At that point the Amiga is its own clock.

Would be super interesting to see someone on a programing level dive into one of those 1000 boards and maybe even fix them. Of course, that's a niche market in terms of people who even care about the clock on an Amiga being correct, let alone people with the 1000, who likely would also have other AMiga models so even if it did bother them, it wouldn't bother them as much as if they only had the one model.

Or... At least in terms of Workbench and the official Commodore clock boards, should these machines survive until 2078, someone could simply mess with Workbench to recalculate the 0-99 it gets from the clock boards to understand 0 as 2078 instead of 1978, giving our grand kids another hundred years.
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Detroit, MI, USA

by Shot97 posted Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:50 pm

Ah, that makes it much clearer to see that the setclock/loadclock commands are not even a part of the deal! Hmm, I wonder how Workbench 2.0 + handle those drivers, if at all.
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Detroit, MI, USA

by Shot97 posted Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:07 pm

Or...Perhaps... If it's 3rd party and Workbench is indeed capable of understanding 4 digit years, as it is, how aware of the Workbench math are the programers aware of? Would a hardware team, used to dealing with DOS PCs, be all kinds of confused when the Amiga read '89 as an utterly different year than a PC would have? Would they do the math on their own to make the correct adjustments, setting their clock to year 10 so the Amiga would get 1987 out of that? Would they not bother trying to understand that bit and instead screw with their own board in order to get the Amiga to understand that 89 on the clock board meant 1989? That would be some awful design there, but might somehow make some sense to a hardware company that was dealing with many computers. Keep the hardware the same, year 89 means 1989, and screw with individual operating systems in terms of the drivers at that point?

Ugh.. Never thought I'd have such a deep discussion on battery backed up clocks...
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Detroit, MI, USA

by Shot97 posted Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:28 pm

So it says your startime clock is 11-Jan-11? So is Workbench and programs showing it as the same year, 2011? And you say it crashes on 2018? Which...actually... in terms of the Amiga it's the 8 digit that makes me wonder if there is indeed an interesting reason behind this. 2018 itself means nothing and that's why it's all weird to me, but the 8 being the end year, like 1978 is the first year, 2078 is the end year. To hell if I know why it would be interesting, but it stands out as less random than it killing itself a year prior.

Does that clock board manufacture have history with PC/DOS hardware by any chance? Hmmm. For it to crash, not even roll over but crash... I mean yeah that's probably the drivers! Wonder if that sucker is doing some messed up math on the driver side in order for the Amiga to get the same year as a PC would read it as? That was the whole Y2K thing, how messed up things could get when the computer suddenly went backwards in time by a hundred years because it rolled over its two digits.

I'll say this, I don't know why, I can't point anybody to the exact reasons, but it may happen that 9 out of 10 clocks released for that machine have issues there, but I don't see how it's the 1000. I don't even have that machine and I'll give it a whole lot more credit than to say there's something wrong on the 1000's end. It's easy to see AMiga 500/2000/1200 and note no such issues with the clock and then to look at 1000, see issues with several clock models, and the temptation is certainly there to say 1000... But unless that 1000 is still running Workbench 1.1 and someone can point to Workbench code as being an issue, a 1000 with Workbench 1.3 should handle the clock no different than a 500 does. Which makes me want to say it might look like a 1000, it might smell like a 1000, but that ain't no 1000 problem!

Backed up clocks counted years from 0-99, that's what they did in general terms at that time. I'm pretty sure some of the parts for the 500 backed up clock could be bought from radio shack, it was super simple clock stuff, cheap but useful, hence we can get away with selling something cheap for a large price tag. I can't imagine the basics of the hardware is any more complicated than battery power going to that simple type of clock processor to keep track of the numbers until Workbench can once again take control.

