|Interview with bplan
talk with Mr. Knäbel
Mr. Knäbel, could you describe the company "bplan"?
The company was founded in autumn 2000. Since then our main emphasis is to develop a PPC-platform/computer-system and put it on the market.
What is the current status of your latest product, the PEGASOS project?
Currently we are absolutely in time. That means, that we are finished succesfully the "alpha-phase" and we have working prototypes. We are pleased that porting MorphOS to our Pegasos-hardware will be done faster, than we expect. So we can present a bootable system soon.
When will the PEGASOS mainboard be released and how much will it cost?
We plan to release and sell the PEGASOS hardware in the 3th Q./2001. But we have to come to some decisions about distibution and marketing. A basic-system (Pegasos-mainboard, 64MB PC133 SD-Ram, standard-ATX-case, 10 GB harddisc, DVD + other specifications, which you can find on our homepage)will cost about 1.000,- EUR.
In which way will the PEGASOS-mainboard be distributed? Are there plans for a complete PPC-Computer from bplan or will you sell licenses to other companies? Will it be possible for endusers to buy "only" the bare mainboard (and add their own RAM, graphic card, cases...)?
The customer will be able to buy ready-to-run systems by web-order as well as by dealers. Additional we will sell OEM-licences to interested partners/companies.
Which customer is should/will use the PEGASOS hardware?
The Pegasos system is for every user or developer, who want to use the power of a Multiprocessing-PowerPC-System. We are using standard-interfaces from the PC-World to offer a stand-alone system, which is much cheaper than other PowerPC systems.
Is MorphOS THE operating-system for the PEGASOS mainboard (some members of the MorphOS-Team are working for bplan, too) or is your system open for every operating-system that works on the PPC (PPCLinux, Amiga OS 4.0...)?
MorphOS will be ready for the PEGASOS mainboard in the next weeks. From a technical point of view there are other operating-systems, which will work with the Pegasos hardware. The hardware is wich its Open Firmware Roms prepared for every operating-systems, you can think of.
A exciting feature of the PEGASOS-mainboard is the possibility of a Multiprocessing-system. Are there plans, with wich operating systems this feature will be possible?
Currently we are working on Multiprocessor-support for MorphOS and Linux (Kernel Version 2.4 and above)
Which operating systems are allready (succesfully) tested with PEGASOS?
Currently SUSE Linux 7.1. and MorphOS (Alpha Version) are working.
The PEGASOS-Projekt is often regarded as a possible (and worthy) follower of the Amiga(Classic)-computers. How important is the Amiga community and the Amiga market for bplan?
Because of my own past, the Amiga market is very important for me. I am sure, that we fulfill with the Pegasos project all expectations of the Amiga-Community for an Amiga follower.
Amiga Inc. has announced to develop AmigaOS to version 4.0 (and beyond) and port it to PPC. Will Amiga OS 4.0 work with the PEGASOS-mainboard? Are there any talks with Amiga Inc.?
The Pegasos hardware is very open for any operating-system. Porting OS 4.0 to our hardware shouldn´t be a problem for Amiga Inc. But I hope you understand, that I can´t talk about current negotiations with Amiga Inc.
Eyetec offers with the AmigaOne 1200-board a similar project. Which are the main-differences/advantages of the PEGASOS-project to the "AmigaOne 1200" for you?
The Pegasos hardware is completely new design, which deals perfect with the possibilities of today´s computer-chips. The customer gets a system, that will fullfill all his needs (especially when you look at the price/performance point). I won´t comment here, if this is possible with a add-on for the A1200 (AmigaOne 1200)...
What do you think of the current plans of Amiga Inc. and the situation of the Amiga market?
I think, that the the next two months will be decisive for future of the Amiga-market. I wish Amiga Inc. a lot of success for this difficult job.
What are your plans for the future?
After we put the PEGASOS-hardware to the market successfully, we will go on to develop PPC-systems. Industrial PPC-Multiprocessing-systems will be one of our main projects.
Interviewer: Anton Preinsack