I guess it's the taking control thing that's the problem here. I had no idea it was so complicated to extract the time from the clock, and would thus require a completely separate loading driver, which is where I bow to real world 1000 usage over my thoughts. But it would make much more sense that somewhere along the line the code for these 3rd party drivers are screwing up the transferring process. A two digit clock year should not crash any computer when it rolls over, there's got to be something with the math in that code that when put into Workbenhh terms crashes the system. I'm a man that knows not the "why" of it all, but it doesn't take a great actor to recognize a bad one, a great programmer to see possible issues with code, and the one thing I am sure of is that the Amiga, all of them, were great machines, and if the 1000 crashes in the year 2018 when a 500 does not, I have to want to believe there's a way to figure that stuff out, because the hard limits have simply not yet been mathematically reached.

That may not change the overlying fact that perhaps a majority of 1000 clocks seem to have issues,,, But its a love for the Amiga in general that makes me ponder it more deeply than simply accepting it as being a 1000 or even a clock hardware/driver issue. Simply not being written to deal with things being more than 20 years into the future... That just does not sound right. That's not how digital stuff works. Yes there's lots of bad programing, and it can certainly be said that many programs did not "imagine" stuff would be working in 20 years, but for a backed up clock to crash a 1000 in 2018... There's an explanation for that which is so much better than bad programmers not being able to see the 1000 in 20 years. On a programing digital level, if it's going to work 10 years from when it was built, it should work 20 years from when it was built. The Amiga could understand this, the backed up clocks hardware itself must understand this if it can go above 1 digit. If it can count to 10 years, it can count to 99 on a hardware level. Crashes happen when math goes bonkers. So this is where I'm sure the actual reason for this crash has got to be much more fascinating than some people seem to think. Issues are one thing, crashes are another, and why does it happen when it happens? I'm not the biggest math guy, but I'm simply saying it's these kinds of weird math issues I find interesting. There's a reason for that crash that's deeper than the people didn't think ahead 20 years, and it would be interesting for me to find out why even though I couldn't do it myself by any means. There's a real reason that if you were told it you and I and everyone would say "oh yeah! of course that's why!" That's the thing I've been lacking in terms of what I've heard from you and others. I'll be honest at first I thought you just didn't have the proper setdate tool. Yeah, I'm an asshole... Yes you have real world 1000 experience, but I have plenty of real world 500 experience and the only thing that felt right in terms of my experience was perhaps you're not looking at what's right in front of you. Apologies there, for now I see your real world 1000 experience includes 3rd party device drivers instead of Workbench's built in stuff. So that's where I bow my head in shame and say sorry I didn't trust you there, but I do feel you of all people should have a little more faith in that old beauty, the 1000, because I'm sure you're right practically, that a whole lot of 1000 clocks have issues, I'm also sure it's not worth finding out the ones that don't, but I'm still left with the same feeling I had prior, nobody is showing me why it can't be done, and thus I assume, and I almost always assume correctly in these situations, that it can in fact be done. Somehow. May not be worth it, but it can be done, somehow someway, somebody out there can get some clock to work on the 1000 that should not have any issues the other Amiga models have with that same operating system. Yes, sometimes crap happens between models when people were not exactly thinking ahead, issues for sure... But if you can't get a game to work on your 2000 or something when it easily works in a 1000, that does not mean it can't work on those machines, it just means you've got to put your thinking cap on. I don't think your 1000 can do anything my 500 can't do, hell, I don't even think it can't do much the 1200 can do, but that goes both ways actually. If my 500 can do it, and in terms of this clock junk it can, my AmigaLove insists that there must be a way, my 500 ain't nothing special in terms of clocks, other than perhaps it got lucky with one direct from Commodore, someone who would hopefully know a thing or two about the hardware.

Are we really thinking a hardware clock developer in 1985 can see no sight lines for the year 2000, but the simple fact that other Amiga models would have the benefit of a clock made in 1990 (I have two, one '87 one '89) makes everything better? The reason someone making a clock wouldn't care about the year 2000 is because when it rolled over to 0 nothing bad happens in terms of the clock. It rolls over, it's two digits, it's now 00, you insert the correct century yourself. As far as I'm aware there's nobody with classic DOS hardware telling people to make sure they keep those dates in the 90's... Could it be that a company making a cheap clock were good enough to think 20 years ahead in terms of that clock, but maybe not so much in terms of others software? If it works 10 years later than the code should allow it to work 20 years later and so on. So why does your 1000 clock crash the machine in 2018? That's where the story is interesting to me, that's where you see possible brilliance from what is on the surface bad coders. It's noteworthy in the bad programing line of thinking to note Commodore themselves had issues with their own setclock tool. A real Y2k issue, as a matter of fact. You couldn't properly set the clock prior to Workbench 2.0 past the year 2000. This was not a Workbench or Amiga issue, it was because setclock was dealing with math, translating 2 digit numbers that the human is thinking of and putting that into Amiga terms. You're saying to set the clock to "99", the Amiga knows that as 4 digit 1999, and tells the backed up clock that it's year 21, 1999 minus 1978. Load up the machine, it gets 21 back from the clock, sets the year to 1999. Problem came from Commodore not adding the correct math once the human was entering "00" meaning for it to be 2000. Your backed up clock views the year 2000 as year 22, if the Amiga gets back 22 from the backed up clock it will set the date to 2000. But the setclock tool was not keeping in mind the math change from the user that was using 2 digits to the Amiga that was using 4 digits and then back to the battery clock which was using digits based off of 1978 as the start year.

So are there real world programing issues? For sure! The Amiga, which should not have had any issues with the year 2000 actually did have a real issue setting the clock prior to Workbench 2.0, which managed to get a late 1997 patch for Workbench 1.3 to fix it! But why was there a problem in the year 2000 for the Amiga? Once you understand the math that is involved in translating that stuff to the battery clock it becomes very clear. While the Amiga and Workbench understood it was the year 2000, the person responsible for writing setclock didn't change the math when the user was going to zeros now. Makes sense, understood. Programing mistake yes, but clear reason why once understood. I think setclock after Workbench 2.0 would use the actual 4 digit years, thus making the math not an issue there. It's 2019? Workbench 2.0 has the user say it's 2019 and the Amiga tells the battery clock to save the digits as 41, 41 years after year 0, which to the Amiga meant 1978. In Workbench 1.3 the user was using 2 digit years, but the Amiga itself still understands the 19 means 2019, setclock however, did not do the math properly.

Math happens, math broke something that was not thinking too far ahead into the future. The issue had no real issues for Workbench 1.3 users, especially since at the time as long as the clock was already set correctly it had no issues loading the correct time. But it's not like setting the date to 00 broke the Amiga, it just screwed up the math and it put out the wrong year. But it's not they weren't thinking into some mystical far away time, in fact they were, they just were not being as careful as they should have been. The math was programed wrong, once an exact moment passed, when you wanted 00 to mean 2000, that's when the math broke, an exact moment in time. The battery clock goes to 99 where it will then reset to 0, at which point the Amiga, despite understanding years above 2078 will now believe it to be the year 1978. Math happened, a precise moment was reached, a 2 digit battery clock reset itself and now your Amiga thinks it means 1978. Digits in form or another got messed up, the entire time the simple 2 digit battery clock in no way was the direct reason for any of these issues, it's simple 0-99 design was actually an asset to the Amiga compared to the PC. Is there a programing issue with some 3rd party 1000 battery clocks? No doubt. But why 2018 for yours? A year that means nothing for the Amiga and nothing for a 2 digit clock. The fact that your clock worked and set the date after the year 2000 correctly at all means it's not a math issue with the changing of the century. If your clock is guilty of not thinking into the future, it should fail at 2000 when the math changes on the Amiga, and eventually the thing itself should roll over when 99 goes back to 00, telling the Amiga the false date of 1978. I mean apparently there's major issues coming in the 2040's when loading the time from the clock from the battery will have issues in getting it precise. I've yet to wrap my head around why that is, but I'm sure there's real math there has nothing to do with the actual battery clock, which if it can count to 10, it can count to 99. It's hard to believe that your 3rd party clock was not thinking ahead and thus in some far away year it simply stopped working, and your luck happened to be in 2018. If they were thinking ahead enough for it to work correctly in 2000, what is it about 2018 that not only causes it to no longer work, but to crash the entire computer? It's math I imagine, but there's got to be an interesting reason it happened in 2018 with your clock.

That's what makes me think about the PC stuff, were the companies that made 1000 clocks doing stuff on the PC end? If you could somehow get the basic clock hardware hooked up to a PC would they read as the same date? That would end up being awful for Amiga users down the line, but fascinating from a company end, don't you think? What extra trickery would need to happen in order for clock hardware to deal out the same time on multiple systems? Would that even be worth it for a hardware company to think about and code for? I could be going way too deep on all that, but it would make more sense to me if the crash was because the internal/driver magic suddenly translated a year to be something that the Amiga itself does not understand. Is it rolling over on the Amiga end, does the Amiga suddenly think it's in the year 4000, much higher, perhaps much lower? Is there some back/forth checking going on and the report back doesn't match?

This dude has no idea other than he wouldn't be surprised that if it were dug into by a capable person that the few who do care about old computers clocks would consider it an interesting read that would indeed be a little deeper than someone thought ahead 10 years but not 20. Computers that did not deal with Y2K did not crash in the year 2000, they just thought it was now 00, the past, 1900 in human terms. Issues related to that were in the programs, not the hardware. Perhaps it's because the Amiga was indeed more advanced on a clock level than PCs were, capable of understanding 4 digit years, I think long past 2078. You can display 3078 on an Amiga I believe, at least with 2.0 and above, Workbench 1.3 would understand those years but you can't set them or see them, it's internal stuff. it's just that it can't load a clock past 2078 because battery clocks only stored 2 digits, thus when the hardware rolls over the Amiga is thus forced back into time, but the Amiga wouldn't roll over to 1978 until you restarted the machine. What's going on with this particular Amiga hardware and its drivers along with the Workbench? In practical every day terms you're right, they probably didn't think ahead in 20 years, but in computer logic, if that thing is crashing... Wouldn't it be cool to find out the Amiga thought the sun was about to explode and that's why the crash is happening?

May not be anything near as awesome as that, but it's something more than bad hardware not thinking ahead 20 years. Two digits in those things, if it can count to 10 years then the hardware can count to 99. There must be a magical clock out there for you, Erick! Or one that has yet to be made... But it's out there, I believe in the power of the 1000! Hell, worth trying out kickstart 1.1/1.2 if by some chance your clock makers were thinking even further into the future than Commodore did! Workbench 1.3 itself needed a patch in 1997 to set the correct year after 2000. It may even be possible, though perhaps not likely, that your 1000's clock 3rd party maker was doing more thinking than Commodore was, making up for whatever issues Workbnech 1.1/1.2 may have had to go beyond 2000, but then Workbench 1.3 may have come along and messed everyhing up for you! haha. Probably not the case, but that's something I imagine most people would never think of but it wouldn't be the first time that actual good programing back in the day that fixed bad programing on the computer's end would end up being fixed later on, making the good programing now look awful. Whatever the reason, there's got to be one, and I bet it's an interesting one!
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Seattle, WA, USA

by intric8 posted Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:05 am

I guess that's the problem with going 3rd party in these aspects, I'm guessing Commodore never had an official clock board for the 1000?

Good question: I don't think Commodore ever made one for the 1000. At least, I don't recall ever seeing one. A lot of other little companies did, though. Hence my weird fascination with them. I've been wanting to do a post/video on the topic for over 6 months, but then I keep finding a new one (latest acquisition in October) and so the research just keeps going. It's a very weird focus of mine, I know.

I worked with an IT professional on the clock I'm using right now - the same guy I worked with on the Zip Drive that is hooked into the same SCSI expansion. Luckily we both have identical setups, so we were able to work virtually side by side and we both had the same results. But writing a new driver seemed to be beyond his powers, too.

I do know one guy who could probably do it, and we've talked about it before. But he's currently focusing on the Rejuvenator and there's only so many retro projects in a day one can do. Hah!

Long story short - I don't think it has anything to do with Amiga/Commodore/Workbench. It's the code for the little clocks. If more of mine worked, and I had software for them, I could do more tests.

Just plugging in the clocks into their respective ports (including the one I have working), though - they are never seen. Another super annoying thing about most of these old clocks? The batteries are soldered on... never expected to live beyond the original life of the battery. So perhaps it's not that big of a leap for some of them to not worry about support beyond 10 or 20 years. I dunno.

Oh, it's also worth noting that on the A1000, to call the date/time in Workbench is different than all of the other Amigas. In some of the Workbench disks out there that there is a comment by Commodore to 1000 owners to not use Setclock, but Date, instead. So there is some subtle difference in there hardware-wise, but it probably isn't major.
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by oldbull posted Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:45 pm

Fascinating thread. I went and checked the version of V1.3 I use on my A1000. According to "Version" on the Workbench menu, I have the following:

Kickstart 34.5.
Workbench 34.20

Do we know what version numbers introduced the date fixes being discussed?
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Detroit, MI, USA

by Shot97 posted Sat Jan 12, 2019 1:19 pm

I'll get back to this one later, as I am interested in where it's going. It's not my area of expertise by any means, not the 1000. But as someone who has worked computer hardware and software repair it did not take very long to find out through my own wasted time that the first questions should always be the stupid ones, even if they might come off as insulting to people. "Is your computer plugged in?" - That's number one, and even if you're told by someone it should be number one, there is nobody arrogant enough to actually ask that question first UNTIL they've gone through troubleshooting in 5 different areas and are ready to order a motherboard that they finally ask the worst question of them all, and someone you had no clue would be the kind of person who would say "oh crap, yeah, it's unplugged!" is the person that ends up making you want to ask that first question, even if you still refrain from it, you want to ask it.

And as someone who has been on the opposite end because the thing is under warranty and I have to get their diagnostic approval to get my free parts, I also understand how important it is for a person seeking answers to go through the motions from the guys asking questions. Because if you start arguing with the guy and telling him you know what's wrong with the thing, well, you very well will likely find out that you were, but nobody is perfect, and you are going to be surprised to find out you were wrong in an instance or two. Either way, it's only going to waste more time to resist the people who want to help, and it's possible if you go through the motions with those people you might find them to help you get somewhere nobody else did.

I have no doubts the majority of forum users will not help you, they care about the 1200. I get that, I've seen that, I even remember when you were amongst those 1200 peeps. I know all about how even people who know all about the Amiga don't always... Lots of people love all things retro, and still most of them use HD monitors on that stuff and put it in widescreen. I'm not a 1200 lover or a 1000 lover, I'm a 500 lover. That might make me the worst of the bunch, because that's the most popular model, only thing is they're all silent from my observations of them. I'm in the 500 lovers group, and that group is composed of just me despite intellectually probably being the smart choice for the Amiga most deserving of a group of loving peeps.

It's not what I know or don't know, or what anyone else knows or does not about the Amiga. I do not know more about the 1000 than you as an owner and lover of that machine do, couldn't possibly. But knowledge has many levels, and so do questions... There is no group of people who love the 500 and get together. There are a group of people who are all about the 1200, all about powerPCs, and indeed, smaller, but no doubt there, there is that sort of anti 1200 techie group that loves that desktop setup or the original machine, or with the 2000 how many cards you can throw into it... These groups are all a thing. Not saying your group is bad in any way, the old 1000 and 2000 deserve love, I truly believe that. But I feel it's interesting, the man who would stand alone in his own group, the 500 group. That one person may not have the answers for a 1000, but don't be surprised if he gives you thoughts you never thought of, or if he asked the questions others were afraid to. Moral is, some of my questions here may have long ago been answered by you guys and thought to be wrong, some of them might come off so awful that no lover of the 1000 would ever dare ask another that question... It may still be important for someone to ask those questions, know what I mean?

Example, I asked this one last time but you didn't answer it, I would hope it's because it was amongst the first things you guys tried. That's my genuine hope, but I also think that it's possible a group of knowledgeable 1000 lovers would love that thing so much, how much do they love it? They love it so much they've never stepped a foot inside of the operating system and kickstart that most of the 1000's either shipped with or were given to for free.... 1.1 - I don't have an Amiga 1000 but as a lover of all Amiga's I wonder if I'm the only one who understand the 1000 equals 1.1? Amiga Rougue? Had issues on some of your machines, you wanted to place it as a 1000 thing, I'm there, perhaps looking like an awful person at times, but I'm there showing how not only can it work on the 500, it can go on the hard drive... Not to be anti 1000 or pro 500, but to say hey, don't put your 2000 down there, all I'm saying is there's another reason you're having issues there I think.

It helped with Rogue because in that situation I can help the overall understanding of the Amiga by using my 500, showing how people can get it running, because my attitude is always that it can. Someone says no it can't? I'll go down swinging. I can't help you here with a 1000 at my side and one of its clocks, no... But I am actually interested in this problem you're having, interested to know more facts along the way, curious in how it all turns out... I reserve no thoughts on if it is an area that makes sense to go in or not, it's not my area... I do know a bit about the clocks of the Amiga in general, having dived into that all recently myself for the 500, so I'm not ignorant there...

I'll come back later and ask some more questions about the exact issues and share the concerns I have. I'll start with just saying it's great you guys love the Amiga, I'm slightly disappointed in how you seem to regard the manufactures of computer hardware battery backed up clocks, though... As an at first glance kind of thing, if I had the 1000 and the boards in front of me myself and I had gone through whatever it is I feel I need to go through before I start boiling hell over, if I got the feeling of lazy design I'd probably also through out a vibe of not thinking highly of those clock boys. In fact, I would be much less kind than you I think, because you're understanding of the whole not thinking ahead thing. On my end, I want to think a 2 digit battery clock can do nothing but work and work. It might start not working as expected when it rolls over, but it won't stop working. I don't think they have to look 50 years into the future, a good clock is going to work until it rolls over. So if I found out that was not the case, I'd view it as a decision. That's not them unable to look 40 years down the line, that's them in 1985 deciding that 2018 feels about right... Just cut off the year digits there, would ya? Oh man, I'd be fuming! Not only are you thinking ahead, you've put an arbitrarily expiration date on this thing, do you go on to be the president of HP by any chance? lol So the first thought for me is not to say that a clock does anything but clock. It's like clockwork, a very small group of things can be described as working like clockwork, clockwork is amongst that group. hahah! If a battery backed up clock is dealing with two digits, which I believe it should have been on the Amiga. It should record numbers from 00 to 99, much like DOS did. DOS recorded 85 as the year, it meant 1985. The Amiga would instead record the same year as 8, 8 years after 1978, which was the day the world was created according to the Amiga. If the Amiga could deal in low digit numbers like 8, 15, 20... And DOS could deal with high numbers like 85...Well, my first thought is not to blame the middle area digits there as being magical digits nobody thought a clock would ever reach. Clocks tick until the numbers roll over, that's the goal of them. My feeling is that there probably something wrong in math translations along the way when it comes to the battery software translating the hardware clock to the Amiga, but there has to be a real exact reason for it other than 2018 showed up and that was the magic year this company, who despite their soul concern in releasing a clock product for the 1000, you had one job, man- That company, I mean who could blame them for not caring about what happens in 40 years?

It's not the clock... I mean that's my first reaction, and as long as you guys at least thought about that at some point, and only got to where you're at through elimination, then maybe you're onto something, but by default a clock is going to keep on ticking. no shortage of 70's Timex wrist watches that prove just that. The LCD will die and that thing will roll over from 00 to 99 over and over again before the clock stops clocking. Not saying it may not prove to be a shortsighted thinking area there in terms of these 1000 clocks, but it would be the year 2000 if anything in terms of short sighted thinking, and in terms of the Amiga and its numbers, the next cause for concern has many years to come. It's like a gas station owner before digital signs being lazy and not wanting to go out there with the long hook and change the price, so he just leaves a digit out here and there. Only it feels like it may have to be more deliberately lazy for something digital to go that route. The 1985 hardware in terms of the actual clock, my first thoughts would not be that this 3rd party hardware company did not have the advances Commodore had just two years later in terms of the clock itself... I so want to believe that the parts needed for that to work and to work nearly perfectly had been available for at least 10 years prior. You don't start your Timex digital watches with the goal of maybe someday, ya know maybe by 1995 we'll get these things to work like clockwork... No, you start them from day one to wow the crap out of the mechanical watch guys because otherwise they are going to slaughter you! You don't need real world experience to know as the person engineering the thing, that the thing is going to keep on ticking.

And maybe I'm wrong, it's an interesting project, but I'm curious where it will go, and if I ask any questions, hopefully this 500 lover can be considered of possible unique perspective from time to time. The big one for me was the previously mentioned 1.1 thing, and I hope it was one of the first things you guys tried because it would honestly be the one I'd go for in your shoes... But I ask because it's a question that should be asked, but may never even be thought of because you guys love the 1000 so much of course you're using 1.3 with the hard drive boot feature! l 1.1 was the one shipped with most of them, or was given as a free upgrade for 1.0 users. You could easily go to 1.3 and get all the benefits with the kickstart disk, true, but that's still money, and most 1000's would know 1.1 as the operating system I imagine. and they would have at least been on the radar of anyone smart thinking about the 1000. Does anything alter with those clocks in that environment? Not only are my first thoughts to love the Amiga, my first thoughts are to love the hardware so much I'm hoping it's the opposite of what it looks like, that the code was so awesome it worked with dates Workbench 1.1 or 1.2 may have had issues with, and it all ends up breaking when 1.3 came around with that wonderful autoboot feature for hard drives. That's not a solution, but the way I go about getting a whole lot of things to work that some people think won't is by approaching them in that mindset of yeah, something is wrong here, how can I make it work? What config do I use? What can I disable or enable? What OS was this thing designed for?

Just based on descriptions all that comes to me as obvious is obviously that the Amiga is awesome. lol. The 1000 is awesome. So if my 500 can tell the time correctly in 2018, so can your 1000. But I also want to say clocks, they're pretty awesome... Maybe they get ever so slightly out of synch after an entire year, by a second maybe, but the earth is not exactly running around the sun perfectly, and the actual time of civilization is adjusted from time to time. I am inclined to not take the position that a company who had one job failed at making a clock tick. Perhaps a soldered battery may be cause for evidence, the battery is but a power source hooked up to those tiny little chips doing their thing. the power source is an after thought to the stuff doing the job. Commodore put a noteworthy battery inside their own clock as well... Soldered in on the board itself, and then soldered inside of a metal case on top of that, for something that went into the most user friendly access port. Commodore was thinking about Commodore and their dealers with that battery is what I would imagine. If they only thought the thing would live for 4 years they would have put a cheap coin cell in it, they put a toxic waste dump in that thing that actually had a lifespan that went beyond the year 2000 in my case. Sometimes there's some politics involved in those battery choices, but if I would have had a clock on the Amiga and noticed the thing had died in the 90's... Probably would have caused me to go prodding around early on... Heck, if Commodore was so kind many Amiga's may have been saved. I still see Amiga peeps from time to time who note proudly their original battery still working... Sometimes death is better than life! haha.

The Amiga was an early computer, but if the Amiga can't perform some advanced calculations and do them much faster than I ever could, then the Amiga was a pretty bad computer. That was the first job of a computer, to calculate. They perfected that bit early on I would hope, and clocks?...Seconds lead to minutes, minutes to hours, hours to days and after 365 of those days, a year gets added on. It's clockwork, they don't need to think ahead 50 years, it's clockwork! Logically the breaking point for digital digits would be 0-9, one didget, rolls over on the 10th year. Of little use I imagine but perhaps had some use back in the day. Two digits was the norm for the longest time, because we're not stupid enough to not know what century it is. 0-99. 4 digits, 9999... Now, especially getting into later 4 digit areas even I have come across real world examples of stuff refusing to go above 1900-2000's, a decision was made, a stupid decision, but a decision was made. It's not because they're morons, if a VCR refuses to let me say it's the year 3000, they made a decision there, the thing itself can go higher. Don't agree with it, but i've seen that in 4 digit applications, I can't tell you a single time I've seen a two digit year address for anything cause issues in the slightest. I'm thinking software calculations are getting messed up at some point translating the battery time to Amiga time, that's where I can see code coming in and not thinking ahead causing problems, though it's really hard to believe the thing just stops ticking. It feels like it's upon loading the time from the battery that you're getting issues. If you could somehow get a digital readout direct from the board I'd be betting that it's ticking just fine after 2018.

But keep us updated, it's an interesting one and I'll log whatever it turns out to be as quality information I have no doubts!
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Seattle, WA, USA

by intric8 posted Sat Jan 12, 2019 4:57 pm

And maybe I'm wrong, it's an interesting project, but I'm curious where it will go, and if I ask any questions, hopefully this 500 lover can be considered of possible unique perspective from time to time.
Well, of course, Shot! Heck, you're usually right. I have nothing against the 500 one bit. It was the best selling Amiga of all time for a reason. I just focus my attentions on other models these days. If I had to choose, I'd take a 500 over a 600 or 1200 any day. But that's another topic. ;)

The big one for me was the previously mentioned 1.1 thing, and I hope it was one of the first things you guys tried because it would honestly be the one I'd go for in your shoes... But I ask because it's a question that should be asked, but may never even be thought of because you guys love the 1000 so much of course you're using 1.3 with the hard drive boot feature! l 1.1 was the one shipped with most of them, or was given as a free upgrade for 1.0 users.

So, this is where it gets kinda complicated and you are onto something. But there is really more than one issue at hand with my particular setup, which again was shared by my online friend Tim "the IT guy". This would be the perfect situation where I'd have you over at the C= club and walk you through the stuff we dealt with on this one. I could go on for an hour, easy.

To be totally clear, I love Microbotics. Their products for the Amiga 1000 are my favorite, no question. They really took the time to care about the 1000's aesthetics and built solid products for it.

Anyway, back in the day when the Starboard was released, it supported 1.1 and 1.2. It came with a special disk that was to be used to create a unique "boot disk" that had a stripped down version of WB. For some customers (like me) if you paid extra for the StarClock, that came with a special disk, too. So yes - the StarClock was originally built for 1.1 or 1.2. So we're talking ancient times. So ancient, we disovered that unless you had 1 of the 20 supported old hard drives, the SCSI disk that came with the Starboard was actually not usable. It took a 3rd guy - a programmer - to create a special boot disk for us to get the SCSI piece of the puzzle to work (and Tim, modding it).

Anyway, that's a bit beside the point but it's all related, because we were working on the clocks at the same time, too. And you are right - it's not really the clock that is the problem, it's the software needed to tap into that thing where things seem to get wonky. Although that one in particular does seem to lose track of the actual hour/minutes for some reason.

After I get past Ultima IV (IF I get past Ultima IV) and a C128D project I'm stuck in the middle of, I'd really love to get back to these and see if I have any others that I can get to work. I've enjoyed reading through your musings, too.
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by McTrinsic posted Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:20 pm

Let me know if you need help with UIV.


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